Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
No one to talk to about this in RL so on here instead, AGAIN!!(53 Posts)
I seem to lunge from one crisis to another, NPD mother, difficult and challenging DC, bouts of depression and now an unsavoury episode with DH last night. Will write it all down as best I can as don't feel I can discuss with anyone in RL.
DH is particularly stressed with work, he has a difficult manager who seems to have it in for him. He has been approached about another role but is unsure to take it. I have recently been giving what I thought was helpful advice about how to deal with this person, one of the emails he bcc me into I thought DH sounded confrontational with said manager and I told him to tone it down and try and be more diplomatic when dealing with this person (manager is based in London and DH works in the region).
Last night, after spending a few days down there, he came in very stressed and upset. The DC had worn me down again with their behaviour but finally had gone to sleep. He was telling me about how manager was being difficult again and the potential client activity would be managed from London, not from the region with DH managing the London team. Obviously this would be totally unrealistic and I said this and suggested that he tells the manager to get someone in the London office to manage team. I think this manager is threatened by DH and wants to push him out by being difficult so my tactic is that DH should try and be amenable, call her bluff and get the manager to be more reasonable and see sense. Well, DH totally flew off the handle, accusing me of always criticising him and his ability and that why can't I just listen and support him when he is going through such difficulties. I thought I was by giving him some helpful solutions like I had with the email incident. He rounded on me again saying I always make life difficult for him and he doesn't need me stressing him anymore. This was wrong but I got on the defensive, and then did personally have a go and said to him if he is that stubborn and pigheaded to not listen to my advice, and that no wonder the manager is being awful to him, and that perhaps its not just me who has to deal with his difficult and frustrating attitude.
As I said, I'd had a long day with DC and so went upstairs to finish my ironing and had been feeling hormonal. He came upstairs to try and reason but I said I didn't want to talk and would he just leave me alone as I was feeling fed up. That's where the shouting and cussing kicked in, he called me some awful things and said he'd had enough of me and our marriage and just wanted out. He really frightened me with his rage and hatred so I just walked out and into the bedroom. I closed the door and not sure what happened but the door flew open and he came barging in with such hatred in his eyes. My head is a bit blurry on detail (due to shock) but I went back downstairs and sat on the sofa watching tv in shock, anger and upset. He very rarely gets that mad but when he does its frightening. One of DC woke up, probably with commotion and I went upstairs to soothe DC and then went back into our bedroom as I wanted DH to leave so that I could put DC in our bed and so I could stay with DC. He went and slept downstairs. I went down to tell him that he was a thug for talking to me like that but he just told me to go away.
This morning we've not really spoken other than about DC Saturday activities. My sadness and low mood has returned (been battling depression this last few months) and I just don't feel like doing anything today as I'm stll upset about last night. He has gone out now and I tried ringing to see if he really meant what he said. Apparently he just gets frustrated and I push him into these outbursts. Obviously he is stressed about work but that is no excuse is it? I was wrong to goad him but I'm not sure I want to do this. Feel like I've enough on my plate, everything feels so awful now, just want to stay in the bedroom away from everyone.
I cant believe how much I've written but I can't discuss this in RL. It's a relief to write it down. Not sure what I want from anyone reading this, just an understanding ear and support. Thanks
Offering helpful solutions is not goading. I recognise being stressed at work and that sometimes you want to vent rather than get suggestions for solutions. However, his reaction was disproportionate for what was, on your part, a genuine attempt to help and support him.
He could have said 'look to be honest I just want to get this off my chest' or 'I don't want to talk about it' ...
Having flown off the handle I would expect him to be remorseful today...I.e. so sorry, under so much stress at work, very sorry to take it out on you' . It's cruel and unreasonable to blame you and, at best, he's behaving like an entitled, immature kid who is not facing up to the fact that he's in the wrong at home and at work.
1. I'm very sorry you are feeling so low. You say can't talk to anyone in RL - is that just friends/family? Because it strikes me that if you are already battling depression it would really help you to talk to a counsellor or maybe a GP.
2. I am like you in that I always want to offer solutions to problems. However, I have learned that a lot of people don't like it! Especially some men. What they really want is just a bit of sympathy as otherwise they feel as though you are saying they can't handle it themselves. (I always find this hard to grasp as for me I actively like being offered solutions!)
3. This plus stress probably drove DH into a temper. I'm not excusing him as it sounds like he really lost it. In this situation it sounds like you were both stressed to bits and upset each other and things got out of hand. The level of his scaring you though does concern me, plus the barging into rooms etc. Would it be possible for you and DH to talk this all over when you both feel calmer? It sounds as though there are lots of issues underlying from both sides. If that's not possible then again, I'd suggest seeing a counsellor - together if at all possible.
4. If the arguing has reached a point where the children are being woken up, this is really not good for any of you. Please don't suffer in silence, please find someone you can talk to in RL as I think that would be the most helpful thing for you all.
Thanks lovingfreedom, I often think he is childish as he hates any kind of criticism, constructive or not, when I get really frustrated and criticise hurtfully that is when he flips out... there has been no apology, nothing, not even on the phone. Normally when we argue, it's always me who apologises.
I think last night was the final trigger to me feeling low again. I've not cried for ages, when I feel low, no tears happen. But last night I cried non stop (and now as I'm typing), I even dreamt about my granddad who passed away years ago and that has made me feel worse..it's as if he visited me to comfort me.
Sorry am going on a bit aren't I?
Thanks lightafire, I'm receiving counselling, there are some things I can't talk about now as she thinks I'm fully recovered, we are nearing the end of my treatment. I don't feel like I can talk to anyone in RL, I'm too ashamed hence the anonmous MN forum, I'm very grateful for it. I agree that maybe I was offering too much advice and trying to counsell him, thought I was being helpful after last week, I get confused with mixed messages about what I can and can't say to him at times.
When we row and it gets heated he always says he wants us to split. Last night though I saw pure hatred. Quite upsetting and scary. We've been to relate before but can't afford it now.
I'm just at a loss and not sure I want to speak to him now after my telephone conversation. I might go and get dressed now, that might help me feel a bit better although I just feel like crap and all over the place.
I don't think you did much wrong but obviously we don't know how you phrased things, tones of voice etc.
It's tricky when loved ones are having problems and we realise that perhaps they are a big part of the problem.
When it's a partner I think you have to tell them - it would be dishonest to do otherwise and I would want to be told. However there are then two factors - the way it is done and whether the person actually wants to hear the truth.
You may be at fault in how you have gone about it - hard to tell but you can apologise if you feel you could have been more tactful or supportive.
My concern is that he sounds like he just doesn't want to hear the truth if it is in any way negative about him and his behaviour. This incident is perhaps just the tip of an iceberg about how he is quite a difficult, confrontational person who can't take criticism or being told what to do
by women. I do hope not but his reaction to your advice and his violent demeanour is extremely worrying.
He came home made me my lunch (which i couldn't eat, not because I was being stubborn but because I've lost my appetite) and has now gone out to the park with DC. No apology just an invite asking me to come but I didn't feel like it. I'm going to sort out the housework as don't feel in the mood to pretend to be happy in the great outdoors.
schobe - you would never guess he was difficult and confrontational as he comes across as easy going and mellow, people think I'm the difficult and irrational one in our relationship. Whenever we argue he turns it into a character assasination of me and how I'm the aggressive, unreasonable one who is always in the wrong. Usually I snap back like I did last night as it feels like a battle of wills. I'm finding it gets me down that he just doesn't take any form of feedback /criticism and if I stand up to him, he eventually shouts at me not to talk to him like that. When we had marriage counselling, it mainly focused on me, he was able to paint a favourable impression of himself. Perhaps it is actually me and I'm displaying the NPD charactersitics of my DM, my posts do seem poor me but I can't help it.
I've seen other threads where people are in far worse situations than mine but wanted somewhere I could express how I'm really feeling. His outburst has upset me a lot today.
I will try and talk later, but I know that DH will think I am in the wrong as my advice was not helpful and supportive last night and that in general my snappy, moody attitude causes him to get angry. I need to 'speak to him in the right way'.
Any help from anyone on how to deal with his inability to receive criticism/ his negative faults would be gratefully received.
Thanks for helping me.
I don't think you are at fault at all OP. your DH is responsible for his own problems. Having stress at work is not an excuse to treat your 'loved ones' like shit. Has he turned up yet?
Oh sorry. X posted. He's back is he. He really does sound like a big kid...
If I were you I'd step right back from his work problems. No more bcc on email. Let him deal with his problems himself. He is not open to suggestion for positive change and worse than that seems to take it all out on you so there really is no point in you trying to help.
lovingfreedom He is a shit isn't he? He turned up, made me some lunch (he is the main cook in the house, I can cook but not allowed as kids prefer his food) I couldn't eat it, I ignored him when he brought it in and when he said he was going back out with DC. I'm being childish I know but low mood has returned today after that shitty day/evening.
When he is back will try and chat then but I know how the conversation will end. I'm so upset about things.
If you don't tell your counsellor things that are troubling you because you don't want her to be disavowed of her idea that things are coming to a close, then you are stopping her from doing her job properly and preventing yourself from getting any true benefit from it.
You sound like you feel very responsible for the feelings and reactions of others - you should not be worrying about what your counsellor thinks you should bring up, for example! - and I think your DH is using this to let him vent his frustration on you, which is just not fair. I can understand how he must be very angry and stressed with the work issues, but you do not exist for him to take his temper out on. He needs to be an adult and work it through himself.
I am very worried that he cannot accept when he is in the wrong and tries to twist everything into being your fault. HE made the choice to treat you that badly, no-one else. You ask how to deal with his inability to take criticism and so on, but the problem is that you are not responsible for him, and if you see the issue as you finding a way to manage his immature, self-obsessed nonsense, then you're always going to be unhappy and treated badly. Because the person who should be asking themselves about how to deal with things is HIM - he should stop acting like a little kid and learn to deal with stress, problems, other people having needs and rights, other people being annoyed with him, others having opinions, etc., etc. He needs to change things. It's not about what you can do to cope with him. You shouldn't have to ask that question in the first place.
Thanks lovingfreedom x posted with yours now. I think that was one of my parting shots last night, I can't be bothered helping if I get abuse in return.
I hope you don't mean that he bans you from cooking for your own children?! I hope you mean that they prefer him to whip things up for them. If he's banning you, that's really controlling, weird and also very cruel, as it stops you doing a very natural maternal urge and denies you a meaningful wayof connecting with them and giving to them.
Yes he is a shit. Tbh you need to stop racking your brain for ways to help him or improve him...and start getting angry. That is angry, not violent or aggressive.
Wtf was he doing getting all huffy and going AWOL when all you were doing was trying to help? Wtf is he doing at work and putting you all at risk by being aggressive to his boss? Why are his problem so much more important than yours? Why should you not cook just cos he reckons he's Gordon fucking Ramsay? Aaaahhhh! I'm angry for you OP! xx
Very wise words from Oxford.
Counsellor needs to know how you feel.
Also, although from your original post you retaliated with some comments to your DH, I do entirely agree with both Oxford and Loving that you shouldn't have to feel so afraid of his reactions. We all can snap when we're being shouted at! You were trying to help in the first place, and for him to fly off the handle in such a way is unreasonable. It sounds as though he is using you as an emotional punching bag, making everything your fault, and then manipulating others in RL to believe that too.
How are things between you the rest of the time? You say you have already been to Relate, so I'm thinking maybe not great? Do you feel happy with DH at all - please don't take this a criticism, I am just wondering why you are in the relationship?
oxfordbags thank you for your advice. I will talk to my counsellor, it just feels like I'm burdening her with more crap, some things I have kept to myself as not sure how to convey and explain it to her, plus she thinks I'm getting better now.
Can I ask how do I make him see he needs to change his attitude? I won't offer my advice on stressful issues in the future but I want to make him understand that he can't have outbursts like last night and not apologise for his actions. When we discuss/ argue I usually get frustrated as he cannot see he is in the wrong, it's like a debate with a politician! So then when I get angry and say something that is seen as hurtful, his vitriol and anger bursts out and it is frightning.
flushes I am getting a bad feeling about your DH.
He sounds twisty and manipulative and downright controlling. You sound as though he has you on the back foot and he is creating what we on the EA thread call Spaghetti head mess.
Are you depressed? Really? or are you contorting yourself out of shape to try to be what you DH wants you to be?
Have a nose at the links on the EA thread and tell me I'm wrong!!
flushes you just said you don't want to burden your therapist...it's her job!!!!! You do need to start putting yourself first. I think if you do you might find it easier to get respect from those around you...or at least to put up with less shit. You sound lovely...but you could do with a big dose each of 'you're the lucky one'' and 'because I'm worth it'
when I get angry and say something that is seen as hurtful, his vitriol and anger bursts out and it is frightning.
So as long as you agree with him all is fine... but if you disagree or show your upset he becomes agressive...
Hmm....... This not just someone who is temporarily stressed at work is it?
YY loving and lemon.
Not a good pattern at all.
Thanks all for your support and wise words, it means a lot. I've even chuckled at some of your replies as the whole situation is so ridicolous!
DH is a very good cook, I can cook just not as good as him. He buys the food in the house and the stuff he buys are all with ingredients and bit and pieces a la Gordon Ramsey. I'm more a fish fingers and mash or roast sort of mum but he likes to cook every night from scratch as helps him unwind. When he is away, kids will eat my food but if I do offer to cook when he is home, you can guarantee later in the evening he will make himself something else to eat. Our family and friends love him for his cooking, I'm impressed too even if it has made me now fat (size 20 from size 12 in the 8 years we've been together).
As I've said before when I get angry and stand up to him, his reaction is scary. If I'm calm, I get debated down into thinking I'm in the wrong. Hence me asking for some pointers on dealing with a very difficult spouse. There is a controlling nature I suppose but my depression episodes do not help. The DC see DH as the mum as he takes them out and does things with them like today for instance. Its rare unless I'm at a children's party, playdate, out with friends that we do something at weekend as a foursome as usually an argument develops and I get frustrated with DH unreasonable behaviour.
lightafire we went to Relate as DC were taking over our lives as a couple. It got better for a while after counselling but recently with his stress at work, I usually find myself upstairs watching tv on my own/ doing housework/ging online/feeling sorry for myself whilst he watches tv downstairs and eventually passes out into the early hours before venturing to bed. No social or sex life between us. I love him but passion not there currently. I'm a bored and depressed wife and mother.
I feel like I've gone on a bit again but at least I'm discussing my upset, sadness and frustration on here. There is no one in RL who would understand not to mention as whole situation is messy! Thanks.
I will look at the EA thread thanks lemondrizzled. From Relate I found out my first real relationship when I was younger was an EA one. I'm not sure DH is but you have all got me thinking again. I will talk to my counsellor about it. I think we should go back to Relate too. When he says he wants to end it and that I make things difficult, I think the truth is coming out on his part. I have made him unhappy with my harping, moodiness and depression.
These last few years, well since the DC came along I've found myself becoming less and less the confident happy person I used to be. Sometimes I think I'd like to leave this marriage but am scared of being alone, DC emotional upheaval, financial worries, family reaction (I would be hated by both sides of family as everyone thinks he is wonderful, I'm the 'crazy', difficult one) etc. I've seen what has happened to some of my friends and think I should be grateful for DH.
Not sure this is relevant to your situation, but thought I'd post in case it sounds similar to you.
My dh and I had an odd thing going on in our relationship for years, where he was having angry outbursts every couple of weeks, and I was trying desperately to stop him being angry, mostly by being very rejecting of him whenever he had displayed any angry feelings whatsoever. It got to the point where we split up, got back together (repeat...) and then went to Relate.
After nearly a year of Relate (and nearly splitting again), we seem to have got to the bottom of it (I hope). Apparently I'm scared of dh turning into my angry father, so try to control his mood by rejecting him to prevent him becoming angry. He (understandably) is confused by his hot/cold wife and gets angry sometimes because he just can't win with me.
If I can be less rejecting, more loving and understanding, he is more likely to be able to manage his own emotions as he will feel he has my support. He does need to sort out his own issues to do with the anger obviously, but the counsellor has recently made me see that unless I sort my feelings out too nothing will improve. Basically, I don't ask dh for support of any kind and he felt I didn't need or want him and so felt rejected all the time. I thought I gave him support (like your work related advice, kind of) but also punished him for being grumpy, so he didn't actually feel supported, just controlled.
I'm telling him when I need him now and letting him love me, and loving him back AND it seems to be working for us.
I hated the idea at first, thought the counsellor was telling me to put up with dh's shit because he's a man and needs mothering, which is so unfeminist I couldn't even begin. But actually the counsellor was not saying that at all. And it's right, I do need to sort myself out. It's an exhausting way to live apart from anything else!
I'm not saying you are wrong to want him to change, far from it, but you may need to accept the part you play in the relationship drama so you can bring about the change. You've said that you get angry and say something that is 'seen as hurtful', is it not actually just that you say something which is hurtful, not just perceived that way?
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.