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So unhappy and confused– is it me?

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This topic contains 26 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Sunnygal 4 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #45442

    steph66
    Participant

    I’d really appreciate your help as I am feeling so confused, and wondering if it’s me or him. And am I just spoiled and “entitled”? If that’s what I am, please tell me in your honest opinion, so that I have a wake-up call if that’s truly how it is.

    So here goes… My other half and I have always had a bit of a 2-tier life. I earn around £20k pa from my own business, juggled with homeschooling my 3 kids (they have home tutors as they have autism/adhd). He is on an income of £150,000 a year, plus an extra bonus of £100,000 at the end of the year. Plus he just got a pay-off of £1 million. We’ve been together 10 years but they are not his kids so I dont expect him to do anything for them or do anything for them.

    On the outside, it looks like we have a lovely posh house and nice lifestyle. Yet he expects me to pay 50% of the household bills, so I am constantly struggling to make every little last penny stretch out as I simply cant afford the sort of lifestyle he wants so I have ended up getting myself into £20K of debt.

    To give you examples of how it works day to day. He has a Maserati Granturismo for when he’s driving out alone and an Audi for when we go out as a family. I have a bashed up old people carrier with the mirrors selotaped on and large dents on the back and sides as I cant afford to repair it. He is taking his parents out to dine at Le Manoir (£1,000 per meal) and drinking £150 bottles of wine each night. I am taking in lodgers to help bring in money and shopping in charity shops for clothes worrying all the times about the bills.

    I do everything in the house. I mean everything — cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping, gardening — he doesnt lift a finger except to iron his own shirts or when people visit he is suddenly Mr Helpful cooking and clearing the table.

    He has total control of the money which he’s used to buy a 2nd 5-bed property for his “pension” and which he’s let his parents live in. (So everyone thinks “what a lovely man who cares for his parents”)

    I am working 16-hour days sometimes with everything I have to do, even getting up at 2am to get things done and do washing, while he sits doing Soduko puzzles, goes running, goes to football, goes for walks, sees his friends, reads the paper and watches TV. When I asked him to help me once, he got so angry with me — telling me he was at his “absolute limits” of what he could cope with and couldnt possibly help me. And all he can do is criticise and find fault and complain that I don’t do things properly.

    I probably sound like a spoilt bitch with this kind of lifestyle but I’m struggling to make sense of it. I feel embarrassed and humiliated to have to ask him for money (which I’ve done on the fingers of one hand when I’ve been desperate.) I probably sound like a golddigger, but I’m not.

    It just all feels so wrong to be living this kind of life. But I’m confused as I don’t want to be one of those “entitled” people who expect help and think they have a right to it. But I’m 52 and worrying about my old age as I don’t have a pension and he is saying now he wants me to take Fridays off work so I can go for a walk with him in his retirement, but I need to work to pay the bills. Paying for things for the kids is just a constant worry.

    He is always making out he is better than me and cleverer at everything from cooking to reading maps and maths etc. But I have a Degree and a Masters, and I’ve been cooking since the age of 12, and sometimes he gets things wrong too (a lot of times actually) so I know I cant be that useless and stupid as he says. But he is constantly correcting me — like changing the washing machine buttons or turning the cooker up or down cos I’ve done it “wrong”. And even when I do the thing he last did to try to get it “right”, he changes the rules again.

    Anyways, I’m just venting. Please say what you think and help me make sense of this. I just feel so unhappy and confused — and ashamed to be in this mess — it makes my head spin going over it. I cant tell anyone as it all looks so “nice” from the outside but inside I’m so desperately confused and miserable.

    • This topic was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  steph66.
    • This topic was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  steph66.
    • This topic was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  steph66.
    • This topic was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  steph66.
    • This topic was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  steph66.
    • This topic was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  steph66.
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  • #45453

    Redwald
    Participant

    Is this guy’s name Ebenezer by any chance? With that £100,000 bonus, he earns more than twelve times what you do, quite apart from that extra million. With all the work you do for him, he’s exploiting you wholesale for cheap labor, which isn’t fair. You should change your name to Cinderella. Also the household expenses must be high because of his lifestyle–higher than they would be if you lived in a home more suited to your lower income–so it’s unfair to expect you to pay half. You have no business going into debt to support his lifestyle.

    It sounds as if you’re not married. If you were, with all the money he has, if you divorced him you should end up with a large financial settlement and you’d be far better off than you are now! Then you could afford to trade in that beat-up old jalopy for a nice new SUV. You could end up saving pounds on Sellotape alone!

    However, you may still be entitled to “palimony” in the UK after ten years with all you’ve done for him. If you are, all his talk of leaving you could be a bluff because he’d end up losing a big chunk of his net worth. If I were you I’d talk to a lawyer right away about your prospects. At the very least, splitting is a threat you may be able to hold over his head to get more money out of him. Time to go on strike for a raise! I would also demand that he start by paying off your £20k debt immediately. He can easily afford it. £20k is just chump change to him, a mere 20 of those dinners at the Café Royal!

  • #45454

    Redwald
    Participant

    Here’s an article worth reading. Mind you, its sexism is offensive. I hate the way some females talk as if they’re the only victims of exploitation. They need to get their heads out of their own butts. This is not just a “women’s problem.” Contrary to the article, not all women are “codependent” by any means, and there are also plenty of “make-do men” out there scrimping, saving and denying themselves to support a self-indulgent, greedy, extravagant wife. But the principle is the same, no matter which sex we’re talking about.

    Don’t Be a “Make-Do” Woman

  • #45458

    flowerchild65
    Participant

    you are a victim of SEVERE “gaslighting” and you have got to get away from him or you might just die of a heart attack or stroke. Period.
    Read this article and also watch that video…..

    What is Gaslighting?


    and

  • #45463

    takenokrap
    Participant

    How you allow them to treat you is dependent upin you. You allow him to treat you this way. He is controlling and seems to take pleasure in making you feel miserable and to make you suffer. Why are you allowing this? Has he eroded your self esteem so much that you no longer have the energy to do anything about it? Been there myself and got rid. You have two choices stay or go. The relationship is toxic and it will only get worse. Move on be single learn from this situation as people are a lesson or a blessing.

  • #45481

    Donna Andersen
    Keymaster

    Steph66 – omg – please understand that you are not in a relationship. This man views you as a housekeeper who is paying him to live there.

    There is nothing wrong with you, and everything wrong with him. Please find a way to get out.

  • #45488

    Sunnygal
    Participant

    Steph66 could you find safe housing for you and your children on your salary?

  • #45489

    steph66
    Participant

    Thanks for your kindness. I am looking to see what kind of property is available, but the kids are home tutored, and I dont want to have to send them back to school as I’m not sure they’d cope.
    My partner was angry with me all Sunday as he says I don’t give him enough attention as I am with the children all the time and always busy on things other than him, so again he hinted he’ll leave. I felt a huge wave of fear and I have felt sick and anxious all day. Why, I don’t know. It feels like how my parents were with me, so I guess that is why I am so stuck. I’m afraid I wont be able to cope or afford anything and i’ll be working all the time, even harder than I am now, and I’ll have no time for my kids. If I can just bear it for another 5 years I’ll get them to college. Except 5 years seems such a very long time. Why am I so afraid to leave someone who is so nasty to me all the time? It’s so messed up. Thanks for listening anyways. You probably are thinking that I’m some kind of nutjob.

  • #45491

    Donna Andersen
    Keymaster

    steph66 – Everyone at Lovefraud totally understands what you are talking about. Your partner may be calling you a nutjob, but everyone here knows what you are dealing with.

    If you can make up your mind that you want to get out, some paths may open to you that you never thought of before.

  • #45495

    n0tjamesmontgomery
    Participant

    You have a great life actually, although it could be better. Try to seduce your man into marriage if you haven’t. Then after a few years, make sure you file for divorce and bring up all accusations you did here. Only in court. Take your rightful half and disappear. Flip the tables and get your vengeance. Take what’s yours and put him in his place. That’s the only thing that will really work…

  • #45517

    Sunnygal
    Participant

    steph- how is it going?

  • #45524

    steph66
    Participant

    Thanks for asking Sunnygal. He is being “nice” at the moment so it is bearable. Though I know it won’t last as he’s Jekyll and Hyde so often I wonder if he’s bi-polar. I’ve been looking around at houses to see what I can afford and seeing if I can apply for a low income mortgage. I guess this is just the first step in the journey and I will need to take babysteps at first. It is my emotions mainly holding me back: fear of being alone, fear of making a mistake, fear of not being able to cope, fear that all men are this way, fear that it is my fault and I have been doing something wrong that caused him to be like this. All this talk of trying to get money out of him isn’t me and not what I’m about. I just want a calm and happy life for me and my children.

  • #45530

    Stargazer
    Participant

    steph66, your unhappiness is the only information you need. This guy sounds selfish and narcissistic, and he is definitely gaslighting (brainwashing) you. He has no clue who you are or what your life is like. I have dated a few men who had a lot of money and were very controlling with it. One of them wanted to marry me and support me, but he wanted me first to get rid of my beloved cat. Another one kept dangling things in front of me, such as helping me fix my old car. But whenever we would get in an argument, he would take the carrot away that he was dangling. I decided it’s better to be poor than to live with someone like this. I struggled for a few years but then became very self-sufficient. I never had kids like you do, but I had 3 cats, and they were my children. I know it’s not the same, but trying to find a place to live that allowed cats without spending an arm and a leg for security deposit was not easy, nor was the move with them to several different condos over the years while dealing with all of their health issues. All of this has made me very strong. I’m glad I never stayed with the narcissistic men, though I certainly considered it at the time. I will guarantee you that you have much more strength than you think. As Donna says, once you make the decision to move on, you will find support. It’s not that you are the least bit entitled, as you say. It’s that you can’t understand how a many who claims to love you can be so selfish and withholding, laying a trip on you all the while. There’s a big difference.

  • #45532

    Sunnygal
    Participant

    steph Good you are looking into other housing and low income mortgages. A therapist i know recommends becoming your own best friend. This can help.

  • #45554

    steph66
    Participant

    OMG he has just today asked me if he can borrow some money off me to buy a new sports car with personalised number plate as he has spotted one he likes that he wants to buy today but doesn’t have enough cash to cover it til end of month. He looked at me like I was lying and was questioning me about what I was doing with my money. I’ve told him so many times I’m struggling, but he just doesn’t believe me.

  • #45555

    olapoland
    Participant

    Hi, as many people here, I need help. I’m depressed, have no money to live, I cannot work as much as I want to, because I was diagnosed with fibromyalgya. I sm trying to do my best, but everyday I have the same situation with my husband. He controls me, critisised in little things. I know that this is gas lighting. I read ebooks, books, articles, and I want to leave, but when I am in shock, I cannot remember many things. Every time I want to tell him I leave, he says sth which makes me nervous, shocked. My family doesn’t believe me. I don’t have time to regenerate my power. I was looking for support group here, in Poland, but there are no such groups in my city. I need support, someone who will say to me:” That is not your fault, this situation is sick, not you. You only reacts. You can do it!You can leave!”. I couldn’t find someone who help me for many hard months, but I still have a little hope, that someone will understand.I have got my dreams, but I feel in a trap. I saw the film” I, Tina” several times, and I think I have the same problem. I cannot hurt him. I know that is stupid. My parents divorced when I was six. I feel worth nothing. Everyday I fight, but there were so many cycles of emotional abuse. If someone here could tell me, is it possible to get out this trap? How to begin?

  • #45556

    Sunnygal
    Participant

    steph- this guy is disordered. you need to leave.

    olapoland- start a new topic for yourself.

  • #45588

    AnnettePK
    Participant

    OlaPoland,

    It sounds like you are in a complex situation, and it is difficult to figure out how to change things for yourself. Can you find a good counselor or therapist to talk to who may be able to help you sort through the challenges you’re facing? You sound like you’re dealing with feelings of despair, and that you don’t see a way to make positive change in your life. If there is a woman’s shelter or counseling center in your area, consider calling them for some immediate help. Here is a link to a hotline phone number and also a live chat: http://www.thehotline.org/about-us/contact/

    You might consider writing out a list of the problems you’re facing, the things you’d like to be different in your life, and list out possible solutions as well as the pros and cons of various actions.

    That you’ve reached out to this forum shows that you’re taking active steps to make things better for you. Yes, you absolutely can do what it takes to make your life good and to take good care of yourself. Things will get better for you.

  • #45589

    AnnettePK
    Participant

    Steph, Reply 45495 is not helpful and pretty inappropriate for this forum. Consider ignoring it.

    You might consider contacting a local women’s shelter to help you with the process of getting out of your situation. Even if your partner has not been violent in the past, from what you describe he is an abuser. The most dangerous time for a woman is when she is leaving her abuser. Women’s Shelters usually have counselors and other resources to help with the emotional and logistical challenges of leaving a situation. Consider calling a hotline sometime when your partner isn’t around and it’s safe to do so, and explaining your situation.

  • #45593

    Sunnygal
    Participant

    steph- welldoing.org is in london.

  • #45696

    outofeggshells
    Participant

    Steph, I can completely relate to your situation. I was thinking I was being spoiled or entitled as well. My now ex (as of 29 days ago) was a millionaire. We lived in an 8000sf home with a pool. He had 4 cars – funny you mention the Gran Turismo since he had one along with a Ferrarri, Tesla, and a Mercedes SUV which I drove most of the time.
    Here’s the catch. I have my own business and work from home. Every day I would have mini panic attacks about my own finances while he was out buying condos as investment properties. Even though he lost money on the first one he keeps buying them. Every day he asks if I got any new business. I spent 5 months building my own website instead of hiring someone to save money. After toiling away all that time he said “gee, it would have been so much quicker if I would have just given you the money to hire it out but too late now”. He had a habit of being generous when there was no problem any more.
    At least he didn’t make me pay 50%. I think he would have liked that but I think he liked the control of “giving” so he could throw it in my face. That’s usually how it worked. He’s pretty much thrown any gift he has ever given me in my face to show how much he does for me. Even a set of cheap luggage he bought me our first Christmas together 8 years ago.
    Whenever I just wanted to vent about my business or my finances (like he did with me) he would say “well just imagine if you didn’t live here and drive my cars, you’d have to get a real job and have way more money to pay out”. If I ever complained about anything or brought up an issue he said “I let you live here and this is what I get?” or simply “I let you live here” which is great for making someone feel like a burden over a partner. He would tell me how women would love to have this lifestyle and I took him for granted. This became a weekly thing the last 6 months we were together.
    As for the golddigger comment, I’m with you there too. His family keeps telling him I’m a golddigger even though he gives me nothing other than a place to live and food, which I appreciated, but never big buckets of money. Anytime I tried to ask him for financial help when I got really desperate he would say I was a golddigger.
    He just discarded me for the fourth and last time. The last time I moved out of state back to my home. When he wanted me back 11 months later I went. My business has been bouncing back and forth for 3 years now. I just moved back home again to get away from him and am not going back again. He could never appreciate how this might have had an affect on my finances. He said it was irrelevant.
    So, I get you. I felt the same way. I still feel like I shouldn’t be complaining even as I write this. The only thing that keeps me going is that I have had live in relationships in the past with men with not even a tenth of my exes means who were 200% more generous – and never threw my mere existence in my face. Hang in there.

  • #45697

    Sunnygal
    Participant

    steph- hope you are doing o.k.

  • #45702

    steph66
    Participant

    OMG thank you outofeggshells. That could have been me writing the exact same things. It’s like they both read from the same Rule Book. I told him he treats me like a burden and like I ruined his life. To which he just replied: “That just shows we are both thinking the same thing.” Why I let myself get treated like this I really don’t know. He constantly grinds me down, criticising and finding fault til I’m scared to do anything at all for fear it’ll be wrong. And even then, he still lectures me on how I should do things from emptying the dishwasher to the microwave (ie his way) like I am 5 years’ old. Well done you for leaving. Tell me how you have done it and found the strength to go. What were the steps you took?

  • #45704

    outofeggshells
    Participant

    Steph,
    You are welcome. Yes they sound very much alike. Even though I didn’t pay money to live with him I certainly paid in other ways. He used that as a weapon constantly.
    Unfortunately, I didn’t really have the courage to leave. I was fighting to stay. The truth is he was just due for another discard. The longest we made it without a break up was 2 years. That was when I moved in with him for the first time in 2013 after being together for 3 years with a couple of break ups in between. He decided to “let me live with him” that first time because I had basically given him an ultimatum. After 3 years of dating I told him it either moves forward or I move away. After 2 years of living with him he started to freak out and told me he felt like he was in jail. He repeated that line this last time among other things. The first round of living with him he cheated on me with prostitutes for the entire first year. I found out by accident when he left his email open on a computer we sometimes shared. When I brought it up he got angry at me and turned it around to be my fault of course. I still stayed. I still can’t believe I stayed for another year, then another discard, then went back, now discarded again. I feel like an idiot.
    He is triggered by warm weather and summer for some reason. Each break up before this took place in spring as well. Since he has money, is a good looking older man (64 but looks late 40’s) and is in fantastic shape he can attract much younger women. I’m 45 but whenever we split he enjoys the company of 20-30 somethings. He goes through them like water because of course they are all dumb and boring. He tells me how he can spend all the time in the world with me and never get bored. I’m a bit disturbed about that line now that I’ve skimmed this forum and some of the articles. Seems like a common line.
    He has to have a constant supply of compliments about the house, the cars, his appearance, and his long winded stories so he can “make everyone laugh”. Since I’ve heard them all 1000 times he doesn’t get it from me. I got sick of the bragging about the material stuff. He would get annoyed at me if someone came to the house while he was gone and didn’t go crazy over it – even repair men. It’s very ironic that he does this because he is super paranoid about anyone being a gold digger and wanting to take advantage yet he leads with the money. I secretly wished he would lose everything to see if it would change him somehow. It would just be the same on a different scale I think.
    So, his claim to fame is having big blow out Vegas style parties at the house with 150 people under the age of 35 running around in bikinis and heels. He insisted on having a couple of them while I lived there of course ignoring me much of the time. I’m a designer and designed that house from top to bottom when he bought it but he absolutely hated giving me credit for it. He loved giving tours and showing it off. You’d think he would be proud of me since I won awards for the design. Most people had no idea what I even did for a living or who I was.
    This last run was 17 months. The break up before that I moved back to my home state for 11 months. Now I’m back at home for good (I hope). I considered our relationship to be going well but was blindsided on St Patrick’s day after he spent the day at bars with his younger guy friends. When he came home he told me how he had more fun with them than me. That’s how it started. The following weekend we were at a bar and ran into a girl he had slept with during a previous break up. I had gotten used to this but after the St Patrick’s day declaration I was on edge. So after he came back over to me after being a little too touchy feely with this girl I asked what the deal was. He yelled at me in the bar. “If you can’t handle that you aren’t going to handle the parties this summer bitch. We need to talk. Let’s go”. When I came back the last time we agreed that we would have parties but they would be smaller and selective out of respect for me but that went out the window. So he said we were going to decide in 45 days what the fate of the relationship would be. We talked and tried and yelled etc. He said my confidence was too low and he had damaged me too much and there was no hope so I had to go.
    Given the fact that I had bounced my business back and forth twice things were slow. I was just back to a state where I was getting business living with him and had no nest egg. I told him I’d be out on the street and it was partially his doing that my business sucked. He offered me a lump sum to move me out and start over yet again but not without calling me a gold digger when I said I needed more than he offered.
    The only contact I’ve had is email and text and only because I had ordered furniture for him for one of his condos that is not in yet and I’m dealing with that as part of the money deal to move. Any contact is business only. No fighting. No whining from either side. He may be shocked that I’m not calling or begging to come back like I have in the past. It is killing me. I’m angry at myself for missing him and only wanting to hear his voice. I get very close to breaking down and telling him I miss him. His birthday is next week and I’m not sure how to handle it. Ignore it? Send a text? I know logically I shouldn’t bother, but there’s still the piece of me that holds out hope.
    The only strength I have found is to not call him crying. I am living with my sister for now and it helps having her around otherwise I might break down and call him. I don’t know why I put up with the laundry list of major deal breakers all these years either. I was afraid to stand up to him because he threatened the relationship anytime I tried to put up a boundary.
    I’m right there with you. I really hope you can find your way out. Fortunately there were no children involved with us and I can only imagine how tough that is. I’m looking forward to the day when I feel like who I was before I met him. It can’t come soon enough. I wish you strength.

  • #45706

    steph66
    Participant

    They sound like identical twin brothers, line for line, word for word. And you sound like an amazing and incredible talented woman.

    I remember in one of the books I read that it explained how a narcissist will use your kindness and generosity and politeness against you. So they’ll know you wont be able to resist sending them a birthday card cos it goes against your morals not to, and they know you wont be able to resist cooking for them, because you want to be loving, etc etc.

    But the way it was explained was like a game of tennis where you are playing by all the rules but the narcissist isn’t. So they will club you over the head and trip you and cheat and do whatever it takes to win. Meanwhile you are doing everything right and properly. But you will never ever ever win because you are playing by the rules and they are not.

    Looking at it from the outside, this arsehole just did you a massive favour by kicking you out. Looking back years from now, you’ll wonder why on earth you put up with this kind of crap. But that’s so easy for me to say. And so hard for you to believe and feel right inside your bones.

    You sound like a lovely lady, with so much going for you and a bright future ahead if you can only get him out of your system. I’m wondering if you had narcissist parents (I did) so that’s how you got in this situation. I totally wish you every success. Do stay in touch to let me know how you get on.

  • #45707

    AnnettePK
    Participant

    OutofEggshells,

    It’s normal for you to miss him as the person he should be, the person he said he was, the person you hope he will be. Finding out and understanding that he is a horrible person who doesn’t care about anyone is a loss that your’e experiencing,and grieving is normal. He’s also treated you terribly and that is a lot of pain to process.

    The best thing you can do for yourself is have no contact with him at all about anything. He will only harm you with any contact. He does not care about anyone’s well being. You will feel better sooner and get yourself back if you can maintain no contact. It is difficult to do; there is some good information about no contact on this site if you search.

  • #45710

    Sunnygal
    Participant

    Regarding living together, psychologist pat allen says that is not good for the female. I did live with the guy in one relationship. it was close to my work, but I think she is right.

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