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I don't even know where to start with this mess.

(55 Posts)
Thisisatoughchoice Mon 10-Aug-20 13:34:36

I have been living with my partner for almost a year.

He is a good guy, very practical, he's great with housework, DIY etc and I never ask him to do anything around here. I love him a lot, but we have so many problems and I don't know how to fix them.

We don't argue much. I have had my years of arguing and dramatics and I cannot be bothered with any of that anymore.

When I tell him I have an issue he doesn't listen though. For example he was talking about something quite gruesome the other day, I said to him that I didn't like hearing it and asked him to please stop. He carried on anyway. I asked him to please stop again, and he carried on, so I got up and left. It was quite upsetting to me. After an hour or so he came to find me and apologised.

This is an ongoing issue though, he says something upsetting, I get upset, then he waits ages to apologise, or it just doesn't get discussed, unless I bring it up, then he apologises.

I tell him directly when I'm feeling insecure, or sad or whatever, and I tell him directly what I need but he just doesn't listen. We talk afterwards and he says he will change, and listen, but he still doesn't.

There is also an issue with his dd, she stays here 90% of the time, which is fine, but she is an only child, who was used to having 2 parents catering to her every whim. I have 2 dc who have been raised completely differently. She clicks her fingers and he totally jumps to her tune, buys her whatever she wants, goes wherever she wants, she will only eat certain food from certain places so he does shopping in 3 different supermarkets to cater to her every need.

When he isnt around she is totally different, she eats what I make, I ask her to do chores, the same as I do with my dc, and she does, i have spoken to him about this and he says he knows theres an issue there but he will not change this. So, for example, my kids will ask for something worth £100 and I say yes, but make them earn it, she asks for something worth £100 and he can't get his card out fast enough.

Its not the dds fault, and when he isn't around she is a really lovely kid, and I actually think she is a bit embarrassed that she hasn't been taught how to do things for herself, I am teaching her things, but her dad comes back and she doesn't lift a finger again.

I really need him to step up so all the dc in the house are treated equally, and I have discussed this with him so many times, but he isn't willing to prepare her for life.

He says when she hits 18 and goes to university then she will just have to learn the hard way. Which is pretty shocking to me.

The other issue is that he promises me things and never delivers. Just silly things, like taking me somewhere, or cooking me a special meal or something, then he forgets. He never forgets when he has promised someone else something. I keep saying to him not to say things if he isn't going to do them, it's the fact he says things then forgets, I have told him his words are important to me, as we had some trust issues right back at the start of our relationship, but he doesn't seem to take this on board.

I was on my own for years before I met him, and I was in an abusive relationship before that, so I'm really not sure if I have been on my own too long and am just not tolerant of things anymore, or i have too high expectations because i always said if i was to get into another relationship or had to be 100% healthy.

Does this sound like a relationship worth saving? Should i cut my losses? Is there some other way I should be communicating?

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hellsbellsmelons Mon 10-Aug-20 13:38:39

Is it his house? Your house?
TBH, I wouldn't bother, but like you, I won't tolerate any crap from anyone.
The DD problem would be the big one for me.
If they aren't all treated the same then it's never to be a cohesive household.

Nanny0gg Mon 10-Aug-20 13:39:04

No its not, sorry.

He's choosing not to listen to you.

He's not worth the bother

Thisisatoughchoice Mon 10-Aug-20 13:54:44

It's my house, I am not financially dependent on him and I could cope without him.

I really feel sorry for his dd, my kids will make their own tea or do washing or whatever and she didn't even have a clue how to put the cooker on, she is learning now but reverts right back to being spoiled when her dad is here, and he seems to thrive on it.

He is a good dad, but my style of parenting is more about teaching them how to live independently, his is more giving them everything they want.

We discussed this, at length before he moved in, but he hasn't really stuck to much of what we agreed on.

He isn't a bad guy at all, I just don't know if this situation is for me. I cannot be clearer when I communicate with him, he just doesn't take it onboard.

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anotherdisaster Mon 10-Aug-20 14:00:30

Sounds like you are not a priority to him. He doesn't listen to you, upsets you deliberately, let's you down and doesn't prioritise you.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 10-Aug-20 14:02:35

Your boundaries, already skewed somewhat by previous abuse, are being further eroded here by this man.

He is not a good dad either so why did you write that of him?. BTW women in poor relationships often write the good dad comment when they can think of nothing else positive to write about him.

Cope without him; you have done fine so far. You neither need him or such emotional baggage relating to his daughter in your life. He is indeed choosing not to listen to you.

Thisisatoughchoice Mon 10-Aug-20 14:06:14

That's exactly how I feel. Like I'm not a priority.

He isn't deliberately nasty or anything, but he doesn't take my feelings on board, but he apologises afterwards.

I think I'm struggling so much because he is good with me, and my dc, he isnt awful or abusive, we dont have screaming arguments, but I also dont feel respected in a lot of ways.

There is so much good in the relationship, but I'm struggling to balance that with the bad.
This is why I'm wondering if I'm just expecting too much. I have never had a 'normal' relationship, I had an abusive childhood, then straight into a long, abusive marriage, then I was on my own. So I haven't got a basis for comparison of what relationships are supposed to be.

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Thisisatoughchoice Mon 10-Aug-20 14:12:03

He does have a lot of positives.

Stable job, financially generous, respectful around anxieties I have about sex, he works hard around the house, he is funny and kind, I am having a major health issue right now and he will often send me to bed and make sure all the chores are done and the kids are fine and look after me.

He is a good guy, mostly.

I'm just not sure if mostly is enough, but then nobody is 100% perfect, are they?

I would do well without him, I am not in, nor would I ever be, in a position where I rely on anyone again.

I totally agree my boundaries are skewed.

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bluejelly Mon 10-Aug-20 14:19:51

I think you could find someone better suited to you. He doesn't sound like he has enough positive attributes.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 10-Aug-20 14:21:14

You should be someone's priority here; not an option. To him you are an option.

Words are cheap OP: look at actions rather than mere words. He can talk the talk but does not walk the walk here.

We learn about relationships first and foremost from our parents and the abuse you suffered both then and going forward was not your fault in any way. That is all on the people who went onto abuse you.

The fact that you went from an abusive childhood into an abusive marriage is sadly no coincidence. Ultimately you are going to have to address all the abusive relationships in your past starting with your childhood and unlearn all the crap you have picked up about this along the way. I would recommend finding a BACP registered therapist to work with and consider too contacting NAPAC - their link is here napac.org.uk/. Another program that is certainly worth looking at here is the Freedom Programme run by Womens Aid/

No-one sadly ever bothered to show you what a mutually respectful and loving relationship is like and you still do not know what that is; this relationship is not it. Its another poor relationship you've got yourself into here and now you will have to extricate yourself from it.

Love your own self for a change OP. What is actually good about this relationship?. Just because you no longer thankfully suffer screaming arguments does not necessarily mean that this relationship is infact miles better than previous ones.

LittleMissnotLittleMrs Mon 10-Aug-20 14:21:51

What about couples counselling? It doesn’t sound an abusive relationship and from what you say, he can bring a lot of positives to the relationship.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 10-Aug-20 14:24:39

This is also a man who spoils his daughter now out of guilt of separating from her mother but will cast his daughter aside when she is 18 and potentially goes to university.

TwentyViginti Mon 10-Aug-20 14:27:50

A lot of single men who have their DC living with them a lot of the time quickly move in with a woman as they can't actually be arsed to parent their DC.

NoSquirrels Mon 10-Aug-20 14:33:49

If you think the relationship has good aspects, I would ask him to come to couples counselling with you, so that your voice can be truly 'heard'.

To be honest, the inequality in the treatment of the DC would be an absolutely huge issue for me and I would worry it would affect my own DC's feelings as they grew up, so unless that changed I would leave.

Thisisatoughchoice Mon 10-Aug-20 14:35:39

Words are cheap OP: look at actions rather than mere words. He can talk the talk but does not walk the walk here.

This really resonated with me. He says all the right things when we have issues, his actions dictate otherwise though.

I'm just kicking myself, I have done the freedom programme, and I made sure we discussed everything before moving in together. At that point I didnt know the extent of the way he spoiled his daughter though. Again, he said that he really respects the way I have brought my dc up and the things they can do, and admits she is spoiled. Yet does nothing to help the situation. There is a lot of guilt around him and her mum splitting,and I sometimes wonder when he is breaking promises to me it's to somehow prove to his daughter that she is the most important person in his life and I am secondary in his life.

You've given me a lot of food for thought, thank you.

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JorisBonson Mon 10-Aug-20 14:39:06

This is an awful lot to be feeling less than a year in.

Is it worth it?

Thisisatoughchoice Mon 10-Aug-20 14:42:23

Couples counselling may be an option here. I'm not sure if he would go.

He maybe saw his dd a couple of times a week before he moved here, I made sure she had a room and was comfortable here, and she just naturally spends more time here now, so these issues have only really come to light recently.

My kids feel sorry for her too, they appreciate everything I've taught them, they are grateful for everything, know how hard I've worked for everything and respect me for it, his dd hasn't had the struggles we have had, and hasn't been brought up to work or express gratitude. Completely not her fault, and she is a really sweet girl, with a lot of great qualities, but she is totally different around her dad. I feel terrible for her because he mum has moved over 100 miles away from her without much consultation in the last couple of weeks, which is bound to be effecting her too.

My kids are, of course, my priority though, and things will have to change, whether that's with him stepping up, or him leaving is the issue.

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Thisisatoughchoice Mon 10-Aug-20 14:44:12

Is it worth it?

I love him, but I love myself and my kids more. We are almost 3 years in, in total, a year living together. Is it worth it? I really don't know. I feel really intolerant of a lot, maybe I'm setting my standards unrealistically high for myself.

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TwentyViginti Mon 10-Aug-20 14:50:17

maybe I'm setting my standards unrealistically high for myself

No, you're not. I'd think carefully about the future with this man. He doesn't respect you as a partner. He is also doing his DC a great disservice with his endless pandering.

CuriousaboutSamphire Mon 10-Aug-20 14:54:16

Don't ask is it worth it... that isn't the right question.

Ask yourself if this is what you want, forever? If this is the very best it gets are you happy with it, forever?

Your standards are yours to live by. Too high, unreasonable, who cares? They are yours and you have every right to live by them!

NoSquirrels Mon 10-Aug-20 14:57:50

He is afraid to upset his DD by being a proper parent with boundaries.

He is not afraid to upset you, either by not listening and talking about upsetting issues, or by changing his parenting.

So he does indeed prioritise something over your feelings, which is his own comfort - he wants to keep the status quo and not do any hard work in changing his behaviour.

No one does, really, do they? But they will if they value a relationship, or if they fear a consequence.

I think he is saying he doesn't value the relationship enough to do it (and having split up once with his DD's mum, perhaps that is a pattern, of taking the easier option, who knows?) so you need to decide if he will act differently if he fears a consequence (you leaving) and if that is enough for you - having to threaten him to get him to change.

Thisisatoughchoice Mon 10-Aug-20 15:16:19

I don't want it to be like this forever. I want a relationship with communication, we discussed this and he wanted that too, but it just hasn't happened when we moved in together. I guess beforehand it was easier to discuss things over message and even now he seems to find it easier to be more open that way.

He really is doing his dd a disservice, it's actually heartbreaking to watch, he loves her, but his love is expressed through buying stuff, now the things arent a treat but an expectation on her part. She doesn't know how to do anything and she is a teenager now. She is a sweet kid, but has, unfortunately, been very spoiled.

Maybe that is the issue, that I'm not worth changing for. I feel as though I have made allowances and compromises, and he probably hasn't, although there was massive dramas with his ex when we got together, and she made his life very difficult, so I feel a bit guilty he went through so much to be with me.

I genuinely don't know what 'normal' looks like, and fear I may have settled for 'not abusive'.

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Thisisatoughchoice Mon 10-Aug-20 15:16:49

Thanks to everyone for replying, you have all given me a lot to think about.

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NoSquirrels Mon 10-Aug-20 15:19:27

I guess beforehand it was easier to discuss things over message and even now he seems to find it easier to be more open that way.

You can still use a written method to communicate if that is easier. There's no rules that say you have to do difficult stuff entirely face to face if you live with each other. My DH and I quite often do hard stuff on email, then discuss after when we've had a chance to consider the other person's position with a bit of distance.

Sunrise234 Mon 10-Aug-20 15:44:56

This is an ongoing issue though, he says something upsetting, I get upset, then he waits ages to apologise, or it just doesn't get discussed, unless I bring it up, then he apologises.

My opinion depends on the upsetting/gruesome things he says especially as you say it’s an ongoing issue,

It is difficult to tell if YABU unreasonable or not as when you’ve learnt to live alone it is hard to then live with someone else. And I have heard many females on here getting annoyed because their partner is playing Disney dad to the biological child. How old is his DD? And how old are yours?

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