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Is my husband controlling, manipulative, and/or abusive?


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Here is some background on our relationship...(this is going to be long)


My husband and I have been together for 5 1/2 year now, married for almost 2, and have an 8 month old daughter. We moved in with each other within about 10 months of meeting and started going to therapy only a few months after moving in together. We would argue constantly, there would be yelling, crying, etc. A couple of times there was physical stuff. Before I start, I should note that I took full responsibility for the times I got physical and I got help and have learned to control my anger. The first time anything physical happened between us, we were arguing and I tried to call my parents because I was afraid and wanted them to come pick me up. He grabbed me from behind and tried to take my phone away and was holding my hands. I tried to fight him off but couldn't and then bit his arm and he let go. The second time we were in the car and he was arguing with me putting me down and kept calling me a bi*** over and over and over again. I kept telling him to stop and he wouldn't and then I hit him in the arm 2 or three times crying and yelling at him that I wasn't. Well years went on, therapy went off and on. Any while it seemed like things would get better, every now and then things would just blow up. He is an angry person, just waiting to blow up at any little thing you might say that will set him off. Throughout our relationship before getting married there were other instances where he used his body to block me into small spaces like the bathroom, or grabbed me and held me to not let me walk away while he would yell at me. On several of those occasions I would either hit his chest or arm trying to get away. Most of the physical stuff stopped until we were married and then I got pregnant. It was a planned pregnancy, but you would think not by the way his attitude changed. We would fight constantly. I once playfully hit his arm in a store because he made a remark about another woman and when we got into the car out of nowhere he hit me as hard as he could on my arm. On another instance he was yelling at me putting me down, telling me how much our unborn baby would hate me, and I went to the other room and lied on the bed to try to escape him. Well he came into the room and uncovered me, took my blanket and pillow, yelled at me to get up and when I wouldn't he tried pulling me off of the bed by my legs. Another time I was getting my debit card out of his wallet (because he had taken it from me the week before when we were arguing and he didn't want me to leave so thought taking my card would do the trick), and he grabbed me from behind and I tripped on our dog and almost fell on my stomach. Our dog also yelped because he got stepped on and I was so angry because I thought what if that was our baby girl years from then. Fast forward to last month, we were arguing again in the car as we often do because he was mad about who knows what... I kept trying to tell him to stop yelling and just let it be because our daughter was asleep and kept tossing and turning almost waking up because how loud he was being. He wouldn't stop. Once we got home I put our baby in the room and tried to lay with her but he kept yelling and told me he'd stop if I went out to the living room to talk to him. I did for a while but then couldn't take the scolding anymore and I told him I was just going to go to bed. We co sleep with our daughter. When I went into the room he followed me and grabbed me arm trying to stop me but I kept walking into the room and lied on the bed right next to our daughter. Then he told me if I was going to bed I didn't need my phone (which normally I keep bedside anyway) and he got on the bed behind me and wrestled with me to get the phone out of me hand with our daughter only being a few inches away from me. To me that was the last straw but then I thought it over and thought I should give him a chance to go to anger management and counseling. He said he didn't want to go to anger management but went to counseling. He has went twice now but hasn't scheduled a third, and both times we've gotten into an argument about his session because he's said things that make me feel like he's blaming me. For instance he said his therapist told him that if we went to couple's counseling they'd be able to tell easily if I had postpartum depression (he always says I must have PPD and that's why we're having issues). Some things that he has done in the past is put me down, yelled at me in front of our daughter, and made me feel very guilty about all sorts of things. Some of the things he has told me throughout our relationship is that I am stupid, dumb, good for nothing, a worthless wife, a bad mother, don't care about my daughter, I am selfish and don't make my daughter my priority, a bird brain, went to college for nothing, blahblahblah. I am a good mother, just ask anyone else who knows me. I am a SAHM and I have a side cake business that I am hardly ever busy with. I do everything with my daughter, and everything for her. I love her to death and she has never even spent more than an hour or 2 away from me and that has been RARE.


Things have been slightly better and I feel like he is working on things but my biggest concern right now is I am trying to decipher if he is still trying to control me. Here's some background on the issue I'm about to discuss...


Before our daughter was born we would spend time with my parents all the time. I have always been a huge family person and my family means everything to me. Since we dated my husband became part of the family because his family isn't very close (his parents are divorced and he hasn't seen his dad in years, like 10 years; even then he is not very close to his brother and mom). We lived with my parents for a couple of months after getting married and there were no conflicts. We got out own place later but he would even initiate calling my parents so we could hang out multiple times a week. Now that our daughter is born he cannot stand my mother. He says that she takes too many pictures of our daughter, and drives him crazy. I can kind of understand this because I cannot stand his mom, but really who is best friends with their mother in law? I stopped working when I was about 8 months pregnant and my mom and I would do everything together while my husband was at work. My mom is my best friend. We shop together, have lunch together, etc. Now that my daughter is born we still see each other almost everyday. I try to stay active with my daughter for my own sake and for hers because she hates being stuck indoors all day and it's easier with my mom because I have help and she always buys lunch and pays gas (besides being a great companion too She has said a couple of things to my husband to upset him unintentionally (like "oh you shouldn't tell her the thunder is scary" or "you should teach her how to swim early on") and he has blown up at me afterward telling me who does my mom think she is that she is obsessed with our daughter and just wants to control her. I disagree with him because my mom has always respected our rules and always asks before giving our daughter anything or doing anything with her even when I or we are in the same room. She even has to ask if she can hold her when we visit if he is there because he will get angry (however his mom will just grab her from me or push me out of the way and he doesn't see a problem with that). She is somewhat opinionated but has not been disrespectful to my husband nor has she tried to interfere with our parenting (except for strongly stating her opinion like stated above). Okay so there is the background, now my issue is that my husband does not want me seeing my mom but MAYBE once or twice a week. He always says its not fair because he claims my mom sees her more than he does. I don't think this is true because my daughter and I are at home whenever he is and we are always at his beck and call. He never wants to see my parents anymore (maybe on a rare occasion) and says my mom is just annoying and disrespectful and causing issues in our marriage. He always needs to know where I am going to be while he is at work, I am talking in great detail. And he gets mad every time I tell him I am going with my mom. I have not told him I was out shopping with my mom ("window shopping" I should note) on a couple occasions just to avoid an argument. He calls me like 10 times a day and gets upset when I don't answer the phone. Sometimes I will be nursing our daughter or putting her down for a nap and I miss his call, well then he will call 5-20 more times and when I miss all of those calls he will either be furious or at least extremely unforgiving and tells me I always have an excuse. He also (it feels like to me anyway) uses my daughter as an excuse to try to get me to stay home like telling me I should stay home all day because my daughter needs rest (but like I said she gets really cranky when she is just home all day AND I do always make sure she gets her naps) or telling me that I need to not go out because I am risking our daughter's life in a car accident. Also I should mention that I do always complete housework, laundry, errands, etc. and it's not like I go with my mom all day and ignore the house. I got slightly sidetracked, but overall I am wanting to figure out if my husband is being controlling and trying to manipulate me by trying to remove my mom from my life or does it seem there really is an issue with my mom and I am just so over concerned about past abuse and control issues that I am making one out of this?


Please help. I really want things to work out but I see that we're in an awful cycle and I need some sort of plan to either make sure it get's fixed (and not just temporarily like I think it might be now) or to get away before things really escalate and affect my daughter even more.


Thanks for reading.

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Run.. He is a Borderline and you are codependent. it is not fair to your daughter. That you choose to stay. Read a book called "splitting" Borderlines in the court. Prepare for battle. If you have ant self esteem left. Grab your boots and leave.

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wow, he sounds like a lovely man.. Look at it this way. say your daughter is older and hands you this in a letter. what would you tell her to do. Also, your daughter is going to grow up seeing all this and thats also going to affect her. I think you know what i think you should do. good luck.

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Lord have mercy...you are not overconcerned. I guess i am even surprised you are still together. when you get into a relationship with people who are not whole within themselves..this is what you can get.


He is who he is.. he doesnt understand himself, let alone relationships. Everything this man has done has been an example of a deeply troubled person..He didnt want you to leave, because your family has been his core..now that he has got his own..he is all about separating you from yours..as he is separated from his..


This story hasnt since long been about him anymore. Its about YOU. Its about you chosing for you and your children. a mother confident within herself to not put up with such bad behaviour from people who claim to love her. Not a minute, a day or years..


Selfesteem issues can create massive, massive problems..and one of the results are things you have been describing as your past and present experiences.. The good times are not what make the story of you and him. Its both the good and the horrific bad ones. To me the picture of your relationship is very obvious to me. and you are on a good path by putting it in writing. But your love addiction goes deep.


I do believe that you need someone to counsel you, but my guess is that you might have trouble paying for that. Or you could look for free counselling available in your community.


You already know the answer to your questions..you know it. You know this man is not right for you and has never been. But something is keeping you hooked..


You are suffering from deep love addiction. Go to the library and read about the topic. Maybe it will help you with some steps along the way. But counselling is needed i'm afraid.

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Thanks for your comments. It makes perfect sense that now that he has his own family he is trying to get me away from mine. He is always saying how he wants it to be just us. Like for Thanksgiving and Christmas, he is saying we need us time only. I am having to push for family time (on both of our sides). Maybe it's the family person in me, but who spends Thanksgiving alone in an apartment when you have your parents (on both sides) making big plans? He also is always telling me that I am HIS family now. Which yes is true, but the way he says it which I just can't explain right now points in the direction that my parents/family are no longer my family. Where did Mr. family man go?


Also, about the everyday thing I did say almost everyday, not everyday. And what gets me is that nothing has really changed in my mom's and my relationship but suddenly he has a problem with it. Also I forgot to mention that when he would work late he would always encourage me to stay at my parents for safety and now he gets upset if I even ask. Like last night he had to work 10pm-6am and then 6am-3pm and he assumed I'd be staying home and when I mentioned I was wondering if I should stay at my parents he got all grunty and then told me I needed to stay home. I was mainly testing the waters because I felt good to stay at home but I felt like in the past he himself would be the one telling me I needed to go there.


One more thing, I am in the process of trying to do lots of stuff on my own all week (without my mom). Late yesterday afternoon while he needed to do his day sleeping I asked him if it was okay if my daughter and I went out and he said he wanted us to stay home with him (even though he would just be sleeping). I told him I thought he'd sleep better and we'd be home before he woke up to spend a little more time with him. He kept making excuses like traffic or DD being tired but neither were a problem so I just stayed persistent and he wasn't fuming but wasn't really happy either. Also if and when I see my mom this week I am not going to tell him. I know I shouldn't lie but I need to see if the real problem is my mom or not. Thinking back now, he always used to complain about gas I'm using (we live super close to everything) and that was his excuse for me needing to stay home. Now my parents have started to put gas in my car so I could go places (because they think he is controlling) and he doesn't want me seeing them except for on his terms.

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Yes, he IS trying to control you and remove your parents from your life and make sure you get as little outside support as possible. It's called "isolation" and it's a very common tactic that controlling and manipulative people use. You're already lying about meeting your Mom because it might "upset him." That's very important here. It means he has already convinced you that meeting your Mom is something that you need to feel embarrassed about, while it's the most natural thing and there's nothing wrong with it. Your thinking about your family has already changed, and this is much more dangerous than hitting you, in a way (not that hitting would be OK, far from it). Because it changes you as a person and your entire thinking about your family. My ex did it to me with my family and friends. Soon he'll start asking you to choose between you and your family, he'll say that if you go and meet your Mom this means you're disrespecting him and you have to choose if you want to disrespect him.


Plus you said it yourself - your parents think he's controlling! Do you need more proof than that? They see the situation much more clearly because they're not in it.


He uses emotional manipulation, he'll twist the facts and make it seem like your family or friends are the bad ones. From your description, I see nothing bad about your Mom. You said she always respects your decisions when it comes to your child and asks for your permission, and she helps financially, not to mention emotionally supports you. That's all good, and I fail to see how she's "bad for you" like your husband tells you. The problem isn't your family, it's your husband.

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