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Is this emotional abuse?

(102 Posts)
tuasunjolicanard Sun 12-Nov-17 14:33:32

Hi all, name changed, not a journalist. H knows my normal name... hence the change.

My head is all over the place so I’m going to write down stuff factually and I need you guys to tell me if H is emotionally abusing me, because I can’t tell. I’m so confused.

1) He tells me I don’t need to wear makeup, he prefers me without. Then a couple of weeks later he sulks that “I never make an effort to look good for him”, then, this morning when I was putting makeup on... for him... “ohhh, your just doing that so you an make MORE of an effort for other people”. I called him out on this and was told it was a joke. He has since apologised but he mostly apologised that I can’t take a joke.

2) Everytime I suggest doing something on the weekends or buying a little something, we can’t, because we don’t have the money... but he’s always ordering things on Amazon or buying little things. Admittedly he buys tools for DIY or things for the garden... but still.

3) If I want to go out with friends or indulge in a hobby he will sulk for days, then offer sex as an incentive for coming home early “don’t be home too late... wink wink”.

4) I need to go away with work every now and then. He will sulk and sulk then demand late night phone calls and get in a shit if it looks like I’m having a good time.

He works very hard for us as a family, does a lot of housework and takes responsibility for the majority of DIY stuff, but leaves me with near on 100% responsibility for the children. I doubt he’d remember when school holidays were or know how much to pay for clubs.

I work part time, he works full time.

I’m not very good with money and he uses it as a continual stick to beat me with. For example, 7 years ago I bought a camera at £350. Even now he will say “oh, but you’ll just go and buy it anyway, like that camera” even though I use it near on daily and he uses it to.

Likewise I fell in love with an impractical car a few years back, I sold it 2 years ago for a practical one when it became too much to run... but still all i hear about is how I was stupid to buy it.

He suffers from anxiety and depression and 50% of the time he is lovely, a fabulous father and he claims he loves me and it would destroy him if I left. 50% of the time I’m walking on eggshells.

Wow, that was long.

Justbookedasummmerholiday Sun 12-Nov-17 14:35:59

Run my mn friend..
Bloody run.

SuperLoudPoppingAction Sun 12-Nov-17 14:40:03

It sounds horrendous. You shouldn't feel like you're walking on eggshells in your own home.
It's horrible to dredge up things from the past to put you in your place.
It's also awful to keep checking on you and sulking when you're away.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sun 12-Nov-17 14:40:36

Yes emotional abuse.

My DH has never told me he would be destroyed if I left him. My DH hasn't done anything that would make me want to leave him so why would he need to say such a thing? Your DH knows he is bang out of order and you should want to leave him.

It's a bit like if a man tells you he would never hit you or never cheat on you then you can be 99% certain he will eventually.

I rather suspect you are not bad with money.

He is like a toddler following you to the toilet and throwing a tantrum if you cuddle a different child.

Do you cave in to the sulks? I mean, do you behave as if a sulk is something you should stop happening rather than something he should stop happening?

Desmondo2016 Sun 12-Nov-17 14:40:44

3 and 4 are emotionally abusive. Not so sure about the rest of it. In some context they could be but by your own admission you're crap with money so he's not being abusive in pointing that out and using an item that you bought on a whim is neither here nor there as the item was already bought by that point. I'm not sure you need to be running for the hills, just communicating better may sort out a lot of these issues.

Wolfiefan Sun 12-Nov-17 14:41:40

Anxiety and depression are not an excuse to be controlling and nasty.

AdalindSchade Sun 12-Nov-17 14:42:15

Yes he certainly is.
Controlling, obsessive, cruel, inconsistent and unbalancing. It's all emotional abuse.

DonkeyPunch88 Sun 12-Nov-17 14:43:28

I suppose yes it would count as emotional abuse. To be honest he sounds like a sulky man child and you’d be better off without. Whether you do make that decision though is entirely your choice.

tuasunjolicanard Sun 12-Nov-17 14:45:30

Thanks all. I really really want to make the break...but I can never seem to screw up enough courage to say so.

But then...

We had a weekend away a couple of weeks back and it was lovely. No nagging, no little digs, giving me hugs, laughing, just being the teenager I fell in love with 15 years ago. sad

Oh god I’m so sad and I just don’t know what to do.

tuasunjolicanard Sun 12-Nov-17 15:03:49

And then we have lovely evenings curled up on the sofa, and he takes me on surprise day trips to places he knows I’ll like and will come home from shopping with the obscure brand of ice cream I like...

But then he’ll tell me I’m not allowed to drive his car in case I hurt it, meaning that I’m driving a car with a fucked clutch on a motorway with the kids in it. He’ll constantly question why I want to do innocuous unimportant things until I can’t even remember myself. He won’t let me ask for help towards an Apple Watch for Xmas from my parents because HE doesn’t like apple products.

midlifecrash Sun 12-Nov-17 15:15:17

The thing is - you want to leave. You don't need a reason apart from that. You don't need to check through everything and see what the score is. Wanting to leave is enough.

If you are worried about his reaction then you might need to plan around that. But you need not justify yourself.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sun 12-Nov-17 15:40:42

Sometimes you can fool yourself that he is a good partner.

Has he ever done those lovely things at a time when you are not obeying him, have gone out and given attention to someone but him, had fun with someone but him?

How will he stop you asking people for what you want for Christmas? Does he control your email, text and phone calls too? Or is it that you don't dare disobey because you know from experience he will do something fucking horrific to you?

tuasunjolicanard Sun 12-Nov-17 15:49:35

@RunRabbitRunRabbit - he won’t do anything horrific to me at all, at least not physically. I have no concerns at all about that. He will however manage to spoil any enjoyment I get from it at all by constantly undermining it. It’s just easier to forget about it.

I’ll give you an example - this is the thing that opened my eyes.

Recently I was invited on a work jolly. Invited due to my hard work. A fucking fantastic opportunity to do something that civilians are never normally allowed to do. In a European country. He was jealous. Really fucking jealous. Not once did he say “hey! Well done!” He just bitched constantly about how hard he would find doing childcare.

He waited up til 2am for me to get home after I’d had 20 hours of conferences, ferry journeys, coach rides etc. Not to give me a hug but to tell me how hard he’s had it having to look after the kids all by himself. Then he tried to initiate sex. Then he threw a chewy because I’d had a shave down there whilst away so I was clearly boinking someone else....

Wolfiefan Sun 12-Nov-17 15:49:38

Switching between nice and nasty is a classic trick. It unsettles you and leaves you uncertain.

DaisyRaine90 Sun 12-Nov-17 15:50:48

Sounds pretty average to me

Hate the “perfect husband” club

Sometimes my partner is a dickhead and sometimes I am right back

Mostly we love each other, work our arses off etc.

We pull each other on it and talk about it and try and sort it out but yeah we are both a bit cuntish sometimes

Maybe it’s not makeup he’s on about but you putting something sexy on in the bedroom?

I think if you look too deeply for it everyone is an emotional abuser in some way
We all do things to hurt our partners sometimes and within reason that’s part of being in a relationship

Ultimately only you can decide if it’s EA or not but I’d say it’s insensitivity and douchiness not intentional maliciousness x

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 12-Nov-17 15:52:06


Walking on eggshells is to my mind anyway another way of writing living in fear. He likes having you around because he can abuse you as and when he feels like it. If you left he would then have to put in the work to find another target and he'd rather not do that. His behaviours you cite are all examples of controlling and abusive behaviours. I would suggest you read "Why does he do that?" written by Lundy Bancroft; you will find this man in those pages too.

Make the break from this man and also use outside support from the likes of Womens Aid and the Rights of Women to do so. WAs number is 0808 2000 247.

Fear of both him (his reaction mainly) and the unknown are real but no obstacle to leaving is insurmountable (and you will be free to have an Apple watch as well). He won't let go of you easily and will likely make any attempt at divorcing him as long and protracted as possible as an attempt to regain some control. He will also try and control you after separation and be difficult there too. However, forewarned is forearmed and you need to seek legal advice as well asap.

You are in an abusive relationship with this man and like all abusers they are not nasty all the time (hence the day trips and the buying of some obscure ice cream that you like). This behaviour of his is all part of the nice/nasty cycle which is a continuous one. It is continuous because he cannot keep up the nice act all the time; his default position of being abusive comes into play soon enough. He having "anxiety" and "depression" (I actually think he is neither anxious nor depressed, unhappy yes but abusive people are unhappy in any event)does not give him the right to abuse you in turn; you will have anxiety and a depressed state of mind primarily because of his abuses of you.

And no he is not a decent or fab father to his children either if he treats you like this. They are in turn seeing you being abused by him and it gives them damaging lessons and very mixed messages on relationships.

Abuse also is about power and control and this man wants absolute over you; it is not about communication or a supposed lack thereof.

DaisyRaine90 Sun 12-Nov-17 15:52:29

Sounds like he’s very insecure OP

Has he been cheated on in the past?
Could he benefit from some counselling? X

Wolfiefan Sun 12-Nov-17 15:53:15

Daisy if you think settling for a partner who's a douche is ok then that's sad.
This man tries to control where the OP goes, money spent, people seen. What she can wear.
That's not ok.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 12-Nov-17 15:56:24


"I think if you look too deeply for it everyone is an emotional abuser in some way"

Really?. How so? No they are not. Your comment above is absolute nonsense.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 12-Nov-17 16:00:11

Counselling for abusive men Daisy is never recommended, particularly joint counselling. If canard does consider counselling she needs to go to such sessions on her own, she needs to be able to talk freely in a calm and safe environment. She won't be able to do that with him there and he will likely dominate and manipulate both the session and the counsellor respectively. Such men too can be very plausible to those in the outside world.

The OPs H acts like this because he can and it works for him; he has OP trapped, without any real say and controlled as a result. It probably is the case that one or both of his own parents act the self same, such behaviour is often learnt in childhood.

Emptynestermum Sun 12-Nov-17 16:01:03

He's certainly insecure and controlling. Not great to have a controlling partner who unpredictable - sometimes nice and sometimes nasty. He won't change, people like that never do.

Work out what you want and take steps towards that. Not easy for you. xx

DaisyRaine90 Sun 12-Nov-17 16:02:59

What I mean is I’m not perfect so I wouldn’t expect anyone else to be.

I have bipolar so can be hard to live with.
I know that when you are depressed you can be horrible but it’s not really who you are it’s the illness, therefore individual counselling could be beneficial.

DaisyRaine90 Sun 12-Nov-17 16:06:58

I have to take my medication, see the psychiatrist twice a year and have regular counselling and/ or therapy or I start displaying some behaviours that aren’t really representative of me but are of depressive illness. I’m not making excuses for him- I’m saying he needs to sort his shit out but it’s not emotional abuse it’s a symptom of his depression.

I know the difference between someone being mean and genuine EA and this strikes me as he former. I could be wrong of course, I don’t know everything that’s gone wrong.

But people are too quick to “leave him it’s abuse”
Unless someone is physically dangerous to you if you love them you try and help them through a mental health problem. Otherwise what’s all the “in sickness and in health” stuff about?

Queenofthedrivensnow Sun 12-Nov-17 16:07:56

Conclusive at point 1. No doubt full on EA. Ltb

tuasunjolicanard Sun 12-Nov-17 16:09:00

I have depression and anxiety. I take medication and go to CBT. I do think he genuinely has it but he will not go and get help. He would rather make me feel like shit on an almost daily basis.

Fml. He just asked me if I want to leave him... and I bottled it and said no sad

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