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Walking on Eggshells

(144 Posts)
Sue110 Tue 30-Mar-21 00:07:36

I’ve been tiptoeing around my husbands moods for 16 years & was wondering if anyone else is dealing with this kind of personality? Some examples...
If I say something he doesn’t like he blanks me for days at a time. Or I may say something he doesn’t agree with he flies into a verbally explosive rage at me. If I’ve annoyed him & we are with friends, he blanks me whilst chatting to them as if everything’s ok. At other times he is often kind & pleasant. I never know where I stand with him. I’m 65 & am at the point of leaving... this is a huge decision as I’m now retired... but I feel I deserve more... there is so much more I could tell you...

spabbygirl Tue 30-Mar-21 10:42:33

Sue I feel for you, I echo what the others have said though. I might try to talk it through with him depending on how I thought he'd handle that, sometimes people just shout and block you and it doesn't work. You'll know best about that but I send you all my love and hugs for the future xx

jaylucy Tue 30-Mar-21 10:42:56

Seek legal advice, get everything divided up and leave.
It would be interesting for you to talk to someone that has known him for longer than you and find out if this childish behaviour is his normal behaviour or if you could put it down to possible health problems.
Whatever, if you are not happy, why stay ? You might think that you are the only one that is aware of the way he is, but I would guess that his friends and family have also noticed and are wondering how you put up with him!

Sashabel Tue 30-Mar-21 10:43:15

I got out of a very similar situation 6 years ago and have never looked back. Once he realised I was serious about ending the relationship he made all sorts of promises to change, but I knew he wouldn't and so I stuck to my guns. I love living on my own now and would never contemplate having another man in my life. I have a great family and lovely friends and I am not treading on eggshells whenever I am with them dreading what my ex might say or do. If you jointly own your property, get good legal advice. Don't just move out.
Good luck

Peff68 Tue 30-Mar-21 10:46:38

Definitely not good situation. One question though has he or would he agree to speak to a doctor as I had a friend who turned quite awful and turned out there was a non malignant brain tumour and once took out returned back to lovely self.

Larsonsmum Tue 30-Mar-21 10:47:47

Could your husband be on any medications which causes the clear mood swings, or be suffering chronic pain, (as you do say he can be kind and pleasant at times)?

Theoddbird Tue 30-Mar-21 10:48:13

Please leave or tell him to leave...let him be the one finding somewhere to live.

Nannabumble70 Tue 30-Mar-21 10:50:51

Get out, you will find someone who loves and respects you, life alone at first is better than being mentally battered. Do it!

Alison09 Tue 30-Mar-21 10:52:28

I have struggled with moods for most of my life. Now, on medication and able to have more control over my life, I am enjoying a much more stable existence. Is your husband still working ? Is he under more stress than he can deal with ? Is he anxious or depressed ? Will he go to a doctor and get help ?

undecided Tue 30-Mar-21 10:53:52

Go, Go, Go. I did the same when I was 60 and although nothing is free in this life I have never regretted it at all -
even if financially for a time you might be worse off the end result is worth every penny. We all only have one life and better you enjoy what time is left for you. Do get some advice first though as to best way to do it in order that you protect yourself.

Alioop Tue 30-Mar-21 10:57:33

Leave, I did. Fourteen years I took the same abuse, lived on my nerves, until I felt like driving my car into a quarry lorry one day that was coming towards me. The best thing I did was leave, my confidence is back, I live alone and I manage really well. Don't live a miserable life, we get one shot at it, enjoy it.

CleoPanda Tue 30-Mar-21 10:58:09

So many supportive responses here.
The questions I would ask are:
Do I still love him?
Do I want the marriage to continue? Is it worth trying to salvage via discussion, confrontation or counselling. Involving a third party sometimes shocks the person into realising just how bad their behaviour has been.
Whatever your decision, check out your legal rights first. Get yourself into a strong position, either to stay or go.
It’s your life, wellbeing, mental health, happiness etc that’s at stake here. You need to take control in whichever direction you decide is right for you. A marriage should be a mutual sharing of good things. When the balance is tipped to cause unnecessary unhappiness to one, the marriage is breaking and needs repair or ending.

CurlyMops Tue 30-Mar-21 10:58:53

Aww Sue, my heart goes out to you. I was in a relationship which sounds just like yours for 18 years. He wouldn't listen to me, and when I asked why he did this he said "Maybe if I was a bit more selective in what I talked about, then maybe he'd listen". Anyway, later I was doing the Domestic Abuse Helpline training, and they handed us a sheet about mental abuse. My jaw dropped. He was doing all those things on it, and I hadn't realised that was what it was. It's because they are so clever. They do it in a way which causes you to think that it's YOU who are at fault. Every now and then they are nice, which messes with your head, and you wonder if you're over reacting. Sometimes it can be a dangerous time when a women leaves, and so I would be tempted to look at the Domestic Abuse site for advice (do so safely) and then you'll have all the information you need to do it safely. I left my husband 22 years ago and have never for one second regretted it. Yes, life is lonely, but I'd rather be alone than live with someone like that ever again. Plus who knows, one day I'll meet a nice man with lots of tool boxes who will plop in to my life and we can enjoy life without mind games. Good Luck grin)

Bilboben Tue 30-Mar-21 11:02:18

He is desperately unhappy and depressed rather like you. He attempts to get through each day, sometimes well sometimes not. As you both feel like this why not have a grown up 65 year old conversation and agree in way you can separate and not perpetuate this mutual misery.

Sadgrandma Tue 30-Mar-21 11:02:46

Sue110, I am so sorry to hear about your problems, your life must be very miserable. However, I would urge you not to just walk out without checking where you would stand financially. Do you jointly own your house, do you have joint savings? The best advice I can give you is to talk to your local Citizens Advice. They will be able to do a, what's called, a 'What if' check that will tell you what benefits you may be able to claim as a single person and will also be able to give you advice on separation and divorce. You can also find information on their website
I hope this helps

dogsmother Tue 30-Mar-21 11:03:33

Step away and gather your self.
You are worth so much more than this. Self respect first and foremost and he should be respectful of your and life too.
Anything that comes after can be regrouped. Go for it.

Dylant1234 Tue 30-Mar-21 11:03:45

If you’re in good health then 65 is still very young, inasmuch as you could have a good 20 - 35 years of life ahead of you. Good advice on here to check out your financial position but then get out of there ASAP. Enjoy the rest of your life!

Newatthis Tue 30-Mar-21 11:05:45

You do deserve more - go, go go - you are still young enough to do so even though it might seem daunting. Seek legal help with regards to finances and don't waste anymore time, plan your exit carefully - life is far too short and you deserve better,

Stillwaters Tue 30-Mar-21 11:07:12

I left after 40 years - huge leap of faith and very scary.
But I've never regretted it for one second and for the first time in my life I feel calm.

b1zzle Tue 30-Mar-21 11:12:14

Walking away is never easy. It was the hardest thing I ever did, but at the age of 70 I knew that I had to live the years I had left for me and not him. I had given my all - emotionally, financially, mentally but it was never enough.

Yes, there have been times when I've cried for my home, and then I remember the price I paid to pay for it ...

inishowen Tue 30-Mar-21 11:13:03

If you're brave enough to leave, go for it.

Startingover61 Tue 30-Mar-21 11:18:00

What is it with some men that they think they can behave like this? Like other posters, I’ve been there. Now into my fifth year of being on my own after many years as a wife. Wouldn’t go back to being married. I’ve got to know myself over the years I’ve been alone and I absolutely love the freedom I now have. In your shoes - and I put up with my then husband’s behaviour for much too long - I’d get some legal advice and start planning how you want to spend the rest of your life. And don’t fall for comments such as ‘I’m nothing without you’, or tears, etc. (I did before I eventually divorced him.) Let us know what you decide to do.

Quaver22 Tue 30-Mar-21 11:23:43

I’m so sorry for you Sue . 16 years is a very long time to live with someone you do not feel at ease with. Life is short and we all deserve to enjoy it. I don’t want to give you advice but I know from my own experience that living without a man in your life can be liberating ! Good Luck !

LinkyPinky Tue 30-Mar-21 11:33:39

This is classic Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder behaviour. It’s a nightmare. You have my sympathies. Get out if you can. If you can’t, try to have an RAF (Running Away Fund) so you can at least get some temporary respite sometimes.

Susieboo58 Tue 30-Mar-21 11:40:51

Don’t hesitate anymore and leave him . He is mentally abusing you . Enjoy your new chapter , you will have lots of years ahead to make new plans and live without worrying what will happen next . Good luck

icanhandthemback Tue 30-Mar-21 11:42:48

How very wearing for you and emotionally destructive. It sounds like your husband may have a personality disorder but unless he is prepared to do something about it, you must protect your own mental health.
I would strongly urge you to take legal advice, start an escape fund if you have no money on your own and take copies of anything to do with his or joint finances. The trouble with dealing with anybody with this sort of problem is that they can be brutal in a divorce situation so you need to get your ducks in a row.
I really wish you the best of luck and hope you manage to work things out swiftly so you can start to lead a more emotionally settled life.