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.
ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
Is this mad? am i mad?(33 Posts)
I posted here a couple of days ago about my current situation. I felt totally lost and a few things were pointed out in the replies i got and I felt i could start to tackle the issues. Huge part of this is my dp and his assurances that things we discuss that need to change on his part never come to anything. We had a huge talk about this and after me gaining some understanding into the role his upbringing may have had on this habit he has he has agreed to look into counselling. We also spoke about other silly issues around the house that build up and contribute to arguments. So all in i was feeling fairly confident we could work on stuff.
This might sound bizarre but my dp when washing up dishes doesn't clean them properly. Ie i will go to dry the dishes and they will still be greasy, dirty so i have to do them over.This has happened today, iv been at work hes just left for his shift and iv gone put the dishes he done away and had to do them over. As an isolated thing sure we all have probably done it now and again but this is constantly happening, including dc baby things. I thought it was because he hadn't lived alone before, he maybe didn't have set standards but we been thru all this 3 years of it. He then says he forgets to pay attention but seriously iv had to mention it so many times i think that's a pile of crap. This is not just about dishes or household things, it transfers to many aspects of our relationship. Am actually thinking im going mad getting so wound up but wtf is the problem or am i being a complete nightmare, going mad and need to get a grip? Badly needing some perspective please.
I don't think you are going mad. DP and I have very different standards on some domestic issues and it's a really tricky thing to handle. Does he think the finished dishes need re-washing, in which case he's taking the p**s, or does he think you are ridiculously picky, in which case you need to manage the situation differently (i.e. you wash he dries, get a dishwasher etc).
Passive aggressive, no?
Him, not you.
Yes he knows they need doing again when.its pointed out. I do think he's passive aggressive. Iv just recently started to wonder if iv found myself in another controlling relationship altho control in a very different way than my exh. I wasn't sure if i was reading too much into it, because i just can't understand why it continues unless there's something wrong with him, he actually means to do it or he's taking the piss.
Has anyone mentioned the term 'gaslighting' to you OP?
Dump him. Seriously, just dump him. You both deserve better.
Agree with the advice to get a dishwasher. What other things bother you?
If this was a normal, healthy relationship you'd be able to say "Oi, DP - these dishes are mank. If you're going to wash them, do it properly please" and he'd listen and change. And equally if you only ever half cleaned the bathroom it would be easy for him to say "Oi, Little, why are you cleaning the loo but not the sink?" and you'd listen and change.
You've had 3 years of this - what is it about him that means you're not just leaving? What are the good things? Because life really is too short to be made up of constant mind games.
Fairenuff yes I have, don't know enough to recognise it tho, if you get me?
jjsuk you say we both deserve better can you see anything here that I am doing wrong or should be doing better?
Other things that bother me are massive sulks and childish huffs. Silences when Im trying to discuss things with him, he's immature emotionally, tells white lies over pointless things. Continually says oh im going to do a, b , c can be important things or meaningless but never sees things through. 'Forgets' things. A lot.
Why am i not leaving? Afraid of another failed relationship, breaking up the home. My older kids have a different dad so not only do i have the two diff dads situ i also have let my kids go through breaking up a serious relationship twice. Im probably worried that I won't cope on my own with kids, childcare work etc practical things. Emotionally iv been through worse, i know il get over it. Financially im the main earner anyway. If we didn't have ds i doubt we would still be together if things had come to this point naturally. Sex life is about dead in the water, i can't face it the way i Feel right now about things. Its never been the best iv had but we did ok before.
Good things, we did used to laugh a lot, i know he really does love me. Makes an effort to be thoughtful although it doesn't come naturally. He doesn't get angry, disrespect me etc
I have been hanging onto the hope that we have a small child and thats causing a lot of stress and cracks to appear but I resent him for this going on so long
Def passive aggressive.
Is it hereditary like narcissism?
If so....beware sticking around!!!
Is he a caring father to the wee one?
My Dad did the washing up every night after a 12 hour shift. My mother complained that the dishes were 'greasy' or they weren't put back in the cupboard correctly. But because my Mother demanded that 2 children did the drying up after dad, we have memories!
It isn't always 'gaslighting' or anything else that MN wants to identify.
Men get weary of trying to meet the exacting standards as well.
I thought it was my late-husband who could never wash the dishes properly - until he died.... and then I found unclean dishes in the cupboard that I had washed . I wasn't Mrs Perfect after all.
But he doesn't get angry. He withdraws and sulks like a child. That's a worry too.
I work full time, always have, many more hours than my dp and believe me I don't have exacting standards but there is definitely a problem that I don't understand. Im bloody weary of having to do things over, take responsibility and tease out of him eats actually going on in there.
He's passive aggressive no doubt. Not sure of parents mum died, dads is on the surface ok. Dotes on the wee one, has no real standards for him. ie lets him scream shout hit for example and i have to point out that msyb he has to do something, this is that id do etc but next day it will happen again. I always try be supportive but recently im thinking i can't go on im ground down by it. 3 months has been agreed to work on this. He's got an appointment with gp re counselling and he has to get some savings together because i think in all honesty he will be looking for a flat elsewhere. Which is a same but life is too short.
Thanks for links some good reading there.
I've been the person on the other side of this argument. I didn't leave plates greasy!! - but ex boyfriend and I had different methods for doing the washing up and he was always niggling at me that I was doing it wrong. He couldn't accept that he had one way of doing it and I had another. (It was all to do with the order we washed things in and how we rinsed things).
Then there were issues to do with the way I put things away in the cupboards. We had very tall cupboards and I'm short, so I put things in the cupboard in order of priority of how often they were used.
(Things used less often on higher shelves, even if it meant quite an odd jumble of ingredients and other kitchen things).
This in his view wasn't logical, and he was always threatening to rearrange the cupboards. He never actually did it, just whinged at me about it.
It did feel controlling and I did hate it. It was very hard always being told I was in the wrong over something i didn't consider important enough to argue over - the dishes got clean whichever way we did it. But if they are being left seriously dirty in your case that's different I suppose...
Just wash the dishes yourself. It's women's work.
The thing is, OP, you've identified some of the problems. You understand that he is passive aggressive and possibly gaslighting, possibly not (although if you feel like you're going mad, that's a big indicator) and yet you say that you won't leave him.
So what else do you want posters to say. He will carry on like this because he can. Because he chooses to and no-one stops him.
You don't like it. You've told him. And he is just ignoring you.
There is nothing else you can do if he doesn't acknowledge the problems. He isn't going to change. There is no magic cure. It's either carry on as you are, or leave.
I have a teenage daughter who washes up badly and leaves the sink in a mess. Each time I point out the reasons not to (eg) leave dishcloth in a puddle of dirty water (rank) she gets one step better at doing it properly, so I'm hoping she'll eventually take it seriously. But I also know she'll leave home one day and it won't be my problem any more. What's the light at the end of your tunnel, OP?
I was worried about sounding a bit Marie Antoinette but as it's already been suggested, yy to a dishwasher.
That's only the tip of the iceberg though. I'm getting the impression you feel you have not just your older DCs from the previous relationship but now a big man child in tow. You're not sounding enamoured and the danger is bit by bit you start to notice more to irritate you. Some relatively trivial like dirty dishes but more valid areas of concern too.
He's got counselling arranged but what is your part in this? Are you burdened too by old history? Are you thinking of issuing marching orders because you fear you've picked another wrong 'un?
"Why am i not leaving? Afraid of another failed relationship, breaking up the home".
None of those reasons are actually good enough to stay with another man who is turning out to be a similar flavour of abusive to your ex. You have not "failed" here, he has but you will fail yourself by staying within this and there are no medals handed out for nartyring yourself. Your own boundaries on relationships are however skewed and abusive men like vulnerable women with shaky self esteem to further take down with them into their own pit of despair. I doubt very much that this man will actually enter into any counselling at all and if he does will likely dismiss it because he does not like what the counsellor is telling him.
What did you yourself learn about relationships when growing up, I think there is an awful lot of crap you are carrying which needs to be unlearnt. You will just continue the same old and make the same relationship errors otherwise.
What do you yourself want to teach your children about relationships, surely you would not want to teach them further damaging lessons.
I was wondering if you have ever done the Freedom Programme offered by Womens Aid because you would be ideal for this. Its for women who have been in abusive relationships.
When my dh doesn't wash the dishes properly and I am drying, I put them back in the sink and he washes it again.
But it sounds like you have a lot more to think about then just getting the dishes done.
I am definitely not controlling in anyway, I dont over analyse what he does hes completely entitled to his own views thoughts way of doing things around the house, aslong as we not living in squalor! The doing the dishes thing was an example of things he repeatedly does that we have discussed and he says he will address and never does. Its just not on, my ds baby things are manky when he does them thats a non negotiable.
Just like he has asked me to stop leaving my straightners on surfaces that might go on fire whilst they are still warm ha! Or to stop being so quick to jump to conclusions or to try not be so cynical. I make the effort, He knows I do, I dont always manage it but I try, he doesnt, this is my issue. I dont understand why and neither apparently does he. He still sulks, he still doesnt talk to me.
So my control radar has gone off and sent me down the path of is this a control thing? Its difficult when in a relationship with emotions involved sometimes to work out what is in plain sight of others and I guess this is why I posted here asking for some perspective.
I have been in a horrendous relationship before, very controlled by my exh, various forms of abuse over 15 years. I left with the help of womens aid and have never looked back, I havent done the Freedom programme but had extensive counselling 1-1. I know they offer it online now so maybe its worth me looking at. Although I have fairly clear boundaries and know exactly what I accept wont accept warning signs etc this has maybe just shook my confidence to a certain extent as there have been no other warnings but as I cant get my head round why he does this I have found myself wondering....
I teach my children the same as I practice, families and relationships all need worked at, communication is important, talking about issues is healthy and expecting people to respect you is normal and if they act in a way you find unacceptable you should expect them to address it if you tell them about it and they care to do so. If not you should let that be and concentrate on being with people who make you feel good about yourself.
So there I really answer my own questions and whatever his reasons are he is not addressing this. He needs time to save and apart from these issues we get on fine, so 3 months more of living together isnt a terrible thing.
Again, thank you.
This is not a simple matter of different ways of doing things. Plates should not be dirtier when they come out of the washing up than they were beforehand, that much I'm sure anyone with any sense would agree with. It's also not an isolated case of getting a bit lax, it's every time. No one should have to do another adult's job over.
I think there are underlying issues here. Being in a relationship should not make things harder for you.
Glad to see you've answered your own question. Good luck with it all.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.