Mothering Forum banner
1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,213 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm still trying to not give up on my marriage... (I know I know)... but I do know that deep down DH is a good person... he just never learned the tools to be a healthy functioning person thanks to his craptastic parents. I do firmly beleive he is honestly really trying, which is keeping me around at the moment.

The lapse this weekend was he tried spinning things around on me again saying I was the controlling/abusive one.

When he is being controlling I like to point it out to him... he HATES that word and I still am not sure if he fully sees himself as controlling, because he thinks I overuse the term.


This came from us arguing and apparantly I had some kind of smirk on my face while this was happening. I think it's my subconcious way of dealing with it... not really laughing at the situation, but I do tend to have a "nervous laugh" at inappropriate times, or I try to put a smile on as my own defense mechanism for dealing with unpleasant things. This weekend I think it was a "and here we go again, just gotta laugh about it".

But anyway, DH called me out on it and told me how messed up it was for me to have a smirk on my face like us arguing was comical and something to be laughed at and how messed up I am that I think our relationship is a joke.

Obviously I didn't say that about our relationship and told him as much and said I didn't find the situation funny, and sorry, I couldn't control my facial twitches and that he shouldn't either. It was a reactionary thing.

So he turned the whole thing around and said that I'm so big on pointing out when he is being controlling but the truth is I'm really the one that is. And how different is it that he is trying to "control" me by telling me it is disrespectful to smirk at him during an argument, but yet I'm trying to "control" him by trying to tell him that he isn't allowed to yell or swear at me during arguments that they are the same thing.

I said that his reaction is unhealthy and disrespectful to me... so they are apples and oranges in comparison in y mind. Though I suppose if he feels smirking is disrespectful... meh, I don't know.

Then of course he threw in that he wouldn't yell, swear at me if I didn't push his buttons.
I said it's his responsibility and choice of how he chooses to react but certain reactions are abusive/disrespectful and won't be tolerated.

So basically we talked in that circle for a little bit and the whole thing just dropped.

I've been trying to decide wether to call his therapist about it or not... I think he sees her again on Monday.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,309 Posts
Call his therapist. I wouldn't call that I "small lapse" I would call that a BIG lapse - he clearly doesn't respect you still. Until he respects you as a person - he's not changing. But, at the very least call his therapist about it.

Also, are you still working on a way to leave him? (It doesn't matter if you actually do leave him - having the means to do so is a good idea if you ever need to leave immediately)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,123 Posts
He is mistaking healthy boundaries for control. You setting a boundary that you won't be yelled at doesn't "control" him at all; he can yell all he wants, but you will leave. It requires him to control himself if he wants a marriage with you, but that is very different from you controlling him.

And him blaming you for his yelling and swearing? He seriously hasn't "gotten it". His thinking is very disordered.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,962 Posts
Him blaming you is NOT okay.

I must admit though, that if someone was telling me I was being controlling, I'd likely freak. It never feels good, especially when we're already feeling down and not very capable of handling our emotional states well, to be told we are being something...even if it's true.

I would take control of your life instead of trying to help him. If he's yelling or swearing, just remove yourself from the situation. If he's doing something that is not treating you respectfully, go somewhere else. He cannot be disrespectful to you unless you allow him to be.

I would also take him out of the equation right now. It is not your job to fix him, it is not your job to point out when he's doing something wrong or missing the mark. Your job is to take care of yourself. If you respect yourself, if you treat yourself well, if you are working on yourself and being the best person you can be, what he does or doesn't do won't be an issue for you anymore.

People can only treat us disrespectfully when we allow it. The only person you can change is yourself, so focus on you and do what you need to do for yourself and he will either come along and be better or you will move on and know it's for the best.

I wish you all respect and love.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
653 Posts
Have you ever thought that perhaps you think he's a good person deep down because you believe all people are good deep down? I know that sounds like a ridiculous question, but I was - sincerely - in my 30's before I realized that people are well and truly different. There really are people that have no "good deep down" parts to them. There really are people that enjoy being miserable. There really are people that hate and treat others with contempt, and it makes them happy. If you are just projecting what kind person you are onto him, you're spinning your wheels.

I know this seems out of the blue, but it was really helpful to me to discover people are really different - not just say the words or think I believe people are different. But really know to my core that people really are different and there really are people in the world that aren't nice. That was really helpful to me and I'm just wondering where you are on this.

By the way, understanding and acknowledging that he only has the ability to do so much - whether it's his background or his physical limitations - is okay. In fact, it does both of you a great favor to realize neither of you suck, you're just not right for each other. (For the other readers, I don't want to get into a discussion about "yes he does suck". Because I have been reading along and realize what kind of situation she's in. BUT I think it's healthy to realize that if OP NEEDS xy and z to be happy and he can only offer lm and p. I don't think it's wrong to realize that it's mismatch, no matter who is more at fault. It's simply not going to work and torturing each other trying to make a round peg fit into a square hole is not really growing at all. It's just a struggle.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,213 Posts
That's not a small lapse but imo shows he still hasn't gotten it (which is huge) and until he truly does he can't really work on getting better. I would definitely talk to the therapist about it (I hope the therapist is well educated on abusive behavior and the cycle of abuse).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,771 Posts
It's not OK for him to freak out or yell at you.

That said, it's also not a good idea to label him, especially if he has already made it clear that he hates being labelled. Instead of saying "see, you are controlling" or "you're being controlling AGAIN," why not just talk about the specific behavior of the moment -- "Please don't tell me what to do, I don't like it" or whatever the behavior is that you see as controlling?

If someone had decided that I had a personality flaw, and every time I did something he didn't like he would say "you're being XXXX again!" it would make me pretty angry and defensive, and frankly I would look for examples of him doing something that could be labelled the same way. You need to talk about what he DOES, not make negative blanket statements about who he IS.

Again, none of this makes it OK for him to yell or swear -- that's just not all right to do to your partner.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,213 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Thalia the Muse View Post
It's not OK for him to freak out or yell at you.

That said, it's also not a good idea to label him, especially if he has already made it clear that he hates being labelled. Instead of saying "see, you are controlling" or "you're being controlling AGAIN," why not just talk about the specific behavior of the moment -- "Please don't tell me what to do, I don't like it" or whatever the behavior is that you see as controlling?

If someone had decided that I had a personality flaw, and every time I did something he didn't like he would say "you're being XXXX again!" it would make me pretty angry and defensive, and frankly I would look for examples of him doing something that could be labelled the same way. You need to talk about what he DOES, not make negative blanket statements about who he IS.

Again, none of this makes it OK for him to yell or swear -- that's just not all right to do to your partner.

That is a good point. Thank you for that!


I try not to label him specifically as controlling... it usually comes out as I do start out saying, "I don't like you doing this." And he will ask why or my reasons and I will say because it makes me feel controlled.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,115 Posts
I agree with a PP. It's not helpful to label anyone, and it's just going to be a hot button for both of you. Use other words. Just made-up examples:

Him: ... and the least you can do is clean up those dishes.
You: You're being controlling again, stop controlling me!
Him: #[email protected]!!!

or

Him: ... and the least you can do is clean up those dishes.
You: I am satisfied with my level of contribution around here. You're welcome to do the dishes if they are bothering you, or I'll get to them when I'm ready.
Him: <continues to argue, probably.. but not set off on the "controlling" label>

Anyway, like PP, I'm not saying you caused this or who is righter or wronger (lol, I was an English major) but I do think it's reasonable for someone to be touchy about being labelled.

One of the several problems with it is that it kind of makes it impossible to improve. Let's say he lapses into something controlling and you tell him so. Now he's been labelled as a failure, and he will fight to protect his ego. If you manage to simply stick with the topic, it's POSSIBLE for him to say "fine" or otherwise drop it - thus leading to improvement.

Anyway, that's my
from someone who has asked her DH to stop using judging words. (So far, so good).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,488 Posts
i don't understand about calling his therapist. i wasn't aware that was "done" really, one person calling another person's therapist to report on their behavior.

but everything else in your post, basically i could have written it (including believing dh is good, deep down, and trying to make it work). him bringing up your facial expression and claiming that you're laughing at him and that you think your relationship is a joke - it's not about your expression, really. it's him getting out of the conversation you were trying to have with him, making you the bad guy so he can be the victim.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,234 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by Thalia the Muse View Post
It's not OK for him to freak out or yell at you.

That said, it's also not a good idea to label him, especially if he has already made it clear that he hates being labelled. Instead of saying "see, you are controlling" or "you're being controlling AGAIN," why not just talk about the specific behavior of the moment -- "Please don't tell me what to do, I don't like it" or whatever the behavior is that you see as controlling?

If someone had decided that I had a personality flaw, and every time I did something he didn't like he would say "you're being XXXX again!" it would make me pretty angry and defensive, and frankly I would look for examples of him doing something that could be labelled the same way. You need to talk about what he DOES, not make negative blanket statements about who he IS.

Again, none of this makes it OK for him to yell or swear -- that's just not all right to do to your partner.

I think this is terrific advice for a relationship that is at its core healthy and respectful, but I don't think it translates well into the context of an abusive relationship. The regular rules, in general, are pretty useless in abusive relationships because the abuser just uses them to control his partner.
OP, he is gaslighting you, and the conversations that you're describing are a complete and total mindgame on his part. I totally remember that feeling, going round and round in circles in an argument and nothing making any sense. It was awful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,282 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by Katwoman View Post
Have you ever thought that perhaps you think he's a good person deep down because you believe all people are good deep down? I know that sounds like a ridiculous question, but I was - sincerely - in my 30's before I realized that people are well and truly different. There really are people that have no "good deep down" parts to them. There really are people that enjoy being miserable. There really are people that hate and treat others with contempt, and it makes them happy. If you are just projecting what kind person you are onto him, you're spinning your wheels.

I know this seems out of the blue, but it was really helpful to me to discover people are really different - not just say the words or think I believe people are different. But really know to my core that people really are different and there really are people in the world that aren't nice. That was really helpful to me and I'm just wondering where you are on this.

By the way, understanding and acknowledging that he only has the ability to do so much - whether it's his background or his physical limitations - is okay. In fact, it does both of you a great favor to realize neither of you suck, you're just not right for each other. (For the other readers, I don't want to get into a discussion about "yes he does suck". Because I have been reading along and realize what kind of situation she's in. BUT I think it's healthy to realize that if OP NEEDS xy and z to be happy and he can only offer lm and p. I don't think it's wrong to realize that it's mismatch, no matter who is more at fault. It's simply not going to work and torturing each other trying to make a round peg fit into a square hole is not really growing at all. It's just a struggle.)
: to all this. I'm in my late 30s and only now realizing that not everyone is nice somewhere deep down. I'm also realizing that, no matter how much I might want it to work, some relationships are just not going to work.

Quote:

Originally Posted by *MamaJen* View Post
I think this is terrific advice for a relationship that is at its core healthy and respectful, but I don't think it translates well into the context of an abusive relationship. The regular rules, in general, are pretty useless in abusive relationships because the abuser just uses them to control his partner.
OP, he is gaslighting you, and the conversations that you're describing are a complete and total mindgame on his part. I totally remember that feeling, going round and round in circles in an argument and nothing making any sense. It was awful.
: to all this, too. I've been following the OP's posts for a while and there is no way this is a healthy relationship in which the "normal" rules apply. He is gaslighting and trying to go back to his old ways.



Good luck.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,916 Posts
I agree with the previous posters who say he is gaslighting you. He is continuing the cycle. Maybe before this argument you were feeling comfortable like being in a "honeymoon period", and he felt it was time to shake you up a bit. When you are being gaslighted there isn't much you can say or do to change things because everything, every word is just more fuel for his attack on you. Being nicer, more politically correct when he wanted to fight just caused him to switch tactics and find another way to incite me. Of course, like all abusers, he made it clear it was my fault for getting him upset.


Please, make a plan and find the place where you draw the line. I didn't want to give up on DD's father, but for me there came a point where I decided I couldn't let her watch him destroy me any longer. And I couldn't put my love for him before her need to have a fighting chance at having healthy relationships for the rest of her life.

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,309 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
I'm still trying to not give up on my marriage... (I know I know)... but I do know that deep down DH is a good person... he just never learned the tools to be a healthy functioning person thanks to his craptastic parents. I do firmly beleive he is honestly really trying, which is keeping me around at the moment.

Stop making excuses for him. Just how craptastic were his parents? Did you see them parent him? Does he have any normal siblings? Don't blame his parents, don't blame yourself. He is who he is. And if he doesn't want to change, he WON'T change.

He WANTS you to believe that he is the way he is b/c of his parents. He has excuses for everything right? Bad parents DO NOT create an abuser. Have you read the book I recommended? It's worth it. ESPECIALLY if you plan on staying.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,213 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by thyra View Post
Stop making excuses for him. Just how craptastic were his parents? Did you see them parent him? Does he have any normal siblings? Don't blame his parents, don't blame yourself. He is who he is. And if he doesn't want to change, he WON'T change.

He WANTS you to believe that he is the way he is b/c of his parents. He has excuses for everything right? Bad parents DO NOT create an abuser. Have you read the book I recommended? It's worth it. ESPECIALLY if you plan on staying.
Actually, he doesn't blame his parents... he is just starting to realize in counseling how he was treated could possibly have made him the way he is.

I have not seen them "parent" him first hand but have seen how they have treated him as an adult and have heard the horror stories from his childhood, not just from him, but from his UAV parents bragging about it.

And no... none of his siblings function well.
His sister is with an abuser, deadbeat who refuses to keep a job and has been in and out of jail for non-payment of support.

His one brother has very warped views on love and thrives on putting people down.

His other brother is in and out of jail for beating up his girlfriends.

I know for fact that DH's Father hit him in alcholic rages all througout groing up.

His Stepdad abused the hell out of him verbally, as well as physically... made him kneel in fish stones for hours at a time for punishment, trim the entire backyard with a pair of scissors.

His Stepdad abuses his Mom. She tried to leave him once... and he tracked her down and repeatedly slashed her tires and beat her till she came home.

His Mom never ever stood up to her UAV husband and let him abuse her children... and it continued into adulthood. We lived their briefly and when we were trying to move out DH's stepdad changed the locks so we couldn't get our things out of the house, we had to call the cops and get them involved. And because we wanted to move out... they decided we were scum and have not spoken to us in over two years (good riddance I say).

DH's Dad has been sober since DH graduated high school... but he is still off and will randomly just pick fights wtih DH and stop talking to him for months at a shot for any silly reason he can think of.

Beleive me... it's not making up excuses for DH... he literally did not have a snowballs chance in hell to not have issues with how his family is. It is really really sad.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,234 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
His Mom never ever stood up to her UAV husband and let him abuse her children.(
Please, don't let your kids say this about you.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Beleive me... it's not making up excuses for DH... he literally did not have a snowballs chance in hell to not have issues with how his family is. It is really really sad.

I used to be a "fixer" with guys, I always ended up with the broken ones, and this was always my mindset. But after I had my son, I had this revelation: I don't HAVE to stay with the broken guys. Even if they are broken, it's not my responsibility to fix them. And even if it's not their fault that they're so messed up, it still doesn't mean that I need to let them into my life. It is perfectly acceptable to just say, I'm sorry for what happened to you, but I don't want to deal with you. Whether or not it's their fault, the end result -- hurting you and your children -- is still the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,838 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
I'm still trying to not give up on my marriage... (I know I know)... but I do know that deep down DH is a good person... he just never learned the tools to be a healthy functioning person thanks to his craptastic parents. .
This is going to happen to your daughter if she grows up seeing the way her father treats you and her, and your tacit approval of it by staying.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top