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just can't get through to my cold and angry dh

(115 Posts)
superdry Fri 27-Sep-13 12:38:34

no matter how hard i try i just can't seem to communicate effectively with my husband, any issue, even vaguely contentious, ends in a row, he won't engage with me, he won't listen to me, just goes yeah yeah, whatever, which inevitably leads to me trying harder to get him to listen, which eventually leads to him losing his temper, and sometimes threatening with some kind of violence - if i am lucky i get an apology the next day, but his manner doesn't really change as he always claims i provoked him, i won't leave him alone etc etc - the only way we have any kind of peaceful life is if i never complain about anything - anything at all, thereby 'not starting an argument' - i can go for weeks like that but inevitably i eventually 'have a go' at him about something or other, and the cycle begins again. i feel emotionally drained by it all, its the same old story, he says i am the one with the problem and obviously i think its him! any nuggets of advice out there? we have 2 young children

Hissy Fri 27-Sep-13 19:11:20

You've had some of the most knowledgeable and respected posters on your thread already, and some excellent advice and perspectives here.

One thing I wanted to add is that say you did find the magic bullet/wand/baseballbat to get him to listen to you.

The instant he realises that he's doing what you want/makes you happy, he'd change it all, because you being happy is the LAST thing he wants.

He gets an emotional stiffy from keeping you in this manic dance on broken glass, all of the while creating smoke to further disorientate you.

An enormous effort goes into this, because he can't have you on an equal footing to him. You'd show him up for thé weak, insignificant, inferior prick that he is.

You think it's strength that fuels his temper? No way, it's the direct pole opposite, he's terrified of you, so has to bring you down, at any cost.

He hates you, because you show him all the things he is not.

There literally is no hope for an abusive relationship, they poison everyone within spitting distance.

Get your DC out.

ModreB Fri 27-Sep-13 19:48:03

Can I just add, if he (Physically) pushes you, how would he react if you push him back? Do you push him back? Do you feel that you could push him back?

If not, it is physical domestic violence and you should take your children and leave any way that you can.

If you cannot see the damage that he is doing to you, please see the damage that he is doing to your children.

cestlavielife Fri 27-Sep-13 21:43:04

This is Oliver James talking about domestic abuse.
www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2346690/Nigella-Lawson-Charles-Saatchi-deeply-damaged-couple-locked-warped-logic-abuse.html

I think you are totally misreading love moving and Lundy Bancroft.

The best thing you can do is talk to women's aid.
Or ask gp to refer you for some counselling sessions
Sitting zen like to try and prevent him actually smashing your face in is ridiculous

Your dc will be damaged by this.

So he great with them ? Fine he can be great with them fifty per cent of the time with them alone.
You do not have to live with him and suffer .

Separate and share the dc.

cestlavielife Fri 27-Sep-13 21:43:48

Love bombing

betterthanever Fri 27-Sep-13 22:16:56

OP - Lundy doesn't say if you ask them to stop doing it they will. He says the opposite, he says these men rarely change. He does advice you stand up to them but keep safe and leave if it becomes too much.
men don't like emotional and/or angry women - I don't like emotional/angry men/ anyone.
Do you think he will ever change? do you know that nothing you do will change him, he has to want to change and do it himself? if he doesn't want to, what do you want to do? I know that whatever that is can not be done instantly.

WhiteandGreen Fri 27-Sep-13 22:38:32

OP, nobody sits around just before a divorce thinking... "You know what, I'd really like to break this family up."

betterthanever Fri 27-Sep-13 22:45:35

Hissy spot on as always: You'd show him up for thé weak, insignificant, inferior prick that he is.

Molly333 Sat 28-Sep-13 08:41:13

And on the back of that what about the woman you are? What do you like? Who are you? What makes you laugh or cry? What would you like to do next week or next year? It's all being shut down , the you is being forcibly closed and shut down . Not communicating is a very effective controlling tool . I know as I was the daughter of a mum who lived like that , I then too did exactly the same , she was my role model and I copied her behaviour !!! Please read " why does he do that by Lundy Bancroft or get counselling then make yr decision. You don't hv to tell him but I cannot urge you enough that you need to think v seriously here!

superdry Sat 28-Sep-13 11:03:09

hi all

thanks for all your posts,re the lundy bancroft book that i read, i totally understood it, i totally recognised my dh in the pages, but in terms of advice - apart from leaving the marriage it kind of didn't help me - it just kinda reiterated what i already knew, which i guess is what this thread is doing,

but and it is a big but, dh's parents had similar issues in their marriage which is obviously where he learnt his crazy behaviour, and they are still married and he (my FIL) no longer behaves like that, i think people can change - however i am not so stupid as to believe my dh is anywhere close to changing at the mo, because he simply does not take responsibility for his actions, which is the first step - how i get him to take that first step is what is currently doing my head in and...you will think i am crazy for saying this, i have been in an abusive relationship before, years ago - where i was actually hit - how come this is happening to me again, is it simply down to the men i choose or am i contributing to it in some way? does there not come a point where one has to take responsibility for ones own behaviour, are there certain women that push the buttons in men that make them go crazy? a certain harridan/shrew like trait, am i overly critical when i should be supportive etc etc,

ageofgrandillusion Sat 28-Sep-13 11:17:23

You do seem to think you can change him OP. Fair nuff, keep trying. Good luck with that one is all i can say. It's the kids i feel sorry for.

Because you've been unlucky.

Because abusers have an almost super natural ability to spot and prey on vulnerable women.

You CANNOT change him. You can't. You'll NEVER be able to change him and that's your first step.

He needs to leave.

If you really believe he can change, that's great.

But to do so he must do a lot of work on himself and his issues. So make him leave for, say, a year.

If he's changed. REALLY changed, he can come back.

tribpot Sat 28-Sep-13 11:26:28

This is a Ted Talk on domestic abuse. Your situation is not like hers (thank goodness) but I think there are some things in there that will resonate with you, esp the idea that it must - somehow - be your fault.

I think it is relatively common (only based on MN) to find people who've formerly been in violent relationships to be in emotionally abusive ones now. Because it doesn't seem 'as bad', it's very confusing as to whether your standards are just unreasonably high, somehow. They aren't.

tb Sat 28-Sep-13 11:42:53

OP, shouting at you that he is going to smash your face in, is assault. The 'battery' is when he hits you. What is referred to as assault is actually assault and battery.

I'd log it with the police, then at least you'd have a chance of getting hime out of the house on a permanent basis.

superdry, please don't believe that there's anything in your behaviour which causes men to "turn " like this, it's more that when women lack self-esteem, they tend, unfortunately, to attract a certain type of man - the dominant abusive kind.

You can change this pattern, but it will take work on your self-esteem and confidence, probably through therapy, and only once you are away from your abusive H.

You will attract the kind of man you think you deserve, sad but true. Once you love yourself truly, deeply and unconditionally, once you are gentle and kind to yourself, you will attract a kind gentle man to loves you truly, deeply and unconditionally.

Change is scary, I know. But if you don't change your situation, you're just going to get more of the same. Your H won't change. Why should he?

Lweji Sat 28-Sep-13 14:50:27

Even if he can change, I doubt he will unless you are really prepared to leave.
While he thinks you won't go, he'll be exactly the same.

scallopsrgreat Sat 28-Sep-13 15:08:03

I think you have missed the point about the Lundy Bancroft book. It isn't really about giving advice for a start. It is for recognising abusive behaviour patterns. And the thing he keeps reiterating throughout the book is that it is extremely difficult for abusers to change. They have to a) want to b) have consequences for their actions i.e. losing his wife and child (although often that isn't enough) c) have a network of people around him who will not enable his abusive behaviour e.g. family, friends, employers, police, courts etc. Even then it is incredibly difficult and will take years, with therapy.

Your husband doesn't appear to have any of the above. He isn't going to change. And I wouldn't trust that your FIL has changed. He may have changed the way in which he is abusive but he is unlikely to have stopped being abusive.

The reason you read from Bancroft that all you can do is leave, is because that is all you can do.

scallopsrgreat Sat 28-Sep-13 15:09:19

Why do you want to stay in this relationship so much?

superdry Sat 28-Sep-13 15:16:30

primarily to keep the family together

mistlethrush Sat 28-Sep-13 15:17:47

But all that will do is to teach your children that the proper way of having a relationship is for one part to be abusive - do you want your children to have the same problems as you?

Lweji Sat 28-Sep-13 15:21:17

Being together isn't all that.

To be happy should be your objective and for your children.
Do you think they are happy in this environment?

Twinklestein Sat 28-Sep-13 15:35:40

Your children won't thank you for it when they're older.

Their narrative will be 'our mother was not strong enough to leave our abusive father so we grew up in fear of him'.

If you have a son he may well pick up his father's abusive traits and make himself and gfs miserable by repeating the pattern.

If you have a daughter she may be drawn to abusive relationships herself.

crazyhead Sat 28-Sep-13 15:48:22

Your husband is treating you as though he despises you. If he really does, then he should have already taken responsibility for the situation and left you long ago - if I felt angry enough about what I perceived as someone bossing me around to threaten them with violence, I would have sat down and thought about the situation and left after the first time I had crossed such a dreadful line.

If he doesn't despise you, then he's simply a bully. He has the right to ask you to improve the way to communicate gripes with him if you are screaming them aggressively at him. But everyone has things they want to change/get cross about he doesn't have the right, ever, to respond like that to you.

I'd ask him which it is. If he hates you, he needs to have the courage of his feelings and leave you. If he doesn't, he needs to stop this behaviour immediately or the relationship has to end.

scallopsrgreat Sat 28-Sep-13 15:49:49

Why is keeping the family together important? Is it because you believe the hype that children need their parents in a relationship? Because it isn't true. And it especially isn't true when their fathers are abusive.

What is he doing to keep the family together?

ouryve Sat 28-Sep-13 15:53:23

If you really believe your H can change, superdry then let him. On his own, where he can't constantly frighten you or threaten you in the process. Nothing that you do or hope for will make him change, while he is still in a position where he can dominate and intimidate you, constantly.

And how do you know for sure that your IL's relationship is no longer abusive? Are you privy to every single conversation that happens between them?

Your children do live with you, though and will see every single look, or flinch, or glare, or shrug, or deep breath and may well hear plenty of the threats of physical violence. Why the hell would you want to stay with a man who does that to you? That's not what being a "family" is about. Being a family is about moving through life together, doing things for each other, out of love and not out of fear.

Twinklestein Sat 28-Sep-13 16:16:24

Your children do live with you, though and will see every single look, or flinch, or glare, or shrug, or deep breath and may well hear plenty of the threats of physical violence. Why the hell would you want to stay with a man who does that to you? That's not what being a "family" is about. Being a family is about moving through life together, doing things for each other, out of love and not out of fear.

This. Absolutely this.

I don't know why parents kid themselves that the children don't sense what's going on. Of course they do. Every single speck of stress, tension, temper, fear, derision, they pick up on everything.

Being nice to the children and a bastard to their mother is not being a good father. He's being a crap father. He doesn't care about his kids enough to treat their mother properly & think how will impact them. If he can't be nice to you & set a good example to his children of how to treat other human beings, then he should leave & see the kids separately. If he had any integrity he would do this. Moreover abusive fathers can sometimes turn against their children when they're older. You've got no guarantee that your kids will never have to experience what you're going through now.

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