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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...

Lauren59 Sun 18-Apr-21 02:41:32

So many on here with similar experiences! I, too lived that life until ten years ago when we finally divorced. I live alone now and I don’t need or want another man. It’s nice to live without hostility and constant criticism. I wish you well in the future.

Lita4two Wed 14-Apr-21 17:31:37

We currently living in AZ going on a year. My husband hates it here and hates his job. We came here so that I can help my daughter(his step daughter) with her 2 boys for child care. She recently divorced. My husband hates that I don’t work and I’m home to watch the boys, he is so bitter. Recently he demanded that I get a job and not watch the my grandkids, because he wants to move out of AZ. He states he feels suicidal and if stated if anything happens he’ll let everyone know it was my fault. I feel sick to my stomach I love my only daughter and would move the world for her and my grandsons. Is this common in blended families?

Ydoc Wed 14-Apr-21 16:12:45

I am positive my husband has a personality disorder but how tp get help? Especially as he eould deny it. I managed to get the dr to arrange a memory clinic zoom call ladt week after waiting 3 months it was so disappointing. The rediculous questions were not to do with memory loss. But they are arranging a brain scan, maybe something will show up there? God i really hope so.

Ydoc Wed 14-Apr-21 16:09:20

I am 62 in a couple of weeks and thinking the sane as you. I lost mum 4years ago and grief turned to depression. I can not shake it off. I have bursts of activity, i always do everything that needs doing. But i have times when i throw myself into a diy project but i know im only masking things. Its like putting a sticking plaster over the real problems. Today yet again for no reason hes having one of his moods. I call it that but its far stranger than that. I suspect he didnt have a drink for a few hours which has a very strange effect on him. Weird stares at me, muttering i could go on. This may not sound much but i loathe it. Oh yes tv on 24/7.i feel his strange behaviour is causing me to live a strange life. He does absolutely nothing apart from having a wash. Makes a big deal of cutting his finger nails! I would manage financially for food etc but there would not be enough to buy two houses no matter how small. So i feel stuck.

Sparkling Sat 10-Apr-21 06:39:57

Not ignoring your feelings Ziggy,I really don’t know what to say, they have both left, it must be difficult for you, try to do things to make you feel happier, get your life in order, make the house the way you want it and take small steps from there.

Sparkling Sat 10-Apr-21 06:34:29

I feel for you it’s not an easy thing walking away from a marriage and restarting again, I don’t think my nerves would stand the walking on eggshells, I would probably go, but will you have enough money to live on, where could you live, have you got people to support you? I would confide in someone close how you are really feel and how he makes you feel and see if how it’s possible to restart again, someone outside tge situation can often clarify problems. Take free advice from a solicitor to your legal situation., re money etc. Good luck you deserve more.

Zizzy Sat 10-Apr-21 04:04:38

Hi I’m new, here and have so much to say, I’m so confused and in dyer straights! First of all I’m riddled with various health issues and currently trying to get answers to my issues....been married for 38yrs but I’m alone I’m this marriage! I have a adult child daughter that just had a baby 7 mos ago. Before her pregnancy she asked if her and her husband could move in for a short time “less than one year “ well it lasted 2 1/2mos. Due to her attitude, I honestly did not know who she was anymore! She asked me to go on a trip with her driving & whilst driving to our destination I say it was about a 3 hour drive, mind you with my health etc.I know I probably should have been not smoking at the time but I was , I asked her if we could stop while she gets gas and I take a puff or two. She went off on me like no other, telling me my behavior was unacceptable and when we get to our air BNB I need to act a certain way to impress I guess?! Mind you this was a daughter that was so so close to me we did everything together. Anyway she was silent the whole weekend she mingled with her friends on the way home she did not stop for a break I was in tears in so much pain and she would not Pull over! I was so so shocked with the way she was treating me! So When we got home I told my husband it’s either me or her I was done! This wasn’t the only occasion! Of courSe my husband sided with her! He’s done that for years! So they moved out! They live close not to far! And I’ve quit smoking by the way! So I don’t understand it’s like egg shells every time she never recognizes my bday or Mother’s Day etc! Now that my precious baby girl was born she uses here to her to get to me, Her father can do no wrong! I’m fed up I’m hurt I’m tired this is just a little of what she has put me through since her sophomore year! I’m at my wits end...what do I do! Right now I don’t want to be around it but I think of that baby! I have 2 more daughters one is just a sweet angel always has been! The other well she was adopted “open” and her and my youngest between the two have the same feelings she’s 10years older than my youngest the one I have trouble with but those two are real real close!! Was never that way! Which I’m happy but could their be some of her hurt pit onto my daughter that I raised??!! Please help!!! I’m going mad!

madeleine45 Wed 07-Apr-21 06:51:18

More than 40 years ago I was married to a man 12 years older than me who was very clever at undermining me an putting me in the wrong whenever he could. Today it would be seen as coercive control. I have a degree and am seen as efficient and organised in business matters but with him , it was dreadful. He was able to wrong foot me at every turn. for example when I cooked a complete meal for 40 people including making apple strudel and the christening cake for my sons christening , he gave no praise or acknowledgement for what I had managed to do but when I said I had seen a smart dress in a sale for the day he said I could have made one much cheaper!! After a time we went to work abroad and so I knew no one there and all mail came through the firm , no mobile phones there. He then totally ignored me and did not speak to me at all unless someone came to the house . It was so devious, but the thing that made me realize that I had to leave was seeing my son watching how different he was with and without visitors and after much thought and anguish I managed to get back to england with my son. He threatened to kill me and to have my son kidnapped but of course never in writing. Silent phone calls in the middle of the night etc etc but I stuck to it and divorced him. It took me some years to feel any self esteem and to trust anyone else but I met and married a wonderful man who was a marvellous stepfather to my son and showed him how decent men behaved. He died 4 years ago but I had 33 wonderful years with him, never very much money but that did not matter . a marvellous man and we were very happy together and I took several years to let myself trust anyone due to my first husbands attitude. I ended up feeling anxious and frightened every time I heard his key in the lock. It is not worth it and you will never be able to get a man like that to change his attitude unless he truly realizes how manipulative and bullying he is. Not likely to happen and if it was me I would go, and get a life for myself . I wasted 11 years on my first husband but the balance is so much to the good when you compare the life I had after leaving him. It is not whether you have anyone else it is feeling ok with yourself. Can I suggest that you get two pieces of paper and on one write things that you enjoy and on the other things that you do not like. fold them over each time you add something to the list and put them away. Then after a few weeks when you are feeling positive and have time to yourself look at the lists. Group together things such as enjoy being outside, and like gardening, and dont like being in a crowd and dont like shopping malls. You may already be very aware what you enjoy or not, but seeing it written out can sometimes show you a way to go, so with the above example you might think of doing gardening as a job. We all have good and bad points. doing this allows you to see the good points as well as the bad . Then if you have a trusted friend you might ask them if this view of yourself is what they see. This can give you a new slant on yourself and make you realize that you are better than he ever gives you credit for. Then you could do some practical things such as looking into your financial affairs and perhaps going to citizens advice bureau or looking on line to find out things like your entitlement to part of a pension pot in a settlement in a divorce. I did not think or know about these things and my ex hid a great deal of money and cheated me out of shares of things putting money into his mothers name etc. But I didnt care I got away, but these days I would have been more savvy. Look about to see what you enjoy doing and if there is some classes or courses you might join. It will all help your self esteem and get you thinking what you might choose to do. Just spending a few hours in a classroom where everyone is learning and no one is putting you down or insulting you is very helpful and makes you realize that you are a normal person and it is not down to you to spend your life tiptoeing about to keep him happy. Whatever you do I wish you good luck. One more thing, if you do leave write yourself a letter stating why you are leaving, the treatment you have had from him and what you hope for. Keep that so that when , as will probably happen, he comes promising you to change and all things will be good etc. you can look at that letter and any diary you have kept over the time to remind you what is real and not fake promises. Unless he actually starts to accept his behaviour is selfish and bullying and controlling nothing will alter. Leopard and spots come to mind. All the very best and you deserve a life of peace and calmness as does anyone. To live constantly in a tense and worried way is bad for your health and happiness. I am never sad I left my husband and my son is a very well adjusted and decent man thanks to my lovely second husband who was a great father and role model for him. It is your life, and you are entitled to live it in any way you wish to as long as you are not harming anyone else.

trooper7133 Sat 03-Apr-21 20:06:53

Definitely leave before he becomes ill and dependent. You will feel an obligation to stay then and could be trapped for many years.

Ilovecheese Fri 02-Apr-21 15:53:44

If he has been like this for 16 years I don't think dementia is likely to be the cause.

maryelizabethsadler Fri 02-Apr-21 14:16:35

Could your husband have/be starting with dementia? His behaviour sounds very like that of a friend's husband, who has had a diagnosis. Why not talk to your GP? He probably won't comment on your husband because of patient confidentiality but hopefully he will listen, and maybe find some pretext to call him up or invite him into the surgery? You have my sympathy -love and God bless...

Santana Fri 02-Apr-21 09:17:28

You have so much good advice on here, and I hope you have the courage to leave once you are certain that is what you want to do.
My only extra advice would be to hold firm and not go back no matter how much pressure you are put under.
I helped my sister leave twice, and both times she returned, and is still with this odious man. True there were other terrible things to consider because he was, and still would be, a sexual predator. I like to think the reason she went back was to protect the grandaughters, but I honestly think she was just weak.
So if you go, don't look back.

nanna8 Fri 02-Apr-21 02:28:29

One in our family is in a situation like this and I just wish she would leave but she just puts up with it and, to my mind, enables it. It makes me sick but I realise how hard it is to leave after many years together and the constant undermining. All I can say is, do it, leave and live the rest of your life in peace and freedom.

GrannyRose15 Fri 02-Apr-21 01:05:47


*GrannyRose15*, a personality disorder can be helped although it probably depends on which disorder. Emotional Dysregulation is also known as Borderline Personality and it can be assisted with mood stabilising drugs and CBT. However, it does rely on the sufferer realising that they are the ones struggling which doesn't always happen. To them, the feelings they have are valid so they don't realise that they are in fact being abusive.

Lack of recognition that they have the problem is a real barrier to any treatment. Meanwhile the ones who suffer are those closest to one with the personality disorder. It can take many years to realise that however hard you try you are not going to stop this person from causing havoc in your life. I talk from bitter experience.

My advice is still to leave before he can do any more damage

olddudders Thu 01-Apr-21 10:36:58

One of the problems that often faces a wife when she wants to leave is the unfamiliarity of the mechanics of life. In many relationships the man, as well as often being the major - or only - breadwinner, also looks after financial affairs, including mortgage, taxes, utility contracts and bills and so on, so the certainty that these need to be faced if she becomes single can be daunting.Thus seeking financial advice to ensure these can all be covered is an essential stage of deciding to get out.

My new-ish wife, who posts on GN, was certainly nervous for the first few months of living in her new flat, simply due to the novelty of being responsible for all this stuff. Her ex (you might well ask why she would trade in a perfectly decent PhD husband of 43 years for a widower with nothing more than a couple of crummy A-levels, but such is love) had taken care of all such matters effortlessly. In fact she quickly found her teacher's pension plus a couple of other small incomes more than met her needs, but not every lady is so fortunate.

The practicalities of living alone are not to be trivialised - but they may well be within your grasp. Confidence in that key aspect of your potential future would at least allow you to concentrate on the immediate and pressing decision.

icanhandthemback Wed 31-Mar-21 23:26:39

GrannyRose15, a personality disorder can be helped although it probably depends on which disorder. Emotional Dysregulation is also known as Borderline Personality and it can be assisted with mood stabilising drugs and CBT. However, it does rely on the sufferer realising that they are the ones struggling which doesn't always happen. To them, the feelings they have are valid so they don't realise that they are in fact being abusive.

Atqui Wed 31-Mar-21 20:07:28

Yes Do it. Don’t fritter your life away like I have done. There’s an awful lot of broken eggshells around here.

Nanananana1 Wed 31-Mar-21 18:16:25

Every year is valuable at any time of life but especially when so many have been stolen from you.
Treasure your years, they are all precious and not to be wasted on anyone who doesn't appreciate you
Everyone is right saying get financial advice set up first, make sure you are stable financially then have a few 'safe places' and friends where you can retreat if things get tough
I walked away from an abusive relationship many years ago and am glad I had a plan first because the situation did worsen as the separation took a while to resolve itself
Good luck, you can do this, you will be fine

luluaugust Wed 31-Mar-21 16:12:55

You do deserve more, just make sure you have got paperwork together and hopefully seen a Solicitor or CAB and then leave.Good luck. flowers

Madwoman11 Wed 31-Mar-21 11:27:29

Welcome to the group Suzie

Lesley60 Wed 31-Mar-21 11:26:29

Ahh this must be making your life so miserable, if you still love him I would try counselling, but if you don’t I would leave and rebuild your life.
Make sure you claim half of what’s legally yours, I know money and possessions can’t make you happy but it helps when you are building a new life from scratch and you contributed to your home so it’s only right and fair you have half.
Good luck 💐

Yorki Wed 31-Mar-21 11:08:33

Dawnwise1.... I don't think love comes into it. He's a narcissist whether she loves him or not, he doesn't love her.. This poor lady needs to get out. Its obvious she can't take it anymore.

Bumboseat1 Wed 31-Mar-21 09:23:33

Sounds like he controlling you. I would do the same too him

Kryptonite Wed 31-Mar-21 05:30:13

How many women, I wonder, feel they have to stay in these situations because they need a roof over their heads? Seems there is more support and understanding these days, thankfully.

Yorki Wed 31-Mar-21 02:45:52

Sue110... It sounds like typical " gas lighting" behaviour. It messes your head up, to make you feel like your going crazy. Your fighting a losing battle, you'll not win against a narcissist, you need to get out, he will make everything seem like your fault, but let him, do what's right for you. Google " narcissist, and gaslighting" if this sounds like your husband, you'll be warned of what to do via these sites.