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.

Low level undermining and overruling

(11 Posts)
OMSDoesntWantToBeASed Sat 05-Mar-16 21:37:58

My DH is usually pretty awesome - I guess this is why I'm so surprised. He's been hard work (from my POV) in the v recent past and I guess I'm just canvassing opinions...

Twice in the last week I've asked for something I wanted/needed at the time (one was along the lines of 'while you're answering the door to X, can you mention me needing to talk to them about Y') that he's totally disregarded because he seems to think he knows my wants/needs better than I do.

In the above example, he just didn't bother, and when I questioned it he pointed out that I was in my PJs... but I was in my PJs when he went to the door and I asked him to mention that I needed to talk to them, so had obviously(?) made a decision that it was more important than being properly dressed.

He did it again today in a restaurant - I asked for something to come at a certain point, and he overruled me, but then offered to 'correct' it back to what I asked for in the first place, which I turned down as I couldn't see how that could not make me look like a crazy harpie.

I've tried to talk to him after the fact about how undermined and infantilised it makes me feel when he 'overrules' me like that publicly and he's yelled a bit and then stomped off upstairs.

Name changed so as not to be searchable, but some of you will recognise me from the new name. I don't think I'm being crazy, but any advice appreciated.

Am I being unreasonable?
Should I just go along with it? - or on the flip side, is it my fault for trying to avoid a scene in a restaurant?
Would it be an overreaction to spend a night or two at a friend's to get a bit of distance and thinking space from the overruling/undermining?

Before anyone asks: we're married, no kids.

Thanks if you got this far.

OMSDoesntWantToBeASed Sat 05-Mar-16 21:40:30

Sorry - for clarity, I had obv made the decision that being in PJs was less important than what I needed to get sorted

Marchate Sat 05-Mar-16 23:53:20

He doesn't respect you. He's full of his own importance. He is emotionally abusive

That's what I gather from your post

MarkRuffaloCrumble Sat 05-Mar-16 23:59:25

It's a really big deal for me if dp disregards something I say because he thinks he knows best.

He once ordered something different to what I requested in a restaurant because he 'didn't think it mattered'. I was annoyed by that, but even more so by his defensive attitude when I complained - I ended up walking out and leaving him there to pay the bill and get a lift back to work! blush

He now realises he doesn't get to overrule me and that I take huge offence to anyone assuming they know better than me about things that directly affect me!

Definitely have words about why this bothers you and tell him that you won't tolerate it. If it continues to happen you can only take it as complete disregard for your feelings.

OMSDoesntWantToBeASed Sun 06-Mar-16 08:48:03

Thanks both. Marchate he's usually not EA (thus spake all abused women! - I know.)

I'm a survivor of a physically, sexually and emotionally abusove relationship, and I've learned my red flags. This is one, small though it sounds - I am worth hearing.

He's stropped off upstairs since early evening yesterday, and I slept on the sofa (small house). Let's see what today brings... At any rate, I already had a lovely Mothers' Day chat with my mum smile

OMSDoesntWantToBeASed Sun 06-Mar-16 08:48:53

*abusive smile

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 06-Mar-16 09:10:47

How long have you been married now?.

Was wondering if you previously enrolled on Womens Aid's Freedom Programme. Its still not too late to do that and doing this would help you further.

Am sure he is quite plausible to those in the outside world although perhaps one or two people have thought "hmmm". His reactions today after you talked to him were very telling; yelling and stomping upstairs are not at all reactions of an emotionally healthy person. Have a close look at his parents; I would think you would find that one or both of them act in that self same manner. This is ingrained within him.

Such men are not abusive all the time; if they were no woman would want to be with them. What you will likely see now is his "nice" act but it is just an act till the next time because he cannot maintain the facade. This is a continuous cycle.

I think his actions are about him wanting power and control over you. You have gone from one more "obvious" abuser to another man who has a more subtle abusive way of operating but the end result is still the same.

My guess too is that he has done this before (which he has) and has now further ramped up the power and control antes by now doing this in a public place. You cannot afford to minimise or ignore the impacts such actions have on you any longer and you and he need to be apart.

I would have time apart and read "Why does he do that?" written by Lundy Bancroft.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Sun 06-Mar-16 12:47:00

I think that once we are free of an abusive relationship we are very sensitive to anything that even hints at more of he same. He probably doesn't see that his dismissive attitude is anything but a bit moody as he doesn't understand that you can see the pattern of behaviour that usually surrounds it. When you've seen that turn into control and abuse you see it differently.

My dp used to throw things or break things in anger, as that is how he had always dealt with his feelings. When I pointed out that I have seen that behaviour escalate into violent abuse by a previous BF he understood that to me it represented more than just a bit of mess to clear up or someone having a strop, it represented someone who is not in control of their physical aggression.

He now knows that I won't tolerate anything but the most respectful of behaviour, whether swearing at me, breaking things or slamming doors etc. We now communicate in a very different way, and while I will still get upset and voices will be raised, it is a world away from arguments of the past.

OMSDoesntWantToBeASed Sun 06-Mar-16 14:00:57

Attilla - I have seen that book recommended a vast number of times on MN. May be time to read it for myself - I wouldn't describe DH as controlling or (usually) angry (I think they're the adjectives in the subtitle?) but eg Gavin de Becker's 'Gift of Fear' have stood me in good stead in the past whether or not I've been exposed to the relevant situations at the time.

Ruffalo, thanks for coming back smile It sounds like you and I have had very similar histories and responses in our subsequent relationships. We've been married for ~4 years and it's never been something that I've noticed before - twice in a week sets a red flag waving for me.

He won't hear and understand me, so I even sent him a text from the same room just laying out how he made me feel (infantilised, frustrated, not worth hearing)...

We're basically ignoring it now, but I don't know whether I'd be better off getting some space for a couple of days. I know he'd be confused if I did that as i'm sure in his mind if we aren't actively fighting, we're fine...

DoreenLethal Sun 06-Mar-16 14:39:43

If you can get some space then perhaps that's what you need to do.

I can't imagine my OH overruling my food choices in a restaurant - I'd flip my fucking lid. If I asked him to order for me he'd probably say 'that would be a veggie roast then yeah?' so still checking with me because we have mutual respect.

sonjadog Sun 06-Mar-16 15:59:07

I think you are cautious and see how it goes from now on. Good for you for sending him a text about it and not letting it go. Don't let it pass if he tries again. Time will show if it is just an annoying habit that he needs to break or if it is something more.

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