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What is this and how would you deal with it?

(53 Posts)
Sparklysilversequins Thu 17-Oct-13 22:38:49

You're going out for the day and your DP is irritable. So he says things like:-

"brushed your teeth kids?" kids say not yet, DP says in a shocked voice "really?! Well that should part of your daily routine, does Mummy not tell you to do it every day because you really should know that by now". Accompanied by tutting and head shaking.

Or

"have you got your coats kids? No? Well we really should be taking a ruck sack with all these things in YOU shouldn't have to worry about this! Do you usually not take one with you? Tut tut" head shaking.

Or

"yes we are going to have to rush now kids because we are leaving twenty minutes later than we said we would because Mummy had a bath, so let's be quick.". (Mummy has got herself and two dc ready while daddy got himself ready).

How would you respond to this? Thanks.

Flora5 Wed 23-Oct-13 18:20:38

Ask him how he thinks it sounds to the children. It sounds as though he habitually puts you down and almost is unaware of it, it is time for him to see it is unfair and makes you look stupid in front of the children. Not on.

lurkinglorna Wed 23-Oct-13 17:27:57

i think the reason why a lot of us are suggesting "get rid" as first option, is when you're having a discussion with a PA man they're so weak and sensitive to criticism, its not even a conversation?

lornas thoughts :"how can we move this forward, i'll genuinely state what i think and feel?"

PA person thoughts: "oh my god I'M being criticised and not getting approval! i need to WIN here."

It matters more to them that they protect this incredibly fragile self image in which they are "king of the situation" than actually resolving the issue?

So they just produce weird uber defensive "straw man" arguments where they're not actually addressing the point?

Or try and enlist sympathy for themselves - get others involved in supporting them?

Or its "someone" else's fault - yeah its those crazy feminists or my boss or God or something hmm

Or claim they're "just being honest" or "it's how they are, its masculine logic".

if you walk away cause they're so fucking tedious/defensive you're thinking of shagging the milkman, then they'll do a little victory dance cause that means they've "won". No love, you're just pathetic and others are bored with you.

So: the outcome of a discussion with a PA man: either you can go down to "his" weird game playing level, or leave/rid.

funnily enough when one meets men who are genuinely masculine with a sense of self they take responsibility for their opinions and their actions, they don't describe themselves as "typical blokes" to avoid criticism!

(that seems to be used by whiny self involved types who don't actually like anything resembling manning up)

Themanfrommanc Wed 23-Oct-13 17:02:17

Sounds like some kind of psychological bullying whether intended,recognised or not..Have a quiet word with him when the children arent there.

lurkinglorna Wed 23-Oct-13 16:58:43

ps Just to add i've found these "types" tend to only unleash the PA manipulative stuff on what they perceive to be "soft" targets?

So their children are an easy mark, someone they're married to (who may be incredibly strong and competent but presumably expects to be emotionally relaxed and "let her guard down" with her husband) is an easy mark.

Their own peer group, they tend to be really cowed and shite (maybe which is why they need to pull their little power stunts in the household?)

Also don't let him or anyone else use gender roles and go "oh but that's just cause I'm a manly man and she's an emotional woman and I'm just a bit of an insensitive man type". Far from it.

The "men" in this situation are actually VERY weak and oversensitive to criticism which is why they play these little games in the first place.

lurkinglorna Wed 23-Oct-13 16:27:56

passive aggressive men make me sick, they're not even men in my book.

let me guess he's also running a personal PR campaign for himself? and if she speaks up, then she's angry and defensive?

interestingly, one spots a few of these "men" on the dating scene, post divorce, trying the same little controlling undermining tactics on women with options who HAVEN'T been "broken" by them and can "see that they're doing" .

they never get past maybe a month or so's casual dating before they get swapped or got rid of! smile

KCumberSandwich Wed 23-Oct-13 15:21:34

slap the prick.

Eira1111 Wed 23-Oct-13 15:13:48

I have lived with a PA husband for 16 years. I accidentally came across an article a couple of years ago and realized that this is what he is. Before that, I nearly had a nervous breakdown, thought I was going crazy, could never understand why I felt so hurt by something he said or did because when I confronted him he said that I had misunderstood and it was my fault but I still felt hurt. He withheld any intimacy and affection, we had sex twice a year max. When I asked him why he didn't want sex, he always came up with some excuse, never admitting that he was punishing me. After I read the article, I confronted him. He denied he is PA but every time he behaved PA I would tell him. That was how I coped with it, by telling him I was onto him and his behaviour wasn't going to affect me. Recently he started to be PA with the kids. I've decided I'd had enough. I'm moving out in a couple of weeks. He's devastated and said that he didn't know what he was doing and therefore none of his behaviour is his fault. (I emailed him a link to the PA article years ago.) Another PA trait, play the victim. Well, you know what, fuck him. Yay me! smile I am so relieved it's over and can't wait to move on.

TrippleBerryFairy Sun 20-Oct-13 22:30:18

Scary, i think technical term is emotional abuse. Lundy Bancroft book covers it well. Sorrysad

lovemenot Sun 20-Oct-13 18:12:29

Oh goodness, I have one of those too! Things like "dd needs to be told to shower" (she'd just come back from the stables), or "dd needs to ask me to help her with her maths and business homework" or "dd sounds very aggressive on Skype" (yeah, and where'd she learn that from asshole), or "dd is putting on weight, what are you feeding her" etc etc

DD is actually great! Getting A's and B's in school, shedding her puberty puppy fat, has good friends that she loves and hugs easily. Guess he might be figuring out that she doesn't really need his opinion as he has never listened to hers..

Scarynuff Sun 20-Oct-13 14:35:11

I would wave them off with a 'Have a lovely day. Daddy doesn't usually get to have you all to himself and Mummy is so worn out by doing everything for him that she's going to have a lovely quiet day to herself' smile

Gretagumbo Sun 20-Oct-13 10:40:27

He sounds vile...

Meerka Sun 20-Oct-13 08:58:58

I feel very sorry for your friend and glad that you're there to support her.

I dont know you'd get the guy to alter his behaviour. Either call him on every .. single ... gaslighting consistently -challenge him- or else leave him.

This appalling insidious behaviour is dreadful for your friend -and- for her children becasue he will turn on them, too, and the last thing a growing child needs is someone undermining them and destroying hteir faith in themselves like this.

ninja Sun 20-Oct-13 08:42:23

Sounds just like my ex too - I'd get up, (possibly v early if e kids were up early) get everything ready, dealing with nappies, wet beds, picnics, ... He'd get up 10 minutes before we were due to go out and then comment if anything wasn't ready saying I'd been up for ages.

If I said it was his responsibility to help, he'd say I should just ask nicely, if I asked nicely I was nagging. If I dared wake him up, make a noise in the room 'couldn't I see that his eyes were closed' (which made it really hard to get myself ready).

I used to dread days out as they always started like this sad

So much easier when you're by yourself with them.

The anxiety must be awful for her.

Ohwhatwitcheryisthis Sun 20-Oct-13 08:31:09

that was my bill. It escalated into full on emotional abuse once her parents had emigrated. Her ds and dd eventually said leave. It had always gone on but she thought it was normal (even though our df was the opposite of that)

Bluebridgemummy Sun 20-Oct-13 08:17:43

I had one of these husbands' and am in the process of getting rid of him. It's surprised me how much I put up with but it's a slow building thing and you don't realise it's happening. I'd count myself as very assertive and would pick him up on it only to be told I was 'going on' after a while you realise it doesn't make the slightest bit of difference so either like it or lump it. Manys the time I tried to talk reasonably to him along the lines of much of the advice above only for him to zone out and actually start yawning when he felt I had 'gone on' enough! It got to the point where he didn't need to say anything, just a sigh of disappointment spoke chapters. What an enormous relief when I decided it was time to end the crap! It's the little things that make you realise that you deserve better..a friend posted one of those saying on Facebook which said 'Life's too short the spend it with people who stuck the happiness out of you' and this really made me think. I am left now looking at a bright and happy future for me and the kids (2 and 4) in a home full of joy and laughter - phew!

Sparklysilversequins Fri 18-Oct-13 10:41:54

I have that book, "why does he do that?" Just re reading chapter 10 and I am actually shock with the shock of total recognition of both MY ex and my friends DP. I've offered her this book before but somehow just never got round to giving it to her. I will when I next see her.

Re reading that chapter, I remember last time I read it the utter relief that this kind of behaviour was SUCH a problem that someone actually wrote a book about it. Lundy is a genius.

HidingFromDD Fri 18-Oct-13 10:35:42

My Ex was like this (note the ex). It's very passive aggressive. He used to continually drop in low level statements which eventually would make me explode, leaving me looking like I was so hard to live with (and feeling it too) and him looking like a saint. It took 20 years before I actually realised that his version of the truth wasn't the right one and started pulling him up on comments. Took another 5 years before I realised that, instead of feeling grateful that he was putting up with me, he was a total knob and I was far better off without him grin

arthriticfingers Fri 18-Oct-13 09:58:36

Another vote for getting her a copy of Why does he do that? and Should I stay or should I go? by Lundy Bancroft. Maybe she can read them at your house or at work (if she goes out to work). It is all there. Another book is Living with the Dominator by Pat Craven. Again, she should not let him see these books as he would have a field day.

Anniegetyourgun Fri 18-Oct-13 09:44:58

There's a chapter in "Why Does He Do That" where the guy behaves almost exactly like that. Get her a copy and draw her attention to Chapter 10!

Sparklysilversequins Fri 18-Oct-13 09:23:34

Thanks for your replies. To be clear this is stuff she has told me not that I have witnessed, though have seen a couple of things that made me hmm. I am good at recognising it as I had one very like it so alarm bells clang immediately but I thought if I could name it and get some opinions shed could see its not just me and her bitching about him.

DeckSwabber Fri 18-Oct-13 08:14:57

This sort of behaviour is soul destroying. He's tripping her up by making her feel that nothing she does is good enough, that she doesn't love her child enough.

She may find it incredibly difficult to leave as her confidence will be destroyed.

Good for you for picking up on it and supporting her.

NotYoMomma Fri 18-Oct-13 08:11:02

I would respond with 'are you having a fucking laugh? while you have stood there moaning I have got up, bathed, dressed, sorted dc1, dressed him, sorted bag, teeth, woke dc2, washed him, dressed him, sorted bags, Fed them...''

etc etc So he gets the point list every minute detail

then I woukd tell him that I will not do it anymore and he needs to step up and not be a passive aggressive dickhead and help out with the children.

then I would write a Rota.

for me and dh we get up, I dress and wash dd, he dresses himself. then he takes her downstairs and does them bith breakfast and sorts their bags while I get dressed in peace. then we go out

equal grin

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 18-Oct-13 08:00:09

It's passive aggressive behaviour and it's very condescending. My fear would be that, if this low-level stuff is what he allows others to witness, what is going on behind closed doors? Emotional abuse or emotional bullying is sadly very common and a big part of it is a sustained campaign of chipping away at the victim's confidence so that they become unable to stand up to the bully. Very common as well is for the bully to tone down their behaviour in public or even to appear charming and pleasant.

Tash28 Fri 18-Oct-13 01:44:58

How long has it been going on for? What's triggered it?

He sounds like a prick and doing it through undermining a mother to her children is unacceptable.

My oh started doing this and for various reasons I hadn't heard or realised what he was doing. Then one day I heard it...then followed a screaming banshee fit with language that would make a docker blush. He is no longer a condescending smart arse prick. I think she's got to nip it in the bud and quick.

ilovebowie Fri 18-Oct-13 01:16:22

Great minds Imperial :0

LOL, Sparkly, can't you just imagine it!

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