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psychlady, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 6893
Experience:  I have over 16 years experience in treating adults presenting with a variety of relationship issues
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I am on the cusp of making a very serious decision, and that

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I am on the cusp of making a very serious decision, and that is whether to leave my long-term partner, or not. It is complicated because we have a daughter. If I go, I still feel strongly that she should have a good relationship with her father, as both my partner and I did not grow with our own fathers.
The thought to leave, has been quite sudden, but now I'm reflecting on my relationship, the tell tale signs have been there for a long time.
Over the last fews years I have allowed him to become an emotional bully. We used to have fun having a few drinks in the afternoon, arranging for friends to come and join in, we used to make quips about friends neighbours, family members that used to be our 'in' jokes. But these are the things he now seems to object about. But apart from a half hearted protest I let comments go especially if there was a chance the mood would escalate. I undertook, CBT because I felt i had a lot of stress and anxiety, I did feel that some of the stuff he would say to me was true. But after CBT i realised there was very little wrong with me apart from a few childhood upsets. I then thought the problems were related to my work environment, but that wasn't it either. I did turn to alcohol to unwind at night, but he turned this around into me becoming some kind of drunk. So I addressed this with the CBT therapist. She asked me how my relationship was and I quickly responded 'he's a good guy, lovely bloke' etc., It is only now that I am beginning to think that his behaviour may have been the cause of the anxiety but I was not able to accept this.
We have become more emotionally detached in the last couple of years, because we both work full-time, and then share child care responsibilities. We very rarely parent together, so when we have spent time together as family he seems to criticise what I have allowed our daughter to wear, or how she wears her hair.
His mother has recently come to live nearby, and over the last 18 months they have become increasingly more socially and emotionally dependent on each other. It has gone from 'you and me versus the world' to 'me, and them them versus the world'. When I have voiced my concerns about the amount of time they spend together, he accuses me of being jealous. He is an only child and she was a single mother. She worked hard when he was growning up, but he spent a lot of time with the elderly couple next door while she worked. He spent a lot of time in hospital as a teenager, and would be schooled in hospital. His mother met a nice man when my partner was in his mid teens, and he moved in with 2 older children from a previous relationship. Unfortunatley he died after a bout 12 years of cancer, they no longer have contact with the 2 others. My partner has a stressful job, that he doesn't enjoy, and his only close friend moved away about 3 years ago.
I cannot bear the person he has become, and I know he has no insight into how his personality has changed. He has always suffered from a degree of OCD, I feel as a result of his mother, when he was small making out everything was perfect if they looked smart. He used to be the life and soul of the party as long as you could prise him out of the house to get to the party!
His relationship with his mother does seem superficially close, but I have noticed throughout the years that there is some resentment there. But he is becoming increasingly more morose, and less inclined to socialise in any new situation. He has always put a great deal of importance into personal belongings, becoming unusually upset if the hoover/microwave breaks, etc.,. If something doesn't work he will take it personally, or implies that some else (ie me) broke it on purpose. I'm not sure if this is a mid-life crisis, post traumatic stress, narcisism, or all three, but I don't know how to help, don't want to stick around to see what my happen. I also don't want to walk away if there is a solution, but I know his mother is not a deep enough person to know that there is something up with him.

The only way to know if there is a solution is to enter counseling together and find out. Of course he would have to be motivated. I am wondering if you told him how unhappy you are would he do this to save the relationship. You can take all of these issues up with a counselor and find out if it is worth saving. His issues may be too much at this point but then at least you would know that you gave it your best. Don't worry about his "diagnosis" as much as seeing if the relationship has enough left to survive whatever is going on. If in your heart you say I really want to walk away then nothing will work but separation. And then his behavior or mindset does not matter. You don't have to stay with a relationship out of obligation. You have to be happy. You decide first before you discuss any kind of plan what it is you really want. And then inform him of same. If you think the relationship with mom is intrusive then you have a decision to make. Over the next few days decide what you want and communicate this to him.


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
There is a guilt issue here, I think part of the reason we have not split before now is that neither of us grew up with our own fathers, and have misguidedly tried to hide from the truth, so that our daughter would grow up with a mother and father. At the age of six she is too old not to know the difference, but too young perhaps to accept that it is not her fault. I will probably attend relationship counselling alone in order to make sense of this, and hopefully find a way to move forward that will lessen the emotional trauma for her and me. He has turned into a 14 yr old pubescent boy at present, door slamming, muttering under his breath, running to his mum, so counselling or broaching the subject will induce guffaws of derision and ridicule. I do believe he needs help, but neither he nor his mum will help him seek it, I think the little boy she misses might just be going home.
Counseling would be a very good idea. You can even involve your child to move past the transition phase. Do what you think is best. Your daughter will accept that she is in two homes with people who love her rather than one that is in turmoil. She will be better off in the end.
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