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Am I overreacting? Would love some advice


K182
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So my partner has a couple of friends that are girls. He has had them for a long time now. Well before he met me. A couple of them he has been intimate with. One of them he even dated for 6 years.

one of the girls he has been good friends with since they were teenagers. He considers her a best friend. I think they were intimate pretty briefly in their late teens/early 20s, but nothing serious.

ive never really questioned it and to be honest, I’ve never been jealous either. She was married for a long time and her husband passed away a few years ago. She has had a rough trot. That being said, she is now happily in a relationship with a guy and they have been together for 2 years now.

I have never interfered with this friendship. I’ve always just accepted that they have been friends for ages and it doesn’t impact the relationship my partner and I have. 
 

to set the scene, my partner never really likes Xmas. I mostly love it. Every year I love buying presents and sticking Xmas decorations and also spending time with family. Every year my partner seems to try to bring me down. He picks at me and always makes a point of saying that he doesn’t know why people put so much in to Xmas. He likes to say that Xmas is only for kids under 12. It shouldn’t be about anyone over 12 years old. 
 

every year I am the one to do all of the the present buying. My partner has no interest in doing that job. This year was no exception. I did all of the present buying and Xmas decorating. My partner helped a little with the decorations, but only because this year he saw more of a point with it because it was our 8 month olds first Xmas. He still found reason to pick at me though

to cut a long story short. We had Xmas at our place this year. First Xmas in our new home, with both families with our first born. All went quite well really. Great day, but also very hectic entertaining etc.

at the end of a long day, the last of our guests (partner’s parents) were sitting with us in the kitchen. I was sitting chatting to them and my partner was sitting next to me but had gone pretty quiet. I wasn’t really watching what he was doing but just remember him enjoying a few bourbons and not really saying too much. 
 

Suddenly I got a message from his best friend that is a girl and she thanked me for the movie voucher that we got for her. I logged on to the credit card statement and saw that my partner had made the transaction on Xmas day. I’m assuming it was while I was sitting entertaining his parents.

 

I was quite taken back by the situation. I keep telling myself that I am overreacting. Every time I try to look at it from different perspectiveS, I still feel the same way though. My partner has a male friend who he sees a lot more than this girl best friend. The best friend that is a guy has no one that buys him presents at Xmas time. He is single and not close to his family. What spun me out was ‘why not also buy for your male best friend who actually has far less being given around him at Xmas time than his best girl friend’. The response I got was. ‘He’s a dude. You don’t buy presents for guys’. 
 

so anyway, I’m apparently being silly. I am being told it isn’t weird etc etc. 

all I keep thinking though is why was it so important to do something nice for the girl friend for Xmas when he sees no reason to buy presents for family and also tells me that Xmas is not for anyone over 12 years old 🤷‍♂️
 

keen to hear others thoughts on how this would sit with them if they were me in this situation

thanks

 

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Well, it is a double standard in at least two ways:

  1. No gifts for men, no gifts for anyone over the age of 12. But gifts for his lady-friends are ok. 
  2. Christmas is stupid with his partner, but not with certain friends.

I wouldn't like it, no. But I'm guessing this is probably his nature and that he's demonstrated this kind of behavior before, in other ways. There are people who simply don't make exceptions to their own rules because it violates their sense of order. If he's doing this, his sense of order isn't violated by it.

What about this particular scenario bothers you?

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Every year he seems to need to try to spoil Xmas for me. Dampen my spirit. 
I actually feel like he often tries to spoil things for me and pick at me.

in the same breath, he always tells me he loves me so much. He just doesn’t seem to have any tolerance for anything I like or want to do though. He is only flexible when things are on his terms.

I really don’t think he would like it if the roles were reversed and the only effort I put In to Xmas was to buy one present for my male friend.

funny thing is that he bought her a movie gift voucher. He always hates going to the movies. Or Atleast he does when I have suggested it. Any time we have gone he has whinged the whole time and pretty much made out that it was boring AF and he would prefer to be else where

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1 hour ago, K182 said:

  ‘why not also buy for your male best friend who actually has far less being given around him at Xmas time than his best girl friend’. The response I got was. ‘He’s a dude. You don’t buy presents for guys’. 

How long have you been dating? How long have you lived together? How old is he?

There's a lot more problems here than him being a scrooge.

Stop immediately buying his girlfriends or any of his friends and family gifts. You're overdoing it. You're incompatible on this matter so each do your own thing.

It's not about Christmas gifts. Or whether he should buy his male friends gifts. It's about his complete disrespect for you.

Is he a heavy drinker? Does he usually turn holidays and get-togethers into drama like this?

Focus on yourself and your child. Let him deal with his own family. If he stiffs them out of gifts, stop covering for him. It's the same as making excuses for his drinking and general lack of involvement.

You're not ok with his female "best friend" and you know it. 

The main issue is you want a happy family and he is just dragging his feet acting single.

He's undermining you at every turn in passive aggressive ways.

He's quite hostile and disrespectful. Stop enabling all that. He secretly hates you and will undermine anything you do just to make his hostilities known, but in this passive aggressive manner.

If he wants to buy his GF movie tickets while acting like a sullen schmuck at Christmas you've got a lot of changes to make.

Stop trying to be the "cool GF" and pretending his disrespect and having GFs is ok.

 

Edited by Wiseman2
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Been together 7 years. Lived together for 5 years and he is almost 41

If you ask me, I would say he drinks too much. His version is that he enjoys a drink. He would usually drink 4-5 beers or more most days. He only has 1 x 6 pack left from a case he bought on Sunday afternoon. That doesn’t include any that he has had out and about. He tells me I over react on that too…

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Stop enabling this drunk. Focus only on yourself and your child. 

Stop cooking cleaning shopping for him. Do not buy his friends or family gifts.

If he wants to drink away your child's future, put money aside that you were wasting on buying his friends and family gifts or entertaining them.

Basically you are a single parent. His relationship is with booze and his other  girlfriends.

Read up on problem drinkers and passive aggressive hostilities.

You're in a warzone, not in a relationship.

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5 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

Does this intolerance align with your idea of love?

I agree.  But I'd also ask you to be more tolerant of how you choose to celebrate Xmas as opposed to how others do.  It's a religious holiday right? Decorations and parties and presents are ways of celebrating it but not related to the religious aspects - and also people choose how they wish to celebrate -so you like to do the decorations/presents/gatherings.  He doesn't.  He doesn't have to -yes if you live together he should do his best to compromise I agree but he doesn't have to be a cheerleader along with you if it's not his thing.  

I mean this generally.  But yes otherwise I don't see where this is an equal or loving relationship.  I'd find it odd too that he sent her a present in the way he did. I'm sorry you're frustrated.

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Yes I agree with what you are saying @Batya33. I know he is a little bah humbug at Xmas. I just don’t understand how not thinking Xmas should be for anyone else but the kids and zero effort on buying for family can then end up being that the only friend we purchase a gift for at Xmas to be his female best friend.

he didn’t even mention it to me at the time and I was likely sitting right next to him talking to his mum. His friend messaged me to say thanks which is the first I had heard about it. It was only a $30 movie gift voucher.

 

I got quite ***ty about it tbh. Just felt like it was very inappropriate that I had been sitting around entertaining his parents and his thoughts had drifted off to trying to do something nice for another woman who is a lot older than 12 years old who has a boyfriend who would have bought her lots of presents along with a family who would have also bought her a lot. 
 

he won’t see reason with me though. He doesn’t think It is strange at all

 

 

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Of course none of us would tolerate any of this, and truly would lead to a lot of questioning. Your answer to this is communication. You need to address these things in a fair manner. If it's still an issue I suggest counseling. If he digs his heels in, might want to re-assess this relationship.

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OP, this is not about his friend, this is about you and specifically him doing whatever it takes to sabotage your joy and something that is important to you - Christmas.

As you had a lovely day and were enjoying the last moments of it, he sat there and cooked up an idea on how to upset you and permanently ruin this first Christmas for you by doing something that he knows will hurt - buying someone else a present while he denies you the same. Even better that this someone else is a woman - extra hurt for you. Keep in mind that his female friend is completely clueless in this and genuinely thanked you. She has no idea that she was just used as a pawn in a sick game.

He very much succeeded in his quest - you are upset, it's eating at you, you are not able to enjoy what you worked hard for and what matters to you. He literally poisoned what should have been a happy memorable moment for you - first Christmas with fam and child at your home. Again, this isn't about Christmas or presents, this is him covertly harming you and getting off on that. I'm sure this is not the only thing he denies you and sabotages and that he is also extremely selfish and you end up catering to that.

OP, this is textbook covert narcissist behavior - extremely passive aggressive, vindictive, seeking to harm without overtly coming across as such. I would bet good money he does this a lot and either you've gotten used to it and normalized it, or you don't even recognize what's happening because you've never encountered this in your life and don't know what to make of it. Like you are focusing on this woman instead of your partner, who is being a raging ahole to you and is intentionally hurting you because deep down he likes that.

Anyway, forget the friend, focus on how he is treating you because it's not good and with time, this will get worse and worse for you. People like that don't get better with age. They just get nastier. So do yourself a huge favor and make certain that you have the means to leave him and keep that door always open for yourself and your child.

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1 hour ago, DancingFool said:

As you had a lovely day and were enjoying the last moments of it, he sat there and cooked up an idea on how to upset you and permanently ruin this first Christmas for you by doing something that he knows will hurt - buying someone else a present while he denies you the same. Even better that this someone else is a woman - extra hurt for you. Keep in mind that his female friend is completely clueless in this and genuinely thanked you. She has no idea that she was just used as a pawn in a sick game.

Yeah. Wow. Totally agree.

I also agree that people who act this way always act this way. Intrinsic nature and all that.

1 hour ago, DancingFool said:

this isn't about Christmas or presents, this is him covertly harming you and getting off on that...

...this is textbook covert narcissist behavior - extremely passive aggressive, vindictive, seeking to harm without overtly coming across as such.

Sorry to detract from the thread, but this explanation has shed some new light on this term for me. Thanks for that.

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Thank you everyone. It is definitely right that I start questioning whether some of this is normal and I am just uptight and overreacting. Hence my post. I am honestly protective too because I don’t even like talking about this stuff to people around me because I don’t want them to look at him badly or our relationship for that matter. 
 

Funny how it ends up feeling like I am the one picking at him too because I am always trying to keep him in check with not drinking too much or trying to bring up and communicate how certain things he has done makes me feel. He never wants to hear any of it though and ofcourse that frustrates me more and I definitely feel like I end up looking like the issue is me 🤨

Even just recently during the holiday period, I expressed that I thought we were better to avoid super crowded and busy places over the holiday days due to the explosion of covid in our area when he suggested we take our bub for lunch at a new pub that opened up a few suburbs away from here. I didn’t say not to do anything, just be selective so that we could avoid our son getting it at this point. I know we’ll all get it at some point, just wanted our son to be a bit older and stronger for it. My partner didn’t say too much about it but did agree. 
2 days later he ducked out for a quick afternoon swim with a mate. I joked before he went that his plans like that usually end up being that he doesn’t drift back in for hours until our son was almost in bed for the night. He didn’t confirm that would be the case.

next thing, almost 5 hours later just as I was feeding our son dinner before bed he drifted back in after obviously having had quite a bit to drink and told me that they had gone to the new pub…. I was so annoyed. Of all places. WHY? But again, the problem is me. He flips out and storms off when I get annoyed. Then he’ll come back later and tell me how much he loves me. Sometimes I even get ‘I love you so much. Even if you do get cranky sometimes’.

 

 

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11 hours ago, K182 said:

in the same breath, he always tells me he loves me so much. He just doesn’t seem to have any tolerance for anything I like or want to do though. He is only flexible when things are on his terms.

I really don’t think he would like it if the roles were reversed and the only effort I put In to Xmas was to buy one present for my male friend.

funny thing is that he bought her a movie gift voucher. He always hates going to the movies. Or Atleast he does when I have suggested it. Any time we have gone he has whinged the whole time and pretty much made out that it was boring AF and he would prefer to be else where

Wow, he sounds kind of miserable about things 😕 .

His main focus should be you & his child.

I don't like the fact that he is the way he is when it comes to you. like no tolerance and is only flexible when it comes to himself.  As for him 'saying' he loves you, love has to be shown.  Saying it means nothing, unless the partner actually feels loved. Which is respect, communication, trying to work things out, and just being a decent partner.

Maybe you two don't truly click.  Maybe he is too different eg the way he views Xmas.. I know a few guys who don't 'give much' around the holidays and do depend on or expect their women to tend to everything.  And as for something for his buddy, yeah, he could have even gotten him a gift card, some booze, etc.

Maybe what you need to do is just sit down and have a heart to heart talk about all of this.  Explain yourself and try not to set him off to the point he doesn't assume you're jealous or anything.. but that you don't get his thinking & behaviour.

You mentioned him being at the pub... does he drink often?  If so, that's a red flag.

 

Edited by SooSad33
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He comes back and says he loves you to get you off his back. Does it work? Do you respond with "Awww, I love you too!" and kiss and hug him? If so, he has no reason or motivation to change because all he has to do is say some sweet words and you back down.

Do you prioritize keeping your family "together" above everything else? Do you feel having an "intact" family is worth putting up with just about anything?

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If he does this to you you can imagine what he will do your child’s Christmas yearly. My dad spoiled ever Christmas like, ever. While I adore Christmas it is such a source of bad memories for me it is so stressful I can’t enjoy it. 
 

Also your child will pay for the price for a drunk father who passive aggressively baits mom. 

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The things that stand out for me are an incompatibility around drinking and a partner that actively tries to undermine and cut down the things you enjoy. 
 

Are these two traits that you want in your forever person? (And if they are, search your soul long and hard for the why because they should be red, red flags waving in the wind, especially the second one). 


I know it’s easy to say split, and much harder to do, especially when there’s a kid involved. But I don’t think he’ll change and if you stay with him it will be a death of a thousand cuts. At least contemplate the idea of splitting and speak to a family lawyer about what the logistics of that and co parenting might look like If/when you take that path. 

 

 

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The sooner you realize you're with an abusive alcoholic the sooner you'll see clearly. Stop covering for him. 

When you have to pretend to friends and family that all is so wonderful and "you don't want to make him look bad", you create your own personal hell.

You have cognitive dissonance Goole it. It's when the truth is so bad the mind makes up a false story to tell itself in order to get through it.

You can go on and on about he did this,he did that. But it's all one and the same problem. He's an abusive alcoholic.

He cheats, lies, drinks, and undermines you. While you put on a fake show to friends and family that you're this happy couple replete with buying his friends gifts for show.

Abusive relationships are typically characterized by the two completely separate realities you two are living.

You're pretending you're a happy family and it's just this or that incident, and he hates you and undermines you. His happiness revolves around treating you like dirt.

Since he's an alcoholic your only purpose in his life is as a pawn as and enabler.

Be clear that he's either hitting you in the chest with a 2 by 4 (when he's overtly abusive) or he's stabbing you in the back when he seems cooperative.

It's why you feel confused and frustrated and started more and more accepting horrible behaviors.

 

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7 hours ago, 1a1a said:

I know it’s easy to say split, and much harder to do, especially when there’s a kid involved. But I don’t think he’ll change and if you stay with him it will be a death of a thousand cuts. At least contemplate the idea of splitting and speak to a family lawyer about what the logistics of that and co parenting might look like If/when you take that path. 

I agree. Start setting yourself up for a clean departure at some point down the line. Slowly and methodically detach yourself from this person as you clear a path to the escape hatch.

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I'll cut to the chase- because every minor issue here is secondary to your larger issue- You are incompatible. 

It's easier for you to focus on trivial things like his friend or his dislike of Christmas, since those are more "fixable" and makes it easier for you to avoid the majorly real issue at hand- You are not compatible. And no amount of wishing or nice things you do are going to change him. 

Say that as many times as it takes to sink in. 

Now that we've gotten that out of the way-  Why do you want to stay with this man? 

Even cutting him slack and viewing him in the best possible light- He's an alcoholic, he consistently undercuts your joy, and he isn't a present father. 

So I repeat, Why do you want to stay with this man?  Having a child together isn't a good enough reason to tolerate abuse.  Frankly, having a child with this man makes it imperative that should NOT tolerate this abuse.  You've pointed out that he's not really a present father anyway. So, I will ask the question you probably don't want to ask yourself- What are you holding onto from this relationship?  It's isn't that he's a great father or husband, so what then?  This isn't about him, this is about YOU and your consistent choice to stay with him. 

The sooner you admit why you don't want to let go of him, the better it will be for you.  I highly recommend separating from him ASAP, staying w/family or a safe place away from him and start talking to a counselor AND a lawyer. 

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