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Need a reality check on my relationship, please help,....long post... sorry

(45 Posts)
HoneyBadger Fri 10-Oct-08 13:12:05

I'm new to this forum but think it's brilliant and would dearly like some advice on my own situation. I feel i'm thinking through treacle at the moment!

My DH and I have been married for 15 yrs and have one DS (17) and one DD (9). We have been mainly very happy together, he has a more dominant personality whilst I am pretty easy-going. I think that's how we managed to get along, although I have always been worried because he has been possessive and a bit controlling.

DH took medical retirement in 2000 on the grounds of clincial depression. So I have been the main wage earner for a number of years. DH was very good with the children, although he did virtually nothing around the house, but I didn't mind so all worked reasonably well.

This changed about 2 years ago.
In 2006 there were major problems at my place of work concerning bullying. I (and others) chose to support a number of colleagues putting my job on the line. DH was very critical of my decision, criticising my colleagues and being rude to them and about them. I believe he was jealous of the time and concern I spent on their issues and it saddened me.

He accused me of having an affair with one of them (female) when he discovered she was lesbian - that was total rubbish. He then looked at our computer, accused me of having accessed dating websites. In the meantime, he had convinced me I had a personality disorder of an OCD nature because I am very organised (he is not) complained that I didn't spend enough time with DD, was obsessed with housework and did not give him enough affection.

Luckily GP referred us to a family therapist who was amazing. She helped me to see that DH was over critical of me, putting me down, was judgemental and opinionated. She also made suggestions about areas that I could improve, him helping with the house work etc. For the first time I found the confidence to stand up to him when I didn't agree with his opinions or ideas. Eventually DH blew up at her in one of the sessions saying she was biased in favour of females and refused to go again. He said he'd come to get me sorted out not look at him.

Then DH relationship with DS began to go downhill. DS is a very rebellious teenager and it is not easy parenting him. We have totally different views on this. I believe in creating a safe supportive environment, setting firm boundaries and guiding him but DH takes a more punitive and disciplinarian route. DH says (to me) that DS is a loser and he swears about him and to him,

DH now says I am a control freak because I have refused to go along with his way of thinking, that I undermine him and stop him from being a parent.

About 6 months ago it all got too much, I told DH that I wanted a divorce. Stupidly I did this in the heat of the moment when we were mid-row. DH hit the wall, breaking his hand then proceeded to drive off into the night (over the limit)stop at every service station during the night and buy paracetamol. He then phoned his relatives and me saying he was going to commit suicide. He turned up the next morning very sheepish and spent the whole day railroading me into not leaving - involving DD which I thought was disgraceful (please mummy stay).

I agreed to stay provided he sought help for depression and stopped being possessive. Neither of which he has done.

Now my feelings are that the marriage is over, I have no respect for him anymore and he talks to me and DS like he hates us (swearing). I can't understand why he still says he loves me and wants us to stay together. He is negative all the time, morose and miserable. I am so tense waiting fro the next row. As soon as he goes out the atmosphere changes in the house. There is no joy in our lives anymore.

But I feel intense guilt that I feel this way. I've tried to make this a balanced posting - I am not perfect by any means, i am annoyingly organised and I'm sure I've added to the difficulties by being so passive in the early days of our relationship.

Please help me make sense of what is happening, I'm so sad our relationship is dying and feel really sorry for DH but just want to get out....

misselizabethbennet Fri 10-Oct-08 13:20:34

Sorry, HoneyBadger, you sound like you're having a tough time. You have obviously spend a lot of time thinking about this situation and you seem to have a very clear picture of what's happened over the years.

I can see why you might want to leave this relationship - are there any reasons you might want to stay? I think you have to make the decision based on what you want. You have tried to help him.

Have you ever discussed his refusal to get assessed/treated for depression. Seems odd to retire on these grounds and then stop getting treatment.

sad for you.

expatinscotland Fri 10-Oct-08 13:24:01

'I agreed to stay provided he sought help for depression and stopped being possessive. Neither of which he has done.'

Your marriage is over.

Go and ring a counsellor NOW so that you can end it and still have your sanity.

Because this person is not just toxic, but emotionally abusive and has what sounds like some serious mental issues which he refuses to get help for.

You need to get out of this for your sake and your childrens'.

Overmydeadbody Fri 10-Oct-08 13:28:17

I'm sorry you're going through such a horrible time sad

Your H may say he loves you and wants you two to stay together forever, but it sounds like what he is actually doing is mistaking dependancy for love. You may also be dependant on him to some extent.

Love is an action, not a feeling. How is he acting to demonstrate his love to you?

HoneyBadger Fri 10-Oct-08 13:30:28

I want to stay for all the wrong reasons. Fear of being alone, not wanting to disrupt others' lives, stability for the kids, what his family will say etc. I don't want others to blame me for not having supported him and that is what he tells me all the time. But if I am honest the relationship is dead.

HoneyBadger Fri 10-Oct-08 13:32:27

Dependency is exactly what it is Overmydeadbody. Without me he will have no income, soon no driving licence as he is about to be convicted of a roadrage incident and no crutch. That's exactly why I feel such guilt!!

MrsMattie Fri 10-Oct-08 13:34:34

Hi there.

This sounds like a really stressful, painful situation to be in and I feel sorry for you having to go through this sad.

Your DH sounds like a very angry, controlling, unstable man. You sound like you have tried very hard to support him and, to be honest, made a lot of excuses to yourself about his behaviour for a very long time.

Now sound slike the time to move on and try to make some positive changes in your life - for your sake, and for the sake of your son (this must be having a terrible effect on him. Your DH is effectively behaving abusively towards your son. God only knows how he will cope with a teenage daughter when that comes around!)

I wish you luck. Sounds like you are turning a corner and getting your strength together. Keep it up.

lulabelle Fri 10-Oct-08 13:41:21

HoneyBadger, I have just left a similar relationship, like you I gave it everything I had but when it is that one sided there will come a point where you just can not take anymore. My XH sounds similar in that he acted as though he hated me and did not want me there, then when I said I wanted to seperate he went on a three week drinking bender as he was so upset. My XH also had issues that he did not want to confront, instead he would turn them on me, I was the 'freak' as were my family and friends, work colleagues he hated (as we work in an office we obviously do nothing all day), I think he has some kind of depression but would never acknowledge it.

Thing is, I forgave and forgot so many times I was making myself ill bottling it all up to make him feel better. In the end I just did not know what else to do to please him. My DC's are much younger (7 and 2) and I would say the lasy year, it was the guilt of what a separation would do to the children that kept me there, I was willing to put my own happiness aside to keep a stable home for them, however, in the end DS1 was picking up on things and I then realised it was doing them no good being with him.

It is easy to say you have to think of your own happiness and I used to get mad when people said it to me, but now having been through it, you really do have to think of yourself. You sould like a lovely person.

expatinscotland Fri 10-Oct-08 13:41:35

god, if i were your poor son having to grow up like that i wouldn't just be rebellious, i'd be long gone.

Overmydeadbody Fri 10-Oct-08 13:41:44

It is not your responsibility to support him, or look after him, or enable him.

You have to put yourself first. Yoour priority should be in supporting yourself and doing what's best for you.

It is his responsibility to look after himself and deal with his needs.

Regardless of what he may tell you, others will not think you should have supported him.

You are not his mother. You are not tied together forever, you are not under any obligations to support him if it is not in your own best interests.

Overmydeadbody Fri 10-Oct-08 13:43:43

Your poor son.

You owe it to put his needs ahead of your H's, and your H sounds horribly toxic towards your DS.

expatinscotland Fri 10-Oct-08 13:45:15

'DH says (to me) that DS is a loser and he swears about him and to him, '

Imagine being your son. And how, before he was 17, he couldn't legally go anywhere else.

He had to just put up with that.

sad

HoneyBadger Fri 10-Oct-08 13:46:06

Thanks Mrs Mattie this is the first time I have ever told this story which is all kept behind closed doors, apart from two very close friends, and I really appreciate the advice you are giving and views.

DH of course can be very charming too when he wants to be, but less and less often, which makes it all the more difficult. But I guess that's the same for all umpleasant characters.

lulabelle Fri 10-Oct-08 13:48:20

Defintely they can turn on the charm, XH managed to turn people against me with a story about me leaving for someone else!! That was after he had bullied me out of the house. I even had a mouthful from his Mum about it not being my home!!

HoneyBadger Fri 10-Oct-08 13:49:33

Expat I've thought that too. I want to do what's right for all of us but probably no one thing will work for us all. DS is very unhappy and tends to spend a lot of time out with his friends. The other problem is DD adores her dad who is better with younger DC's and she will be devastated if we divorce.

I'm sure when she becomes a teen DH will be equally authoritarian with her though.

lulabelle Fri 10-Oct-08 13:51:27

DS1 adores his Dad and that is difficult but through counselling I have realised that a lot of that adoration is down to him being afraid of his Dad and trying to constantly please him. Not saying that is the same for your DD, but is something that never occured to me before.

HoneyBadger Fri 10-Oct-08 13:53:19

Lulabelle did you have individual counselling or therapy for you and the DC's? So glad things have worked out well for you.

lulabelle Fri 10-Oct-08 13:58:09

I have individual counselling before I left and this is what made me realise about DS1's relationship with xH, that was what made my final decision to seperate.

I don't want to be negative but things aren't going all that well. Even though he acted like he wanted rid of me, he now is 'making me pay' for leaving him. I go through an emotional rollercoaster of him wanting me back one day to wanting to kill me the next. He has a girlfriend who also seems to be the cause of a lot of the problems.

lulabelle Fri 10-Oct-08 14:00:51

I had to leave the house in the end with the DC's as he would not leave me alone. He has a drink problem and also dabbles with cocaine. He did not see the DC's at all to begin with (his choice) now he sees them when it suits him. He has gone to see a solicitor this week about child access because I refused to leave them with him - when I went to drop them off he was drunk. I'm waiting for my letter to arrive (he tells me there is one coming from a solicitor).

HoneyBadger Fri 10-Oct-08 14:00:54

Oh if only mine would find a girlfriend....... I know for sure if I left he would make my life hell so I'm under no illusions about that!

lowenergylightbulb Fri 10-Oct-08 14:01:24

I'm sorry that you are going through this honeybadger. It sounds like a really hard situation. As an outsider I'd say that you owe it to yourself to leave. You've done all that you can to 'save' things and you can't do it all on your own.

unhappy Fri 10-Oct-08 14:03:06

Hi Honey and all on this post - this story sounds so much like my own - its really interesting to read. Not meant to sound flippant - my dp is a control freak not constantly abusive but more so recently - mine is a very long story too perhaps one day I will have the courage like yourself to tell it. I wish you all the luck in the world Honey in your decision - I know I am no where near strong enough to leave yet if ever - I keep thinking when dd is older I will be free - it feels to me like a prison sentence. We are all bright women why the hell do we put up with so much crap for such a long time.

Will put a watch on this one to see how you are doing - xx

lulabelle Fri 10-Oct-08 14:06:21

The girlfriend says that he is not allowed to speak to me, he has been 'dumped' twice because of this!! Thing is, when she is not around he can be amicable, when she is around he puts on his show and is venemous towards me.

I wish he would leave me alone, hopefully when the divorce ball starts rolling he will.

I'am happier now though, in between his abuse via text or phone, life is so much calmer and I can drive home from work not having to worry about what I will face at home. DC's have settled well and DS1 has been let down that many times by him he asks about him less and less. I did not want it like this, I would love DS1 to have a relationship with his Dad, he just wants quality time with him. As for DS2 he will not have him until he has seen results of a paternity test, WTF?? He knows that he is his Dad we were together 10 years and he knows I was never ever unfaithful, he never mentioned it until a few weeks ago. Truth is DS2 needs more attention and he can't cope with him.

HoneyBadger Fri 10-Oct-08 14:22:45

OMG Lulabelle - mine wanted a paternity test too!! Do you think they compare notes?

Unhappy I know how you feel I've been watching lots of posts on here and seeing bits of my story in others peoples and it does help. I'm not at all brave and tend to do things for a quiet life. It's now getting so bad that I'm going to have to do something, especially as he's targetting DS too.

Overmydeadbody Fri 10-Oct-08 18:36:08

Sending bucketfulls of strength to you Honey and unhappy to one day have the courage to change your lives for the better.

Rememer, MN is here to support you through everything. Once you have made your decisions you will be surprised how much courage and strength you actually have.

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