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My DH is always right. Always.(178 Posts)
When I got together with my DH six years ago, we quickly discovered, after the honeymoon period where we just about agreed on everything, that actually we are polar opposites on everything. All the inconsequential stuff. All the important stuff. Totally different. I even found out recently that he considers my taste to be garish. It's like nothing about us suits the other.
The unpleasant undertone to these fundamental differences is that he is older than me (only by 7 years) and assumes a somewhat parental/older brother attitude when it comes to disagreements. As if I'm just a bit slow on the uptake, possibly, or haven't finished school yet.
We reached an amicable truce several years ago, because we do hugely enjoy some areas of our relationship, and we make each other laugh and think, so it wasn't worth quitting the relationship even though it means we just can't civilly discuss politics or anything important.
Sorry, gibbering merrily away but don't want to dripfeed. I'll get to the point.
I'm a SAHM. Our DD is 4 months old. I do the lion's share, but DH will contribute. The trouble is, he will argue with me about how I do things, and question and question and quibble over and over. Discussions reoccur every week. I feel like he can't stand not being the one 'in the right' in this particular instance, even though I really am not heavy-handed about 'being the one at home', I really don't swan about like I am All That just because I do 90% of the parenting, but I get this sense from him that his opinion is still the only one that matters here, he is right, and he is going to do things his way, even when it detrimentally affects both of us.
It's really colouring my feelings for him significantly. I can't help but dislike him. I feel like it's the height of arrogance. The equivalent would be for me to appear in his office and gesture casually towards his computer and say, 'well, that's wrong for a start, but I'll fix it.'
Maybe there's even this sense of jostling for control, which I don't know how to handle. Next we're going to be arranging performance meetings and talking in corporate business speak.
It sounds like he considers you inferior to him in some fundamental way.
Show him what you've typed here as a starting point.
While having differing opinions can be interesting, stimulating and fun, what you're describing sounds onerous and wearing.
What exactly does he disagree on in relation to your SAHM methods?
This isn't usually recommended, but could you show him your OP? - and the many, many replies I do not doubt that you will get, which will tell you that yes, this will split you up?
You may have been easy going enough to put up with what sounds like a LOT of arrogant bullshit for a long time, but you're now seeing where your boundary lies. With your child, and being told how to parent. And perhaps with the really inexcusable bullshit of finally being the person who is, for the best reason of all, in the driving seat - and still having him try desperately to crash through it in order to feed his ego. You've just given birth, this is your baby. Nothing will strike at you more than being dismissed in that role. Mother Tiger WILL raise her head.
As you say - it's to the detriment of both of us. He needs to be told, really told, because very soon it will be to the detriment of all three of you. And you will find, perhaps even shocking yourself, that you will not put up with that. As you shouldn't. And that will be that.
Katy, unfortunately I think that's it. He recently said he's fairly certain he is a genius. I giggled because I don't tend to normally spend time with folk that think they are geniuses (genii?) and he got very blustery and cross and insulted that I laughed, because of course he is a genius, why didn't I think that already?
So, it's obvious now that I'm thinking about it. Of course I'm inferior. I'm just above average in enough things to look reasonably clever, I'm not a genius.
He genuinely believes he is superior to you. I would be very surprised if he changed. You either put up with it or leave.
I'm the same - clever, but no genius.
Could you give more specific examples of what he says and does?
I wonder what makes him think he is,a genius? Its not dissimilar to going around proclaiming your own hotness i.e. Not On! Also, why doesn't he value a relationship with an equal? None of it makes him sound particularly smart...
Over confident and domineering.
Will get worse
Be very very firm, don't let him criticise you or insist on having his own way....simply tell him to get stuffed and stop interfering because you are not discussing it .
It's the only way he will lay off.
Throwin, lots of abstract things. If we are trying to share the night work (we do this occasionally when I'm on my last legs with tiredness as DD doesn't sleep well, normally I'm in the spare room with DD - haven't slept in the marital bed more than twice since April) he decides how things will be done, often resulting in numerous unnecessary wakings of all three of us, really unnecessary crying from DD which upsets me as I don't wait for her to cry before I sort her out with feeding or what have you. But I'm too tired to argue and it's so nice to momentarily believe I've got help instead of battling away by myself all the time, and then in the morning when I'm more tired than I've even thought possible I do try to talk to him but he just will not take on board anything I say.
If this is his personality, and his underlying belief system is that he is superior - to others generally, or to women generally - then you face a real challenge, I think.
How does he behave with other people? Does he tend to compete / dominate with everyone, or is it more of a power struggle just between you both?
He is fairly sure he is a genius?
Is he, you know, actually clinically deranged? In what way is he a genius? I mean, I've met some pretty damn bright people in my life and am not slouch in the old intellect myself but I haven't met many people who'd be called a genius. The mathematician Ruth Lawrence, perhaps, we overlapped at Oxford...and the odd musician, but that's about ti.
TalkativeJim, your post made too much sense. My heart got heavy just reading it. You are quite right.
Ruralninja, ace nickname btw, I think there's some sort of superiority/inferiority complex going on, there must be. He often says if we split up, he'd be single forever, so he casts himself as practically unloveable, but at the same time, sees me as beneath him.
Genius ? Genius ? Genius?
What a wazzak
What's he going to be like when he's 60?
Is there something going on in his life that's making him feel defensive? Something at work or with his family that's worrying him? Sounds like he's trying to get control for some reason and he wasn't always that way?...
My husband did/does this.
It has definitely worsened over the years, to the point where it has genuinely affected my mental health. Really.
In hindsight, I really wish I had stood my ground earlier. That would have involved (I think): articulating to myself what the problem was; really believing that there was an issue; identifying that there was an issue of power and respect; convincing myself that I had legitimate grounds to feel a bit undermined/pissed off/disrespected; listening to my feelings; explaining to dh what was not acceptable about his way of speaking to me/thinking about me; explaining that power and responsibility must be shared; being prepared for - perhaps- some heated exchanges/arguments.*
So ... I think it really is worth trying to get it sorted out now.
Also, what I realised very recently - and this really may not apply to you - is that I was being - what might I call this? - "Tenderised" - in those early days. Inch by inch, my husband wore down my self-esteem, and really laid down the rules about his views/opinions/wants/rules being the ones that mattered. My reality, right down to the way I parented, was less "real" than his.
What this did was actually make his life a lot easier. It's weird to look back on, but now I can see that the constant undermining was actually a real power-organisation, which resulted in a lot of family life running around my husband, to ensure that his life is quite smooth, and I am constantly running to ensure that things stay smooth for him.
And, honestly, it really did seem to start with him telling me how to "do" the parenting that I was doing most of.
So, I would say, it really is worth being quite firm about the validity of your adulthood, competence, and autonomy right now. Because this really is about your competency as an adult, and your validity as a real, live human being, who is separate - but equal - to your husband.
*In spite of all the "I feel", "It seems to me", "It makes me feel" language that Relate teach you, it quite often can be quite hard to persuade someone stubborn, and used to getting their own way, of the legitimacy of your opinions/viewpoints/feelings.
There's a fine line between genius and madness
Sorry X post.
An ordinary genius would just be busy doing the sort of things that genii do and not worrying too much about other people.
But he thinks he's a genius and gets cross if you don't agree = he thinks he's superior to everybody.
This is who he is...its not going to get any better.
Diagonally, just between us. He's the nicest guy you would ever meet, honestly.
Ha. No way. All these months I've spent on Mumsnet and how many times have I seen that? Oh, he's the nicest guy. Ooh, for extra Mumsnet bingo points: But he's such a great dad. Yeah, really. I'm just going to go slap myself.
TJ is right, love. That poster just predicted your future, in a nutshell.
He will chip away at your respect for him. It's happening already, isn't it, or you wouldn't be inviting commentary here.
No respect, no relationship.
Soz did not mean to be glib.
Looks like TheCat has some good insight.
Fucking hell, what a knob. I don't like him and I've never met him, I can't imagine how unpleasant it must be to have to live with him. He sounds awful OP, do you really see yourself with him forevermore?
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