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DH won't talk through differences

(15 Posts)
hereandnowtoday Fri 27-May-16 22:17:25

Long term poster, N/C for this thread.

DH and I generally have a very easy going relationship, and rarely fall out. But we are going though a particular situation that I have finally plucked up the courage to discuss, I have one viewpoint and he has another. Result was predictable - he went off the deep end and stormed out. I'm feeling very calm about this - do I not care enough? Or because I suspected this is how he'd react? I had been losing sleep over this issue because I knew he wouldn't be able to talk about it rationally. I have the full backing of his parents and mine - they all know he doesn't deal well will conflict.

I'm not sure what I'm asking - how do I get him to talk through a tricky situation? Or is it significant that I'm not more angry that he's stormed out on me? I have an over riding desire to take the kids to my DP for a few days and let him stew but the DC would miss him dreadfully. The issue we have fallen out about affects the whole family, beyond us and the DC. I don't know if my pt of view is right, but he won't let us talk it thought to work it out.

HeddaGarbled Fri 27-May-16 23:02:37

How long ago did the initial discussion and storming out happen? If you just do nothing for a bit and give him time to think about it/process it are you likely to be able to have a more rational discussion/reach a compromise later?

My H has a tendency to react negatively to anything which is sprung upon him but will then reflect and sometimes come round so I have learned not to argue with his initial reaction which can result in entrenched positions and no compromise, but give him time to think.

GarlicShake Sat 28-May-16 00:38:01

My guess is that you felt calmer than you might have expected because you've been worrying about it for ages. It's clear you know how he reacts to being disagreed with (hmm) so his tantrum was no surprise.

Is this likely to lead to further discussion, or does he just close you down after marking his displeasure?

Isetan Sat 28-May-16 06:40:59

DH and I generally have a very easy going relationship, and rarely fall out.. Which isn't such an achievement if you don't have a different opinion to him and is this because you are mostly on the same page, or that you've learnt to be on the same page.

It appears that this particular subject is something that you won't/can't hide from and your disappointment in his predicted reaction, is a wake up call because it challenges your first statement about your relationship.

You can't make him listen but you can make it very clear that he can not manipulate you into shutting the fuck up, by acting like a child.

TheNaze73 Sat 28-May-16 11:55:43

isetan is right. Compromise is tough as it normally means 1 or 2 people aren't getting what they want.

tribpot Sat 28-May-16 12:17:46

It's interesting that you predicted how he would react when you say your relationship is easy going, fallings out are rare. Why are they rare? I agree with Isetan, is that because you're used to going along with what he wants? How did you know he wouldn't be able to discuss it rationally?

I think you need to take action to show you won't be pushed into a 'decision by default' because of his refusal to discuss the issue. Go to your parents, surely the dc can manage to be apart from him for a couple of days?

hereandnowtoday Sat 28-May-16 20:28:55

Thanks for the replies, I've been out all day and only just logging on now. We'd both had a drink last night and he stormed off to the pub. No idea when he came back and he slept in the spare room. This morning we dodged round each other then he left for a night away with friends (already planned).

We are mainly on the same page about stuff, but yes I probably do back down to save us all from potential tantrums. But not on this, it's too important. I'll have to raise it again when he gets back, otherwise I know he'll be hoping that he's said his piece and that's it.

I think I'm more angry about the way he reacted than his actual response right now. I just can't face the thought of having to go through an argument instead of talking calmly about it. Grrr! (Enjoying a peaceful evening to myself tonight though!).

Isetan Sun 29-May-16 07:45:42

So he's learned that tantrums are an effective way of getting you to shut the fuck up. This is the price of maintaining your 'easy going' relationship and you should be angry with him and yourself, for letting it get to the point where you expressing a different opinion is such a big deal. When DD was four she was a delight when she was getting her own way and a nightmare when she wasn't but developmentally that was understandable, what's your H's excuse?

I hope that this is the catalyst for you to stop buying into the dynamic, where his opinions trump yours.

swingofthings Sun 29-May-16 07:54:03

DH reacts exactly like yours with confrontation. He hates it, his instinct is always to go on the defensive for about 5 minutes, and then the more I try to explain my views, however calmly, he walks out.

At first, this use to absolutely infuriates me as I thought it was a very weak attitude to take. I've now learnt that we deal with issues differently. I need to talk about it and try to resolve it/find a compromise as we talk about it. He however need to take a step back to give him time to reflect.

Interestingly, that's very much how we deal with work matters. I am a quick thinker and deal with tasks as I go through them. OH needs to map it all out, then assess risks and consequences, and only then can he make a decision on the best way to deal with it.

Since this realisation, I have totally changed the way I bring up issues. Firstly, I always do so in the right conditions, so usually as we are out on a walk, then I just mention the facts, and then stop there and move on. I can say that each time he has acted as if it was out of his mind, but 2 days or so later, he himself comes back with solutions, and yes, these are almost always what I was hoping for in the first place! I do have great respect for his ability to reflect on matters and now see the benefit of this approach to conflict resolution too. We used to have massive arguments that left both of us upset, we now never do.

It's all about understanding that there is no right or wrong way to deal with situations, it's about appreciating where the other comes from and finding a middle way that is manageable by both.

DorindaJ Sun 29-May-16 07:56:57

What Isetan said.

Twooter Sun 29-May-16 07:58:39

To be fair, it's hard to say your dh is in the wrong unless we know what it was all about. Yes, he reacted badly, but maybe he was justified.

swingofthings Sun 29-May-16 08:06:42

So he's learned that tantrums are an effective way of getting you to shut the fuck up
Or as I expect he would say, you went on and on about it and that started to feel like harassment!
There is often a different way to interpret the same situation!

tribpot Sun 29-May-16 08:54:48

There is no evidence that the OP 'went on and on about it', and given how reluctant she was to raise it in the first place, this seems unlikely. What we do know is she has asserted an opinion that is different from his, and he doesn't like it.

Finding a mutually agreeable way of communicating should be the goal but so far the DH appears to prefer getting his own way. Perhaps it will look different once he has calmed down.

swingofthings Sun 29-May-16 09:03:11

Finding a mutually agreeable way of communicating should be the goal but so far the DH appears to prefer getting his own way.
In the same manner, I would say that there is no evidence that he 'prefers getting is own way'.

All we know so far is that they are not managing to communicate in a successful way, what we don't know is why and who is at fault (if indeed anyone actually is). I have offered another perspective that might apply to OP situation.

Isetan Sun 29-May-16 10:06:29

If getting his own way isn't his preference, then he's doing a really bad job of acting like it isn't. When is this magic hour that manipulative arses are more likely to listen to an opinion different from their own?

The OP's H is not saying not right now, maybe later when I have time to process your opinions, his behaviour screams I don't want to talk about it and I will ignore, shout you down and storm off as a justification to that end. Tiptoeing around this man only encourages this behaviour.

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