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Not apologising for something

(46 Posts)
BranchingOut Tue 13-Nov-12 12:09:56

On my work days I take my son to nursery in the car, come home, collect my bag and work things then head off to work by public transport.
This might sound a bit complicated, but we live in London so this is the best way.

I just take the car keys and a set of house keys with me to the nursery - I need both hands to wrangle DS and the nursery is tiny, so it is better to leave excess stuff at home.

However, I got back home today and realised that there was no key on the fob, only other keys that would not open the door. DH had removed the key to go running, failed to replace it on the fob afterwards and then headed off to work. The keys in question are a general household set that we keep handy, for locking the door or popping out.

I was locked out, due to be late for work and in a real fix. No money, no travel card, nothing. In the end I had to go to a neighbour to call DH, drive quite a distance to his offices in Central London, pick up the key and then come back home. This took up the best part of the morning. I couldn't have driven to work as there is no parking there.

What really got me was he was steering very clear of admitting any kind of fault for this (you should have looked etc) and did not apologise. I told him that I was pretty upset, but although somewhat helpful in telling me the route to drive out of the city, he seemed to regard it as just one of those things. Obviously, yes, some of the fault is mine, but you do expect keys to still be on a fob where they normally live. He didn't express any concern for me missing work, being locked out or suffering a lot of inconvenience.

Things are not great between us (he does have some quite critical tendencies) and in some way maybe I was waiting for some kind of event that might test his reactions.

Any views? Thanks.

amverytired Tue 13-Nov-12 15:24:19

Is it kind of like a 'walking on eggshells' feeling?
Do you worry about getting things 'wrong' because of his reaction? i.e. sighing, getting cross, lecturing etc.?

OxfordBags Tue 13-Nov-12 15:59:26

He sounds like my ex, always moving the goalposts (look that up as a style of emotional abuse), always trying to keep me on my toes, try to make it seem like I was the unreasonable one for expecting normal, thoughtful behaviour and reactions from him, etc. He used to smoke outside last thing before bed,and liked to do so when I was washing just before getting into bed myself, etc. Trouble is, he nearly always left it unlocked BUT when I started going downstairs to check it when he came up and wash in the bathroom himself - without making a fuss or being annoyed or anything - he would go apeshit at me. It's like he wanted to push some sort of point about him not having to be accountable or seen as making any sort of mistake, ever at the expense of our safety. Even when a neighbour's unstable dog got in the unlocked back door and shat all over our kitchen, ripped stuff apart and started to come up the stairs on the attack, it was not his fault. And when I said he should at least let me go lock the door if he refused to remember, he STILL said that would be patronising, emasculating, etc.

The point is, it's both mindfucking and totally disrespectful. You and your needs don't exist, unless they serve him in some way. You having to deal with a load of stress and mess your work around is far less important than you being athome to let him in. It's like these men are little kids who haven't grasped yet that Mummy is a person in her own right who doesn't exist solely to make his world run how he likes it. And, like tiny kids, they cannot, will not ever admit being in the wrong.

He won't change. He's stuck in the mindset of an egotistical, selfish, disorganised child. It's a very subtle form of emotional abuse, because it seems silly to say you're being abused because someone never apologises, or whatever, but it's what it indicates that is what hurts so deeply - that you don't actually matter to him.

Is he weird if you hurt yourself or are in pain? My ex used to get terribly affronted at the concept of having to express empathy or sympathy for others and I've found this a classic symptom of men like him, ie if you trip over their foot and scrape your knee, their focus is on you not blaming him and saying you were in the wrong for not seeing his foot, not worrying about your knee, like a normal person.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 13-Nov-12 16:07:47

Not wanting to make a huge leap but, since OxfordBags mentioned attitudes to you ever hurting yourself or being in pain, has your DH started bumping into you, stepping on your foot, knocking into you or jabbing you when half asleep, being clumsy around you?

BranchingOut Tue 13-Nov-12 16:12:24

Donkeys - no, he doesn't do that, thank goodness. Although occasionally when we have been in the middle of bad episodes he will go through phases of not yielding space to me eg. if he wants to walk where I am standing he won't move around me, but just wait for me to move.

OxfordBags - he sounds like a nightmare sad.

AnyFucker Tue 13-Nov-12 16:18:54

If I told you the number of key-related incidents in our household you wouldn't believe me. (he once took my only set of carkeys on a plane abroad with him)

None of them have involved such careless disrespect of me though sad

and he was very apologetic (until the next key-related incident...)

OxfordBags Tue 13-Nov-12 16:28:34

Don't worry about me, Op, I have a wonderful Dh now smile

The whole not moving to let you get past sounds horribly familiar, however...

OxfordBags Tue 13-Nov-12 16:31:23

Incidentally, said wonderful Dh did accidentally take my keys to work last week, accidentally meaning me and toddler DS couldn't leave the house. As soon as I rang him, he raced home and was full of "I'm an idiot!"-style apologies. THAT should be the normal reaction, OP.

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Tue 13-Nov-12 16:42:30

I don't like the sound of this man. I think he's abusive: he's sabotaging you and trying to make sure that you are always thinking about him and how to please and placate him.

Viviennemary Tue 13-Nov-12 16:48:39

It was totally his fault. If he took the key of the ring then he should have put it back.

AnyFucker Tue 13-Nov-12 16:52:03

It's like taking someone's purse out of their handbag and not putting it back < glares at teenage dd >

You leave the house assuming it is there, because that is where you leave it. It's really not on to change something, and not inform. If you do, you should grovel.

PoppyField Tue 13-Nov-12 17:43:29

Hi Branching,
I agree with the others here who feel that this is not about keys. It is about what the key incident represents ... which is a lack of respect and care for you. He is not only acting as if it is not his fault, he is acting as if he doesn't care that you're upset. He is not reacting with care to the fact that you're hassled, bothered and upset at your morning being ruined. It almost doesn't matter that the key thing is his fault (although it most certainly is) but that he really doesn't seem to care when you are upset. And if somebody does care about you, they usually care if you are upset and they find some way to make you feel better.

He did not do this. The absence of 'care' is what is flashing in your head and your instincts are saying 'How can he be so uncaring? How can he be like this?'. This is probably just one incident among many where you have bitten your tongue or considered your reaction before reacting normally. You didn't march into his work and have real go at him about your day being ruined, which might be expected. Most people in a normal relationship would probably then get a mortified apology along the lines of 'Oh my God I'm so stupid, I didn't put the bloody key back, I'm so sorry.' And you would have had the right reaction. There is a conspicuous absence here and you are feeling in your gut what it represents.

If you're jumpy, watching what you say, rehearsing your answers or having 'a good reason on the tip of my tongue if something hasn't gone to plan' -just in case he attacks you or flares up at you.... then there is something seriously wrong. I think there is a strong possibility that he is an emotional abuser and that he is abusing YOU. You say in your last post that this has been going on for years. I have been there, and I didn't notice it happening to me - it is subtle and very hard to put your finger on just what is upsetting you and whether or not you are actually dreaming it or being unreasonable. I don't like the sound of the way he treats you. The key incident is just one, and it sounds plain nasty.

Have a think about your situation. I know it is really hard to start admitting that you might be in an abusive relationship. But that is what happened to me and has dawned on an awful lot of MNers. You are not alone, but at first you are bound to be a little incredulous, and 'Me? Abused? Surely not!' Have a think about his behaviour, the fact that he is never wrong, never apologises, seems not to care if you are upset and then blames you for every little thing that goes wrong. Hope you're ok. I don't want to escalate this for you, in time-honoured MN style, but you are obviously hearing big warning bells - which is very healthy in my book. They are telling you something is very wrong.

PoppyField Tue 13-Nov-12 17:59:32

Sorry - didn't see your last post about not yielding space... was referring to the one before that.

mummytime Tue 13-Nov-12 19:03:23

An example of what someone who cares does. Quiet early in our marriage, we had two cars. I was driving home in the middle of the day (I had just had a meeting). I stopped in a pretty remote petrol station, and when I went to unlock the petrol cap my key snapped in it. The people at the petrol station all helped quite a lot, but my DH drove from where he worked to give me the spare key, checked I was okay and then went back to work; an hours round trip.
It wasn't even his fault.

ImperialBlether Tue 13-Nov-12 20:55:58

I don't like him at all.

I wish you hadn't put all of your wages into the joint account, too.

He could have gone to a nearby bank and arranged for you to pick up enough money from the nearest bank to you so that you could have gone to work.

He could have gone to his nearest station and arranged for a ticket to be waiting for you at your nearest station.

He could have apologised fulsomely for being such a prick.

He likes you at his beck and call, doesn't he? He likes to blame you for things that go wrong, no matter who was responsible.

Can you tell us what happened a couple of years ago?

Lueji Tue 13-Nov-12 21:58:19

Apart from everything else:
"He likes me to let him in when he has been running rather than taking a key (due to them jangling in his pocket)"

but he did take the key with him?
And why not from the spare set?
Or his set (I assume he has one?)

With everything else, and the not apologising, it sounds bad.
It's the type of thing that it's not that significant but definitely erodes. sad

ThereGoesTheYear Tue 13-Nov-12 22:10:07

It's telling that you didn't feel able to tell him you were upset with him. He made a mistake that cost you a whole morning and you can't even say 'Look at the hassle you've given me, can you not be so forgetful next time.' He's trained you well, hasn't he?

AnyFucker Tue 13-Nov-12 22:16:05

Death by a thousand cuts...

janelikesjam Wed 14-Nov-12 09:55:48

Are you saying he looks down on you?

PoppyField Wed 14-Nov-12 14:52:02

AnyFucker - just like to say before it gets all Xmas mushy etc - I do think you're brill. x

AnyFucker Wed 14-Nov-12 15:54:10

ooh thanks, Poppy. How very sweet of you. I haven't said much at all on this thread though, lots of others have been much more helpful than me.

ImperialBlether Sat 17-Nov-12 12:45:27

Thought you said, "Death by a thousand cunts" then, AF. I thought you were planning a mass MN attack.

And Poppy, she is, isn't she? Marvellous.

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