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    • #169663

      Hello, first post here having just joined after a difficult weekend with my husband. Following several more difficult weeks, months, years, (detail removed by Moderator).
      I am currently a SAHM with 2 kids in (detail removed by Moderator) school. For context, I am in a rut in terms of what to do with a career as I want to retrain but finding it hard to sustain something as I need to do it around the kids – I am almost solely responsible for them and always have been, without any outside assistance (husband does the occasional bedtime/weekend activity) and household chores and the rest (then caring on sick days, holidays, etc). During those early years it was 100% me – he was making the money, the kids were my responsibility.

      Husband is unhappy with me and prepared to leave if I don’t change. All his friends have partners who have purpose (a job/career) and he’s fed up with me because I haven’t picked myself back up after full time parenting and found myself a purpose beside parenting the kids.
      His ongoing gripes with me include: being cold toward him, not instigating sex, not having a routine, (sometimes) going out for coffee with friends after school drop (he’s now banned me from doing this during school hours), not coming up with financial initiatives, not having changed since we met (detail removed by Moderator) years ago.
      There is a big gap in our marriage in that he makes the money therefore he decides how it will be spent. I asked for a gym membership, he said no. I have to ask before I book the kids into activities, buying presents, etc. (detail removed by Moderator) he told me he wanted the credit cards back but (detail removed by Moderator) later he returned them to me.
      I’m trying not to victimise myself and attempting to look at my situation objectively: I understand his frustrations, that he has a wife who has lost her spark and doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it, its affecting our relationship and isn’t bringing money in to boot. I am working toward getting out of my rut, but its not overnight and he’s not seeing results quick enough.

      I say his treatment of me is subtle because he’s great at lip service. He says he loves me and supports me -but then he micromanages me and puts me down. But he also looks at me “lovingly” and provides for me and the kids, works hard and I should be grateful.
      He thinks he could easily do what I do, but he doesn’t ACTUALLY do what I do. Although the way he talks I wonder if he is in fact correct and I’m spoilt, living this “madame” life while he works like a “c***.

      He’s more energetic than I am, he is a wizz in the kitchen and a great host: we often have people over and they think he’s fantastic and how lucky I am. But I just feel second-rate, underperforming and rather pathetic. I don’t think I am; but the evidence seems to suggest otherwise.

      Lastly, I provide all the non-financial support: I am there every single morning and evening so he is free to live the life he wants. I seldom go out and when I do, sometimes get pushback.I pick up the pieces (like many mums) when anyone (including him) throws a tantrum. Not to say I don’t throw one from time to time but I’m generally the one to have to keep it together.

      I am looking for clarity, perspective. Is this solely my doing, ending up with the relationship in its current state by my inability to find purpose and provide for myself? Or is there evidence of abuse? Am I being abusive toward my husband by letting him (forcing him to?) bear the brunt of our finances?

      Anyone who can give me some input; shared experiences, etc, I’d be most grateful.
      Thank you.

    • #169667

      This isn’t subtle abuse at all, there’s an awful lot of very common tactics here and you can tell it’s escalated over time. Banning you from going for a coffee for example is control, nothing to do with money worries by sounds of it just pure control & power.

      You can’t rebuild yourself in that environment. They’re also masters of performing infront of guests but remember those guests only see him for a few hours, they don’t see the real him. Also ‘everyone’ has a full time working career partner who also looks after the kids…no they don’t, this method of comparing you to imaginary ideals is another tactic of abuse.

      Look up Lundy Bancroft’s book ‘why does he do that’ – can find free pdfs online or buy a copy, and I guarantee you’ll see a lot more of his behaviour is abusive of nature. It’s not your fault, partners shouldn’t be like him x

      • #169698

        Thank you for your response. I realise it hasn’t been subtle at all. I’ve just been feeling confused because it’s not constant. We come through and things are good for awhile, he seems like a really loving and supportive husband: I forget everything and move forward. Until the next time.
        Appreciate you pointing me to Lundy Bancroft, I’m reading it now and am grateful for this resource xx

      • #169704

        It’s a cycle of abuse, a tactic in itself because if they were always nasty we’d leave but by dangling the carrot of being nice & loving we forgive them and keep trying. Look into cognitive dissonance too – our brains trick us to think ‘oh it’s not that bad, he was tired/stressed or whatever’ to downplay the abuse. You’ll see it said a lot on here but once the rose tinted glasses start to drop you’ll probably see more and more of what he does isn’t good, even the nice bits x

      • #169705

        Yes I know what you mean. I’ve been reading Lundy and feeling massively disconcerted at all the “positive” stuff he’s said and done – realising it was for his benefit rather than mine.
        I feel like an idiot that I’ve let it go on for so long and he’s gotten away with so much s**t.

      • #169733

        Be kind to yourself. You’re a kind, loving person who saw the best in someone and gave them every support possible. He’s the idiot! They’re so broken no matter how much you give it’s never enough x

      • #169739

        Thank you so much! This sounds like something a friend would tell me xx

    • #169683

      I second reading Lundy Bancrofts book. My husbands abuse is also incredibly subtle but that book helped to give me the language I needed to describe what he was doing to me.

      I’m a SAHM and my husband has given me money whenever I have asked but…he also asks what I have spent it on once I ask him for more. He has never told me I can’t see friends but exclaims how impossible it is for him to handle the kids without me unless I have laid everything out for him. When I come home he is such fowl form that I never want to go again. How do you explain that to someone?? How do you tell people that it is because of his demeanor and tone of voice that I don’t see my friends anymore?

      I also see reflections of my life because my husband also said for a long time that I was “doing nothing” at home with our kids and couldn’t understand why the house wasn’t clean. He even called me abusive because he said an untidy house was anxiety inducing for him and me not keeping it clean was abusive towards him.

      I lost myself in motherhood in the most beautiful way and I don’t regret one second. I have my kids full time and will likely home educate. I’m in the process of leaving and I can’t wait to be doing it without feeling paralysed and suffocated by his moods.

      It’s likely that you are none of the things he is claiming you are except that you are a victim of abuse and there’s nothing that sucks energy out of someone more than that.

      Wishing you all the best. You deserve SO MUCH BETTER THAN THAT!! X

      • #169699

        Thank you for sharing that. Love how you say you lost yourself in motherhood. I feel the same way in many ways (but don’t have the patience to homeschool!) – maybe we have found ourselves in motherhood instead 😉
        Hope you are ok in your marriage, if you’re still together. Can I ask how you reconcile it? I came across an article about “quiet quitting” a marriage and wondering how it works.

        Thank you for your support, and yes I feel very depleted. No wonder I’m on the proverbial floor.

    • #169692

      I would say that what you have described isn’t subtle abuse, he is controlling you, belittling you… I did have a career when I met my husband.. then we had children and it was expected that I stop work as his business brought in more money…which wasn’t true.. he was able to build his business because I had no choice but be a SAHM… I was expected to wait on him, cook, clean, have sex whenever he wanted (otherwise I was cold, accused of not loving him). He resented me seeing mum friends.. he created an environment which made me emotionally and physically ill..

      He will continue to make you feel useless, not good enough and you will not be able to do anything to change this as he will keep moving the goalposts so that you always feel not good enough. These tactics he is using will chip away at your self worth, confuse you and generally keep you feeling rubbish, as that makes him feel powerful (control).

      Him banning you to from having a coffee is all about control…you’re an adult, you can have coffee with whoever you want, it doesn’t impact him and he is able to switch off whilst at work from the constant needs of children, he isn’t your keeper but he feels entitled to make these irrational demands.

      He wants you to feel 2nd rate to him.

      Lundy books are helpful.

      Keep posting
      HFH ❤️

      • #169700

        Thank you HFH. A lot of what you said sounds very familiar. How are you now?
        I appreciate your support and clarity xx

    • #169812

      I am some years out now… I had to use the grey rock method towards the end so as to stop being drawn back in and that helped me.  I have had counselling, attended courses… life is better for me and my children as we live without that tension (it made us all ill).

      My children are older now and they understand that their father is abusive.  They have learnt about DA and what to look out for in their own relationships (which I am relieved about).


      My ex husband made a lot of noise about seeing his children,  I didn’t stop him (except when he threatened suicide, another tactic).  He has abandoned them and moved on to his next supply.  I am relieved as all those feelings I had, I was so unsure how to trust myself but I did eventually trust myself and I was right.


      How are you?

      HFH ❤️

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