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Its all broken. I can't keep sticking plasters on this can I?

(61 Posts)
goldyfish Sun 11-Oct-09 22:05:33

This is a real muddle, I'm sorry.
During a lovely meal today with friends I sat and watched how they interacted, their love and affection for each other subtle yet obviously strong after 20 yrs of marriage. Something I have noticed a lot recently with other friends.

DH, in contrast, was the opposite.
We live parallel lives.
DH has a really good job and travels abroad a lot. He is very clever and respected in his industry and works very hard and has amazing perks too.
But at home I find him very bad tempered and resentful. He clearly doesnt love me and I doubt he even likes me much anymore after 17 years.
I asked him tonight if its so bad why is he still with me? He shouted he really didnt know. I cant discuss anything with him. He shouts and rants then leaves the room.

But when I ask him exactly what I do wrong I only hear lack of ironing, not working and bringing in any income (I am sahm to toddler) and that I have no respect for him.

Eldest dd12 says life without him is calmer and happier when he is working away. I hate that they are so supportive of me when they should be just being little still. they stick up for me in rows. Not good.

I have had quite a bit of involvement from my GP this time last year as I was ill from stress and he sussed what was going on, but havent gone back.Gp said it was mental abuse and I had some counselling but I stopped all of it this summer as I decided to really try to make the marriage work.

But I know its not. I am so sad and confused. I thought being a grown up meant you had the answers.

I cant imagine how I would cope though with 3 kids, no career and certainly no money.
Its all such a mess. Where do I start?

Earlybird Sun 11-Oct-09 22:11:20

Sounds very tough.

You say 3 dc. How old are they?

Is it possible he was hoping you'd go back to work (and take some pressure off him) rather than having a third child? Could he be feeling resentful?

Still no excuse....

clam Sun 11-Oct-09 22:11:59

Would it be any worse than now?

Sorry if that sounds blunt, but you're clearly very unhappy. He is too, by the sounds of it, but that's his probem. You're not responsible for that. But you are responsible for yourself and your DCs.
And why would you have no money? He will have to support his DCs, surely? Or would he refuse?

Feel for you xx

goldyfish Sun 11-Oct-09 22:15:52

He was the one that wanted the 3rd. He still wants a 4th. Why i just cant fathom.
I have small jobs in between. Nothing significant really, but am not qualified in anything.

We have no equity. I cant even get legal advice.

Oh and thank you both for replying. I thought noone would. Am very grateful.

itsmeolord Sun 11-Oct-09 22:16:37

You won't have no money, you will be able to claim benefits and he will have to pay maintenence. You will have enough to live on.

You can have a career, you can begin study with the OU or similar so that when your toddler goes to school you can work in a field that interests you.

You will be happy and your home will be calm ALL the time, not just when he is not there.

If even your GP susses what is going on and you have had counselling because of his mental abuse then surely you need to start llooking after yourself now?
He can iron his own fucking shirts.

Have you spoken to an organisation like womensaid? Do you have family or friends to give you emotional support?

itsmeolord Sun 11-Oct-09 22:18:23

You can get free legal advice through the CAB, you can get benefits advice there too.
You can get careers advice from the local job centre by making an appointment with the lone parent advisor.

goldyfish Sun 11-Oct-09 22:18:57

Dcs 12,10 and 2
They were sickly kids so could never hold down job. Dh would be away long periods and no family around anymore. So now I am really not in a good position.
I think I need to retrain.

CarGirl Sun 11-Oct-09 22:19:56

Perhaps he wants more children to keep you trapped there where he can be in control.....

CakeandFineWine Sun 11-Oct-09 22:19:57

Sounds like a crap situation to be in,
But I echo the other MNers
Your DC are picking up on this and you are obviously really unhappy and they can see this,
There has to be a compromise albeit not an ideal one but most children would rather have 2 happy (if financially less off) parents than 2 unhappy parents...

mckenzie Sun 11-Oct-09 22:21:16

goldyfish, so sorry to hear what you're going through. Clam's initial question is so valid. Might I suggest that you might find some help from a book called 'too good to leave, too bad to stay'? It wont make the decision for you but it might help you to get things in perspective and help you make the right decision. You can get it on Amazon for about £10. I would lend you my copy but I want to keep it - I've used it once and decided to stay (that was about 15 years ago smile). Thinking of you.

goldyfish Sun 11-Oct-09 22:25:38

GP told me to contact a womensaid group locally. Idont feel I am really eligible.
We look like we have a great house and car etc, but its a house of cards.

I have alienated most of my friends. That sounds awful. but I had 18months of looking after dying parent, brokenhearted friends, anorexic friends, friends who were depressed everywhere I looked and asking for my advice etc.
I couldnt handle anymore looking after everyone so I kind of retreated and dont really go outmuch now.
My 2 closest friends went through all this decision making with me 9 months ago. I feel foolish going back for help again.

goldyfish Sun 11-Oct-09 22:27:54

Gosh youre all being so kind now I'm in tears. I'm trying to take all this advice in.

moondog Sun 11-Oct-09 22:28:54

I think you have to just try and consider it from his point of view. There's generally a reason why people are pissed off. He must work very hard and being abroad stuck in hotels is no joke (my dh does it).
Are you keeping up your side of the bargain? How (be honest now) is the home, the housework, the shopping, the cooking and so on?

CakeandFineWine Sun 11-Oct-09 22:30:22

{{{More hugs}}} and some tissues...
Where abouts in the country are you? I'm sure there are other organisation's who can help.
I'm sure your true friends won't mind giving you help/advice/support again.
You'll make the right decision in the end x

benjysmum Sun 11-Oct-09 22:31:25

Will he consider going to counselling with you? You might get to the bottom of his resentment then and it might help to put things into perspective. And you can always keep coming back to us MNers time after time without feeling foolish.

macdoodle Sun 11-Oct-09 22:36:04

No no no - no counselling WITH him the worst thing you can do in an emotionally abusive relatonship!!

inveteratenamechanger Sun 11-Oct-09 22:36:31

If your GP recommended Women's Aid then I suspect things are pretty bad.

I agree with itsmeolord. You sound very unhappy, and something obviously needs to change for the sake of your mental health.

Don't worry about having discussed this with your friends/GP already - it often takes quite a while to get out of an abusive relationship.

Take care. xx

itsmeolord Sun 11-Oct-09 22:36:54

Why should she be considering it from his side Moondog? The situation is so bad that her GP has urged her to contact womensaid and arranged counselling for her.

goldyfish Sun 11-Oct-09 22:38:22

I do consider it from his point of view Moondog. Really do.
I always cook. The house is always tidy (almost). I dont iron for him on principle as he just throws it all around looking for stuff later. also I dont iron his shirts to a good enough standard on the sleeves.

He always has been pissed off generally with life. Luckily its not just me that annoys him, most people do. he is jus one of those high functioning people who finds lesser mortals intolerable.
The kids drive him mad too. he has never been a cuddly Dad.

He does work hard. Very hard. But he chose that path. We have sat down twice in the past years and I begged him to give it up, downsize take the pressure off us, I would work etc but no; he would see that as failure.
Believe me, the perks in his job are incredible and he bloody loves it. Stress or no stress. Its his life.

moondog Sun 11-Oct-09 22:41:01

Because that's what mature people do Itsme. hmm

I would also love to know why people think that GPs are authorities on marital disharmony.

Goldy, I think a lot of men just have no real respect for people (ie. women) unless they have some sort of paid employment. If you really think you manage your household well then you should start questioning him and his attitude a bit more.As you are doing.

itsmeolord Sun 11-Oct-09 22:42:52

Great, it's his life. So where do you get to have your life then?

If you're not ready to leave him then will you please speak to womens aid and the CAB to give yourself an exit plan if you decide you want to take it?

You don't have to be unhappy.

People do not deserve to contact womens aid, they contact them because they need to. Womens aid are there to give emotional support and practical help if wanted to women who are in an abusive situation. They will be happy to talk to you, you can just have a conversation on the phone you know.

I'm not telling you to do anything, I just want you to know you have options.

AllyOodle Sun 11-Oct-09 22:44:09

I used to have a job where I travelled a lot, and spent a lot of time in hotels with colleagues who were also travelling....Despite the fact that it really ruins relationships, it is vital to so many jobs now. I have said to DP I will never do that again.

It could be that your DH thinks he's doing as much as he can, because to many men, bringing home the bacon (good money, perks etc) is what they feel their role is. He may not understand why you want anything more, and when you show you aren't happy he interprets this as pressure to do what he's doing "even better" - ie. to work longer hours and earn even more. Of course, if he rants and storms out every time you try to talk to him, he isn't going to understand what you are actually saying anytime soon. The longer he travels for, the less used he is to you, the kids, and being at home.

Relationship counselling would definitely be worth trying. Especially as he struggles with the basic tenet of a conversation, ie that two people take turns to speak and listen! It would also help you get through to him that you are trying to make things better between you, not criticising him or "not respecting him" (God forbid.)

If he has a very good jobs and is an expert in his field, he may be very used to people being awed by him, and he may have to put on an authoritative front. Coming home and being asked to put the bins out may come as something of a shock to him. (Not to mention unironed shirts - how truly terrible! wink)

I also agree with what other posters have said. You should definitely retrain if you have time, money and inclination to study, it will do wonders for your confidence and show you some other options. You've brought up 3 kids with health problems fgs - you are obviously very capable.

itsmeolord Sun 11-Oct-09 22:45:58

So the fact that she is describing verbal and emotional abuse means that she would be immature if she didn't make sure she was keeping house to his exacting standards?

I have not stated that a gp is an authority on marital harmony, the op herself stated that the counselling had helped and there was obviously a need for it.

A badly managed household is never an excuse for either party to verbally or emotionally abuse a partner to the point that their children step into arguments to stick up for them.

goldyfish Sun 11-Oct-09 22:48:45

Thing is, I didnt love him when we got married, I was flattered by his adoration. he rang me countless times a day, wrote me love letters, brought roses.
I had never known attention like it. Then within the year I got pg.
Then we got married. My Father was always scathing. Called me the trophy wife.
DH is always searching for something he will never find. Our kids are amazing wonderful people and we could have the most wonderful life, but I dont think its enough for him.

We went to relate once. It was a disaster.
I have asked him to do anger management and he always agrees then says never agreed.

AllyOodle Sun 11-Oct-09 22:50:12

Sorry Goldyfish, x-posted. If you have sat down and begged him to stop/change jobs, and he's refused...If his job is his life, then he's left no room in his life for his family. Tell him that. Make him see that you are so unhappy he's going to lose it all.
Good luck...keep in touch.

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