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Snappy, miserable partner.

(12 Posts)
PatButchersEarring Tue 23-Feb-21 11:59:56

Hi. Sorry for rambling. Just trying to make sense of it all myself really.
I'm currently feeling so hurt and unhappy in my relationship with DP. We have always had periods of being up and down, but it feels as though for the last month or so, it has been a stream of low level sniping, punctuated by arguments lasting for days.

A big issue is the way he speaks to me. It's not all the time, and certainly not abusive as such, but he can be snappy and sometimes a little snide. An example- I was making dinner in the kitchen Sunday, and I asked him (in a light hearted, sing song type voice), if he'd mind doing a bit of washing up for me. He pretty much bit my head off, told me no and that I should do it myself, and carried on playing his game on his phone. He did then reluctantly come and help, but I was then hurt and the damage was done.
When I leave him with the kids, (2, his), although he's good with them in many ways, I often find his 'discipline' erratic in the respect that he either let's them do more or less whatever they want, or goes overboard with telling them off (time outs for undefined periods of time etc., punishments not really fitting the 'crime' etc.)
Anything we do as a family or couple is (99% of the time) planned and organised by me.
He drinks. Too much. Every now and then, he'll stay up on his own, get wasted and be like a total zombie in the morning. He has now cut down on drinking...but again, this is because I have more or less 'managed' him into it.
Years ago, he was a full time weed smoker, and his moodiness was far worse than it is now. Through my nagging, he went for drugs counselling, and eventually kicked it- but not without lying to me about it on several occasions (that I know of). This has of course, reduced my trust in him.
Despite all this, we do have good periods where he seems to take more of an active interest in me and family life in general. But honestly, I'm not sure if I should cut my losses. I'm mid 40's, and our kids are 11 & 5.
There are more incidents of his behaviour, but I'd be here all day, and I'm sure I'm not perfect..🤷‍♀️
I don't really know what- if anything- I'm asking. I just wanted to get it out there I guess.

OP’s posts: |
SoulofanAggron Tue 23-Feb-21 12:33:16

But honestly, I'm not sure if I should cut my losses. I'm mid 40's, and our kids are 11 & 5. There are more incidents of his behaviour, but I'd be here all day, and I'm sure I'm not perfect

If you're not happy then cut your losses. How he talks to you sometimes is quite unpleasant.

I'm sure none of us will mind you describing other examples if you like.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Tue 23-Feb-21 13:20:31

I asked him (in a light hearted, sing song type voice), if he'd mind doing a bit of washing up for me

So you have to police your tone to make sure you’re asking him a nice enough way to “help you” with the washing up for meals that presumably he also eats?

He has now cut down on drinking...but again, this is because I have more or less 'managed' him into it.

You’re putting yourself into the role of mum/manager/saviour trying to get him to behave like an adult.

Years ago, he was a full time weed smoker, and his moodiness was far worse than it is now. Through my nagging, he went for drugs counselling, and eventually kicked it- but not without lying to me about it on several occasions

And have painted yourself as a nag - what a horrid and sexist portrayal of a wife trying to support her husband to be a decent functioning member of society. (And yes I’m sure plenty of people manage to smoke weed and still be fine upstanding members of society, but plenty don’t).

Honestly he sounds like a loser and you’re probably flogging a dead horse trying to make a happy family with him. But I know it’s not that easy when you have kids together. This just all sounds so sad flowers

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 23-Feb-21 13:29:43

What do you get out of this relationship now?. There must be something in this for you and I am wondering here whether you are codependent.

What did you learn about relationships when you were growing up?.

What do you want to teach your children about relationships and what are they learning here?. Is this really the role model you want to be teaching them?.

What is your definition of abuse if his ways of speaking towards you is not abusive?. Abuse is not just physical in nature. Abusers as well can be "nice" towards their partner sometimes but that is really the nice/nasty cycle of abuse which is a continuous one.

You only need to give your own self permission to leave and you really do also need to love your own self for a change. Acting as his rescuer and or saviour here as you have done in this has not worked and never actually does. If there is now no trust there is really no relationship.

How can you be helped into leaving him?.

PatButchersEarring Tue 23-Feb-21 14:44:18

Thank you all. @MarkRuffaloCrumble yes, I agree more or less with everything you say. I probably should say though that he does a lot around the house- and most of the kitchen type stuff, so it's possible he just felt I should get on with it. Nonetheless, as @SoulofanAggron says, it was a really unpleasant way to speak to anyone.

Other (very recent) incidents that have occurred: over lockdown 1, he asked me if I'd like to get a Civil Partnership with him. We discussed it and decided that yes, we would and that it would be something to look forward to after covid. Fast forward to last week- a couple that we have known for many years have decided to get married. I said to my other half (again in a jokey way) something along the lines of them having beaten us to it and asked him if we were still looking at doing something. Again, he bit my head off. Accused me of 'kettling' him into doing it (it was his idea!) and simply wanting to 'keep up with the Jones's' because someone else was doing it. I pointed out that it was his idea to do it and he then said 'well, now I've changed my mind.' Again, I was extremely upset by this. I went to bed quietly sobbing. I don't think he noticed. The next day, he accused me of sulking over it. He then confirmed that yes, he does still want to but not because someone else is doing it..🤨
@AttilaTheMeerkat what I get from this relationship is some stability I guess. Both my parents are long gone, I have no other family to speak of that could be relied upon for various reasons I won't go into here. I am scared. I am scared of loneliness. I am scared of not being able to cope. I am scared most of all of making the wrong decision.
Like I say, he is not always like this and has periods of being a loving, engaged father & partner. I do think some of his behaviours in themselves could be thought of as abusive, but equally, I am sure I have and do play my part in this and don't want to jump to ending things if it is not the right thing to do. Sadly, without a crystal ball, that is a very hard judgement call to make.

OP’s posts: |
AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 23-Feb-21 15:41:42

You do not further need a crystal ball to see where this is going; further downwards.

I think he is merely stringing you along re the whole idea of a civil partnership sadly and has no intention whatsoever of doing this. He has further moved the goalposts and has now stated that he (the supposed big man that he is) has changed his mind. He really does have the vast amount of power and control within this relationship doesn't he and he knows it too.

Look what he has accused you of; kettling him and sulking. I would think this is him deflecting what he has himself done to you. Read about DARVO.

Abusers are not "nasty" to their target all the time because if they were no-one would want to be with them. There are occasional periods of niceness but this is really a part of the nice/nasty cycle of abuse which is continuous.

I am sorry to read that your parents are long gone flowers.
What is a nice person like you doing with someone like this?. What happened to you?. Are you only with him out of some idea of stability?. What stability is he really showing you here; none. This is not stable and only has a semblance of it simply because of your efforts re your children. Its not your fault that he is like this and you did not make him so either. This is a choice and he chooses to treat you like the door mat.

I often feel that the loneliest place to be is actually within a poor relationship like you describe. You would not be on your own because you have your children and they are the best outcome of this whole otherwise sorry sounding relationship. What are they learning about relationships here; boys within this would grow up thinking that yes, this is how men treat women and girls would think that yes, this is how women are treated by men and look for similar in their own adult relationship.

I also think you could manage just fine without him in your day to day life. You're being dragged down by him as a result of enabling him.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 23-Feb-21 15:50:55

Re your comment:-
"Like I say, he is not always like this and has periods of being a loving, engaged father & partner".

When has he ever been engaged when it comes to you or your kids?. Substances like drink and weed to him have appeared to be higher up his priority list. Think a lot more about your relationship and what he has put you and in turn your children through these past years.

Re your comment:-
"Anything we do as a family or couple is (99% of the time) planned and organised by me".

The above does not compute with your point that he has been a loving engaged father and partner. You're carrying this through your sole sheer efforts.

You are now in your mid 40s so not old and not too old either to rebuild your life. You certainly do not want another 10 years to roll by and be in a similar, if not worse, position than you are now.

PatButchersEarring Tue 23-Feb-21 20:12:33

@AttilaTheMeerkat

Thank you for your reply. I know it sounds shit- and sometimes it is. And no, I don't want another 10 years to roll by like this. I will stress though that he is not always like this- he seems to have phases. I do not think he is an abuser as such- I just think he's a misery guts. We do have good times too- and 2 children- hence why I don't want to make a hasty decision. For context, despite him sounding like a loser, he is a middle aged, middle class, professsional, seemingly 'nice' bloke..and often times, he is.

OP’s posts: |
maras2 Tue 23-Feb-21 20:37:06

So he's a middle aged, middle class professional
Sounds like he's still a stoner.
Sorry pat But you need to get rid of him.
Best wishes flowers Mx.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 23-Feb-21 20:50:21

You have a choice re this man, your children do not. Is this all you think you deserve from a relationship?.

He has other priorities here and his own self is that number 1 priority.

Make better choices for you and they going forward. Being with a misery guts like this will drag you and in turn your kids down with him.

rosabug Tue 23-Feb-21 21:04:38

PatButchersEarring

*@AttilaTheMeerkat*

Thank you for your reply. I know it sounds shit- and sometimes it is. And no, I don't want another 10 years to roll by like this. I will stress though that he is not always like this- he seems to have phases. I do not think he is an abuser as such- I just think he's a misery guts. We do have good times too- and 2 children- hence why I don't want to make a hasty decision. For context, despite him sounding like a loser, he is a middle aged, middle class, professsional, seemingly 'nice' bloke..and often times, he is.

I think you do too much emotional work. He's just "a misery guts". Yea - I bet he's not at work and I bet he's not around younger female co-workers. Not saying he's up to no good. I'm just pointing out that it is his choice to be like this around you.

I particularly didn't like the offer of a civil partnership that was then whipped out from under you. Not very kind that is it? Keeps you in an unstable place doesn't it? Makes you feel weaker doesn't it? You have 2 children together and he does that to you?

No, you shouldn't make a hasty decision, but you need to start seeing what is in front of you. I would suggest that if you can get some counselling for yourself to help you make sense of what is going on that would be ideal.

Also I like to explain partial reinforcement theory a bit:
It's actually harder to fully comprehend what you are dealing with when someone is nice, then not nice, nice, then not nice. It's much easier to end a relationship where someone is consistently awful to you. The nice bits keep you hooked on hope.

A lot of your replies start with "yes but I'd like to point out he's not always like that". Fair enough - but do you feel loved and valued or do you feel a little bit shit? If you feel a bit shit - that's down to a drip drip effect. Look down on your relationship as if from above, at the whole landscape - what do you see?

And as for all that fear of being alone. My relationship split up after 23 years when I was 56. It wasn't my decision. It was a co-dependent relationship (hence the same degree of fear) and even though it was tough I feel so much more centered now, so much energy was given to 'the relationship' and me trying to 'communicate', make it work. I wish we had split up at least 10 years earlier. He wasn't worth it. No one should be in a relationship where their sense of self worth is devalued. Kids will cope and it is always much better for them to have an independent effective mother than one locked in a shitty relationship where the 'good' times are 'granted' to you only when he feels like it.

DeeCeeCherry Wed 24-Feb-21 01:26:58

over lockdown 1, he asked me if I'd like to get a Civil Partnership with him. We discussed it and decided that yes, we would and that it would be something to look forward to after covid. Fast forward to last week- a couple that we have known for many years have decided to get married. I said to my other half (again in a jokey way) something along the lines of them having beaten us to it and asked him if we were still looking at doing
something. Again, he bit my head off. Accused me of 'kettling' him into doing it (it was his idea!) and simply wanting to 'keep up with the Jones's' because someone else was doing it. I pointed out that it was his idea to do it and he then said 'well, now I've changed my mind.' Again, I was extremely upset by this. I went to bed quietly sobbing. I don't think he noticed

So, an ex-stoner who's replaced weed with alcohol, and just isn't that into you?

Perhaps before making decisions you can put in the work - on yourself. Uncover why you are so scared you'll be lonely without this man who seems to think he's a prize (nope) and that you aren't.

When a man tells you something - in this case that no way is he marrying you - then believe him.

Nothing you've described sounds loving. Or attractive. Or even sexy. You blame yourself for his faults; you've cast yourself in the role of mummy/saviour/helper.

Are the DCs his, or you both? As you said "his" then "our" in your post.

Either way, flogging a dead horse is no way to waste your good years. It's not impossible to live without a man, at least for a time.

Hopefully you'll do some personal work/self-care. You are very patient I'd have binned him ages ago. Never give men points for being ok with you "sometimes". If the respect for you isn't there then you're not in a loving, stable relationship it's a facade.

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