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Afraid to leave looking for an easy way out


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#1 espresso

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 02:58 AM

Hello, I've never participated in a forum so please don't hesitate to let me know if this is not the right format in which to express myself. I guess, I'll give a little background before adressing the topic.
Yesterday my boyfriend, “R”, was docile – predictable after his outburst the night before – but this morning, when the baby woke up at 5am, as he does every morning, I began rocking him to sleep and nursing in the rocking chair. Then R decided that he couldn’t sleep because I wasn’t in the bed. The baby had been falling asleep (which R doesn’t believe) but woke up due to his complaining. I put the baby back in the crib, and when he began whining, R decided that I wasn’t allowed to nurse him to sleep anymore. He was cross and stern with the baby (which is fine to a certain point) although he continued when he began seriously crying, telling the baby that he needed to sleep, but also indirectly criticizing me, by informing the baby of what I have been doing wrong, etc. He refused to let me go to him. He began yelling at me, I began crying, of course, the baby began crying louder. Eventually, I took the baby in my arms in spite of him, and held him – he seemed very shocked and didn’t understand. We have talked about being stricter with the baby, but as we had already said, we were going to begin tightening the reins when the baby begins daycare in September. He does not have a routine schedule at the moment; we (the baby and me) am going on vacation in one week, so there is not much point to enforcing a schedule just yet.
But none of this entered into R’s thinking – he just decided that I couldn’t nurse him to sleep anymore, even though he has never once put him to bed or taken over the bedtime responsibilities, I have asked him repeatedly to do so, but he does not participate. Worst of all, he is totally inconsistent with the baby, so that, when he’s in a good mood, he lets him do whatever he wants, but when he’s in a bad mood, he becomes strict and accuses me of being lax. I am so afraid for my son and his future, I know that his father is emotionally abusive and am trying to muster up the strength to leave him, for my health as well as for my child. But taking a child away from his father, leaving without financial security, the logistics of it all, and of course risking more conflict and anger, along with the guilt of “abandoning” someone who I have loved – all of this holds me back and stops me from leaving. For the first time in my life I have repeatedly found myself wishing he would die. When he leaves in the evening to run errands on his scooter I find myself hoping that he will have an accident, that he will just go away and I won’t have to deal with it anymore. I know this would be the easy way out. I know that I have to face what it is that’s keeping me in this relationship, to come to terms with my role in the situation so as not to replicate this behavior yet again. It’s time to change myself, without expecting him to change – be it through death or through behaviour modification. At the same time, I think, I’m just very afraid of the aftereffects my leaving might incur, so I find myself wishing for some easy solution, a sort of deus ex machina that will fly in and fix it all.

#2 claudifred

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 09:14 AM

But taking a child away from his father

A father is someone who loves and cares for his child. Not someone who berates a BABY and belittles the child's mother for normal infant behavior!!!

It wasn't until after I saw my XH in action with our children that I decided to leave. It was one thing for him to manipulate me, a grown woman, but something entirely different when he started unleashing his moods on the children. I just couldn't stand it. In my opinion, my children are much better off now that I am no longer with him. My ex and I even share 50/50 custody, but because I am not there, he is forced to interact with them and take care of their basic needs.
You have every right to nurture your baby, nurse him to sleep, rock him, and hold him... as often as you wish. He's a BABY. Babies need love and cuddling and touching. My youngest is now 4 years old, and I held him and co-slept with him often. Believe me, I have to tackle him to catch him for a hug now! LOL Cuddling and comforting a baby does not automatically induce a spoiled brat, or whatever other nonsense your husband has been telling you.

My ex was also a pro at attacking my weaknesses... and my biggest weakness was fear that I was an incompetant mother. He criticized my every move. Yet he didn't have any more experience than I did, and I was researching everywhere and going with my gut instincts. All he could find to do was yell at me.
After I left, I became a much better mother, because I no longer had him there to make me second-guess myself.

I hope you can work through your fears and get some help. You will find a lot of good support here at the Catbox.
:hug:

#3 PrudenceB

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 10:36 AM

Welcome

Do you know the show "preg na nt in he els"? If you look up Ros ie po pe, she is the star of this realty series. She coaches new parents. There is one episode where a couple is having their first child and they have hired Rosie to make sure they have a "flexible baby". The baby they want to give birth to and raise is going to "trained by Rosie" to do what the parents want so that their lifestyle doesn't change at all. They can still take spur of the moment trips and go hang our in wineries and go out at night. They want the baby to sit quietly throughout all of this in a corner in the stroller and only be changed and fed, etc when they have a break in between from these activities.

The look on her face (she has 3 kids) when these people asked for this was the most priceless look I have ever seen. She simply said "have you ever met a flexibile baby?"

Babies are not flexible to adult schedules and they have a completely different set of developmental needs. God made babies to eat every couple of hours and need changing. He made them to not sleep through the night to get those growth needs met. If your boyfrind can not understand this this is the nature of babies and wants to be "strict" with one, there is something very wrong with him.

#4 PrudenceB

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 10:38 AM

Worst of all, he is totally inconsistent with the baby, so that, when he’s in a good mood, he lets him do whatever he wants, but when he’s in a bad mood, he becomes strict and accuses me of being lax.


How old is the baby?

It seems if the baby can do "whatever he wants" then the child is a toddler? Is that right? (just so we understand where you are in your situation)

And if you find yourself wishing for accidents, then is there more going on than you have said so far? Hitting, rages, name calling, silent treatment, etc?

#5 lionheart

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 01:35 PM

I know that I have to face what it is that’s keeping me in this relationship, to come to terms with my role in the situation so as not to replicate this behavior yet again. It’s time to change myself, without expecting him to change ... At the same time, I think, I’m just very afraid of the aftereffects my leaving might incur.


What you've said here above is all true and gets at the heart of things.

It might help to take a minute to actually write down on a piece of paper precisely what your fears are about leaving. In detail. With as much in the way of specifics as you can muster. Then take some time to sit with those fears.

After awhile (a day, two days, a week) try to examine and pinpoint what the thoughts are that are giving rise to those fears. (For example, are you worried about retaliation, retribution? Are you worried about hurting someone's feelings? Are you worried about more practical things like how will you support yourself? A combination of things?) And then examine carefully and honestly whether the thoughts are rational or not, what some possible solutions may be, and what is in your and your child's best interests. Think about prioritizing needs. Think about whether your situation is likely to get better, or worse, if nothing changes in him or you or your relationship.

Maybe you'll find the thoughts that give rise to those fears are rational, I don't know. But many fears spring from irrational thoughts and thus produce irrational fears.

It seems like you know what you need to do, but you're looking for validation and the courage to do it. If so here's a bit of advice Doc Irene gave another poster in a similar situation:

It is plain courtesy to offer an explanation of why the relationship is not working for you. But, you have no obligation to convince him of its merit. He will not understand and he will press you to explain your position. Perhaps he is likely to argue it and tell you why you are mistaken. Do not go here!
Write down your reasons in advance. Stick to them. Do not try to get him to understand your reasons or agree with your reasons. You do not need his permission, his OK, or his understanding to leave. The reason you are leaving likely includes his inability to understand


:wub:

#6 espresso

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 04:35 PM

Thank you all for your replies! Like Claudifred, the emotional abuse was a problem even before the baby – yelling, criticism, silent treatment, manipulation, devaluation of my thoughts and feelings, especially when I broach our difficulties, total refusal to talk about our problems – but I accepted a lot more when I was the only one concerned. He has never been physically violent, just manipulative, critical and verbally abusive. In fact, I was seriously thinking about leaving, but then, when I learned I was pregnant, I decided to give things another chance. Now, our amazing little boy is seven and a half months old. So, no Prudence he’s not a toddler – when I say “lets him do what he wants” I just mean little things like putting the remote control in his mouth or grabbing something he shouldn’t. I’ve never seen the show as I live in Europe and we don’t even have on-line access to American TV. But it sounds fitting – how can you expect to live the same lifestyle after a baby? That being said, he has adapted (albeit slowly and begrudgingly) but I have stopped asking for more because of the reaction it has continuously elicited. It’s really the inconsistent behavior and yelling that upset me, and make me worry for the future. Plus, I have many moments of doubt where I ask myself if i'm not overreacting, making too big a deal, etc. But I know that I want more than this for me and my family. I think that’s a great idea Lionheart, I’m just now beginning to take the time to write things down, to be clear about what’s going on here. Of course, I have so little time that just participating in this forum means the laundry isn’t getting done. I will do that, though, and keep this quote from Dr. Irene in my journal – to look back at again when the time comes.

#7 PrudenceB

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 10:38 PM

ah- ok so there is a history before baby. That helps get some perspective. And 7 months is just a wee thing :641: So basically "do whatever he wants" means he is not really watching and is indifferent. that is not so cool. a 7 months old can grab things, but not move himself, so BF is obviously not keeping baby away from things he should not be grabbing (which is normal for that stage) - and definately waaaaay too young to 'be strict" with. What a tool.

I think LH gave you a great suggestion for where you are at right now because what you are describing is the mind of an unreasonable person with expectations that are totally unrealistic and frankly mad as a hatter.

I am glad you found us and sorry you have to be here :641:

#8 DawnC

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 11:34 AM

There is a very good book by Penelope Leach called "Your Baby and Child". It will become very clear, after reading this book, that being cross and stern with a 7 month old infant is NOT "fine to a certain extent", so follow your instincts which TELL you this is not acceptable adult behavior and certainly not the loving behavior of a nurturing parent. Dragging a woman away from a screaming baby, insisting she can NOT nurse or hold her infant is CAVE MAN BEHAVIOR. It is NOT okay and you are NOT wrong to object strenuously to it. That infant NEEDS you...whatever the adult man WANTS from you can wait. He's an adult, not a baby. The adult man can't sleep without you in the bed next to him? Bullsh** It is so typical. He's jealous of that baby and the time the baby takes away from your constant attention to HIM, count on it. Even without a baby in the equation, a grown man insisting you come back to bed for HIS comfort is abusive. He's treating you like a teddy. You are an autonomous human being...YOU get to choose when and where and with whom you lie down.

If you read nothing else in this forum, read everything you can about "Teddy".

A few years ago, when things became intolerable for me at home, I went back in my mind to a time when my husband's mistreatment of me escalated, around the birth of our first child. Husband wanted to pose with the baby in public when the baby was behaving adorably , crowing about what a great dad he was...but when reality set in and it got messy and noisy and inconvenient, he was always angry and harsh and petulant and sulky about the baby's needs. If the baby interfered with sex, he'd go ballistic. It was FAR from a joyous time in our lives. I was exhausted all the time, not only from dealing with the baby's needs, but also dealing with the escalating DEMANDS of this adult infantile man who was so unreasonable and such a trial to me instead of a help. Even though we agreed I would stay at home with the baby, he never stopped resenting what he felt was my being lazy at home while he worked all day. Good grief. I never worked so hard in my life as I did as a new mother.

So, when I first came across this forum, I was actually using search terms like "husband jealous of baby", This searching was was the first time I came across the notion of "abuse". I mean, I knew I FELT terrible, but I didn't know his treatment of me was abusive. I just thought I was thin-skinned or too sensitive or doing something wrong. That's what HE insisted "my problem" was.

A man with no patience for an infant, who believes the infant is trying to get back at him or do things on purpose to upset him or making unreasonable demands on the mother's time (away from him) is the kind of man who will punish a toddler for being a toddler and abuse a child for just being a child. Your duty as a mother is to protect that helpless baby at all costs. Some schools of thought say that the spouse or partner should come first ahead of the children..to preserve that relationship, and of course some balance is needed there so the man does not end up feeling ignored. But an abusive man feels ignored even when his partner IS giving him her attention because he views the baby as a rival and resents ANY attention given to the baby. The problem exists in the mind of the abusive man.. but he does not believe or understand that fact. An abusive man's definition of 'putting the partner first ahead of the children' is completely different from that of a non-abusive man. Believe this to be true.

You are in a great place. This forum WILL help you see things more clearly. Use your vacation with the baby to recognize how much EASIER taking care of the baby is without his disruptive presence. I mean, really.

Good luck. I feel that my husband was the price I paid for my beautiful children. I stuck it out in large part because I knew I didn't want to share custody with this man, but YOU don't have to do the same. I'm not convinced, looking back, that my staying "in" was the best choice I could have made. It has been very hard.

The yelling IS a very big deal, so don't feel you are overreacting. Yelling at a BABY and telling a baby what mommy is doing wrong...is not the behavior of a well-adjusted grown-up man. It takes more than being the source of the sperm to be a good father. Not every man is cut out to be a daddy, certainly not an abusive man who wants to come first with HIS WOMAN no matter what. ((HUGS))

#9 PrudenceB

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 02:07 PM

no possible way to say it better than Dawn did.

#10 espresso

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 05:12 AM

It’s funny, in reading your responses, I first thought to myself, “Oh I didn’t communicate properly, I must have exaggerated, things aren’t that bad.” But I’ve thought it over and reread my comments and actually, I gave an accurate description of the way things often are. Of course, he can be wonderful and incredibly accommodating, but those moments seem to be growing fewer and farther between. And naturally, those times when he seems to show me “friendship” and “support” are also a huge reason why it’s so hard to leave. I so appreciate all of the support you all have given me. I’ve spent a while now trying to downplay our problems, not telling my family and friends the type of behavior and treatment we have been subjected to. Out of shame, perhaps, but most definitely because getting specific with others forces me to own up to what’s going on and the fact that it’s not alright. So, with this forum, perhaps I am getting one step closer to taking responsibility for the situation and getting out. Dawn's comments are to read and read again. I often feel that it would be so much easier to be a single mother than to have to deal with his mess, his moods and his hyposcrisy! I'll look up the "Teddy" info right away!




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