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How should I react to DH shouting?

(62 Posts)
winniemum Sun 05-Aug-12 19:14:03

Just need some advice. My Dh shouts quite a bit. Sometimes at the children and sometimes at me.
After lunch I was hoping everyone would help clear up. But DH gave the DC's jobs to do and went and sat in front of the TV.
I wasn't happy with this so asked him to come and help me as I'd been working all morning and he'd only worked for a couple of hours.
He really shouted at me in front of the DCs. I told him he was only shouting so I'd go and clear up and he wouldn't have to do any.
Guess what? I cleared up myself to keep the peace and DH carried on watching the TV. I'm really upset as I can't cope with the shouting and hate the DCs to witness it, and I go into my shell a bit.
Now he is in a bad mood with me because I've been quiet all day. He's gone out to take the dog for a walk and slammed the door.
But it wasn't my fault in the first place was it? Or am I being awful for being quiet. He calls it sulking. But I really find it hard to be happy when he's been shouting. I find it hard to react in any other way. How else would you react?

Inadeeptrance Sun 05-Aug-12 19:28:31

Bullies shout. Normal, nice men don't. It's NOT ok, EVER for your DH to shout at you like that. My DH now never raises his voice at me, even when he is angry.

My ex used to shout a lot, and behave like your DH. It took me years to see it for what it is - abuse.

Your DC are seeing this and taking it in as their model for relationships, if you have boys it is teaching them to shout and bully and throw their weight around. If you have girls it's teaching them to accept the same.

Read up on emotional abuse. On phone so can't link, sorry but there are some great links on the emotionally abusive relationship ongoing thread. You don't have to just accept his behaviour.

Nobhead Sun 05-Aug-12 20:07:13

Your DH is being a twat, acting like a 15 year old boy who's Mum has just asked him to help clear up. I think you need to have a long discussion with him about how him shouting is not an acceptable form of communication especially in front of your DC's. Is he usually a feckless tit?

Yama Sun 05-Aug-12 20:15:42

My Mum brought us up to believe that no-one has the right to shout at us.

I truly believe this and will bring my dc up to believe the same of themselves.

Walk away. When shouter has stopped say very assuredly "You have no right to shout at me" or "I will not be shouted at." Always the same sentence.

I remember I once (as a student) walked away from a shouty chef. He never shouted at me again. I also remember working for a complete shouty bastard and I resolved to walk out the door if he shouted at me. He didn't.

You will need to have a conversation outlining to him why it is unacceptable for him to shout at you or your dc.

NagooingForGold Sun 05-Aug-12 20:19:53

do not shout back.

'when you have finished shouting at me, I would like you to help us do [whatever it was you were saying]'

Or you could get in a huff and sit in front of the telly!

He is being a total arse.

Ask him if he is presenting himself how he wants your DC to look back and remember him sad

winniemum Sun 05-Aug-12 20:27:01

Oh gosh, thank you for your replies.
I have talked to DH about it after his last episode about a month ago when he totally lost it with my DS and was shouting about anything that annoyed him, including his phone.
Will have to have yet another conversation with him and try your replies about not shouting at me.
I do try and keep the peace rather than confront the issues so maybe that's my problem.
Not sure if it's emotional abuse, he says he has a short fuse.
I do have 2 DS and DD and I know it's not a good example. Thought a lot of men shout, not really questioned it before now but he seems to be getting worse.
I've been married over 20 years and just not happy at the moment because of the shouting.

winniemum Sun 05-Aug-12 20:30:52

Just crossed messages NagooingForGold.
I don't shout back. It's not my thing. He just didn't think he should help.
He tried to do some jobs this afternoon as he could obviously see he was wrong but by then it's too late for me and I can't put myself in a happy mood, which he obviously thinks I should do.

dequoisagitil Sun 05-Aug-12 20:36:09

Shouting gets him what he wants - he didn't want to help, so he shouted and got his way.

Having a short fuse is an excuse. He chooses to shout.

It's intimidating to live with and it makes you back down from sharing work/chores equally. It's not acceptable. It's bullying.

NagooingForGold Sun 05-Aug-12 20:41:09

My DH is very boomy.

He's not shouting as such, but he gets 'excited' AKA loud quite a lot.

I refuse to acknowledge him until he calms down.

I just remember listening to my parents shout when I was in bed as a child. I don't want my DC to feel like that. They don't know that DH is just pissed off about X Factor or something, they just hear a shouty voice!

AH yes, you are supposed to just snap out of it, when he's upset you? He needs to understand that his actions will have a consequence. You don't need to sulk about it, but maybe explaining that it shakes you up when he shouts and it takes you a bit of time to calm down?

It can be very difficult if it means nothing to him but it affects you quite strongly.

Wheresthedamndog Sun 05-Aug-12 20:53:41

Watching with interest as was just about to post on the same problem...Some very helpful strategies here.

Winnie hope you manage to talk to DH about it.

winniemum Sun 05-Aug-12 21:03:33

The thing is it's not excited shouting but it is shouting in a cross way at me or DC. It does shake me up, you are right, but he must know that by now as it happens time and time again.
He doesn't care who hears either ie neighbours.
Sorry you have the same problem Wheresthedamndog. Is he OK otherwise?

Wheresthedamndog Sun 05-Aug-12 23:05:01

Sorry. Went to watch the 100m and the news.

Yes he is a good, kind and caring man who bottles things up until they come out as inappropriate rage when he's stressed. Not sure if it's the same for your DH?

Some great strategies here, I will try themand maybe they will be useful for you too. Might be helpful for us both to think about it as a) strategies for managing it when it happens and b) strategies for preventing it happening longer-term.

I grew up in an abusive household and my judgement is a bit wobbly on what is over the line, and what not. Mn is very helpful for that. I think we have to challenge it, otherwise both they and the DCs think it's acceptable. Good luck.

He knows it upsets you, the's why he does it. You're supposed to be upset and obedient. I bet he doesn't shout at work colleagues/neighbours/people in the street, so he's perfectly capable of controlling himself.

My dad was like this. He did it to get his own way and make everyone obey him and defer to him. Pathetic man. It's basically a toddler temper tantrum. Pathetic. As a child, I.was afraid, never knowing when he would shout. He didn't shout as his boss or the vicar or the postie, he chose to shout at us.

He chooses to shout at you, does it to make you afraid and unhappy, and is then angry with you for not pretending everything is fine afterwards? What a nasty thing to do.

Trickle Sun 05-Aug-12 23:26:44

My DH had an abusive alcoholic for a father who would sulk for days sometimes weeks at members of the family who didn't do exactly what he wanted. It was an everyday part of life and was a control mechanism.

DH had some massive upsets in his life all within 6 months, I do mean huge, first his father died, then he was assaulted and nearly killed, he has a permanent injury to his voice and he is a musician, then our baby was stillborn. He became really quite an angry man and nastyness that used to only come out in the morning when he had morning grumps and I'd overlooked started invading other parts of our life. He used to accuse me of sulking continuosly after he had been really nasty, it was new and stress related. It took months but he started to understand I wasn't sulking, I was upset, just because his mood had changed didn't mean mine would automatically do so as well. He genuinly didn't understand how nasty he was being and how much of an impact he was having after he'd made what to him was a throw away comment. Fast forward two years and he doesn't do it anymore - he doesn't do it anymore because he started to understand the longer term emotional impact and that my quiet was genuine upset not controlling behaviour even though it reminded him of his dad.

Just posting this to say sometimes people can be a bit wrapped up in themselves and not really 'see' what their behaviour is causing. They can interpret things not in a willful way but becasue of past experience. Having said that if DH hadn't listened and changed we would not have stayed together, I will not be treated like that by anyone no matter why.

when he shouts, shout back. loudly. in the street. in the garden. who him what it's like and shout loudly that you WON'T HAVE SHOUTING. Don't do this if he is likely to hit you. If that won't happen, then bloody shout loudly back. and leave the jobs in the house. he can do them when he is LESS SH OUTY.

have a hot bath. gaah. My father shouted the shit out of us. I wish my parents had never married and i am 103!

musicposy Mon 06-Aug-12 00:29:08

DH went through a phase of shouting a lot, at me, at the DCs, just generally. I'm not sure why, I just think he started getting into the habit and then it became his first response to any frustration. It got that it was almost a deal breaker for me, so I know how you feel.

One thing I did was tell him in the calm moments that I could not put up with it and it would have to stop. He didn't think it was much to worry about so it helped him to see that it was an issue, and one I wasn't going to accept.

But the main thing that did it was every time he shouted I would say calmly, flatly and without emotion "Stop shouting at me, it's not acceptable. I will not be shouted at."

It took time, but gradually it worked. He very rarely shouts now. If he ever does I repeat the same mantra. I think the key is to adopt a mantra and repeat it every time, like a broken record. make it clear you will not accept it.

likeatonneofbricks Mon 06-Aug-12 00:43:07

it does have a lot to do with upbringing - if his parents shouted at each other but thought it was an expression of emotion etc and then used to make up (i.e. quick to anger, quick to calm down), then he may think it's normal. Advice from musicposy is spot on though - he has to realise that even if he's used to it, you aer not, and that it hurts you. For someone who hasn't been stopped before it's not easy though so it won't change overnight - again in many countries it's normal as people don't hide their emotions, equally they can express positive emotions more emphatically, but then they tend to be both like that, so I really wouldn't label it 'abuse' before knowing the background. If it's nothingto do with background he should look into Anger Management programmes.

likeatonneofbricks Mon 06-Aug-12 00:44:38

both like that in a couple, I meant.

NoComet Mon 06-Aug-12 00:57:18

Sorry can't help you, I just yell back.

DD2 gets upset and DD1 just shrugs her wise shoulders.

She knows, full well that we will kiss and make up.

DD2's getting upset does take stop DH storming off, which is an improvement, but neither of us are ever going to be calm collected and adult at all times.

In all honesty I'm not sure you should be.

My DDad has a short fuse and my DMum tends to let him get away with it. They love each other to pieces and it works for them.
But I do wish she'd tell him he's being a total arse, sometimes.

garlicnuts Mon 06-Aug-12 01:16:04

Hmmm. Well, good luck with the strategies. I have me doubts about whether he's "just on a short fuse" or what have you, because the example you gave shows he shouts in order to control you, doesn't it? You told him he was only shouting so you'd go and clear up and he wouldn't have to do any and it worked. You were quiet all day. He went out to take the dog for a walk and slammed the door.

Summary: He shouted to gain control of you and make you wait on him. This was successful, but you made a noise about giving in to it so he punished you (and DC) by throwing a silent strop and banging doors.

I've got to tell you, as others have, that growing up like this will lead to your DC taking one of these roles in their own relationships as adults - either dominator or waiter/ess, and maybe even switching roles from one relationship to the next. They will be shouters and all of their partners will be dysfunctional (because balanced people don't choose shouty power-play relationships).

You said: I do try and keep the peace rather than confront the issues so maybe that's my problem. Not sure if it's emotional abuse.

Right, so wanting a peaceful life is a "problem"? No, I didn't think so! What's happened here is that you're thinking it must be your fault that he wields the sword arm over his family? Er, how could that be??

By chance, this was just posted on my facebook: "Someone else’s inadequacies have absolutely nothing to do with you and certainly don’t equate to you having inadequacies that are ‘provoking’ their inadequacies." It's on Baggage Reclaim. You might enjoy that site smile

achillea Mon 06-Aug-12 01:24:27

I suspect that you kept the peace all those years because it worked at the time. Now you have dcs, there will be times when he will have to things,he doesn't want to and you are having to make demands on him because there are more,important people than him in the house. This may be,the first time you,are,really standing up to him and he won't accept it. You have adapted your,behaviour for 20 years and must be a saint. I think you will need a bit counselling to get your head round this. I am going through a similar thing and I know he won't change but it is so hard to change my own habits and raise my expectations. We are still together, but shouldn't be. It really doesn't sound good at all.

achillea Mon 06-Aug-12 01:25:33

Excuse the,random commas. !

garlicnuts Mon 06-Aug-12 01:41:28

I should have added: I love arguments and am well shouty given the chance! Thing is, that's about 'passionate argument' as entertainment - yes, the passion and argument is real, but it's also mutually respectful. If I'm shouting because I don't want to do the washing up, then I'm an arse. I am also an arse if I shout at someone who is not shouty and feels scared by it. This, I'm afraid, makes your husband two kinds of arse straight off. More if you add in the master-servant game, shouting at the kids and the slamming door dramatic exit.

I can make suggestions, but they'd all require you to be a different kind of person from who you are. And I don't see why you should change your self in an attempt to moderate your partner's behaviour: that's all back-to-front! You've told him you dislike it, explained why, and asked for more reasonable communication. He carries on, knowing you don't like it.

Well, that says all you need to know about how much he cares sad

needsomeperspective Mon 06-Aug-12 09:12:10

My husband used to do this a lot before he was properly medicated for his anxiety issues.

I used to just immediately shut up and walk away from him. If he pursued me I'd simply state calmly "I will not be spoken to like that". And took myself out of the situation. Even to the point of leaving the house (taking dog out, going to the corner shop).

At that time I didn't have children and he hasn't ever shouted like that in front of them but if he did I would use the same tactic but take the children with me - leaving the clearing up for him. Its the only way to get the point across and not "reward" him for his behavior.

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