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DH makes me feel stupid

(35 Posts)
ChangeyMcName Sun 23-Jun-13 14:49:23

This is going to sound really trivial.

Yesterday DH trying to withdraw money from his account, none to withdraw, DH getting frustrated & tried another cashpoint, then (unbeknown to me) put in his credit card and withdrew cash. I asked how did he manage to sort it (ie following the rant about where had all his money gone, was a bit curious as to how he'd managed to get some!).
Rather than just answer a simple question with a simple answer - credit card - DH told me 'because I'm at the cashpoint'. Which seemed deliberately facetious and made me feel stupid for asking as I then had to explain the obvious - he then confirmed he had used his credit card.

Today? DH getting stressed about having 'a lot to do' this afternoon, I asked what (thinking I could help him if its a lot), DH becomes frustrated with me because he's apparently told me once during the last 24 hours and I should listen properly and remember. To be honest I have my own constantly evolving to do list in my own head & can't remember everything on his in addition.

It seems like he takes the opportunity to deliberately make me feel a bit daft, forgetful, dim etc - when really I'm asking reasonable questions that he could just give a simple answer to.

When I calmly pointed out that he asks me things repeatedly and I just answer him as I don't expect him to remember every tiny thing I do with my day (he frequently asks me the same questions about my shifts), he got cross and accused me of being a perfect person whilst he's made out to be awful. I promise this is not the case - I was just trying to illustrate how every normal person forgets things sometimes!

I know this is trivial but it's making me worried to ask him questions and I always come away from these situations feeling like I'm stupid.

Please tell me if one of us is overreacting, or am I as annoying as he says I am? I'm really upset by this, it happens so often and simple conversations turn into really hard work, I just want to have a nice day with my DH but something always happens, this shouldn't be this difficult hmm

jessjessjess Mon 24-Jun-13 08:59:06

I don't think it's trivial and I don't think you're lucky. The awful thing about emotional abuse is that you don't have the tangible proof of any physical marks so you end up thinking it's all in your head.

Because you don't trust yourself.
Because your abusive partner is gaslighting you.

Sorry to be blunt.

Accusing you of being perfect while he is awful - while treating you like the opposite is true. Saying he walks on eggshells - when you're the one doing that. It's textbook, I'm afraid.

I have to disagree with Molly and Rules girl. There are red flags all over this. Why do I disagree? Because nothing is his fault. Because he doesn't treat you with basic respect and kindness. It is wrong-headed to advise you to talk to him about it as of course he sees things differently, of course he won't agree!

Read Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft, OP. I don't think you're lucky, but that doesn't matter - what matters is how YOU feel and what YOU think. I hope you can start listening to your own feelings.

wordyBird Mon 24-Jun-13 01:18:43

A lot of men aren't violent and don't cheat...but as you can see, this doesn't necessarily make for a good, kind or respectful partner. So I don't really feel you're lucky.

I did wonder if there was an age gap, not because that is inherently wrong; but because a small minority will deliberately choose an age gap to create inequality. They see themselves as the boss, and the wife as subordinate. Hence you might receive offensive boss-like instructions on listening properly, or reminders to finish your chores.

Have you come across 'Why Does He Do That' by Lundy Bancroft, or any books by Patricia Evans? They might help you.

Vivacia Sun 23-Jun-13 21:20:28

OP I do very similar things - do half a job when doing a chore, forget something he's told me twice already, whitter on about nothing in particular, sing the same three lines of the song repeatedly, cry for no reason, ask him to pass me something when I'm closer... basically I'm a nightmare. And he had never, ever, once put me down or said something unkind. You do not deserve to feel like you are irritating, you deserve to feel cherished.

MollyMollyMolly Sun 23-Jun-13 21:10:33

so do you love him and still want to be with him?

changechangechange Sun 23-Jun-13 21:09:23

He's a bit older than me and I was very 'young headed' when we met - thinking maybe this could be a factor.

This was definitely a factor with me and my ex. It's only two years later I began to realise just how abusive that relationship was. sad I've v recently read Pat Craven's book - Living with the Dominator - staggered, actually staggered, by how many more bells it rang even than I was expecting.

None of what you're saying sounds any good, OP. How difficult for you. sad

ChangeyMcName Sun 23-Jun-13 20:40:53

He's a bit older than me and I was very 'young headed' when we met - thinking maybe this could be a factor.

ChangeyMcName Sun 23-Jun-13 20:36:28

no doesn't seem to happen at any particular time, out of the blue really.
I couldn't care less about his finances, his business. If he gets cash out on credit that's his lookout. He has no reason to hide this from me. It's not as if there would have been any negative reaction, he knows this.

He treats me like a child sometimes, letting me know when I've not done chores or not finished a job, like reminding me that I've washed dishes but still need to dry them and put them away. Little things like that. He doesn't give me a massively hard time but the little comments and low level nagging does wear thin.
I've said many times to him that he doesn't treat me as an equal, they he has to dominate every situation - he disagrees, the discussion goes nowhere. I don't know what to do. He's not a violent man and not cheating, some would say I'm very lucky.

Crocodilio Sun 23-Jun-13 20:04:41

I guess he does when he's trying to be dishonest or not share things? Getting cash out on a credit is a pretty silly thing to do, and presumably he'd have preferred not to tell you, hence fudging around with his answers to make you back off. Does he tell you you're stupid/deaf/mumbling/forgetful when he has forgotten somdthing or done something but doesn't want to admit it?

YoungBritishPissArtist Sun 23-Jun-13 19:56:54

he's said he doesn't know why I frustrate him so much

I felt sad reading this sad

LEMisdisappointed Sun 23-Jun-13 19:50:47

You both sound really stressed, is there other stuff going on, money problems?

YoniBottsBumgina Sun 23-Jun-13 19:49:59

I could talk the hind legs off a donkey, DP is more the type to talk when strictly necessary, and he doesn't get pissed off about it. Occasionally he will ask for some space or take himself off for it but generally if he couldn't cope with my talkativeness then why would he be with me?

It's really not a good sign if your husband makes you feel stupid. And it's unlikely to be just one of those minor niggles which comes from living with someone. It's also an extremely bad sign if he talks to you as though you are a naughty child since it shows you what his real attitude towards you and him is - not equal partners at all but one being in charge and one not. Not good at all.

MortifiedAdams Sun 23-Jun-13 19:44:47

Ummmmmm..........is this behaviour relatively new? Men having affairs often act like this.

wordyBird Sun 23-Jun-13 19:42:21

Yes, he is BSing you Changey. And gaslighting you.

SvetlanaKirilenko Sun 23-Jun-13 19:39:36

I know someone who was constantly told she had a terrible memory as she couldn't remember anything her DH told her. She was also made to feel "stupid" in little ways like the ones you mention. After a while her DH started to tell her she was stupid, and belittle her in other ways.

Even though her DH is now an ex, she still thinks she is stupied, and has very low self esteem and little confidence.

I think you have realised deep down what your DH is like and what he is doing to you. You are not stupid. I can't advise you on what to do, but please don't end up like this person I know, who was slowly worn down over years of behaviour like this.

Vivacia Sun 23-Jun-13 19:30:58

I forget things he's told me and vice versa. The other just smiles and says it again. We don't use it as an excuse to be unkind.

Rulesgirl Sun 23-Jun-13 19:29:02

Having read through the thread op I would have to agree with Molly. You see your relationship and the way your DH is treating you through your eyes but he might see things differently if we could ask him. Thing is people are supporting you which is as it should be. But before you decide that he is a no good controlling man who abuses you emotionally please step back and see if this is really as bad as is made out. We all have times when our husbands wind us up a treat but im sure we wind them up to. Like Molly said, if hes that bad then talk to him in a non confrontational way and tell him how you feel about him and the relationship and then find out how he feels about you and your relationship and see if you can sort it and move forward. Hopefully he does love you and didn't realise that he was so bad and wants to make it better.

MollyMollyMolly Sun 23-Jun-13 19:14:55

Changy ....I get that you say you are quiet. Thing is maybe he would have a different opinion if he was asked why he talks like this to you. We all see different sides of things and we only hear one side of this so I don't think anyone can give an unbiased answer here. And the way we deal with our working lives and lives outside of the relationship are always going to be different to the way we relate to our partners. If he really is as bad and controlling as is made out then maybe his feelings toward you have changed and the love is not there otherwise he wouldn't treat you as bad as what is being said here. If he loves you and respects you and enjoyed spending time with you then his actions would be different surely? confused. Only you can say he is as bad as he is being portrayed but if this is the case maybe you need to talk to him about why your relationship has changed and hopefully you can both find a way to resolve issues before they get out of hand.

Chooster Sun 23-Jun-13 18:47:43

I reckon he is bullshitting you changey... my dh does similar but with me he mocks me for being 'deaf'. Apparently he has told me lots of things but I have been too deaf to hear. But of course if he hasnt heard something I have said then appparently its because I have mumbled. In essence I am always at fault. My dh always says things like "you think you are always so perfect etc etc" eh.... I certainly dont.

Sounds like he belittling you and making you doubt yourself which is not what a supportive husband should do. Marriage shouldnt be this hard. Maybe do some reading up and start mentally logging how often it happens.

BloomingRose Sun 23-Jun-13 18:47:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BloomingRose Sun 23-Jun-13 18:46:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChangeyMcName Sun 23-Jun-13 18:13:30

I don't tend to rattle on to be honest. I speak when I have something to say. I'm quite quiet generally.

Funny that people are seeing red flags, he does tick a few of those boxes. Well more tragic than funny really.

I looked up gas lighting. He says I'm always forgetting things he's told me and that I have a terrible memory. No one has ever commented on my memory before and never had any trouble in that area. Anyway my job requires me to be hyper organised and remember a lot of information so surely I would have noticed an unusually bad memory by now? Or he's bullshitting me.

MollyMollyMolly Sun 23-Jun-13 17:39:47

Im sure all of the above Ladies are correct but ive noticed this happen with friends when they are talking all the time to their husbands. One husband explained that he didn't mean anything by it really, its just that his wife sometimes talks endlessly (chit chat he calls it) and it drives him to distraction. Hes the type of man who talks when he needs to. He says that he feels that his wife seems to be always second guessing him and asking him what hes doing etc when he is already dealing with something. He apologised to my friend and said that its just because they are close . Maybe your husband is the same. Doesn't he annoy you with things he says and does sometimes and you speak back to him in a less than convivial way. Could you just talk to him when your both relaxed and explain how you feel in a non accusing way.

YoniBottsBumgina Sun 23-Jun-13 17:29:12

OP try googling "gaslighting" (and delete your history!)

YoniBottsBumgina Sun 23-Jun-13 17:27:20

It is definitely controlling. Abuse doesn't usually look like the stereotype we imagine it to - an angry thug looking man telling you what to do with the implied threat of a fist is really very rare. Most abuse is far more subtle.

For example, my ex never once told me I couldn't go out alone but I never went out alone when I was with him, because he'd huff and puff about various things, alcohol, paranoia about me cheating, offering to come along and being offended/upset if I suggested he didn't, people "influencing" me, him having to look after DS, various other things until it just wasn't worth the bother. But he never outright forbade me from going out.

wordyBird Sun 23-Jun-13 17:20:18

...it's also insulting to be told to 'listen properly and remember'! As if you're a child who can't be bothered, or a lazy employee, rather than an equal partner prospectively offering to help.

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