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Need tips on dealing with my moody/miserable DH, please - long, sorry!

(94 Posts)
lilacblossom Sun 21-Oct-12 21:36:34

This is my situation: I've been with my DH for 11 years, married for nearly 6 of those. We have 2 gorgeous children - a boy of 3 and a half and a girl of 14 months. DH works away during the week and comes home weekends after a week working a very high-pressure job and driving 200 miles to see us. I'm a SAHM, desperate to go back to work part-time!

The main issue I'm having difficulty with is my husband's moods/behaviour. I really don't know how to condense in this post exactly how it is. Basically, what might seem like a very small/trivial thing to you or me will set him off in one of his moods where he won't talk to me. I hate confrontations and atmospheres, so my instinct is to ask what's wrong, try to cuddle him/show affection, say sorry even if I don't know WTF is wrong or I don't actually think I'm wrong. Today, for example, started OK. I said I was just going to get washed and dressed before I made him breakfast. Took me about half an hour to get myself and DD sorted. Came downstairs, he said he didn't want any breakfast, was obviously in a mood, arms folded, wouldn't talk to me. After a lot of cajoling he said: 'I don't want to have to wait 2 hours after I wake up to get a cup of tea'. Took about an hour of me trying to humour him to get him to talk to me. It seems that by getting dressed before I got him breakfast was symptomatic of 'my not loving him or caring about him' and always putting everyone else first. I've only just realised, after years of these moods, that they seem to come from insecurity or him not believing I love him. It's weird, isn't it? I am a very demonstrative and affectionate person, but no, this is not enough! Looking back on the day, it seems TOTALLY unreasonable that he is offended by my getting showered and dressed in the morning before I get his effing breakfast.

There are some more extreme examples which I will absolutely cringe to write down, because it will make me look like a proper doormat, but I will. My mother died recently and obviously it has been devastating. About a week after the event he came home for the weekend as usual. At the time, I was sleeping at my mum's house every night since she had passed away, it was the only way I could manage. I asked him if he minded if I took the children to sleep there with me that night - he seemed OK about it as he had work to be getting on with. When I came back the next morning he flounced off in a mood, wouldn't talk to me and just left. I was distraught. I managed to get him on the phone, and he said words to the effect of I didn't care about him, he'd come home to see us and we hadn't been there, he wanted to separate from me. Again, I eventually managed to talk him round. On the day of my mother's funeral he got angry with me for 'losing' all his certificates. (I hadn't, they were stored somewhere and I found them as soon as I went to look for them.) A couple of days after our daughter was born he refused to go and get a pint of milk and told me to go to the corner shop in the car. For some bizarre reason I couldn't get the car out of the drive, so ended up walking, bleeding and anaemic, uphill to get the milk. Still feel resentful about it now!

As I've written this down, I can see what a shit he can be. His mother has spoken to me about his behaviour (my FIL is the same, but even worse). She says the best thing to do is not to answer back or speak up when he is in a mood/one of his rages, but talk to him when he is calm. The problem is, either there never seems to be a time when he is being reasonable and the kids aren't around, and even so, I just can't find the courage or words to speak to him about it, despite being a very strong person generally and also articulate and able to see that this situation is weird and wrong. Also, on the rare occasion that I've retaliated in the heat of the moment he has accused me of being 'disrespectful', he gets even more angry, he walks out, I get upset, I end up saying sorry and we get nowhere.

I realise many of you reading may advise me to tell him to shove his breakfast/certificates/pint of milk up his arse. I have thought long and hard about it, and I don't want a separation or divorce - I don't think any of us would be happier in the long-term, and I am certain my life would be more miserable and problematic. I just can't find the courage to stand up to him - I would really appreciate your thoughts/tips/advice. His behaviour can be very draining at times, especially since I have been through a traumatic bereavement recently and some days feel like I am losing the plot. Anyone been in a similar situation and come through the other side? Thank you.

pictish Sun 21-Oct-12 21:41:27

Every time you stand up to him he will punish you for it, until your attempts peter out entirely, and you simply become his toy. So there you go.

Your man is not a good man. He's a total bastard.

Why doesn't he make himself a cup of tea?

blue2 Sun 21-Oct-12 21:43:29

Lilac I'm just off to bed, but can't leave you like this.... Hang on in there - you're not alone. I have a dh similar to yours.
Will come back in the morning...

angelpinkcar Sun 21-Oct-12 21:43:33

Leave him, I had one exactly like it and have just managed to get rid of him. Its taken me 3 years to do it but life is too short, you will be much happier without living in fear of what mood he is in and walking on egg shells the whole time. Be free, its a good feeling. Its scary but you finally feel alive again. Sorry sounds a bit dramatic but you are being controlled, loads of MN on here will agree when they pick up your post and some may be a bit more blunt than me. Its good though and I really apreciated their honest views and opinions. Good luck. x

Autumnmumm Sun 21-Oct-12 21:44:23

I think you need to ignore his moods, stop "talking him round", and continue to look after yourself and your daughter.

Get some support too. Do you have friends and other family near you? Losing your mum is very hard to cope with.

He sounds really unkind. If he is not there to support you when you need it most why stay?

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Sun 21-Oct-12 21:47:16

So, you are another one of those women that will never leave an abusive man ?

What is is you are looking for here ?

Support to stay with him ? Tips how to manage him ? Lessons in how to be a mug ?

not on your fucking nelly

RandomMess Sun 21-Oct-12 21:48:56

My then DP was a sulker, I just completely ignored them and didn't pander to them, they stopped.

joanofarchitrave Sun 21-Oct-12 21:48:56

Someone I know split up with her husband of ten years a year after her mother died due to his absolute inability to support her. He is, in general, a very nice person.

I think there are marriages where one person gets used to their partner's emotional support to such an extent that both of them are unaware it's happening. When the support partner is bereaved or otherwise unable to provide the support to the usual level, the supported partner is unable to cope.

It sounds as if he does need to be told that, since you know he loves you and wants to support you in your loss, his behaviour is not what he himself would like it to be. That you cannot give him all the emotional and practical support he is used to because you are haemorrhaging with grief. He needs to have a think how he can turn things around and support you at the moment.

disembodiedHandbagCrab Sun 21-Oct-12 21:49:12

If you don't want to hear 'tell him to make his own bloody tea' then what do you want to hear?

Ultimately, people either want to respect us and treat us well or they don't. Your dh shows repeatedly he does not respect you and does not think you are as important as him. I would imagine your dc fall into this category too.

If you don't want to leave him then you will either have to do as you please and ignore the moods or pander to him all the time in the hope that he doesn't kick off.

Best of luck. Sorry for your loss. Maybe you could try some bereavement counselling to have a friendly ear for a while?

lilacblossom Sun 21-Oct-12 21:54:17

Thanks for the comments, all. Just to clarify, I would sooner have a healthy, normal relationship with my husband than leave him. We have two young children and I see separation as a last resort. I realise this is not to most people's tastes, HHMotherFucker, but the point of this post was to get some inspiration on being assertive etc. Hope that helps.

backjustforaminute Sun 21-Oct-12 21:56:06

My H is similar: he has bad moods and I'm supposed to guess what's wrong, then guess what I should be doing to make it better. Then sometimes if he feels like it, he'll deign to speak to me.

Well, fuck that.

Can I just ask why you think that your lives won't be made better if you leave?

pictish Sun 21-Oct-12 21:56:25

Why doesn't he make himself a cup of tea?
It's quite important that I know the answer to this.

tallwivglasses Sun 21-Oct-12 21:56:56

You have described a nasty, nasty man. Disrespectful? Where's his respect for you? I'd go so far as to say he's a sadist. He gains pleasure from causing you pain.

You say he takes after his dad? Your ds will take after him. Your dd will learn to be a doormat. This is emotional abuse. He'll suck the life out of you. I'm thoroughly depressed after reading your OP because you think there's some magic thing you can do to change him. Why would your life be more miserable and problematic if you left him?

So sorry for your losses, by the way. A caring husband would be cherishing you at this time, not whinging about a cup of tea.

angelpinkcar Sun 21-Oct-12 21:57:59

They never change hun. Believe me.

backjustforaminute Sun 21-Oct-12 22:01:00

x post.

I totally understand wanting to have a healthy, normal relationship - is that not what we all want?

You say that you want to be assertive, and maybe it would help - but he must change too, as his behaviour is so totally unreasonable at the moment. Who on earth would think it OK to shout at someone who just lost their mother? He has to look at himself, maybe some sort of counselling? Would he go for that? Or could you get his mother on board somehow, you say your FIL is worse, does your DH see him as a role model or would he be unhappy to see that he has become like his dad?

Almostfifty Sun 21-Oct-12 22:01:10

So.

You lost your Mother and he was upset cos you didn't make him a cup of tea?

He didn't run around after you making sure you were ok?

Just that one part makes me think that he's an arse.

ashesgirl Sun 21-Oct-12 22:02:06

It just sounds like he thinks your his servant. Then gets cross when you don't comply.

If you want to stay then you'll have to stop pandering to his moods about it. Tell him to make his own cup of tea and breakfast. Be prepared to put up sulking/moods. He only does this because he knows you hate it and you'll do what he wants to avoid the sulking.

Sounds like he feels somewhat entitled.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Sun 21-Oct-12 22:03:32

Do you think you can change him ?

Have you had any success so far ?

It is his choice to treat you like this and and it's been very successful. He won't stop just because you want him to, or if you act in a certain way. He will just change tack or ramp up the abuse.

the best thing you could do is end your relationship. This man doesn't like women, and he certainly hates you.

Harecare Sun 21-Oct-12 22:03:45

If you are sure that there is a lovely man hiding beneath this shitty behaviour you could visit www.mypartnerisdepressed.com
My currently separated DP has been awful during my pregnancies when I get emotional and depressed and I think he suffers from depression as his Father before him. He may just be a wanker though!

itsthequietones Sun 21-Oct-12 22:03:48

I don't think you being assertive will help in this situation to be honest. He doesn't seem to value your opinion or even you as a person. He'll just kick off until you back down. You're in a position where you are having to manage this man's moods so that he'll behave in a normal manner.

It's good to want a healthy, normal relationship with your husband, unfortunately your husband doesn't fit the criteria needed to attain this. This is no way to live for you or your children.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Sun 21-Oct-12 22:06:26

I would sooner have a healthy, normal relationship with my husband than leave him.

step 1 - leave the loser you're currently with
step 2 - meet a new guy who is nice and marry him

brightermornings Sun 21-Oct-12 22:07:15

My ex was moody. I didn't try and talk to him about it I let him stew.
But I didn't deserve to be with someone who treated me like this. I hadn't done anything wrong
I didn't deserve it and neither do you.

lilacblossom Sun 21-Oct-12 22:07:57

Thanks everyone who's offered constructive help.

I'm finding the tone of some posters slightly missing the point/aggressive/confrontational/unhelpful...oooh, a bit like my DH...

So I'm going to delete this thread and take this issue to a more supportive environment. I realise this may sound melodramatic, but I'm too emotionally drained to be arsed to justify my life/choices at the mo'! Just wanted some help, that's all, as I don't want to continue in this unsatisfactory situation.

ashesgirl Sun 21-Oct-12 22:12:36

lilac, please don't delete. People here do want to help you.

I suspect many here feel cross on your behalf. I know I do. To see someone in your situation, bereaved, and your husband is being such an arse.

FleetofHope Sun 21-Oct-12 22:15:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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