To not moan about my DH, therefore unintentionally pissing off nearly every woman I know?

(40 Posts)

No exaggeration - all my female relatives and most of my friends seem to have one favourite topic of conversation - being 'the general crapness of men'. Whatever the subject, it always seems to end up being about men being useless, men being thoughtless, lazy, dim, whatever. Sometimes it's in a jokey 'Mr Bean' way, sometimes it's a real slanging session.

I don't feel comfortable with these conversations for two reasons. 1 - I have sons, and quite often they're around when these conversations are going on. I don't want them to grow up believing that men are there to have the piss taken out of them. 2 - My DH isn't perfect (nearly but not quite grin) but he works hard and does everything he can for me & the DC. So I don't have any reason to slate him and don't want to anyway - why would I be so shitty about someone I'm supposed to love? confused.

So anyway, usually when these conversations are going on I go a bit quiet or make my excuses and go (because apart from anything else it's boring to hear again and again and again). At that point my friends/family will start pulling faces and making remarks like "Ooh Mr Flump would never do that.... ooh loves young dream <vomit faces> Ooh sorry I forgot you live in a perfect little love bubble" etc ect....

One of these times I did actually get quite pissed off and tell the family member concerned that it was really sad that she'd rather spend her life with someone who she clearly doesn't have any respect for and slag him off constantly behind his back than do anything about it blush. We had a few frosty weeks after that...

So anyway, AIBU?

momb Tue 12-Feb-13 09:53:19

YANBU. Mutual respect is very underrated generally IMO.

FunnysInLaJardin Tue 12-Feb-13 09:55:02

YANBU and I also feel like this. I can't and won't join in with the all men are bastards nonsense becuase that is just not my experience. My DH is lovely and always has been and my 2 sons are shaping up the same.

Sometimes people try to get me to join in a husband bashing convo and because I won't I get the oh Mr Funny is perfect I forgot. But I won't slag off DH just to please them! Good for you for answering back btw

aldiwhore Tue 12-Feb-13 09:55:36

YANBU if you're doing exactly as you say in your op.

YABU if you're smug and constantly reminding everyone how amazing your man is.

I have a near perfect-for-me DH. It makes me the target of mockery sometimes. It's annoying.

I try and ignore it, I'm certainly not going to join them. I may occassionally say "Thank fuck I don't have to deal with THAT" but I never join in with the slagging oof.

retrocutie Tue 12-Feb-13 09:55:42

1 - I have sons, and quite often they're around when these conversations are going on. I don't want them to grow up believing that men are there to have the piss taken out of them. 2 - My DH isn't perfect (nearly but not quite ) but he works hard and does everything he can for me & the DC.

No, YANBU. I think men generally get a raw deal in today's society. And on Mumsnet, for that matter.

aldiwhore Tue 12-Feb-13 09:55:57

oFF sorry smile

Cherriesarelovely Tue 12-Feb-13 09:57:15

I understand what you mean. When I first had DD I used to go along to a baby group where this was literally all the other mums used to talk about. Some of them were just doing it in a jokey, sounding off kind of way but one or two used to literally assasinate their partner's characters in every way you can imagine so that you would actually think that they hated their partners rather than loved them. Of these 2 one of the couples did split up in the end but the other are still together and she is similarly vitriolic about him (he's not like that about her) 10 years on.

When I had Dd I was single so used to just sit quietly during these discussions but when Dd was 2 I met my wonderful Dp (I'm gay, DP is therefore another woman.....obviously!) and wouldn't dream of talking about her in the way those mums did their DHs.

Goldmandra Tue 12-Feb-13 09:58:02

YANBU to not want to join in the slagging off session and they ABU for criticising you for that. Perhaps they are a little jealous?

YABU to think your family member shouldn't be allowed to vent to others in the same position as her. You can't always change people into what you want them to be and venting to others is often a good way to manage your emotions about that.

aldi no I'm not smug - if anything I make a point of not talking about DH because nobody seems to want to hear anything nice sad. And I do think it's sad that if somebody wants to tell everyone what a shit someone is, people seem to lap it up...

TwllBach Tue 12-Feb-13 10:04:30

YANBU when I first moved in with exDP I was 19 and mixed with older women. For a good few years me and exDP had what I thought was a perfect life, but I felt like I had to join in with the bitching, just to fit in. As I got older and more comfortable with my "friends" I just didn't join in. Luckily, they didn't laugh at me, they just accepted it. I do remember the feeling of pressure, though, and then the feeling of disloyalty when I joined in.

I do think, though, that it is just another way of reinforcing the bonds between women. I don't necessarily think they all thought there husbands/part are as useless as they make out. Not that it makes it any better!

ThenWeTakeBerlin Tue 12-Feb-13 10:05:47

I hate, "all men are useless/crap/can't do anything themselves,etc".

I wouldn't like hearing men generalising about women in that way.

YANBU to complain about the above. You shouldn't have to feel apologetic for having a lovely DH smile

Gold yes I see what you mean about 'venting'. But in another way I think they are managing to slowly but surely ruin their relationships. My mum and one of my sisters spend lots of time together at my sisters house - where the main topic of conversation is how useless her H is. These conversations don't end when the H walks in - and then they wonder why he goes out all the time hmm

ThenWeTakeBerlin Tue 12-Feb-13 10:08:16

Love's young dream.....^Perfect little bubble^.....

Sounds like sour grapes on their part wink

ThenWeTakeBerlin Tue 12-Feb-13 10:10:28

Messed up my italics, MNing whilst watching Homes Under the Hammer :/

treaclesoda Tue 12-Feb-13 10:12:44

I hate hearing people slagging off their husband etc too. My DH is not perfect, but he is a decent human being, and I wouldn't criticise him to my friends or family (maybe a bit of light hearted jokey stuff) because I would hate to think of him sitting moaning about me to his friends.

I even went to counselling at one stage and the counsellor remarked on how unwilling I was to discuss my relationship, but frankly it was non of her business, and I felt it wasn't relevant to why I was seeking help.

CartedOff Tue 12-Feb-13 10:12:57

" Whatever the subject, it always seems to end up being about men being useless, men being thoughtless, lazy, dim, whatever"

What I hate about this kind of conversation is that it's usually reinforcing the attitude that men are naturally a bit rubbish, so it dismisses them and excuses an individual's crap behaviour at the same time. I hate this "Oh it's just the way they are" attitude that lumps all men in with a few selfish ones.

aldiwhore Tue 12-Feb-13 10:13:54

badtasteflump it very saddening isn't it?

The VERY strange this is that my DH isn't into grand gestures, and we don't 'do' Valentines or Anniversaries really, other than the usual "You are my cariad" kind of attitude. Yet, the friends who slag off their men ALL THE TIME, really advertise the huge gestures and expect everyone to go Awwww... it's difficult to do when for 99% of the time they're telling you what a bastard he is. If someone says "I've got loads of ironing to do, my DH is a lazy twat is yours the same?"and I say "Not really he's quite good like that"... they see it as their duty to mock me.

Meh.

BTW don't think we qualify as love's young dream unfortunately grin

PostBellumBugsy Tue 12-Feb-13 10:15:03

badtaste - I'm glad for you & I'm really pleased to hear you don't moan about your DH.

I get really fed up of all my married/partnered friends whining about their OHs - particularly when most of it is trivial & unimportant.

As a single parent with a very uncooperative & tight ex-H, it pains me to hearing moaning about not taking the bins out or leaving the bath towel on the floor!!!!!

GinAndSlimlinePlease Tue 12-Feb-13 10:16:13

YANBU.

I find it utterly disrespectful when people slag off their partners. It's fine to off load a little grumble to close friends or family if really needed. But I'm in a team with my DH and believe in treating him with the respect I expect him to treat me with.

treaclesoda Tue 12-Feb-13 10:18:19

aldi you are so right about the grand gestures, I've noticed that too.

I used to work in an office where a few of the girls were always receiving massive bunches of flowers, delivered to the office on their birthday or whatever, and had these massive diamond rings bestowed upon them, yet they appeared to actively dislike the man in question. Yet they somehow pitied me because my DH couldn't afford to buy me a big engagement ring. I sometimes felt like I lived in a parallel universe.

ThenWeTakeBerlin Tue 12-Feb-13 10:18:56

I agree with your post, CartedOff.

Generalising that all men are rubbish can mean martyrdom and doing chores/jobs your DP could easily be doing.

Branleuse Tue 12-Feb-13 10:20:21

YANBU

I hate hearing people slag off their partners

Its one thing to talk with a close friend about a genuine relationship problem but to air your dirty laundry in public is completely disrespectful. I would never ever EVER (etc) do this. I only have one friend that does it and I dont like it.
If you dont like him, then leave the relationship or talk to HIM

WhichIsBest Tue 12-Feb-13 10:20:32

I don't know why, but I never regularly talk about crap partners with friends. We talk about work or er, I don't know, plans, the house, politics, the children, news, TV! I have one friend who tells me about her awful husband but they are know the process of separating so that's fair enough.

Loa Tue 12-Feb-13 10:25:20

YANBU - though I found it hard to not get sucked in on occasions - especially if there are things that I'm not wild about within the relationship but haven't been so upset that I've done anything about yet.

It then breeds resentment but doesn't always lead to better communication within the marriage.

After my PFB my mother would ring me up a lot and most conversations she would turn round to helping me find fault with DH. It took me a while to see that - it was made much clearer by seeing friend’s very overbearing parents do the same to her.

I found it much better to avoid such conversations.

You can ask if they told their DP how they feel - that often gets a look of scorn or a look of surprised shock.

aldiwhore Tue 12-Feb-13 10:31:26

It may be contrary, but I don't actually mind my friends discussing their DH's and their problems, just like I don't have an issue with some of the AIBU threads. I don't even mind occassional gentle mockery... it's the ongoing 'my DH is a joke' conversations that are often unfair and cruel that make me cringe.

Jelly15 Tue 12-Feb-13 10:35:26

YANBU. There are several things that annoy/have upset me about DH but I don't moan about him to family and friends because I love him and he is mine but most of all I would be hurt if he slagged me off to others.

Pandemoniaa Tue 12-Feb-13 10:42:17

YANBU in not wanting to join in with constant fault finding even though none of us are perfect. So while there are things that do desperately irritate me about DP at times, I don't bang on about this to the exclusion of any other conversation and neither do my friends.

I tend to take the view that if someone is so awful to live with that their awfulness needs to be the topic of constant conversation then you should examine why you are with them at all. If someone is, genuinely, in an awful relationship then you support them of course, but most of the people I've come across who want to slag off their partners relentlessly seem to want to do so for the sake of it.

I still remember the truly vile tea party hosted by someone who spent two hours talking in graphic and vitriolic detail about her husband's failings in pretty much every area. When we got onto the topic of his wanking preferences me and another friend suddenly discovered an urgent appointment elsewhere. All was made worse by knowing him in another capacity (so to speak) and I was never able to look him in the eye without thinking "I know why you take your briefcase to the bathroom on Fridays but I wish I didn't".

pictish Tue 12-Feb-13 10:42:43

Mmm...one the one hand yanbu at all, because I agree that moaning about men is not only boring, but often counterproductive as they all commiserate with one another and cement together the acceptability of crap relationships.
On the other hand, you don't need to be so tight lipped and prickly about it really, do you?
Behind the bitching and the shredding is the very real message that they do not like their husbands. That's a big thing to deal with in their lives.

Loa Tue 12-Feb-13 10:45:50

It may be contrary, but I don't actually mind my friends discussing their DH's and their problems

I think there is a difference between talking through problems to help clarify what the problems are and how to communicate that to encouraging fault finding for its own sake and dripping poison in ears.

Mostly I think some women just get into a habit of low level moaning about DP with out being unhappy as such which is depressing to be round and really not good for anyone.

Berts Tue 12-Feb-13 11:20:52

YANBU - I have a friend who never, NEVER opens her mouth to even mention her DH unless it's to say how crap/selfish/wrong he is about everything. And she never misses an opportunity to jump on any tiny thing I mention about my DH to go 'See, at least your DH does ..., you're so lucky, etc, etc' until it's come to the point that I avoid talking about my DH at all, or only ever mention negative things about him. sigh

It's depressing and makes me think she not only doesn't like her DH, but has absolutely no respect for him at all. She not only slags him off to me, but to his face in front of me, which I find mortifying, and rude to me as well as him.

Call me old-fashioned, but I was raised to never discuss your arguments with your husband outside the house - you sort them out with your DH before you start airing all your dirty linen elsewhere. It's the sort of thing that corrodes your whole relationship.

I agree Berts smile. It's the 'walls and windows' thing for me.

Wishiwasanheiress Tue 12-Feb-13 11:32:40

Replying direct to op - don't moan about mine either. He's pretty steadily fab. Drives others bats.

Now, his mother on the other hand.......

Goldmandra Tue 12-Feb-13 11:35:08

Gold yes I see what you mean about 'venting'. But in another way I think they are managing to slowly but surely ruin their relationships. My mum and one of my sisters spend lots of time together at my sisters house - where the main topic of conversation is how useless her H is. These conversations don't end when the H walks in - and then they wonder why he goes out all the time

Fair comment. That is a bit beyond venting.

I still think having a moan and sharing frustrations can be healthy in the context of a normal loving relationship. It helps me to hear sometimes when other people's DHs are also incapable of noticing anything which needs putting away or getting what's going on in their own children's heads.

What you are describing sounds toxic!

Wishi ooh yes MILs are exempt grin

lottiegarbanzo Tue 12-Feb-13 12:01:39

YANBU at all, I hate this and similarly often go quite or leave. I would be very angry if DP spoke about me in this way.

There are degrees of it though. Many people, men too, believe the 'Mars vs Venus' stuff and, as with any belief system, always seek to explain everything in that context, however absurd or contradictory the result. I am that 'sometimes I'd rather be right than have friends' bore who talks about bell curves and a continuum of behaviour, which may have extreme masculine at one end and feminine at the other but, 'remember, those terms do not mean the same as male and female and most people will be in the middle.' Blank looks, return to entertaining prejudice.

Post-baby, I have found the roles adopted by my parent-friends interesting, some depressing and have seen the extent to which women who have 'hopeless, bless them, hardly help me with my housework and parenting' partners had similarly disengaged fathers and, however much they hoped for something different, have chosen something familiar - because in their world, all men are like that, so why would you reject someone for those attitudes or expect otherwise?

I walk a tightrope between demonstrating that people do live differently and not wanting to make them feel worse about a situation they're already unhappy about. Given that major change is unlikely, I am rather more sympathetic to their need to blow off steam and seek comfort in fellow-feeling.

twinklesparkles Tue 12-Feb-13 12:18:27

Yanbu smile and I think its lovely that you started this thread

I don't slag off my dh, it just puts him down (even if he isn't there to hear it). He tries his hardest and even when things are hard moaning about him to all and sundry isn't going to help. I doubt it helps the wives/girlfriends either hmm although it can be good to vent, I don't understand how putting someone down then others agreeing with you (even though they aren't involved) can make the situation any better.
Plus sometimes it does feel like the women are just doing it as this is the general topic sad its like a mass slanging match towards hubbys

If I knew my dh spoke about me like that(he doesn't... Well he better bloody not lol) to his friends I'd be so devastated and would hope we couldve discussed it between ourselves.

XxX

Loa Tue 12-Feb-13 12:22:36

This is a book www.ask.com/wiki/Games_People_Play_(book) that deals with social games people play and often don't realise they are - I can't remember what they all are but I wouldn't be suprised if this behavior was one of them - could explain why it's so hard not to go alone with and why the are so nasty OP when you don't.

idococktailshedoesbeer Tue 12-Feb-13 12:31:08

I have a laugh with my friends about stupid things DP does and I know he tells his mates about my obsession with keeping the house tidy as they all wind me up about it. But it's all done affectionately, he is brilliant on the whole and I also tell my friends about all the lovely things he does. I would never be vicious, why would you be with someone you can't stand?

CartedOff Tue 12-Feb-13 12:39:17

Games People Play blew my mind way back in the day. Great book.

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