Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Have you settled? for your current partner, despite their failings?

(26 Posts)
WouldntItBeNce Fri 05-Jun-09 19:51:44

Hello, this is my first post and I am hoping for some mumsnet wisdom...

I am 26, and been with my partner for over 3years. He is 30. We are in a long distance relationship. I love him deeply, and he often talks of the future (marriage, children etc). He is everything I want in a man, but there are some things that are just nagging me about the future.

I have had plenty of relationships in the past with different types of men blush, and work in a very male orientated job (military), so I know what men are like. Mostly I know that they are far from perfect, and there are a lot of men out there who are just awful, so I count myself lucky that I have found a good one.


How much have you compromised in your relationship? As in, have you settled for your current partner, despite their failings?

He isnt perfect, he can have tantrums like a toddler, he is crap with money, his driving is sometimes very dangerous, he doest tidy up after himself.... nothing too scary, but when we argue, we really argue (verbal only) !!! I have observed the way he is will his mother, who is very submissive. I am the opposite of this, so we clash and he gets very upset (as do I) and angry that I do not just nod and smile and agree with his point of view. I do worry that it is not healthy to be like this, but then I think that it is not that bad, and everyone argues don?t they?


Is it normal to settle for what you've got if you think its not 100% perfect? Or is there someone out there who will be all I love about my current boyfriend but without his negative points? Or am I being too picking and need to understand that I can?t have everything and should just except him, warts and all??

PS I do get bored easily in life so I am worried it is just me being a stupid cow with unrealistic ideas !!

bigTillyMint Fri 05-Jun-09 19:54:36

No-one is perfect, but your description makes your DP sound like a very easily angered person who could (and does?) easily lose his rag with you / any potential DC. He might become violent, which would worry me.

Is this worrying you?

mrsruffallo Fri 05-Jun-09 19:55:27

I don't think that there is such a thing as 100% perfect, nobody could live up to that!

FrannyandZooey Fri 05-Jun-09 19:57:41

i don't know
i presume you want children as you are on here
the negative points you describe sound pretty awful in a father tbh!
but maybe just me

Hassled Fri 05-Jun-09 19:59:32

You haven't painted a very rosy picture. He doesn't sound like a nice guy - he sounds controlling and immature.

Yes, of course partnership is all about compromise - you put up with the shite because the good parts are worth it. And there always is some shite - no-one is perfect. But you're still young and it is certainly possible that you could do a lot better - maybe this is a compromise too far. Follow your instincts.

YanknCock Fri 05-Jun-09 20:02:27

There isn't a 100% perfect person, but if you feel like you're 'settling' you probably are settling IYSWIM.

Personally, I'd think the things you mentioned were huge red flags, particularly his wanting you to be submissive and throwing tantrums. You say 'nothing too scary', but I honestly don't think you should ever be the LEAST bit scared of your partner!

WouldntItBeNice Fri 05-Jun-09 20:17:11

Thank you all. I am thinking about the future, children in particular. I should say that I have not put any of his good points across, there are many, but I need some blunt outside views on the negatives.

His anger is the thing that worries me, and i do feel his is immature sometimes, but he cant be that bad as he holds down a very "mature" job!

He is exceptionally good with friends/families children, but he has never had to look after a child for an extended period of time.

I suppose the question is, what shit is worth putting up with? I have many friends who are older, and they all seem to complain about there husbands endlessly and I do worry that i am just expecting too much

chickers Fri 05-Jun-09 21:04:50

Its a hard situation and I admire you for being honest about your feelings.
I spent ages with idiots asking myself all the time whether this would work or not. When I met my now husband we just lived together and when he wanted to move 300 miles away to work I just assumed I was going with him.
Yes of course we have all the usual crappy arguements about money, kids but if you have to think too much about whether a person is right for you then its maybe not right. Good Luck

hopefull09 Fri 05-Jun-09 21:19:38

I agree with the other poster who said about huge red flags, these are some of the early waring signs of a abusive man. Pay close attention to how he treats his mother too.

Dont be fooled by the responsible job , mine had a very responsible job, and the tantrums , rages, insults , dangerous driving were the tip of the iceberg .I assume these temper tantrums only occur in private and he is perfectly sane at work? Typical bully behaviour.

This is how it often starts, should you commit to him in any way you will find he gets a lot worse very quickly.
It really isnt normal for a grown man to have temper tantrums like a toddler.Have a look at the warning signs of abusive men, then run away , very quickly.

mrsboogie Fri 05-Jun-09 21:20:30

There is no such thing as 100% perfect (and who would want a perfect partner??) but your bloke sounds very very imperfect. I can't think what positive qualities he could have that would overcome those negative ones.

With those personality defects he will not make you happy or give you a good life but you know this already or you wouldn't have posted your original question.

Read some of the posts from women on here who have been with their knobhead partner for fifteen years and are finally realising that they hate him but they can't leave because they are too worn out or because of the kids. That could be you in the future if you stick with this git.

Don't throw your life away on someone who isn't worth it. Move on and find someone better. You deserve it.

hopefull09 Fri 05-Jun-09 21:35:46

I agree with mrsboogie,,i cant imagine what qualitys he could have that would compensate for him raging like a toddler.Eventually you will lose respect for him and he will sap your confidence with " jokes " at your expense that will eventually become outright put downs.

He,ll blow his money on crap, and blame you.He,ll rage and yell, and blame you , He,ll demand sex and sulk when he doesnt get it, and blame you.
You,ll be a crap mum, a bad wife, the source of all thats wrong in his world.Im just getting out of a marriage where i put up with this crap and could kick myself for not seeing it sooner..

This shit definateley isnt worth putting up with , you are not being miserable or picky, if anything you need to raise the standards your willing to accept.
No one will ever rage at me like that again, joke at my expense or dominate me in any way.

sheepgomeep Fri 05-Jun-09 22:45:01

I am in a relationship now that is not perfect by any means. Things are very turbulent between us and many many of our arguments are about money and his short fuse.
He is crap with money, very controlling with it in fact including hiding my cash cards and leaving me short.

Iv thought about leaving many times but I can't get him out the house cos he literally has no where at all to go and I can't face the hassle at the moment.

But then we have really good times and I am happy at those times> He knows he has probs and has tried to seek help but where we live mental health provision for men is shit as his doctor has told him.

He has never hit me though.

My ex was perfect,, good well paid job thoughful, considerate, tidy, cooked meals, great dad blah blah and he ended up fucking off with a 16 year old school girl.

Nobody is perfect.

CherryChoc Fri 05-Jun-09 23:06:53

WouldntItBeNice, please get yourself out of this relationship before children are involved. My partner sounds similar to yours and I've had these red flags before but felt I should settle for him, after all there are worse men, and he treats me nicely 90% of the time and he has good intentions, etc etc. So I have settled and on some days I'm happy, but on others I find myself upset by reading about fathers who are involved with their children, partners who are pleasant to be around and people who have relationships which they truly are happy in, it makes me sad - sometimes I find myself missing my ex who used to sleep around with no regard for my feelings because the truth is, aside from that he treated me better in our day-to-day relationship than my current partner does

Having our son makes it so hard to think about it. Whereas before my thoughts preventing me from leaving were things like I've just wasted 2 years of my life (which is silly, actually, all life experience is useful!) now I have to think about what's best for DS and in my heart, if I could go back in time and give him a different Dad, I would. Don't settle for less than a partner who you enjoy spending time with, can get on with, makes you happy, etc. I used to think it was too hard to leave! But looking back, it would have been so easy to walk away.

JudyBlume1019 Fri 05-Jun-09 23:18:36

It's not about finding someone perfect, it's about accepting their faults because you are in love with them, and tbh you don't really sound like you are. Don't compromise or even consider it until you meet someone you are in love with.
In your case, even if you were madly in love with the guy, some of his behaviours are ringing alarm bells. Listen to your heart, it is louder than you realise.

WouldntItBeNice Sat 06-Jun-09 00:07:00

Thank you all, I needed to hear what you have all said.

He cooks, he buys me thoughtful presents, we go on amazing holidays around the world, he understands my job (hard to find a man who wants a partner in the army when i go away for 6 months every 18) he makes me laugh, we have fun,he doesnt cheat (as far as a know?!?), he has a great family, he has never hit me, he wants the same things in life, when i talk to him about my friends workaholic husbands who do not see there children he says he would never do that (without prompt from me), BUT

thats 90% of the time, its the other 10% I worry about. The fact he calls me a slut, whore, bitch in arguments then says he didnt mean it afterwards should have me running i know blush but ive just excepted thats what he does. he has been under a lot of pressure at work so I have struggled to confront him without feeling guilty that I would distract him from work.

I have spoken to him about it, and he is aware of how i feel,but he just does not seem to understand just how low he makes me feel. He does always say..."you did/said that which is way i did this" big red flag.

His mother has said to me a few times "i know he has his tantrums but he is worth keeping!" so its not just me. I do feel that he has pent up anger issues from suffering cancer when he was younger, never spoken to anyone about it.

The relationship I had before him was with a man who cheated on me, stoles from me and was an complete dick. I suppose I just felt that as my current boyfriend was not like that then I should not complain sad

I am sorry that some of you has said you have "settled" and regret it now. Reading the other posts in 'relationships' i can see that there really are a lot of unhappy women out there.

As a write these posts I am experiencing clarity in what i need to do. Im going to give him the opportunity to get professional help, or walk away. I cant throw away 3 years with out one last try, because the 90% it is good, its really really good.

i suppose i am just worried that there is no one better out there, and i will regret it if we spit up and in a few years times he is married, sorted his life out and im lonely. that was hard to write sad

mrsboogie Sat 06-Jun-09 00:25:52

No, in a few years time he won't be married and sorted. He will be going through the same pattern with you or someone else. People don't spontaneously get over psychological problems like his. OK maybe he has reasons for being the way he is but he is still responsible for his actions. I don't care how wonderful he is it is absolutely unacceptable that he calls you those names. That abuse cancels out all the nice things he does. Doesn't it? It should.

You escaped from someone who is 99% bad so now you think you have done well to have found someone who is only 90% bad. WRONG! You should not settle for anyone who treats you badly in any way at all.

That doesn't mean they have to be perfect or you can't have fallings out but if you settle for this shit now its all you will ever have. If you move on and demand better you WILL get better. You found him you will find someone else.

jasper Sat 06-Jun-09 00:27:44

Why do you see a reason for staying with Mr Imperfect being worried there is noone better out there?

Being on your own and NOT in a relationship beats being in a not great relationship.

I wish you well.

hopefull09 Sat 06-Jun-09 00:35:42

The fact he calls me a slut, whore, bitch in arguments then says he didnt mean it afterwards should have me running i know .

Thats definate emotional abuse,and so is the fact he blames his behaviour on you. And dont listen to his mother , she obviously supports his tantrums , maybe his father was the same ? Hes not worth keeping and there are definateley better men out there who wont do this.

The emotional abuse thread is very good and might help you to understand whats behind this behaviour ,its NOT stress from work .

WouldntItBeNice Sat 06-Jun-09 00:57:14

i need these harsh words.

all my friends and family and work thinks he is perfect, I dont dare discuss this, I am embarrassed that I have found myself in this situation, again.

I work with men all day, who on paper should be perfect, but they are anything but, and I guess Im worried there arnt any good ones really, and "settling" is the only way to go.

I just dont no what is acceptable behaviour to settle for sad

jasper Sat 06-Jun-09 00:58:18

the fact you listed he never hits you as a good point had me worried.
That should never need to be stated

mrsboogie Sat 06-Jun-09 01:23:18

the only kind of behaviour to ever "settle for" is when a man treats you the way you want to be treated,the way you treat him, the way you would want your daughter or sister to be treated.

It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, this is your life, you only get one.

And it is a very bad sign, a sign of low esteem and low, low, low expectations when a woman mentions that one of her partner's good points is that he doesn't hit her.

toomanystuffedbears Sat 06-Jun-09 02:53:00

WouldntItBeNice-you are getting things into focus (and that is hard-discovery can be shockingly hard). Please try and work to stay focused-be weary of any "excuses".

I agree with MrsBoogie. This man is 30 years old. He has evolved all he is going to -in the positive direction. There is plenty of morphing room in the negative ways.

He has anger issues that he manifests in the way he treats women. His mom said what? Do you think a mom would really say, "My son is crap, don't have anything to do with him"? I doubt it. Having you around probably takes some pressure off of her.

The "90% really really good" portrait you describe sounds too good to be true. I am not doubting your words. I dated a fellow who would peel tomatoes to impress whoever, but what an emotional abuser he was privately. You may have an actor on your hands. Says the right things, almost to a script-(does he watch Oprah or soap operas? No, I mean really -does he?) But this can't be sustained 100% of the time. Your deployments are his break.

Have you considered hiring a private investigator to see what he is up to while you are away? That would help tell the tale (and be worth every singel cent, imho).
From what you have written in your posts, trusting everything he says might be a bigger risk than you think. Trust but verify.

My first thought about "settling" was akin to settling for a cookie when I wanted cheesecake. Not: settling for rancid vomitous maggots instead of anything palatable.

"Settling" should be about things like: going a little bald, maybe a little overweight, too tall, too short, maybe not quite as wealthy as we would want, age, favorite movie genre (my dh: moronic humor hmm)...see what I mean? You are talking about settling for demonstrated abuse because you might feel lonely otherwise. ???!!!

And don't discount his dismissiveness of how you feel-that is degrading you right out of your own existence-a one way highway to put you in a depression-and that is so he gets more control over you. "Death by 10,000 cuts"-the little seemingly petty episodes, which would make you look bad to complain about, add up.

You have admitted from reading other threads on this wonderful website that there are worse things than being lonely. F-o-c-u-s

You are strong and independent. You are on to him in time. Stay on your own -do not sacrifice or "settle" to be on his "team". His "team" is not one you want to be on.

Mulanmum1 Sat 06-Jun-09 05:02:51

OP - please dump him. He scares me. And I don't scare easily.

sparkybint Sat 06-Jun-09 10:12:59

I agree with others here; that you view the fact that he's never hit you or cheated as good points (they're pre-requisites!), the way he uses truly awful language when you argue - if a man called me a whore or a slut that would be huge red flag and would indicate a huge lack of respect. He makes you laugh and takes you on amazing holidays?
Not that important in the grand scheme of things.

Also the fact that he holds down a mature job so you think that makes him mature - not necessarily the case at all. We're talking about emotional maturity here aren't we? I, like you, am a strong character and my relationship with a very weak, submissive man ended recently. We simply couldn't communicate because he felt threatened by me and I was unable to express myself for fear of upsetting him. That meant we could never disagree on anything because I knew it would threaten our relationship. Last but not least. You're only 26. Don't settle for a man who so clearly doesn't deserve you and so early on in life.

All the best.

AnyFucker Sat 06-Jun-09 11:33:47

I agree with every word that TooManyStuffedBears wrote

Stress at work makes him call you abusive names?

Does he verbally abuse his boss, colleagues, friends, people-on-the-street, too then? Thought not. Just you then, and if you accept it he will destroy your self-esteem with a "thousand cuts".

If you stay together, have children, it is likely to escalate

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: