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Daft fight escalated (as usual..) How should I deal with this?(26 Posts)
I've posted about problems in my relationship once before and got some great advice, would be interested to hear people's perspectives on our fight from this week, which is quite typical of our fights. I think he over reacted hugely, but I also think I didn't handle myself very well. Would be interested in some opinions.
I'd been out for the afternoon, DH was home looking after DS2. I came home and was
idly browsing on fb while cooking dinner when I noticed he had a spam thingummy on his fb page - one of those where you click to watch a video but it comes on on friends pages as you have "liked" it even if you haven't liked it, if you see what I mean. It had a title something like "You'll never guess what this sexy 17 yr old did at school.." and it was just a girl's (rather lovely) bum. First reaction was "oh poor thing, that's a bit embarrassing for him", 2nd reaction was to feel a bit icky that he'd tried to perve on a 17 yr old.
Anyway, I showed him the page on my phone, (calmly and smiling) said "Oh no, looks like you got tricked.. do you want to try to delete it?" (I don't know if that kind of spam can be deleted (I'm not daft enough to click it! ) but he has a lot of work people on his fb and thought that might be embarrassing for him). He just tutted and kind of swore under his breath, I wandered off and made what I thought was quite a funny comment on that link on fb to make it a bit less embarrassing. When he saw that he was really angry, and was just blanking me. I asked him if he was ok, and he ripped into me that I had no right to "shove my phone under his nose and humiliate him like that, no right to comment on it as now everyone will see it and everyone will know and it's all your fault."
I was a bit stunned, as I can't see how him trying to watch a 17yr old girl on video had caused me to embarrass him..? Still can't figure that out. Now, where I think I went wrong was I tried to talk it through, I tried to apologise and explain that even though I didn't mind about the video, I thought he should be aware of it in case he hadn't realised, that I thought my comment on it was funny and would make light of the situation (maybe rather than his friends worrying "ooh his wife will be pissed off"/his work friends thinking he was sleazy) but I was sorry that it had hurt his feelings, I didn't realise it would affect him like that and I'm sorry if it's made things worse.
He replied by telling me he didn't want to talk to me, that he didn't for a second believe I'd done it to help him, that I'd done it because I was evil (!) and wanted to make him pay for trying to look at the video and humiliate him. That was never my intention AT ALL and I ended up crying, begging him to listen and that I was sorry, I hadn't intended that, and could he calm down and think for a moment about my feelings, and how I'd felt seeing that, and being reacted to like this. He just called me names and told me to shut up, that I'd done too much damage etc.
Then we got into this horrible downward spiral of him saying he wouldn't talk, walking away from me (pushing me out of the room with the door again), me refusing to let him walk away because I couldn't believe he couldn't calm down and stop blaming me. He was looking at me and talking to me like he hated me which always make me frantic really. I know, I know I should have just let him walk away and have his time to calm down, I am blaming myself for it getting that far. He says he gets angry because I keep talking (not shouting), crying, trying to make him see my point (ie that I wasn't being "evil"), when what he needs to do is be alone to process things. But he won't say "sorry, i can see that I've hurt you too, but I'm struggling with this and need a few minutes alone." No, it's shouting, blaming, insults, eyerolling then storming off and pushing me out of rooms if I follow, and it leaves me a mess. He then ignored from about 6pm till the next morning (didn't even come to bed), then apologised the next morning for being angry. I was stupid and told him I don't think he understood why I was angry (it wasn't the video, it was how he treated me after) but as I bought it up again, he got angry again, I got tearful and it just all went tits up again Amongst the things he said - I was trying to explain that in the past it had hurt me when he'd looked at porn and I'd found it hard as I struggled a lot when pg/bfing with crazy hormones and it did get to me. Now it doesn't bother me in the same way, he said Oh, that old excuse of blaming your hormones, you always used that as an excuse and I never believe it," He also said he might not want to talk to me for the rest of the week. Charming. Things I said - after crying, failed reasoning, shouting, losing my mind I told him I didn't want to be married to him anymore, and went out (to my 1st counselling session actually! Nice timing.)
I think he was totally unreasonable, but I also blame myself for not being able to give him space. I don't know why I can't just say "Don't treat me like this" and walk away. (probably because I don't think it will work?) I don't hound him though, or blame him, I try to apologise, explain why I've done/said something or why something he did hurt, and just get this wall of arse & disrespect, which turns me into a crazy, weeping needy mess.
Any advice on how you would have handled this? I don't mind honesty, I think I'd rather know if I was behaving like a harridan and hounding him when I should have left him alone. How do you do that when someone's that angry with you? I just feel so panicked when's he's like this that I feel physically ill. It's daft, but I don't know how to switch that off
Sorry, that was so long, hope someone is still awake at the end of it!
(sorry btw, I realise this is quite similar to my last post , but it's got more specific details which might make a difference. Sorry if I've bored the pants off anyone. I did try to use the advice from last time at points, but clearly didn't do very well )
Do you have a link to your previous thread?
It sounds pretty turbulent, unpleasant and completely over the top. He seems a very angry person.
You were told before that he's an abusive twunt, honey, and nothing you've said in this post will alter that opinion.
The way I'd handle it would be to give him an ultimatum - grow up or fuck off but, in truth, I'd have ended any association with him long ago.
I hope you haven't self-harmed again over
more of the same this latest incident? Are you getting any help with that?
Dump the fucker. Please.
DTF (ltb is so last year)
tbh I'd be planning an exit strategy. Can you imagine leaving him or are you not in that place yet? He sounds vile
I honestly think I'd leave. Sorry but I do. He pushes you with doors, tells you your evil? Sorry I just couldn't live like that. How was your counselling?
Replaces LTB with DTF.
<preens at staying on trend
for a change >
Are you ready to leave yet?
I'm glad you have MN and you will always be supported here but until you see for yourself how destructive this relationship is we can't help any further than support.
If you are ready to leave we can talk you through the very easy steps to starting a new and better life.
You will have a much happier life, if you do.
You feel physically ill because he is an emotionally abusive twat and has you conditioned to feeling that way with how he treats you.
You deserve much more and much better than this vile attitude.
You need a plan
a b, honey.
Visit www.womensaid.org.uk to find your nearest offices, give them a call in the morning, and ask them to recommend solicitors in your area who specialise in divorce and family law and who offer a free half an hour consultation.
You may not feel ready to DTF yet but the time will come and it will be an advantage if you've already ascertained what you will legally be entitled to.
In the meantime, if you see that he's getting angry simply don't engage with him - walk away or find something else to occupy you and make your mantra 'this too must pass'.
I think that you didn't want him to leave the room because you had a hunch (from past experience, maybe) that once he was gone the conversation would be over. It sounds like once he did storm off, that was it - your attempt to try to resolve it again the following morning certainly showed that he had no interest in restoring peace.
No, it wasn't wise to stop him leaving the room. That doesn't excuse him pushing you with the door, though - which is physical abuse.
He thought only of his feelings during the whole incident and didn't once acknowledge yours. You can't have a healthy relationship with someone whose attitudes allow him to do that.
Wow, thanks to everyone that read all of that! I know this is a crappy way to be, I swing between thinking that he's over reacting, then that I am and I need to change. It's all pretty confusing. When this isn't happening (and I know, I know everybody says it ) things are fine/good, but at the moment we're fighting once every 2 weeks. (he works week on/week off, nightshifts) I was able to talk to him properly today for the first time in ages, he apologised and said he knew it was wrong to treat me like that but the nightshifts make him feel horrible mentally and physically and he doesn't know how to cope with that, He gets irritated at the smallest things and can't control how angry he gets. But he's very sorry that he acted how he did. Now I feel bad as I should make allowances for the night shift messing up his body, and just walk away rather than getting into a fight.
On that point, izzyizin you said "don't engage with him", but that's what I find so hard (especially if I think I've just taken a mouthful when I haven't done anything wrong) then when he's angry I either feel scared that he hates me, or angry that he's deliberately misunderstanding me. If I could leave the house I might feel better, but we live in a tiny house and being ignored/huffed at for hours on end is just soul destroying really. It's difficult to not engage when they're right under your nose. I know I have to try though.
And the point on self harm - yes I did, some scratching as I was so frustrated that he was sitting there telling me I didn't know my own mind and was making things up.. too frustrating. I asked my gp about counselling at my last appointment, mentioned the self harm but she said there was so much backlog that it would be a very long wait for an appointment. Just had 1st session with Relate. I know some people aren't keen but I couldn't afford anything private.
Hegsy The counselling was ok, it was my first proper session and we just covered how me and DH met, and we covered a lot of things right at the start of the relationship that should have sent me running. I'm off to write "mug" on my head in felt tip..
Thanks for the replies, DTF definitely has a ring to it!
Blimey Charlotte that 1st paragraph is scarily accurate
Last sentence also very very true. I just don't know how to balance things at the moment when usually he's really aware of/supportive of my feelings (if I'm exhausted from looking after the kids all week - youngest barely sleeps so lots of sleepless nights - he'll make me have lie ins, cook dinner, do the kids bedtime routine etc. He just shuts down over anything emotional, or when he's angry.
Tonight when I talked to him about the fight, it was the first time in ages that he'd seen me cry and just held my hand and listened, rather than huffing and storming off. He seems to think (usually) that me crying is a way of me attacking him and he's instantly on guard/angry and will walk off rather than comfort me. It's been a lonely few years.
So he apologised for getting angry, subtly implying it was your fault for making him angry. He played the victim, so that you'd focus on poor him and feel guilty sticking up for yourself.
Do you feel that you got a proper resolution of the argument? Does he now understand where you were coming from? Or did you wearily accept the bland apology because you just wanted it all to be over by then?
Ah, that's powerful, sitting with you while you cry. NSDH did that once over ten years ago and I still remember it with an ache. Apart from that, when I cried, he tended to accuse me of manipulating him, just like yours has, until in the end I hid the tears. But of course - he's just been horrible to you, so it's time in the cycle for nice-man to hoover you back up and convince you that he's lovely, really, if only that nasty-man didn't keep making an appearance...
OK its too long for me to digest at this time of night and so I am only going to comment on the video, I have seen the one you mean, it has popped onto my wall, and I have never looked at it, I know its spam so I don't think anything of it.
The rest I will leave to people who arent too tired to take it all in.
So he can't control how angry he gets? Does he get that angry at work? Does he control it there?
It's Grade A Bullshit, you know, served up with a side order of Pretend Sympathy to Shut You Up.
They all do it, those abusers.
Don't you think that as an adult he might have learnt to control his temper by now? If he had wanted to?
Sorry if this is hard to hear OP (judging from the response of others who've seen your previous thread?) but what you've described from your DP is abusive behaviour.
Physical violence is only a very small part of abusive behaviour and not every abuser uses it. Don't make the mistake of thinking because he doesn't hit you (yet) he's alright.
You said: "I just feel so panicked when's he's like this that I feel physically ill. It's daft, but I don't know how to switch that off."
That is your instinct right there trying to protect you. Don't you dare switch it off. That should be a clear, loud alarm bell in your head telling you to get the fuck away. Nobody deserves to be with someone who makes them feel sick with fear, nobody.
I'm with everyone else - DTF (nice ring to it).
However, I suspect that you won't, so if you are determined to persevere, I would suggest that when he gets like this, you don't engage or acknowledge the behaviour at all. My Mum (MH professional) always said that people sub-consciously engage in behaviour which brings reward, even if that reward is negative attention, such as your H's tantrums (for want of a better word).
I am not saying that his behaviour is your fault by wanting to talk to him - but he does get a lot of attention from his behaviour. Do you need to develop a plan for disengaging? If it is a small house, what can you do? Go and read a book (even if your mind can hardly focus), do some knitting, read a story with the kids? Next time you manage to walk away, and stay away, give yourself a reward. Whatever you do, don't give his tantrum oxygen.
On a practical note, is he getting enough sleep during the day with nightshift? Having done nightshift for years, I know that it is crappy, and it's really important to get decent sleep during the day. (It doesn't excuse his behaviour though).
I am aware that this post sounds like I am putting responsibly for his behaviour onto you. I'm not. Your H sounds very angry and emotionally abusive. He sounds like he needs some anger management. But I am just trying to suggest some ways of managing things to protect yourself, if you do decide to stay with him.
Charlotte This time I did feel like I got a proper resolution. But I feel like that conversation should have happened the night before, before he got that upset.
Jux Of course he can control it His workmates, friends etc would believe he's the sweetest, kindest, least-possible bully in the world. But then they don't "nag" or "accuse" him do they.. (in other words he doesn't have to have a real relationship with them.) If a female workmate cried I have no doubt he would comfort her, but it would be difficult to comfort me. That's ridiculous.
Bertie I've never thought of that feeling being my instinct before, that is a really useful way to think of it. (and stops me feeling like less of a maniac!)
Andrew This is so difficult.. We fight like this once every 2 weeks, but the rest of the time we get on well, he's kind, he looks after me and the kids, we talk, we laugh, he would go out of his way to help me. So I do feel really conflicted in that the horrible times are horrible, but it's not every day or every week. I will keep trying to disengage, I did think of an idea today. It's usually him that storms off and leaves me trying to wrangle two very active kids and cook dinner/clear up/take them out. Maybe from now on when he gets on a mood, I'll take myself off upstairs and read a book/come and rant on MN I might feel less rejected that way. Even when he's in a mood with me or ignoring me he is great with the kids, cheerful etc so that could work. As for the sleep, it's a long shift and commute, he aims for 5/6 hours sleep and says he's fine on that but I do worry it's not enough. He sleeps well on his weeks off, sleeps all day the 1st day off to catch up and he seems ok energy wise.
I hope this doesn't come across as drip feeding but after my counselling session I was thinking about earlier in our relationship, and there were a few occasions where he'd lied to me about meeting other women (just for drinks/meals as far as I know). I used to be really secure and confident but after the 1st time I was more wary, and he didn't seem to good at boundaries with other women (female workmates would call him at 12am (he finished at 11pm so always said it was work related, would talk for an hour, in another room/outside. There was also the other girl who he used to call for an hour a couple of times a week on his way home, being late home but of course telling me he was working. She was from a branch in a different area and he said she was giving him advice on how to help him manage his branch.) Also, not really talking to me if I went to a work do with him (said he was very shy and didn't know how to introduce me) etc.
After the 2nd time I found out he lied I was furious, especially as he seemed to respond by being angry/insinuating it was my fault for being jealous and controlling. I don't think I'd been either, but I had been understandably wary after past incidents. Maybe a little more "questioning", not interrogating but asking him "I can trust you, right?" type of conversations. Maybe he saw that as jealous/nagging but ffs, I'd been lied to before.. Worth pointing out that 9/10 times he would be.. not angry, but not exactly comforting - a bit of an air of "not this again"/"how can I make you believe me, I don't know what to say." If I carried on saying how I felt and that his past actions had hurt me it would be the shouty-blame me-shut me out cycle.
I had pnd after DC1 and found out I was pg with DC2, I really wanted to come back to the UK, he was quite nervous but agreed to come. He found a job, works hard, promises he won't hurt me again, but we had fights about daft things. For eg, he said he doesn't talk to anyone at work, then added about 5 women on fb. I thought they were probably work people and asked him (not angrily of course just in a "oh, are these your work friends?" way) and he said that they were people he talked to a lot and had really helped him out with work. I got a bit upset (which I feel rubbish about now) because it was like I was hearing a lie again - he was telling me one thing (no friends at work) then the next day having lots of friends. I know it doesn't mean that there was anything inappropriate going on, and it sounds really irrational written down but it felt like the past again when he'd been lying to me.
So probably to him, I'm crazy, jealous and irrational, and if I try to talk about anything emotional I'll start crying, he'll feel like I'm blaming him about the past and over reacts like this.
I probably sound really irrational. I don't think I'm a jealous or controlling person, but I feel like I was that kind of person for a part of our relationship, or I messed up somehow by being too affected by what he'd lied about. Just dealing with that while pg, bfing, being abroad turned me into a much needier person than I had been before.
I feel stronger now I'm back on home turf, and actually since posting this thread and reading everyone's replies have been a bit feistier with him if I think he's being off with me, and he's backed down right away
I don't know if I can accept this as a DTF situation yet, as so many other parts of our relationship are good. Please feel free to tell me I'm being an idiot and throw things at my heads
especially cake, I like cake and would not mind if you threw a cake at my head
Thanks again for all the support, it means a lot and it is going in!
Sneezy, it sounds like there are some real trust issues in your relationship, and from what you say, they sound like legitimate concerns.
Can't say much more. Take care.
I certainly feel like there were. I do trust him now, but it it is a horrible feeling to know just how easily he could/can lie to me/hide things. If I bring it up he tends to get irritated (has at one point said it was my fault for not being able to forgive and forget )
Found this book, by the same author as "Men who hate women.." so going to order this and see if it helps me sort my head out about things.