20 years in it’s dawned on me...

(995 Posts)
Treatedlikeamaid Mon 20-Apr-20 11:57:36

That dh has a pattern of behaviour and I fall for it every time.
He gets very anxious and it feels like he copes by getting at me until I’m as anxious as he is. I need to keep positive so that I ive things and look after kids.
Only just dawned on me after he’s just done it again that he’s done it a zillion times - to the point where I couldn’t cope and couldn’t stop crying even in the doctors office.
I’ve been working hard on self esteem and encouraging myself to set up a teeny business which has had good reviews, hubby is all Victorian businessman, ‘what’s the plan ? It will never works etc etc. ‘There are several models which are working very well, so I’m sure there is room for me.
which means whatever I’d thought or planned goes out of my head and I feel stupid and ridiculous. I’m sure a few words of interest or even a ‘well done’ would be of help. It’s like he’s allowing me to do it, but if it gets busy he accuses me of the house being a tip.
Just could do with some encouragement, being a bit needy at the mo!

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CoffeeRunner Mon 20-Apr-20 12:02:27

Sorry - he “allows” you to work? But gets annoyed that the house is a mess?

Does he get any help for his own anxiety issues? Does he even accept that he has a problem? He seems to be using his own hang ups to bring you down, and that is so toxic.

After 20 years with no improvement, do you think you’d actually be happier alone? Could counselling help?

thedoginthehat Mon 20-Apr-20 12:33:27

Agree with coffee. Sounds like your self esteem would improve without your husband. It's a business op, not a teeny business. Keep it going, on your own terms.

RantyAnty Mon 20-Apr-20 12:38:00

He sounds like a low grade bully.
Not sure how anyone could keep good self esteem being treated like that for years.

What happens when you tell him not to speak to you like that?

soannya Mon 20-Apr-20 14:20:40

You sound like you’d be better off without him! He’s pulling you down all the time!

fuckoffImcounting Mon 20-Apr-20 20:05:57

He sounds like a controlling bully, really bad for your mental health and your business.

Treatedlikeamaid Mon 20-Apr-20 22:08:28

Thanks guys. I think you are right. It Takes me a day or so to recover and then I find I’m very anxious and all my enthusiasm and self esteem has dwindled and I need to pick myself up again.
Very tiring! This Covid thing isn’t helping. Obvs!

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Treatedlikeamaid Mon 20-Apr-20 22:23:31

I’m wondering if he is a bully or if I’m looking for excuses. He can be quite jolly. I did try counselling and she basically said, ‘be nice to yourself’. I will remember to concentrate on doing it on my own terms as you suggest, dog in the hat.
Ranty, he can get quite cross if I say don’t talk to me like that. I’ve learnt to ignore him or walk away. Very confusing as I don’t think he’s deliberately nasty. Doesn’t seem to realise how snidely he can sound.
He was ok today, but I notice when he comes into the room I cover up whatever I’m doing on the computer and my brain freezes. It’s because I don’t want him to tell me I’m doing the wrong thing or look at me as if I’m disappointing him.
That probably doesn’t sound good. But he has a point.

OP’s posts: |
AnotherEmma Mon 20-Apr-20 22:27:51

Of course it's deliberate.
It's abuse.



ChewChewIsMySpiritAnimal Mon 20-Apr-20 22:32:40

Definitely sounds like emotional abuse. He can't have you getting too far above your station. He wants you to stay where he can control you which is why he's trying to sabotage your business.

HollowTalk Mon 20-Apr-20 22:35:33

Does your husband have any kind of expertise that would mean his advice would be valuable for your business?

Treatedlikeamaid Tue 21-Apr-20 01:48:24

Gosh thanks guys.
No, no expertise, Hollow. Good point.
Chew chew, What you say feels as if it’s right. I’m hardly above my station though. He is now convinced he has an idea that I would make lots of money at. ( based on what, I don’t know). But that is completely starting from scratch. Yet he belittles my idea and ( admittedly small so far) achievements. Is this control?
(I’m taking ages to type this, thinking as I go, and your comments are invaluable. ) I’m thinking it is control
(- I say I’ll do y, he says not now, we’ll do x. )
Especially with the mumsnet link you sent Emma.
I’ve read the healthline link and am shocked to find a lot of ticks. For me too in trying to please.
Am now going to digest mumsnet link.
May be back with further queries! Thank you very much for the support. Feel more positive. I CAN set up this business.
Just deleted a LOT of examples of behaviour which may be controlling, ( ok , a rant) you are saved!😀.

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ChewChewIsMySpiritAnimal Tue 21-Apr-20 07:24:26

He is now convinced he has an idea that I would make lots of money at. ( based on what, I don’t know). But that is completely starting from scratch. Yet he belittles my idea and ( admittedly small so far) achievements. Is this control?

I would hazard a guess that he is afraid you are going to make a success of it so he is trying to distract you into something that you are not likely to make a success of.

Treatedlikeamaid Tue 21-Apr-20 08:03:40

I hear you, But why would he do that?
We need it to be a success. He certainly tells me I need it to be a success. Or rather he tells me I need to earn money.
He says a shop job won’t earn enough, I need a proper career. What he doesn’t understand is that although I had a good career pre kids, it was in a very competitive, young persons field. ( it’s also changed hugely ). I had a shop job which he thought was a waste of time and that I was hiding and kidding myself.
That’s why I thought I’d do this - it will increase my cv, while hopefully bringing in money. But he doesn’t let me explain that. I end up feeling confused, rubbish and totally stuck.
I guess I just plough on.

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Treatedlikeamaid Tue 21-Apr-20 08:05:28

It’s a cycle of behaviour. How can I break it?

OP’s posts: |
violetbunny Tue 21-Apr-20 08:07:57

Why would he do that? Because he wants to control you. Setting you up to feel like a failure helps with that enormously.

AnotherEmma Tue 21-Apr-20 08:10:53

Read "Why does he do that?" by Lundy Bancroft

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 21-Apr-20 08:11:05

He wants to keep you both down and controlled. You making a success of this business is not allowed in his mind. Controlling men also actively try and sabotage their spouse's attempts to work either for someone or on their own. I would also suggest you read "Why does he do that?" written by Lundy Bancroft.

The nice/nasty cycle of abuse here is a continuous one. He will not change, this is who he is. I would think that one or even worse both his parents act like this too; this can often be learnt behaviour and is thus deeply ingrained.

You break the cycle by way of divorcing him.

Catloveisreal Tue 21-Apr-20 08:11:41

I too had a husband like yours (still do) and my advice is you either strongly tell him to piss off trying to control you or get rid of him. I made the mistake of trying to appease mine for 20 odd years and feel he's stolen part of my life x

Ipadipod Tue 21-Apr-20 08:13:15

It’s a cycle of behaviour. How can I break it

1.By changing how you react to him , the trouble is a bully doesn’t like it if someone stands up to them .


2. Leave him

Pajamas Tue 21-Apr-20 08:14:26

He is now convinced he has an idea that I would make lots of money at. ( based on what, I don’t know). But that is completely starting from scratch. Yet he belittles my idea and ( admittedly small so far) achievements. Is this control?

My stbxh used to do similar things, not in relation to a business, but things like suggesting I take up a certain sport, or apply for a particular job. In hindsight for him, it was so that when a particular decision/change turned out well, he claimed the credit for it. E.g. I've run on and off for years, he bugged me for ages to join a running club. I eventually did and loved it. Rather than just being happy for me he would harp on and on about how it was his idea, and use that as leverage to try to get me to follow all his suggestions. Basically he wanted the credit for everything good in my life - it wasn't about me being happy. Prick.

SeaEagleFeather Tue 21-Apr-20 08:14:31

but I notice when he comes into the room I cover up whatever I’m doing on the computer and my brain freezes. It’s because I don’t want him to tell me I’m doing the wrong thing or look at me as if I’m disappointing him

this is no way to live.

But why would he do that? Many people are driven more by emotion than their heads, apparently-rational people included. Never underestimate how much the pricks of jealousy, insecurity and the need to control can motivate a seemingly in-control person.

He spends a lot of time telling you that what you're doing is wrong, doesn't he? your sentence about him walking in and your brain freezing is rather chilling, no pun intended. It gets worse when you say you end up feeling confused, rubbish and totally stuck.

A good partner would support you. Advise you positively (which does include -constructive- criticism, but does not include slowly and subtly tearing you down until you can't think). Help you practically maybe. This isn't what you've got.

Wanderlust21 Tue 21-Apr-20 08:15:57

Unfortunately emotional abusers need to abuse, it's their sustenance. A pig in shit just has to roll in
it, it cant help itself, even if behaving would mean more actual food in its belly.

Abusers either tell you you can't do something OR that what you do has no value. They have to knock the wind out of your sails.

Treatedlikeamaid Tue 21-Apr-20 11:29:59

He does have a dad that will do things like drop the grass clippings and shout, ‘ Fck, fck! I’m so STUPID, STUPID.’ Scared the life out of me when I first met him, then he’ll be all nice like nothing has happened. I found that very odd.
Am procrastinating cleaning and helping dyslexic daughter, in order to read this! Something to think about, will come back later.
Thank you A lot for your insight xxx

OP’s posts: |
Justtryingtobehelpful Tue 21-Apr-20 20:40:28

Useful books

How He Gets into Her Head: The Mind of the Male Intimate Abuser www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1855942208/ref=cm_sw_r_em_apa_i_gxxAEbBTMRXTM?tag=mumsnetforu03-21

The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did) by. Philippa Perry

It'll be a good eye-opener to these sorts of behaviours!

For assertiveness:
When I Say No, I Feel Guilty: How to Cope, Using the Skills of Systematic Assertive Therapy www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0553263900/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_i_uRXgEbTGJF179?tag=mumsnetforu03-21

On how to change how you speak with and respond to him:
Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1847941494/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_i_HSXgEbDGGKQCE?tag=mumsnetforu03-21

Grey Rock Method

Books on Codependency might help too!?

I'd recommend Kindle versions so he doesn't know you're reading them. Plus incognito tabs for your search history of you think he'll annoy you about reading them.

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