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Ever been made to feel like an alien for trying?

(22 Posts)
RLEOM Sat 09-Nov-19 07:28:55

I split from my DD's dad was she was 3 months (she's now 1). I had PND, newborn exhaustion, recently discovered he was a porn addict, his female friend was in love with him and would therefore spend every weekend with us trying to get with him after our baby was born, and it was the 2nd anniversary of my mum's death - I had lots of reasons to have a breakdown and leave, so I did! I should've asked for space to clear my head but I didn't, I left.

Since the day I walked out, no matter what effort I made to try and reconcile, him and his family would make me feel like an alien for making any attempt at getting back together and because of this, I didn't make many attempts. If I sent a message asking if we could please talk, I'd get treated like it was the most stupidest and disgusting idea on the planet! I quickly learnt not to try because I'd get scolded for it. The smallest attempt at reaching out would be shut down completely, even when I requested closure as we had never discussed me leaving. It got so bad, that 3 months later, when I broke down on Mother's Day and told him I missed him, I profusely apologised and said how inappropriate it was of me to say that. I'd said 3 words: I miss you - how is that inappropriate?

I'll admit I had my moments of madness and was very quick to be spiteful with my tongue, but he always uses the Grey Rock method on me, always has since I left, and that in itself is enough to drive you nuts!

I feel like I've been completely invalidated from the moment I left. My words mean nothing, if I don't say what he wants to hear I'm met with silence. We're not allowed to have disputes - any problems I try to resolve are met with silence. He even went to mediation by himself because we had had a massive row! It's like I should be seen and not heard, and to be honest, I feel like a wreck of a person because of it. I feel like I don't exist, like my opinions don't matter. I feel like a shadow of a person who isn't allowed an opinion, who over analyses everything I say and who doubts everything I say. I don't know what's wrong and what's right to say anymore, because even the nice things are ignored.

I wanted to move near my ex for our daughter's sake but all his family live there and they treat me like it, too. I don't know how much more of myself I can allow to be chipped away at otherwise I'll have nothing left!

Can I ask, am I being mentally abused? I've never been made to feel like this before, especially to the point of losing freedom of speech and being a wreck about having an opinion.

richteasandcheese Sat 09-Nov-19 07:32:48

Fuck him. Honestly, it sounds like he's glad you left, so don't waste your energy. Does he pay maintenance? Does he see your daughter?

Obligatorync Sat 09-Nov-19 07:35:57

In the nicest possible way, it depends what the discussions are about.
I think it's very clear he considers the relationship to be at an end.
As such, if the discussions are anything other than practical conversations about your child, I can see why he wouldn't see the point.
I really feel for you, as you've had a terrible time, and he's not exactly coming out of this smelling of roses...and if I've misunderstood the type of conversations you mean, I'm sorry...but I get the impression the main source of conflict is that you want to get back together and he does not. You can't change that.

category12 Sat 09-Nov-19 07:41:45

Op, you have to take on board that there's no going back and he and his family have written you off. Accept the ending. Protect yourself by stopping chasing after them. Moving to be near them would be a very bad idea.

You need to move on with your life.

Do you have any mental health support? Do you have your own family and friends around you?

RLEOM Sat 09-Nov-19 07:53:55

Oh, I know there's no going back. I should've made that clear. I wouldn't bloody dream of it! 🤦‍♀️ I meant attempts to reconcile at the beginning, not now.

Now, it's in the context of anything, big and small. We have a daughter and have to discuss things, if I don't say what he wants to hear, I'll usually get ignored or be made to feel like I'm stupid for even asking.

A few months ago, I told him she wasn't big enough for his car seat, that was all. I didn't have a go, it was said nicely etc. He had a go at me for criticising his parenting. I honestly couldn't have said it in a nicer and more simpler way.

frazzledasarock Sat 09-Nov-19 08:02:25

Maybe just send your messages in writing in future.

Eg DD is x weight that car seat is for xx weight upwards, it’s not suitable for DD.

If he turns up trying to take her in the car with the incorrect car seat tell him he’s not taking her till the car seat is the right one.

Forget about getting along for now as he’s not even trying to get along with you. He sounds pretty awful anyway from the sounds of it.

Do you have family and real life support?

RLEOM Sat 09-Nov-19 08:03:40

I feel like if I don't respond to things in a business-like manner where I have no opinion and no tone, I'll be deemed as inappropriate and weird. I feel like my character, my being, has been squashed. Anything I say is bad unless it's right in his eyes.

I've become so sensitive to it, it's impacting on how I behave in life. I can no longer handle small disputes. Even your replies, despite me not being clear that it's no longer about reconciling, sent me into self doubt and shut down mode. This isn't me, I used to be so strong, so normal. I don't know what normal is now?

category12 Sat 09-Nov-19 08:04:24

Oh sorry, I got the wrong end of the stick there.

category12 Sat 09-Nov-19 08:09:52

You're right about the car-seat etc.

I think you might do well to go back to the doctor and get some support, because as you recognise, you're not yourself and this behaviour of his is having huge impact on you. I think if you were more yourself, you'd be able to shrug it off.

I'd limit your contact with him as much as you can and "grey rock" him right back, and work on getting You back. PND is a fucker and you've been through the mill.

RLEOM Sat 09-Nov-19 08:09:53

@frazzledasarock yes, I have support, thank you.

He is awful. Some weeks he flirts, some weeks he's stone cold (he has a gf, the same woman who was trying to split us up when our daughter was born). He's a huge compulsive liar, too. There's no point in talking to him about anything as he will lie about the smallest of things.

I've been in abusive relationships, mentally and verbally, but never in my life have I felt like this. It's very confusing when you're made to doubt every word that comes out of your mouth. Invalidation is a head funk.

category12 Sat 09-Nov-19 08:13:57

You see his behaviour for what it is, you need to get to an emotional place where it can't impact you.

Fakeflowersaremynewnormal Sat 09-Nov-19 08:15:16

I think you did the right thing by leaving, he was unsupportive, addicted to porn and allowed some woman friend to spend every week end with you when you were upset by it. The only mistake you have made is being too soft and nice and second guessing your perfectly good decision. Listen to.your gut instinct to get away from him and stay well clear. Stop being so nice and facilitating contact make him do the work for once. Go and live somewhere you like ,ideally near supportive friends and family and let him come to you if he wants. Communicate as little as possible ideally by text or email. Make some nice new friends and forget him.

DuchessMustard Sat 09-Nov-19 08:17:46

I feel like if I don't respond to things in a business-like manner where I have no opinion and no tone, I'll be deemed as inappropriate and weird. I feel like my character, my being, has been squashed. Anything I say is bad unless it's right in his eyes.

But why do you care what he thinks of you?

He's not a partner, he's an ex, and that seems like a very good thing because he sounds like a complete wanker.

AgentJohnson Sat 09-Nov-19 08:35:50

There appears have been a be a constant stream of issues between you and hasn’t been any real space to process and get past each development.

I don’t think you’re over your relationship with him and wether you admit it or not, your attempts to engage with him are obvious ploys to start something he clearly doesn’t want. You can have a coparenting relationship with him but it will take time and he has to confident that you aren’t trying to rekindle something. The grey rock technique is him trying to establish a clear boundary which is causing you distress because you are constantly trying to circumnavigate it.

You’ve been through the mill but you can’t go back and he isn’t responsible for your closure (if that’s really what you want because I’m not convinced).

Propose a Contact agreement that minimises the need for constant contact. There are lots of things that you can include in the agreement that would mitigate the need for constant contact. Check out Parallel Parenting Agreements which are designed for high conflict relationships.

Be kind to yourself by not deliberately putting yourself into situations that will mess with your MH.

AgentJohnson Sat 09-Nov-19 08:37:26

Didn’t read the whole thread but my last paragraph still applies.

Ididit2019 Sat 09-Nov-19 09:30:23

Was he like this in your relationship before you left?

prawnsword Sat 09-Nov-19 09:55:13

I think you need to emotionally detach yourself from ex & family in order to preserve + improve your mental wellbeing. What you are doing right now only keeps the wound open, preventing you from being able to heal & move forward in life.

Closure comes from within, acceptance of the end so you can move forward & stop obsessing over every little detail of the breakup. You put it to rest. You don’t need the ex for this.

It sounds like you’re feeling frustrated & upset he will not engage with you on any personal level. But this is a boundary he has decided to set & that is not abuse. I think you are reaching to call it that. Grey rock method is not the silent treatment (which is abusive trait). you need to work on developing personal connections with new people & getting your emotional needs met through your friends + family, pets etc.

He may have been a twat & sounds like it, however you also need to respect boundaries. Moving closer to the ex is a bit of a creepy concept. I would feel suffocated & very annoyed if my ex made an active decision to move closer to me & my family to be nearer to Us.

mclover Sat 09-Nov-19 10:16:04

Sounds like you were under an enormous amount of pressure. But the thing about being married or in a partnership is that you share your thoughts, you work on things together, you try. By leaving, you didn't give him a chance to help you or work things out together, which can feel like a massive betrayal.

RLEOM Sat 09-Nov-19 10:32:21

@Ididit2019 no, he wasn't, he was always supportive. His mum was deeply scarred when his dad walked out and she's had a lot of involvement, so I think she's been pulling a lot of strings in regards to his coldness. We have a group chat for our daughter, whenever we used to get along on there and were mid a happy conversation, she'd come on, read the messages, and then he'd go cold. Shame as there were opportunities at the start to reconcile but his hot and cold behaviour drove me nuts! Still does. He picks and chooses when he wants to be open and chatty or cold and distant.

@prawnsword I don't think you've read my other posts on here. I'm no longer trying to reconcile, that stopped 7 months ago once I found out he was with his gf. I'm talking about the lasting impact it's had and how he still has the ability to make me feel like I have no voice. As for moving near to him, we share a daughter, it's about what's best for her. I know lots of separated parents who live near each other for the sake of their children, my boyfriend being one of them. So to say that it's creepy to live near each other when there's a child involved is not really a child-centred opinion.

category12 Sat 09-Nov-19 10:37:22

For yourself tho, unless you have a solid support system of friends and family nearer him, moving there would be a very bad move. It would do your child no good for you to be out on a limb there with the impact he has on your MH.

RLEOM Sat 09-Nov-19 10:48:10

@mclover I completely understand how much it must've hurt him for me to walk out. I know it was the wrong thing because all I really needed was space and time to process. I'm autistic and can find things overwhelming. Combine that with post natal depression and the discovery of a porn addiction and you've got a recipe for a meltdown. I'm currently having therapy to cope with my flight mechanisms so as to avoid it in the future.

I did try and talk the next day, and many days after that, but he wouldn't hear me out. I did try and resolve the issues whilst we were still together but he refused point blank to discuss anything. He could see I was depressed, he knew I couldn't cope with the discovery of a porn addiction, but this is how he deals with emotional issues he can't face, by sweeping them under the carpet.

DuchessMustard Sat 09-Nov-19 11:45:37

You're still talking about his feelings, issues, attitudes, etc. You need to accept that you are no longer in a relationship with him. You just need a practical way to interact going forward, not this emotional dependence.

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