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Hw to deal with a DP who sulks?

(90 Posts)
Trinpy Sun 17-Mar-13 14:50:13

A bit of background: DH is 34, we've been together 4.5 years, married for 1.5. FIL sulks massively whenever he doesn't get his own way and MIL always justifies his behaviour and encourages their dcs to do the same. DH used to be as bad as his dad but through the course of our relationship has improved and now only has one minor sulk every 2-3 months.

He is in one today and it is very minor but its there and its annoying. He's at work today but last night he turned his back on me in bed and wouldn't show any affection (which is always a sign he's sulking) and when he left for work he wouldn't hug or kiss me properly. It might not sound much but for him this is quite cold. I've asked him if there is anything wrong and he's said no, but in a way that its obvious there is something wrong. I think I know the reason why he is upset but its, imo, nothing to get this worked up about and certainly not my fault, more to do with his own insecurities.

So, where do I go from here? Normally when he sulks I ignore his behaviour and do my own thing, but I just cba anymore. His problems stem from his parents putting him down, treating his feelings as though they were worthless and encouraging him to hide his problems. He is committed to changing and has matured so much since I met him. But after putting in so much effort to support him in making these changes I'm exhausted now and just wish he would stop behaving like this.

What do you think?

sassy34264 Wed 20-Mar-13 20:53:43

Might be worth having a look at this link and seeing how many of the traits he has.

After reading your last post, i would be running for the hills if i was you.

personality disorder

FairPhyllis Wed 20-Mar-13 19:43:49

Oh FGS don't do couples therapy. It might be worth doing therapy on your own though to work out why you are staying in a relationship with someone who admits that he is abusive and controlling.

badinage Wed 20-Mar-13 17:25:12

I don't think you should go near couples therapy.

I think you need to listen to what he's telling you and make a judgement about that.

He's admitted to being abusive and controlling towards you. He's admitted to wanting you to take the blame for refusing sex that he didn't actually want.

What are your thoughts today Trinpy?

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Tue 19-Mar-13 21:38:36

So he was consciously abusive towards you, admitted it and then keeps doing it?

Whatever his good points surely you deserve better...

Vicky2011 Tue 19-Mar-13 21:27:58

Trinpy please, whatever you do, do not have children with this whineyarsed loser; he will make their lives hell. Just like he's doing your's sad

TheSilveryPussycat Tue 19-Mar-13 21:15:49

How about taking a leaf out of sassy's book and next time he tries it say "You know I'm running late for work and haven't time. So you know I have to say thanks but no thanks*."

Then continue leaving for work (or whatever it is).

*recommended if you want to keep options open, other phrases are available wink

Madlizzy Tue 19-Mar-13 19:11:12

There are posters on this site who will be able to give far better advice than I can. I'd just say keep standing up for yourself and it may make a difference in his behaviour.

Trinpy Tue 19-Mar-13 15:26:58

Thanks. I feel like I'm making things worse because we're arguing more than ever. But I suppose thats only because normally I would smooth things over and say sorry, etc.

He admitted that he didn't even want sex earlier and he's done this before: asked me for sex when its obviously not the right time, like when I'm running late for work, or tired/stressed, or we've just arranged to do something else - but he doesn't want to do it either, he just wants to put me in the position where I have to say no. Then he complains that I'm always making excuses.

I would love us to have therapy as a couple because i have no idea how to handle this stuff and I feel like I'm out of my depth, but I'm worried that the therapist would take his side or suggest we 'compromise'. I know couples therapy isn't normally recommended in situations like ours. But I can't see clearly what I'm doing.

Madlizzy Tue 19-Mar-13 15:07:20

You're not a failure, you know. You've been conditioned by him so you doubt yourself constantly. Your time will come where you feel strong enough to deal with it properly x

Trinpy Tue 19-Mar-13 14:47:46

Sorry, that should have been yeah I know he knew I would say no.

Too many n sounds.

Trinpy Tue 19-Mar-13 14:40:11

yeah I knew he would say no. Thats why i said i'd failed/was a pushover in my previous post. Now he's going to think he can do whatever he wants and theres no consequences.

Trinpy Tue 19-Mar-13 14:38:26

I did really want to say 'yeah I think you should leave' but I didn't because I always miss him like crazy when I don't see him for more than a couple of days. When he's not being a twat spending time with him makes me happier than I've ever been (and I led a very happy life before I met him). Also I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow for more tests and i want dh there with me. I could ask my mum or a friend if they could get time off work but its not the same. Dh is the only one who has been consistently supportive over this, gone to all the doctors appointments with me and its important to me that he's there tomorrow.

badinage Tue 19-Mar-13 14:37:25

You do realise that he knew you'd say no and that he didn't actually want sex don't you?

He was setting you up to fail, so that he could hold it against you.

Trinpy Tue 19-Mar-13 14:29:08

Ah, I see where you're coming from now. No, he is not having an affair. No way. 100% sure. He may be a prize prick at times but he's not a cheater.

We were planning how we were going to spend the day. He asked me outright if he could have a h/job. God only knows why he thought that approach would turn me on. I said no, I'm not really in the mood atm. He pulled the duvet over his head and sulked (we were lying on the bed chatting at the time). He admitted he was sulking, I told him he was acting like a toddler and that he'd put me in an impossible situation where I had to stick by what I had said and seperate from him. We had a long discussion he offered to leave the house until I was ok with him coming back. I couldn't go through with it. He also admitted that he had been abusive and controlling towards me after we got married, which shocked me as I didn't think he had realised it.

Feeling very blush that I've told you about his schoolboy tactics to turn me on.

Madlizzy Tue 19-Mar-13 14:13:35

Next time he says he'll leave right now, just say "ok" and let him do it. At the moment, he thinks you're not serious.

badinage Tue 19-Mar-13 14:07:15

So did the same pattern repeat? You trying to get to the bottom of what was wrong this time and then a long conversation about your faults and his upset?

Or does it feel different this time?

I'll come straight out with this. Is it possible he's having an affair and is inventing mythical failings in you as a wife to try to justify it?

Trinpy Tue 19-Mar-13 14:04:06

badinage - yes another sulk. He magically snapped out of it though when I reminded him that we'd agreed we would seperate if he did it again.

Basically, he gets upset with me for 2 reasons.

1) He thinks he does all the housework and I do nothing and we live in filth and I don't give a crap.

2) That we don't have sex enough/I don't initiate sex much anymore/when we do have sex he thinks I don't enjoy it/variations on this.

sassy34264 Tue 19-Mar-13 13:17:36

My dp did this. For years, we would have the 'what's wrong?' 'nothing' 'yes there is' dance.

I explained that it wastes days, when he eventually got around to telling me what was wrong. Didn't work.

Eventually i just said

me- 'what's wrong?'
him- nothing
Me- ok, nothing is wrong. therefore don't bother to tell me what is actually wrong in a few days time, because i have asked and you have said nothing, therefore you have invalidated your right to be in a mood with me and also i now no longer care what the reason is, so don't bother telling me.

that worked a treat!

badinage Tue 19-Mar-13 13:08:44

What's happened again. Another sulk you mean?

I'm starting to wonder whether something else is going on with him Trinpy. Are things a bit different this time to his usual sulks?

Trinpy Tue 19-Mar-13 12:38:57

It happened again.

He said he would leave right now. I said he could stay.

I can't believe I'm such a pushover. I feel like a fucking failure sad.

Xales Mon 18-Mar-13 19:07:05

One of the best things I read on here quite recently was a woman who packed up and left the house while her H was sulking with her.

Shocked the shit out of him when he came home and his victim wasn't there to try and softly softly him out of his deliberate behavior.

You mentioned you feel you walk on eggshells. That is not good sad

badinage Mon 18-Mar-13 17:07:23

That retort about you not calling him are the words of a child who's been caught out by mum.

Trinpy Mon 18-Mar-13 17:02:55

Wrt him coming home late last night, I think he may have taken his time on purpose a bit. But I do believe his story about stopping to help the woman. I did ask him why he didn't call or text to say he was coming home late. His answer was 'well you didn't call me either!' Er, I wasn't the one who was late home hmm.

Telling him he needs to have some therapy is next on my list. I felt that that big conversation we had was enough for one day.

MrsDeVere - yes! That is exactly what its like! You're right, it is exhausting.

FairPhyllis Mon 18-Mar-13 16:28:48

Don't be ashamed OP. He is the one who doesn't understand how to have a relationship. You've tried to rationalise his sulks and tantrums because you're a normal, loving person and his behaviour is totally alien to you. But there's a point - which you may have reached - where continuing to rationalise them is actively harmful to you.

This isn't worth the risk. This isn't worth taking the risk of having children and him becoming physically violent again. What would he be like when all your attention is taken up with a child and you can't pander to him anymore?

I honestly wouldn't even bother waiting to see if he can address the sulking, because I think his behaviour is so deeply ingrained that it will only reemerge again at some point.

MrsDeVere Mon 18-Mar-13 16:18:12

My OH was like this when I met him.
I fell into the trap of being manipulative to bring him round.
This resulted in several years of game playing. I thought I was being clever, I wasn't.
I was however replicating my parents relationship.

I also made the mistake of trying to placate him and find out what was wrong.
Conversations would go like this

Whats wrong
Nothing
Are you sure
Yes
Is it me
No
Are you sure
Yes
But it must be something
No
Just tell me what I have done!
<pause while he thinks of something to blame me for>
YES it IS your fault

Fecking exhausting and terrible for self esteem.

Ignoring his sulking is good but it won't stop it if he is stuck in this behaviour.
I am not sure if I can give good advice but I found being totally straight forward and clear helped my OH to understand that I was not going to put up with it.

Things like
Ok, I cannot stop you behaving like this but I will tell you what I will do if you carry on doing this.

Not an ultimatum or a threat. Just being clear about what you will put up with.

You are not his mum. Its not up to you to fix him.
He is a grown up and he needs to sort out his own behaviour.

OH never sulks anymore. We have been together 23 years.

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