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Is this mental abuse?

(72 Posts)
rubymum123 Tue 22-Jul-08 11:06:07

I have been with my husband for about 12 years and have been married for 8. We have two children ages 4 and 9. We live in the north of Italy ( my husband is Italian).

Before my children were born we lived with my in laws and I always felt like I came second after my mother in law. Despite the lack of affection from my husband I just kept thinking that things will get better when we have our own place. We got our own place but things didn’t really change that much and my mother in law was still very controlling as she only lived a couple of minutes away.

My mother in law passed away 3 years ago.

My husband main focus now are the children and displays a total disinterest in me. He sleeps on the sofa every evening and says that he doesn’t mean to but he falls asleep in front of the tv. I have tried waking him but he just falls back to sleep. This has be going on for about 2 years.

When I say to him that he only wants to be with me because I am the mother of his children ( hoping that he will tell me that he loves me as his companion too) he tells me that the mother of his children is not a position to be undermined.

I work part time and when ever I need any extra for shopping etc I have to ask him and account for what its for.

A couple of times when I have spent too much he will react by smashing things up. After when he has calmed down I tell him how this upsets me and the children he says that I am over reacting and that he didn’t hurt us. However he doesn’t realise how intimidating it is.

I have said to him that I want to start looking for another job that gives me more hours but he says that he does not want that.

Yesterday whilst parking the car I scratched the side light against the wall – when he got home from work he commented on it and said that we would get it fixed and said no more about it. He then went upstairs to get changed. After about 15 minutes he comes down and says that he has spoken to our daughter ( aged 9) and starts ranting and raving that I lied to him about being on the phone at the time. ( I know this was foolish parking whilst on the phone but I didn’t lie about it I just left that detail out so to not to anger him). Anyway he started making all these smark comments about why don’t I just take the car and smash it all in tomorrow and how I don’t have to worry because I’m not the one forking the bill. Anyway this went on for about 15 minutes he just kept putting me down in front of the kids and saying how blooding great he was for putting up with me and how hard it would be for me to find another man like him. I felt like I was going mad and walked out to get some fresh air. After a while I returned and felt calmer only to hear him say – well I hope you pull yourself together as you have some issues. He denied everything that he had said before and said that I was not a rational person and needed help. He always puts it on me that I have some kind of mental problem.

Is this a form of mental abuse?

CoolYourJets Tue 22-Jul-08 11:07:21


GivePeasAChance Tue 22-Jul-08 11:09:06

And from what you say - you know it is too.

He sounds very unpleasant.

davidtennantsmistress Tue 22-Jul-08 11:16:46

yes, get out, before your children get into relationships like this/become like him in the future - he sees you in the same position as his mother in some respects (the comment about mother not to be undermind)

but the rest of it to me is a bully. he's issues his problems and he's projecting onto you.

mrsleroyjethrogibbs Tue 22-Jul-08 11:17:02

Yes it most definately is. You are his partner not a servant or a surrogate mother. He is there to support you and love you - period.

Please think about what damage this is doing to you, your self esteem and your children. I think you sound like you have been very reasonable and Yes it is frightening if someone to coin a phrase 'throws a tantrum' and breaks things and says such horrid things to you. I would be very upset if dh did this to me.

Dunkey Tue 22-Jul-08 11:21:15


AtheneNoctua Tue 22-Jul-08 11:23:01

If my DH behaved like this I would leave. You should go get that job you said you want whether he likes it or not. Do you get to approve what job he does?

WinkyWinkola Tue 22-Jul-08 11:23:07

Yes, it's abuse. Bullying, controlling and intimidating. You can't be honest with him in case he flies off the handle?

HumphreySmallPillow Tue 22-Jul-08 11:23:36

He sounds very controlling and bullying.
I think you know that his behaviour is unacceptable, but when someone is constantly criticising you, you start to believe them eventually.

He is not showing you any respect, and he is scaring you and the children with his aggressive behaviour.

Do you have any friends that you and the DCs could stay with for a few days?
Getting away from the situation may help you to view it objectively, and give you time to decide what you want to do. smile

cmotdibbler Tue 22-Jul-08 11:30:45

Yes, he's controlling and abusive. I think you and the children would be much better without him in your everyday lives.

StarSparkle Tue 22-Jul-08 11:35:04

I can see some silimlarties btween your DH and my DP.

He does sound controlling and aggressive.

I too am consantly critised.

However, I can't really suggest anything as I am in a similar situation and still am umming and arring about the next steps I will take. It is very hard. (hugs)

solo Tue 22-Jul-08 11:35:40

I feel very sad for you.
Yes, mental abuse, psychological torment. It wont go away IME. You deserve better.x

rubymum123 Tue 22-Jul-08 11:36:05

oh.. it is such a relief to hear your comments. I feel like bursting into tears. I have began to feel like I am going mad but having the confirmation from you all that he has a problem puts it all in a different light..thank you

Kewcumber Tue 22-Jul-08 11:38:32

"and how hard it would be for me to find another man like him" - why on earth would you want to find another man like him?

TigerFeet Tue 22-Jul-08 11:43:29

He is a bully.

Do you want to leave? Are you in a position to be able to?

rubymum123 Tue 22-Jul-08 11:43:49

So true..I just want to be on my own with my children and I 'm not even thinking about any one else, however, it is not as easy as it may seem to get out of this situation

solo Tue 22-Jul-08 11:46:02

ruby, I have been in a big time abusive marriage. They start off with small stuff and it escalates into an impossible situation and the only way out of it(for most of us)is the EXIT and leaving him.

I had fists, boots, briefcases and hammers in contact with all parts of my body before I finally accepted that it wasn't going to improve and I got out. I hope you are ok I really do.x

solo Tue 22-Jul-08 11:47:28

I'm sure it must be very difficult, living in a different country and where there are children involved. Can you take legal advice?

WinkyWinkola Tue 22-Jul-08 11:49:31

Ruby, do you have anyone who can help you in RL?

rubymum123 Tue 22-Jul-08 11:51:16

The thing is just as I start to think about taking any major steps he starts to turn on the charm and I begin to think that maybe I am exaggerating everything. I then think where would I go? I have two children to think of too, it's not just me. I hate to think of them going through all of this because I know that if I decide to leave it will not be pleasant.

Kewcumber Tue 22-Jul-08 11:52:33

can you come back to UK - do you have more support here?

GooseyLoosey Tue 22-Jul-08 11:53:25

Yes. Can you bring the children mack to the UK for a long holiday in the summer and think about things from a distance?

TigerFeet Tue 22-Jul-08 11:55:05

Do you have family who could take you in for a while?

WinkyWinkola Tue 22-Jul-08 11:57:29

Well, no it won't be pleasant if you leave. Not for a while at least.

But it will get worse with your husband. It always does and that will be a lot more unpleasant for all of you.

He's volatile. How do you know he won't attack your DCs? He's already teaching them how to treat a woman. Nice.

Of course he turns on the charm. He has to to make sure that you believe he is not the bully that he really is.

Do you think relationship counselling could help?

Women's Aid in the UK could help you. But I'm not sure because you live abroad.

Women's Aid

Was he at all supportive whilst your MIL was alive? I've got friends who tell me their Italian MILs are very dominant. Is he kicking out about that, do you think? Mind you, after his behaviour it's not up to you to understand where he's coming from. It's up to you to look after yourself and your DCs.

Take care.

rubymum123 Tue 22-Jul-08 11:58:37

I do not have a very good relationship with my mother and have lived here for about 12 years now. I wouldn't know where to go if I went back to the UK. I actually left there because I wanted something better for myself as I did not come from a very nice area and I didn't want to become another teenage mother on the dole. Look where I am now..

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