...to wish I got some praise from my DH just once?(37 Posts)
I've gone back to uni to change careers. I am finding the course really hard and stressful, but I have worked and studied very, very hard and I am getting really good grades. I am already half-way into my studies (midwifery).
Since I started the degree, every time I come home happy and proud of a good mark in an exam and tell DH about it, all I get is a negative comment about it. If I tell him I got a 90%, he will ask: "Oh, where did you lose those 10 points?", or "You should do better than that!", or something of the sort. I know it is a joke, and I know he is very proud of me... but I just wish he did say it even if it's only once. It's not like he tells me that and then says: "I was joking, it's great". No. He just makes his joke and moves on to whatever he wants to talk about next, and I am left with a withering excitement and feeling down. I have told him before that the joke has grown old and that it really upsets me that the only comments I get are negative. He does apologise... but then next time he will do the same thing. I am really not exaggerating, in a year and a half I haven't had one single positive reaction to a good grade.
Today I had a meeting with the midwife I have been working with for 3 months. She gave me fantastic feedback and marked me with a 95%. This is a crucial grade in the course. I have worked my pants off, been on call 24/7 for 3 months, studied hard, I have been there every day for the women we were working for, and I was full of pride listening to my midwife tell me how happy she was about me. This comes in the middle of exams, a really stressful period. I have been studying non-stop and have not had a day off in yonks. I came home beaming after the meeting.
DH came home. I told him about the grade. Surprise surprise, even before hearing what the grade was for, or anything else, the first thing that came out of his lips was: "95%, oh, you'll be gutted you lost those 5 points!!". Instant downer.
AIBU to feel frustrated and unappreciated? Am I being too sensitive here? Please give me a kick on the bum for being a whinger.
What a twat. YANBU.
You are obviously kicking ass.
You need to teach your DH about Positive Feedback And Encouragement. Think of some examples of how you could react to something he does - and show him the Positive and the Negative versions. And ask him how it makes him feel!
No, you're not being sensitive, I too would feel a bit hurt and overlooked if my DH did what yours does. A couple of thoughts:
My DH can be a bit of a Neanderthal in "getting it" when I find things hard. I just spell it out to him - something along the lines of "don't take the piss about a bloody 90% pass mark you sod, I am really happy about it and youre going to cook us a nice dinner to celebrate. I've defrosted some steak, get to it"
I heard from friend who has had lots of very good therapy and counselling that you can't expect everything you need to come from one person. Sometimes, you will need reassurance and love that your partner isn't capable of giving. Maybe this exam thing just isnt something hes going to be great at supporting you in. Can you tell your mum/friends/other family member about the course and get some support from them?
Congratulations on your excellent results. It sounds like they're very well deserved.
I think you need to sit him down and say what you've said here. You deserve the chance to take pleasure in your achievements. I have to agree with Saski, he's being a twat.
Agree - what a twat!
95% is brilliant, well done!
Can you treat yourself to a day off and go out with friends who appreciate you and know how hard you're working? Maybe they can tell your DH to
fuck off congratulate you more.
He is being a twat.
I have some experience of this attitude, my father is the same. When I graduated with a 2:1 I phoned him to tell him, his response was "is that all". I ended up in tears. When I was no longer drunk the following day I phoned him and told him how his comment made me feel. He had no idea and apologised.
Talk to him, tell him how you feel.
Have you asked him what exam results he got? Has he ever got as high as 95% (I haven't, and I am good at exams. Well done by the way!)
If he says, "um, no of course not", ask him outright, therefore just what he is trying to do, trying to make you feel shit about fantastic grades.
Actually what I would do in your position is not bother to tell him about your successes. I'd find someone else to tell - Mum, a friend not on the course . . . and then make sure he heard the tail end of the phone call, me saying "Yes I am so chuffed. Aw, thank you, it's so good to have you to talk to about it." And when he inevitably asked what that was about, say, "I was telling X about how well I did today. I have given up telling you as you keep trying to bring me down."
Thank you so much for the replies! The thing is, despite what this thread sounds like, my DH has more positive traits that can be listed here... he is supportive in my course, so much that he accepted me leaving a well-paid job and become a student just because I wanted a change, with him being the sole bread-winner, with no discussion at all. He actually cooks every night. He is lovely. I am now feeling bad for writing this about him, and I think I am being very petty. And he is really sad he has hurt me... but hell, next time he will do the same thing!
HandMini, your post has made me reflect. It may be I am expecting him to be perfect? He certainly does not upset me on purpose.
If he will do the same thing next time, then frankly he is not sad about it. He is sad at being pulled on his behaviour.
Well I would stop sharing with him. Just say nothing, and if he asks tell him you are fed up with him taking the shine off.
Is he threatened that you are doing so well do you think?
OP I'm glad to hear that he's doing nice things to support you, that's way more important than actually saying nice things.
Aurynne - I've had difficult times with my DP in the past, but like yours, he's a great, honest, loving person who I want to be with, I've just had to learn that when it comes to emotional support I either need to spell it out to him in words of only syllable or seek it elsewhere. Both of those options work for me and I think there's nowt wrong with it (nowt wrong with coming on here and having a moan about him either!).
And you can "expect someone to be perfect" and you can want someone to be perfect but I think in real life you need to help them to be the perfect partner for you IFYSWIM.
My dp does this a bit, so I turn it round on him. If he criticises me and I don't feel I deserve it, I call him on it. It's a bit of a joke now, I call him el criticismo.
Not sure if that's helpful, but it's improvedthings for us.
I'm retraining and halfway through a degree with OU and a SAHP to two children whilst me DH is out at work mostly 12 hrs per day, so can relate a bit to your situation.
Firstly it's get you are retraining, lots of people say to me I don't know how you do it, so Im passing this onto to you also, recognition of the hard work.
Is it possible your DH is jealous or resentful of you excelling, is he stuck in an unfulfilling career? or does he miss the time you spend together because you our studying? So he expresses this with what sound like at best exceedingly dry for of humour? Does he feel threatenede by your success.
I must say I admire your restraint, I would have mouthed a sharp retort back and seriously pulled by DH up by now. See below....
I have been in a position where I was resentful of my husband and wasn't always kind (not an issue now all worked out) and I've also experienced a period in my marriage where the dynamics changed as a result of work life balance shifts.
Just a few thoughts .....and keep going you sound like you are doing great
My dh is a bit like this. It is obvious where it has come from - his dad, who is like it too but much worse. I call him on it where I can, often after the event in a nice way (for example when he is like it with ds). He is getting better but it's hard to break away from years of conditioning.
What brilliant results, you must be so proud of yourself.
YANBU, what an instand damper. It sounds like your DH is generally an OK bloke so have a chat with him, ask him if he doesn't want you to be on the course, when he says of he does then tell him how it makes you feel when he comes out with his "jokey" comments.
Well, only you know your DH, OP and if he is otherwise a genuinely decent and supportive man, then perhaps you just need to take him up on this very clearly, and s-p-e-l-l I-t o-u-t. Maybe go out for a meal where there are no distractions and bring it up and talk about it properly i.e. give it some time? See what he says? It could be a mindless joke. Or it could be something a bit more unpleasant, jealous or resentful, which he might need to look at. Either way, I think you should confront it more fully ...
And congratulations on doing soooo well on your course - IMO midwifery is such a special and important job .
Tell him that he's only got 20% in his Emotional Support Exam!
make a negative comments box (like a swear box) - everytime he comes back with a negative comment he has to put some money in then spend it all on yourself!!
As soon as he criticises, tell him off!!
Does he/will he do this with your children? My DH's parents were like this. Very "nice" but critical. He's now very self critical and critical of others. So much so that it's very draining and he doesn't have much confidence. He also won't say much unless it's perfect and will pick me up if I make a slight mistake even when he knows what I mean. But he knows it's upsetting and really works on it.
Tell him that he's only got 20% in his Emotional Support Exam!
Best reply ever, that'll get him going.
He's being a total prat. Next time I would say "Darling, I have some wonderful news about my course. When I tell you you will respond positively or not respond at all, because your constant negative comments hurt me. Now, I got 95%, isn't that amazing!"
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