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Normal Expectations in a Relationship?

Community Member
Im not even sure where to begin. back when we first got together about 14yrs ago we were equal partners. i worked, he worked, we were both equal and it was good. Roll on pregnancy, weight gain, miscarriage..and struggling to loose the weight. another pregnancy, successful, more weight gain and he was unhappy that i couldn't seem to loose the weight fast enough. after he told me he didn't find me attractive anymore i did everything i could and lost some weight (not all but a bit came off) and baby number 2 happened, followed by number 3. During this time i always got back to the same weight but never lost the extra 10kgs from the miscarried pregnancy. And it was always an issue. everything always comes back to me being too fat, and he's been waiting forever. i was a size 16. Even now (I'm a size 14) he still flys off the handle when he's in a bad mood and tells me i am fat, i have '30kg of blubber' to loose etc. I have to measure each week and send the results in. We argue a lot and tho i am careful to avoid arguments i do get angry too. He gets angry when i dont answer a message fast enough. he frequenrtly calls me  names. He works away so most of the time its just me and the kids. He messages me every single break he has. i am expected to be up before he goes to work, and answer my phone every time he messages, if i don't i am in big trouble. even if he knows i am driving he will still message me. he gets annoyed when i am at friends and wants to know who is there. if i go somehwere that takes longer than it should he demands to know where else i have been. constantly accuses me of having an affair. I think i am starting to have anxiety as i get nervous and shaky around the time his breaks are coming on. he also expects nude photos and videos, every day he has off i am to send pics when he wakes up. he pressures me for anal and tells me i am a 'piss poor excuse coz i dont want to do it. he knows it hurts me but expects me to show grattitude and put a smile on my face. he wants to do 'rough' sex  & wants me to slap or punch him and be angry. I am not comfortable with any of this and i no longer know what is "expected" and what isn't in a relationship. i feel i don't have any rights because i am a stay at home mum. i keep hoping it will go back to what it used to be like..then he tells me he loves me fat or skinny, no matter what. its like whiplash and i don't believe him anymore, i feel like property not "love"
6 Replies 6

Community Member

Hi justconfused,

this is definitely not normal. He sounds very selfish and insensitive. Often our bodies react to our surroundings, you may not be able to lose the weight because you don't feel safe, your body is trying to protect you. If he was supportive you might feel safe and find it easier to lose weight, but how will you find the motivation when he is calling you fat? Obviously he doesn't realise the pressure that pregnancy and childbirth puts on a woman's body. It is not easy... he should be grateful that you have given him children and not expect you to still have the same body you had years ago... it doesn't work like that! I'm sure that the miscarriage affected you far more than him, and you probably (I'm guessing from the way you have described him) received little support from him through this difficult time. I think that you would benefit from seeing a counsellor together. The counsellor will definitely tell him that his expectations of you are completely unreasonable. From making you text back immediately to sending pictures (I don't know how he can expect this when he puts you down... how are you supposed to feel sexy when he speaks to you this way?) and asking for anything in the bedroom that he knows you are not comfortable with is just cruel! Stand your ground, just because you are married does not mean he owns you, you have a right to say no. Everyone is in to different things and if that is what he is into then maybe he should have talked to you about it at the beginning of the relationship.

If I were you, I would be filing for divorce... but that is just my opinion. How old are your children? As soon as they are old enough, try to get back into the workforce. It will give you back some independence and help you feel like you have rights again. Even if you do want to stay with him despite all this (and I understand if you do as you obviously care about your children) at least getting back to work will help you feel like an equal partner again.

Divorce is obviously a big decision and hard for everyone involved, but keep in mind the example you are setting for your children. If you have girls you are teaching them that it is ok to be treated this way by men, and if you have boys your husband is teaching them that it is ok to treat women this way.

Try counselling, but if that doesn't work, for your own sake I think you should get as far from him as possible.

Keep in touch and good luck xo

Community Member

Hi justconfused. He sounds controlling and judgemental and totally abusive. Your depression from having the weight gain through pregnancy is being 'helped' for lack of another word, by his continued abuse. Marriage counseling may be beneficial, although counselors, as a rule, seldom actually tell someone their expectations are unreasonable. I do agree with Boo that he is being ultra unreasonable. Sometimes counselors will suggest a type of role reversal, where spouses 'act out', his role, her role. This has been known to work, provided both parties accept it can be a bit confronting. I feel, personally, counseling might help you with your self confidence, but whether he would be prepared to work with you is something I can't comment on. It sounds like you are a commodity he owns. I would be considering my options at this point. Whether you decide to stay or leave is your choice, but staying means further abuse, leaving means freedom from abuse. He is totally abusing you and it will continue for as long as you allow it. You have to be the one to stop it, only you can stop it. BB will support and guide you, we have counselors here who are ready to help you, but the ultimate decision is yours. There is no respect, no reason to stay except your feelings of inadequacy, which I hear. The inadequacy you feel is part of the abuse you have been subjected to.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Justconfused,

You are in a horrible place and I feel for you. I think your account sets out a grim picture.

I consider I am a 'normal' husband (been married for a total of 45 years to 2 lovely people, one of whom died) and I would not dream of doing the things you mentioned your husband does because it would hurt my partner.

Take the issue of weight, my wife and I joke about all sorts of things -If she was overweight I would never ever mention it - even as a joke - because it might make her feel bad.

You can't have 'control' in a loving relationship, its an arrangement between equals. Many families have division of roles - mother vs bread winner. It's still a partnership which must have understanding and consideration all round.

Sex is something you must enjoy, it is never a duty or something to be expected as a right, similarly the forms sex takes must delight both parties.

You husband appears to be forcing his will on you in so many ways , bad for you, bad for your children.

I could not put it as well as Lynda and Boo1986 have -they've just about covered all bases. I thought it important you hear from a 'normal' person in a 'normal' husband/wife relationship to help you gain perspective on your current situation when deciding what to do.

I regret to say that as far as I can see that wishing things would return to how they were at first is not a realistic hope.

My best wishes


Thank you for your replies. Update! Its now March and I am so much more aware of just how abusive and controlling he is. I got angry. I phoned a friend one day and vented. She got concerned and approached a family member, who confronted me with her husband. So i filled them in a little. They got very concerned and threw some words around. I laughed most of it off all the while having a sinking feeling. I had known things were not right for some time and now i had to face that. I told a little to my friends - not knowing they had already seen my anxiety and withdrawal from them. The more I talked about it the more i realised. I started googling (I still do). And then events happened. I realised he was drinking 4+ bottles of beer every night. He would snarl at me for no reason. Roll his eyes while I was talking to him. Yelling at the kids (even threatening to smash their trampoline because they wanted him to play on it with him and kept harping on about it). The more I knew, the more angry I got and I started standing up to him. He has demanded that i pack and leave 3 times now. Each time I have held my ground and he doesn't like it. One incident he flew into a rage at me. Complete rage. Clenched fists, bulging vein in temple and red face. at one point he said "well somebody needs to teach your mother a lesson". this shocked him, and at the same time I realised I am not afraid. He has taken my bank card off me twice now in a rage because I stood up to him. This has all led me up to the where I am now disgusted by him. He knows something has changed. He demands sex daily. I now know he has sexually abused me at times. I reached a point of no return early march. He flipped out at me, took my bank card, went to work & afterward a simple apology for "being a d*ck". he acted like nothing happened. That night he expected sex. While he didn't hold me down and force me, I knew I had no choice in the matter. If not that day, then more rage and it would come about another day. 

This prompted me to see a dr, who has put me on the list for a referral to a councillor. He has mentioned BPD and Narcissism.

Safe to say I have now been pushed to all limits. I am waiting for my counselling appointment and meantime trying to sort out all loose ends so I can leave.

Thanks again xxx


Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Justconfused~

I don't think that name applies any more. While I'm sad about what's happened to you I'm also glad that you can see what's been happening and are taking action.

Your latest post paints a very clear picture, a man that needs to put you down. Things escalating and increasingly dangerous.

I don't think from what you said before and say now there was ever any other outcome that could leave you whole.

I was very pleased when you said there were other people in your life that you went to and were understanding. To not be alone at this time is a great thing.

I'll mention our 24/7 help line on 1300 22 4636 which you can ring. It is not just for suicidal thoughts as some people might think, but are professionals who may be able to put you in touch with useful services and advice.

Thank you for the update, we were wondering how you were getting on. Please come back here whenever you'd like.


Hi Justconfused,

Wow... I am so proud of you. You sound fearless and determined!! You have been so brave and so strong, I am in awe of you. I hope you realise how well you have done in such a terrible situation. Keep on this path, I'm very glad you will have a counsellor to support you and your family and friends too.

I hope so much that you will be free of his behaviour very soon and can experience a whole new life.

You are amazing, well done!!