...to wish I got some praise from my DH just once?

(37 Posts)
aurynne Fri 24-May-13 09:17:41

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.

Saski Fri 24-May-13 09:19:15

What a twat. YANBU.

You are obviously kicking ass. flowers

Bonsoir Fri 24-May-13 09:22:32

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!

HandMini Fri 24-May-13 09:23:13

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. flowers

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.

OddSockMonster Fri 24-May-13 09:24:03

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.

Ullena Fri 24-May-13 09:26:48

He's being a prat.

YANBU

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.

BalloonSlayer Fri 24-May-13 09:30:37

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."

aurynne Fri 24-May-13 09:30:46

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.

Ullena Fri 24-May-13 09:35:33

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.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 24-May-13 09:37:04

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?

Saski Fri 24-May-13 09:41:25

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.

HandMini Fri 24-May-13 09:42:29

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!).

HandMini Fri 24-May-13 09:43:47

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.

TiredyCustards Fri 24-May-13 09:49:21

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.

Feelingood Fri 24-May-13 09:54:12

Hi OP

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

Cat98 Fri 24-May-13 10:09:47

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.

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 24-May-13 10:13:43

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.

RhinestoneCowboy Fri 24-May-13 10:16:19

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 smile.

OxfordBags Fri 24-May-13 10:18:41

Tell him that he's only got 20% in his Emotional Support Exam!

Holliewantstobehot Fri 24-May-13 10:22:27

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.

Loulybelle Fri 24-May-13 10:29:47

Tell him that he's only got 20% in his Emotional Support Exam!

Best reply ever, that'll get him going.

StuntGirl Fri 24-May-13 10:35:13

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!"

InkleWinkle Fri 24-May-13 10:36:51

Do you think he's a bit envious? That you're pursuing your dream & maybe he's not? Maybe he doesn't realise what he's doing?

HandMini Fri 24-May-13 10:44:24

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.. My DP exactly the same - it's so sad, conditioning from their childhood, in this case his schooling.

Everyone above has given great tips on "reconditioning" people like this. They just need to understand that positive comment is reinforcing and keep being told negative comment isn't helpful unless its constructive.

VikkiiKawaii Fri 24-May-13 10:48:45

Even if you DH hasn't said so you've done amazingly well, especially considering Midwifery is so hard to get onto in the first place! I hope I do as well as you have when/if I get onto the course! :D

aurynne Fri 24-May-13 11:34:04

"Tell him that he's only got 20% in his Emotional Support Exam!"

I love this! I will keep that comeback handy ;)

No, definitely not jealous, he loves his job and is very good at it too. I am feeling much better now, I think the fact that I am tired, stressed and emotional has played a part in me getting so hurt. DH is definitely not that good expressing emotions verbally, and I am thinking that he may just find it easier to turn it into a joke. He is now feeling very guilty that he has dampened the moment.

Thank you so much for your support. Yep, midwifery is being an amazing journey, I am absolutely loving it, but never imagined it would be so all-encompassing and emotionally draining. We have no children, which makes me really admire the other students who are going through the same thing but having to deal with childcare, children who complain their mum is never there, and having to run in the middle of the night with no warning.

My parents were like this. The standard response to (say) 95% in an exam was "what happened to the other 5%?"

They were joking, and they were proud of us, but it took it's toll nonetheless. I, and DB2, finally confronted them about it because they started doing it to my DS, who is so self critical that he simply cannot take this sort of teasing. They do now refrain with DS, at least.

OP I would say to your DH that if he can't say anything nice then you simply won't tell him about results - as others have said, talk to someone else within his hearing, if you want to.

Well done, and I hope you get to celebrate after exams are done.

My parents were like this. The standard response to (say) 95% in an exam was "what happened to the other 5%?"

They were joking, and they were proud of us, but it took it's toll nonetheless. I, and DB2, finally confronted them about it because they started doing it to my DS, who is so self critical that he simply cannot take this sort of teasing. They do now refrain with DS, at least.

OP I would say to your DH that if he can't say anything nice then you simply won't tell him about results - as others have said, talk to someone else within his hearing, if you want to.

Well done, and I hope you get to celebrate after exams are done.

My parents were like this. The standard response to (say) 95% in an exam was "what happened to the other 5%?"

They were joking, and they were proud of us, but it took it's toll nonetheless. I, and DB2, finally confronted them about it because they started doing it to my DS, who is so self critical that he simply cannot take this sort of teasing. They do now refrain with DS, at least.

OP I would say to your DH that if he can't say anything nice then you simply won't tell him about results - as others have said, talk to someone else within his hearing, if you want to.

Well done, and I hope you get to celebrate after exams are done.

My parents were like this. The standard response to (say) 95% in an exam was "what happened to the other 5%?"

They were joking, and they were proud of us, but it took it's toll nonetheless. I, and DB2, finally confronted them about it because they started doing it to my DS, who is so self critical that he simply cannot take this sort of teasing. They do now refrain with DS, at least.

OP I would say to your DH that if he can't say anything nice then you simply won't tell him about results - as others have said, talk to someone else within his hearing, if you want to.

Well done, and I hope you get to celebrate after exams are done.

My parents were like this. The standard response to (say) 95% in an exam was "what happened to the other 5%?"

They were joking, and they were proud of us, but it took it's toll nonetheless. I, and DB2, finally confronted them about it because they started doing it to my DS, who is so self critical that he simply cannot take this sort of teasing. They do now refrain with DS, at least.

OP I would say to your DH that if he can't say anything nice then you simply won't tell him about results - as others have said, talk to someone else within his hearing, if you want to.

Well done, and I hope you get to celebrate after exams are done.

Gah. Stupid app and dodgy signal - sorry blush

raisah Fri 24-May-13 18:14:44

He is jealous of your fantastic achievement. He knows he will never get grades like that so his caveman instincts has kicked in.

aurynne Sat 25-May-13 00:04:07

stealthsquiggle YES! My family is exactly the same, I think that's why I am fed up with the bloody "joke"... it was not a joke to study, and it was definitely no joke to do the exam... so why do they have to turn the moment of revealing a great grade I am so proud of into a joke, every single bloody time? When I was at school, one of my cousins use to fail almost every exam. When he came home with a 55% they would turn the event into a party. And then I would come with a 92% and not a single positive thing would be said about it. And don't get me into bringing home an 80%... I would be made to feel as it I had failed.

I just don't want to go through the same thing with my DH too!

Two hours ago I was talking to my family and told them about the grade. Guess what they said? "A 95%? That midwife is so tight-fisted, she should have given you a 100%!". For fucks sake, does it kill them to say something positive just the once? Just ONCE? GRRRRR

Any mum reading this, please, PLEASE, when your kids come home with some good news... PRAISE Them! Keep the jokes for another time. IT IS NOT BLOODY FUNNY.

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