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My DH is always right. Always.

(178 Posts)
purrpurr Wed 18-Sep-13 21:14:04

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.

Help?!

motherinferior Wed 18-Sep-13 21:48:03

I still want to know what he's a genius at. You can't, AFAIK, just be a General Genius At Everything.

KatyTheCleaningLady Wed 18-Sep-13 21:49:35

I assume this has always gone on, but now that you are a mother, you're not able to overlook it.

I would give a little bit of slack to both of you because of the newborn sleep deprivation phase : it can exacerbate problems and you may both be not at your best.

But the fact that this is an issue going back years makes me think it's a real problem and not just temporary.

purrpurr Wed 18-Sep-13 21:51:56

But surely there's something wrong with me to have ended up here? I mean, when he proposed, I was all goosepimpley not because he'd asked, but because someone had asked at all.

I can try thecatfromjapan's advice and try to stop this. But I have been trying to stop this, way before we had DD. He has a charming habit of cutting across me in conversations so he can tell me what I'm saying is 'completely irrelevant' and that I must get to the point. Maybe that is all he means, but I always feel garrulous and waffly and boring. And stupid.

But maybe it's more about me than it is about him.

thecatfromjapan Wed 18-Sep-13 21:52:22

One of my friends once said something pretty wise about "nice": He may be "nice" but what he is doing is not nice.

Also, "nice" is bloody easy when you don't give a stuff. Easy to be generalised nice if you don't care. It's people who hold it together to be ethical, respectful, tolerant in situations they really, really care about that are solid gold (if you ask me).

GoodtoBetter Wed 18-Sep-13 21:53:36

But that's just fucking rude. With every post I like him less. Genius my arse, pompous bastard more like.

AnyFucker Wed 18-Sep-13 21:54:13

Why is it about you ? If you are a MN user, you should know that isn't true

he is an arsehole...nothing you did or didn't do made him that way

Genii are figments of their own imagination, not created by their wives

thecatfromjapan Wed 18-Sep-13 21:54:46

When he cuts across you, ask him if he genuinely considers you a real person, with valid, equally weighted viewpoints on reality. Does he actually consider your reality equal to his?

I have a suspicion that my husband has serious problems obtaining to his acceptance of reality. Proper, multi-being-inhabited reality.

motherinferior Wed 18-Sep-13 21:55:09

Darling, lots of us have ended up with appalling blokes who think that the sun is tremendously privileged to get the opportunity to shine out of their arses. And in my case, when said bloke chucked me I went into a decline - literally, into months of depression. Please don't feel it's all about you. Yes, there may be reasons why you've allowed yourself to be preached at by Mister Genius (snigger) but it is, fundamentally, his problem.

purrpurr Wed 18-Sep-13 21:56:05

Motherinferior, I'm not sure he thinks you are a genius at something in particular, more that it is a general amazing level of ability across the board. :/.

motherinferior Wed 18-Sep-13 21:56:14

My dad's a bit like your husband, Cat.

throwinshapes Wed 18-Sep-13 21:57:14

Cutting across you and making you feel what you say is irrelevant.

His behaviour is insidious.

Your comment about the proposal is worrying. A man like this will be drawn to those with low self esteem. hmm

thecatfromjapan Wed 18-Sep-13 21:57:33

Sorry. Posted to soon.

I honestly think your dh doesn't quite grasp you are truly real. Just like my dh.

It's not about "genius". It's not about intelligence. It's about the fact that he doesn't get that the world outside his slice of it, the world beyond his eyes, is real, along with all those other people who are in it. Including you.

And you are not some super-clever, higher-order pet or servant.

purrpurr Wed 18-Sep-13 22:01:10

argh x post, sorry.

I know it's all not quite right, but at the same time, I've got a somewhat colourful background re: relationships, so I do have to wonder what crap I'm bringing in here. I do tend to see men as authority figures, for instance, which is nothing to do with my DH's delusions of genius and simply about my upbringing, but that will be colouring our interactions. So he might be an arse but I might be a bit of an arse as well. Possibly.

He could be trying to assert control over this area of our lives as he has grown used to having to be the assertive one out of the two of us, perhaps, and only now am I rallying.

No, that sounds all well and good written down but it's bollocks.

givemestrengthorlove Wed 18-Sep-13 22:03:03

You know he's not right. Don't doubt yourself.

pointythings Wed 18-Sep-13 22:04:19

One of my good friends is with a man like this. Still. After 25 fucking years. He puts her down. He's so sodding superior I want to slap him. She won't leave him because she loves him and her self esteem is at rock bottom. This is you in 25 years time. Stand up to him or get the hell out, he doesn't deserve you.

AnyFucker Wed 18-Sep-13 22:05:30

No, none of that "sounds good" at all

Who are you trying to kid, love ? The man is an arrogant fool. Not a great realisation, but an important one nonetheless.

Bogeyface Wed 18-Sep-13 22:05:51

I know someone who has a genuine genius level IQ, (they are accepted as the foremost expert in their field worldwide) and she is the nicest person you could hope to meet. Her husband gets very cross with her sometimes though because she lacks in confidence in many areas. Yes she is extremely intelligent and in her specialism is outstanding but when it comes to day to day things such as her children, shopping, picking a cooker (say) she defers to him because she is frightened of getting it wrong.

He is not a genius, he is either a) an arrogant twat who genuinely thinks that he is better than practically everyone else or b) knows that he is actually just your average person, same as the rest of us and hates it, so puts you down in order to make himself feel better.

Either of these is a deal breaker for me and most people, so he needs to change pronto or ship out.

For the record, as the SAHM to a 4 month old, yes you do know better just as he would if he was the SAHP.

superstarheartbreaker Wed 18-Sep-13 22:07:02

He's Mr Right. (See Why does he do that y Lundy Bancroft. ) He dosn't sound like a genious; he sounds like a twat!

AnyFucker Wed 18-Sep-13 22:08:30

This man is like my father. That I have no contact with. Being all superior to my mother wasn't enough for him, he started putting his kids down too. That should have been the lightbulb moment for my mother to get us all the fuck away from such damaging behaviour.

Unfortunately, she put him on a pedestal like you are doing with your husband. he ro wn relationship with her children is ruined because of it. And yes, she is still with "The Genius" and he is still putting her down.

AnyFucker Wed 18-Sep-13 22:09:04

*her own

lookingfoxy Wed 18-Sep-13 22:09:23

OP my dp can be like this if I let him away with it, we have a 3 month old.
my usual response to any of his parenting comments are either, 1. I haven't lost one yet (also have ds) 2. I wonder how on earth the baby's still alive after spending all day with me or 3. I just plonk baby on his lap and tell him to get on with it.
If he starts talking anymore dribble I just ignore, he pulls me up on it and I tell him I'll stop ignoring him when he stops the shit talk.
oh he's 13 years older than me, wonder if its an age thing?
I know I must sound rude to other mumsnetters but honestly its needed sometimes.
Come to think of it he hasn't been as bad recently. .......

Phalenopsis Wed 18-Sep-13 22:10:12

OP, when you're married, you're supposed to be a team. From what you've said, you're not a team. He has the 'me talk - you listen' approach which screams that he doesn't value you as a person in your own right at all. You're just the non-hired help who provides 'added extras'. Yes, that's crude but that's all he seems to see you as.

If my OH cut across me when I was speaking, I'd hit the roof and be very upset because it would show me that he didn't value my opinion enough to shut the fuck up and listen. My father tries to do exactly as your husband does and I won't put up with it from him. I will not be interrupted by anyone. My opinions are important. Yours are too.

And as for the genius thing - please! I'd call him Walter Mitty. What a wanker!!

pointythings Wed 18-Sep-13 22:11:41

bogeyface very good point. I have an IQ (officially) which is higher than Carol Vorderman's. Doesn't mean I don't need a mechanic to sort my car and a plumber to fix my loo. Genius is a meaningless term, you need to be a decent human being.

So the things I am most proud about myself are: Listening, making people cups of tea when they're stressed, artwork on the envelopes of people's cards at home and always wanting to hug my family. Sod IQ.

And you do know better about your DD - you are the SAHM, you do the childcare, you're the bloody expert.

Phalenopsis Wed 18-Sep-13 22:12:38

Oh and a colourful past doesn't entitle anyone to treat anyone else like shite. Don't make excuses for him. He doesn't seem worth them to me.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Wed 18-Sep-13 22:13:09

You need to call him on the interrupting. Every time. Whatever he says, say 'I haven't finished, ignore anything about how you have to get to the point, and just carry on with what you were saying.

Re him 'making the decisions' in the middle of the night - or any other time - again, you need to resist this, and in a short way that doesn't get you stuck in a long explanation that he will then dismiss. Instead go for 'I'm going to do X, thanks', 'I'm fine with doing it this way, thanks', 'Yes, I hear that, but I'm happiest doing it this way'. And the do it. Trust yourself. You are a parent, you've both been parents for the same length of time, you are competent. You don't have to keep mollifying him or explaining why you're doing it your way not his way.

Also, I'm unbelievably intelligent grin and even I'm not good at everything, so this 'general level of genius' is rubbish. I also don't tell people I'm a genius because I'm smart enough to know they would think I was a complete berk for doing so. smile

Here are some books I recommend when these kinds of discussions come up. Try and get hold of one or both and see if they help.

Anne Dickson – A Woman in Your Own Right: Assertiveness and You

Manuel J Smith - When I Say No, I Feel Guilty (this includes the ‘broken record’ technique, though you can also google to get info on this – it’s a very good book overall for those who have a tendency to feel selfish over enforcing boundaries)

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