Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Should I be worried about our marriage?

(19 Posts)
FeelingSoLucky Tue 15-Apr-14 14:41:01

I've name changed as I'd quite like to show my DH this thread in the event I receive some useful advice. (I'm sure I will, MN has been my source of guidance on everything for the past few months!)

I don't know where to start really. I think there might be something wrong in my marriage but I don't know if it's a case of me being unreasonable, DH being unreasonable or if I'm just worrying about nothing. I love DH very much, we have a much longed for, finally arrived DC who is 5 months old and I am in no doubt that DH loves me. But sometimes things happen in our relationship that I'm not sure whether they are the norm or not - we have been together since our late teens/early 20s so we don't have a lot of previous relationship experience to draw on.

We're both pretty stubborn & don't like it when we each don't get our own way, which as you can imagine has led to conflict on more than one occasion. In an argument, DH won't think twice about telling me to 'shut the f**k up' if I say something he doesn't like or doesn't agree with. I have told him on many occasions that I don't like being spoken to like that but in the heat of the moment, he forgets himself and I'm ashamed to admit that in frustration and upset, I have said equally nasty things to him in retaliation. I don't like this aspect of our relationship, it was not how I was brought up to behave but I don't know if I'm just too sensitive?

DH can have quite a temper and I have found that in order not to upset him, I have on a few occasions either withheld information I knew would upset him or have outright lied to avoid conflict. I hate myself for doing this, I know it's wrong but I think I've become scared of his reaction to things so I've taken what I've perceived to be the easy way out. It's wrong and I don't like it.

There's a lot of upset going on in his family at the moment and I have inadvertently become aware of some upsetting information that I have kept from DH for the reasons mentioned in the hope he'll find out from the source of this info & I'll not end up being the messenger that gets shot. Unfortunately instead of doing the right thing, the person at the centre of the upset has taken to Facebook to announce the upsetting info which is on full view for my husband to see. I knew that as soon as he got home from work he'd be asking me if I knew so I decided to bite the bullet, ring him & tell him the info before he saw it on FB and confess to already knowing and withholding the info from him before he had chance to accuse me. I told him I was doing what I though was best, I genuinely did & don't want to be involved in the drama. He seemed more annoyed with the fact that I knew & didn't tell him rather than with the upsetting news itself! Part of me now wishes I'd lied & denied all knowledge but I can't carry on like that.

I've taken to speaking to friends and my parents in particular on the phone during the day while he is at work (I'm on mat leave) because over the last few weeks he has overheard things that he has not liked (he even didn't like my tone in one conversation) and has given me grief about it afterwards. It's getting to the point where I dread talking to my mum when he's around because I'm scared she'll say something, he'll not like my response & will then quiz me about what we were discussing afterwards. That's not normal behaviour, is it?

Going back to the upsetting info that's come out on FB, I had a text conversation with the person who posted the info, asking them if they thought it was the right thing to do, putting their private business out there to see and we had a bit if a discussion about it all via text. To placate him, I told DH I would show him the conversation when he got home but I stupidly somehow managed to delete the conversation & can't get it back. He's now going to think I've got something to hide when I genuinely haven't and I don't know what to do. For the first time I'm actually dreading him coming home because I bet there's going to be a big argument over something that really isn't anything to do with us but something I kept secret because I'm scared of his reaction to things.

In my eyes, this is not a LTB situation. My DH is a good man, he works hard, is supporting me & our DC while I'm on maternity leave & 95% of the time our house is a very happy home. But how or even should I address the swearing/insults during disagreements (I don't want our DC to be brought up thinking this is how you deal with conflict) and how do I approach talking to him about the way he reacts to situations sometimes puts me on edge? Should I just show him what I've typed here? In the past when I've tried to tell him my concerns, he has just laughed in my face. I don't like bringing it up when he's in a good mood as I don't want to put him in the inevitable bad mood that will follow... How ironic!

Sorry for the length of this post & if it's a bit vague, I don't want to give specifics in case it's recognisable. I'd appreciate any words of wisdom you have. Thanks!

FeelingSoLucky Tue 15-Apr-14 14:42:24

Oh it would seem the name change didn't work... Oh well, it's out there now!

Jan45 Tue 15-Apr-14 14:57:56

Sorry but I just could not be with anyone who spoke to me like that, it sounds like you can't actually just be yourself, you have to pretend to be someone else, it's not normal no, it all sounds extremely withering and tiresome and really, what's it over, it sounds so childish. Not a good environment for your child to be brought up in so you two will have to change the way you are responding to each other or call it a day.

He doesn't sound that good a man telling you to shut the fuck up and btw, why would he not support you, you've just had his child.

Flexiblefriend Tue 15-Apr-14 14:59:06

No, his behaviour is not normal, and you are definitely not being too sensitive. Sorry, I don't know how you can address it. I would say you need to talk to him about it, but there seems to be little point given he has previously just laughed at your concerns. He sounds horrible from what you have said here. I don't think you can make him change, unless he is willing to though.

My Dad used to be like that, and it was a horrible environment to grow up in, keeping secrets and walking on eggshells to try and keep the peace. It was never good enough though, something always set him off.

Meow75 Tue 15-Apr-14 15:08:13

Whatever he might say, normal people do not and certainly should not tell the people they love to "shut the fuck up".

What is his parents' conflict style like? I bet you, a penny to a pound, it's pretty similar. But just cause they did it ... you know the rest.

As for the family/FB thing, ask him to consider your position. You have some information, if you share it with him he'll go bananas. What maniac would voluntarily bring that on themselves?!?!

I'd say he needs teaching correct conflict resolution techniques. Shouting and swearing - that's not it!!!

HippyHugs Tue 15-Apr-14 15:20:47

Tbh I had a dh like this, and up thread walking on egg shells was mentioned. I too would say raise it as a concern. You sound tied up in knots about this whole thing on FB and you were trying to damage limits my nan spent her whole life living with someone like that, now she is dead he does it to my mum instead...not what you want for your daughter?
So I guess I'm saying, stand up to it, state what is and is not ok..and you already know what's not ok, I think.

abbykins3 Tue 15-Apr-14 15:32:47

How's he coping with the DC?

neiljames77 Tue 15-Apr-14 15:41:33

If you can't speak your mind without fear of retribution, then you're living a lie and not being yourself.

MariaJenny Tue 15-Apr-14 15:46:35

Your first baby is 5 months old. This is the most stressful time for just about every couple in the UK. I would just let things go and see how you both feel in 12 months' time. It's a big change for you both with a lot of stress, probably sleepless nights, more money issues. I don't think it's worth considering how you both are until the baby is quite a bit older. Just let things ride and try you and him to be more tolerant

However, no swearing like that by either of you is not normal for many couples. I never swear so my children don't and it's all pretty calm here. However lots of people do. Also worrying about his reaction - pretty common too and vice versa for couples but again if it's troubling you when the baby is bigger try to have a gentle chat about it.

FeelingSoLucky Tue 15-Apr-14 15:50:57

Thank you for your responses, you've confirmed what I think I already knew. I know what I have written about DH doesn't paint a very nice picture but he is at heart a good man. He does a lot for me, our DC & family & has many great qualities, he just doesn't seem to be able to handle conflict very well at times. The PP who mentioned his upbringing, whilst his dad is a lovely man now he's in his pensioner years, I get the impression he was a man who very much liked to get his own way when DH was growing up and I can imagine DH's mum probably did as she was told. I'm very strong willed, I admit that. I like to get my own way sometimes and I know I can be a pain in the backside but the way DH speaks to me sometimes really really hurts me & I've told him it makes me like him a little bit less every time. I've told him this in a jokey manner so not to get confrontational, he says he's sorry then he talks to me like crap again. Something has to change, I won't have DC brought up to think that's acceptable & I'm going to make a massive effort to be the bigger person & not retaliate (I have said some horrible things, it's no excuse but it's because I've been so angry & hurt at how he has spoken to me). I must emphasise this is not a regular occurrence, our arguments but it has happened enough to make me think.

With the whole withholding info about the upsetting situation, it was a damned if I do, damned if I don't situation, I couldn't win either way but I did what I thought was best. If he can't accept that, I'm not sure what I can do really. I think he needs to cut me a bit of slack on this one. Thanks again everyone.

Lweji Tue 15-Apr-14 15:55:12

You really are walking on eggshells with this man, aren't you?
The man who tells you to shut the fuck up.
And who laughs in your face when you voice your concern.

You may not feel it's a LTB situation, but I think you will soon feel like that. sad

I often say that it's not the good times that define a relationship but the bad times. Can you live long term with the bad times?

I don't think you should show him this thread, as I really don't think it will accomplish anything.

Jan45 Tue 15-Apr-14 16:00:33

He sounds pretty much like a bully OP.

GrassIsSinging Tue 15-Apr-14 16:01:11

No, its not normal or healthy to tell your wife to 'shut the fuck up' ever.

Treading on egg shells around your husband is a very bad sign.

'good hearted' man he might be, but he also has a verbally abusive streak and emotionally immature and worryingly controlling. How is he going to cope when you eventually go back to work and are out in the big bad world- talking to adults, making choices and not telling him EVERYTHING?

Sorry to sound harsh, but alarm bells are ringing...

GrassIsSinging Tue 15-Apr-14 16:01:41

and *seems emotionally immature etc

Lweji Tue 15-Apr-14 16:13:43

And he's good natured until something happens that he doesn't like.
Aren't we all? Even the most abusive man is like that, surely.

Joysmum Tue 15-Apr-14 22:21:40

Sounds to me that you've both forgotten what being in a relationship should be about. It's not about making yourself happy, it's about doing all you can to be worthy of the other person and make them happy. If both parties can do that then that's the basis for firm foundations.

You both sound like you're both so set on blame and keeping score you've forgotten it's your job to be worthy of the person you love.

If you both can adopt that attitude, you can both crack in with looking to a future of having a positive input into your relationship and putting the bad stuff behind you.

Sounds overly simplistic but that's it in a nutshell.

Scarletohello Thu 01-May-14 12:22:28

I highly recommend this course. It will certainly help him to recognise his triggers and manage his frustration and anger better. However he has to want to change himself, you can't do it for him. I did this course many years ago and it really did change my life!

moretolife.org.uk

There are so many red flags in your post it's just awful.
This looks like abuse to me from what you have written.
It's up to you to decide if you will put up with that and keep your DC is that situation.
Maybe contact Womens Aid and explain it all to them and see what they have to say about the situation.

Dinnaeknowshitfromclay Thu 01-May-14 20:12:25

He sounds like an abuser and a bully to me. It sounds like mostly low key so you aren't alerted but sometimes it bubbles over and his abusiveness is exposed and this makes him angry as he sounds desperate to hide who and what he really is.
If my DH told me to shut the fuck up he would be wearing a piece of furniture to A and E. I would never speak to him in that way either. He would not give a toss who I spoke to on the phone or how I speak to them. I am a person in my own right as far as he is concerned, I have agency and he respects that and again in reverse. You are being controlled but he is controlling himself more but only most of the time. He is letting you know what type of person he is by what he says and does to you - listen OP. The message is clear.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now