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.
manipulative or not? - may be a bit long sorry.(5 Posts)
Am a regular poster but not sure if my Cousin reads these forums so have name changed.
A bit of Background:
My cousin has recently told her husband that their relationship is not working and she wants to split up. This comes after a long period of her being very unhappy (which she talked to me about at length) and wanting to end the relationship, which included a long discussion with him about 2 months ago where ultimatums were given and he promised to change. He improved for a week or so but went back to normal pretty quickly.
My cousin has worked hard for years, earns a very good wage in a stressful job, has encouraged him to maintain a relationship with his daughter from a previous marriage, spent holiday and family celebrations alone because he won't come, done all the shopping, most of the housework etc.
Her husband is on medication for a diagnosed form of severe depression. He has never worked, has been vocal about her lack of interest in sex (even to me), watches tv a lot unless he is doing art-work - he is a very good artist with a lot of talent but has never made a career out of it. Sleeps a LOT, sometimes all through the day, and then stays up late often watching porn on TV.
Generally he is a nice affable guy, I have always got on with him very well but have in the past been worried about the way my cousin seemed to enable him to sit about doing nothing.
Also there was one time when she told me he had pushed her hard against the wall and snatched her car-keys from her when she was trying to leave during another argument about her lack of interest in sex.
As far as I know he has never abused her sexually but has always considered himself to have a high sex drive and her to have an abnormal attitude to sex - he consideres her a bit repressed.
So... she has had long chats with him and basically told him it is over. They have both stayed in the house since the weekend when she told him, and have been having long talks about their situation.
I called her last night and almost the first thing she said was 'He says that his condition wouldn't have been so bad had I not withdrawn myself from him sexually so often and I think he's got a point'.
I am really worried. He seems to be picking on the one thing he knows she has some hang-ups about and is using them to make her take on far more blame for the situation than she should be. Worse, she seems to be falling for it!
I have told her exactly what I think, that he is manipulating the situation and failing to see how his behaviour as a whole over the last few years has left her isolated and lonely and that in fact the truth is that she has given him so much and helped him through his depression in so many ways and yet has got nothing back.
One other thing she talked to him about was the fact that she felt that his depression had meant her giving up any ideas of having children with him. His reply was 'I would have had 10 children with you if only you had told me this before' - I really don't believe this.
I think he realises that he has a lot to lose and is using whatever methods he can to make her feel like she is going to lose out by leaving him. He has even said that no other man would be able to live in such a relationship with a woman who is so sexually repressed.
I have told her that if anything her attitude to sex is more normal than his and that there are thousands of people out there who would have felt the same way about having a sexual realationship with a man who gives nothing back to the relationship.
FWIW his sister has apparently told her the same thing I told her. She is going to see a counsellor on Wednesday and I have told her to tell the counsellor about these conversations.
Am I right? This is hugely manipulative isn't it?
that is beyond manipulative
of course, we read only on of the story on here but from what you have said I agree with you 100%. There is no way I would be feeling horny with a sad loser like this bloke sounds
unfortunately, however, your cousin will have to continue to make her own mistakes
hopefully, the counselling will help her see things more clearly and until then you will have to continue to support her in whatever course of action (or inaction) she decides to take
Thank you for answering.
Can only give you the one side apart from to say that he has always been very vocal about his need for sex and she has not always wanted to have it which is frustrating for him.
I think over the years he has made her think that she is oddly under-sexed even though in conversation with her she has said she knows his attitude towards 'his needs' is not really normal. I don't know if that goes hand in hand with his illness.
I really do think she is going to leave him, this has been a long time coming, but it does worry me that he is getting at her and chipping at her confidence still. Am trying to persuade her to come and stay with me but she's so far said no.
By the way she is in her early 40's and confident in all sorts of ways so I am hoping she will come out of all this feeling a million times better. I just need her to be able to see that the stuff he is saying may not be coming from a good place.
he sounds very horrible
"vocal" about his "need" for sex ??
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.