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Do bad manners turn you off?

(59 Posts)
ExpatTrailingSpouse Mon 29-Aug-16 04:21:58

At what point do bad manners become too bad?

It's been bothering me for ages, but DH has numerous habits which really get on my nerves, but I'm always trying to check my reaction to make sure I'm not just being a nasty nagging wife or something. things like
- he'll dig through serving plates of food to find best bits for himself, even if we have guests over, and often before even offering to guests
- acting as if he hasn't eaten in a week, shovelling so much food in, he looks like a bloody chipmunk and then has to chew loudly and sometimes with mouth open.
- chicken wings, his elbows stick out so far i'm always worried someone is going to trip over him
- have guests over and he sits with his leg crossed over with his foot sticking way up in the air literally in the face of people, or starts picking at his toes on the couch while guests are over, etc etc.
- have had to tell him not to clip his nails at the dinner table
- rushing my/ds/everyone's dinner so he can have his dessert sooner

feel like it's getting out of hand, but also feel like i can't say anything because of the reaction (mostly trying to make me feel bad about bringing it up).

has anyone got any experience bringing it up and getting the manners to improve?

daisychain01 Mon 29-Aug-16 04:56:31

Did your DH go to boarding school? Not being funny but literally every person I've ever known who attended boarding school behaves like someone is about to steal food off their plate grin

I'd love to say you can resolving it by mentioning it in a quiet moment and pointing out how unpleasantly he eats, but I think you may be on a hiding to nothing!

KoalaDownUnder Mon 29-Aug-16 05:03:03

That would turn me off massively and I think he's way into 'guests will be talking on the way home' territory. sad (Sorry)

Not holding your knife properly is one thing, but greedy / selfish behaviour (digging through the platter) is quite another.

I would have to say something and let the chips fall where they may, as it's just so socially embarrassing. And disrespectful to you as his spouse, really.

PushingThru Mon 29-Aug-16 05:05:24

Are you on a diet at the moment?

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 29-Aug-16 05:05:43

Is there any reason for it? Family poverty or something. Because DH has a few quirks that are directly because of his family. I can live with them. Plain selfish bad manners I couldn't.

ExpatTrailingSpouse Mon 29-Aug-16 05:19:21

Honestly, no to all of the above. No boarding school, no poverty issues, no diet for me. I actually grew up not quite poor but always aware of a lack of money and I can still chew with my mouth shut...

I've tried to say something gently but gotten dirty looks. Gets to the point where I've lost it and told him off in front of people which isn't ideal. But still doesn't change the behaviors.

His parents have generally good manners, altho his dad does tend to chew with his mouth open also. Am trying to come up with ideas as now trying to instil manners in ds.

Koala - I think it's the socially embarrassing part that's getting to me now. Another example - last piece of X and he's stuck his fork in it already saying does anyone want the last X? So even if someone did want it he's already laid claim. Can't even watch him eating now sometimes even if it's just the two of us.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 29-Aug-16 05:25:21

My dad can have pretty terrible manners. It's become a habit now and he just doesn't care. If it was my partner I would have more issues because of DD. When my dad's been here I notice DD's manners slipping.

I would also not like having people round which would be sad.

Have you had a calm, neutral time, factual discussion with him about how you feel?

ExpatTrailingSpouse Mon 29-Aug-16 05:31:14

MrsPratchett (love the name btw, read all his books when I was young) - yes do not want ds picking up bad habits. I think it's either he doesn't care or he doesn't notice. I'd say more the doesn't care because this wasn't an issue our first couple of years together.

I'm trying to get more neutral feedback without giving the rest of the situation (it's in another thread) as I'm afraid I'm already biased in one direction, and calm/neutral discussions haven't been happening lately.

I guess this is an Aibu, but people over there are harsh! Lol.

Chottie Mon 29-Aug-16 05:39:14

Could you film him on your phone and then play it back to him? Do you find people are less likely to invite you round for meals or come to meals with you now?

I can quite understand how you feel, this sounds absolutely gross flowers

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 29-Aug-16 05:46:06

I think it's worth trying to find out. If he doesn't care that's one thing. If he does but doesn't notice, that's something the family can work in together. Like a star chart for everyone! If there's other problems it's probably leaking though. Just my ExH breathing was enough when we were splitting up!

grumpmitchell Mon 29-Aug-16 05:46:17

I'm afraid I don't have the answer OP but I feel your pain. I broke up with a fiancé for this reason, there was just no way that I could cope with his horrific greed and table manners. It just eclipsed everything about him and he thought it was funny confused

I hope you find a solution.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 29-Aug-16 05:46:36

Oh, and the books are awesome! Thanks!

GoldFishFingerz Mon 29-Aug-16 05:46:44

Just neutrally say 'mouth closed please' or 'feet away from x's face please' stay Nutral.

However it seems like he
Doesn't care about your feelings.

If he continues consider feeding DH before yourself and DS. You can be honest and just say that his table manners really stress you out so you'd rather eat separately so that you can enjoy your meal. That way you can concentrate on teaching DS good manners and meal times can be pleasant. You can say this all very calmly and rationally.

PushingThru Mon 29-Aug-16 05:57:52

So sorry for my diet comment, but a lot of this seems to be around food & guests - has something changed recently so you're having more people over for meals etc. more often?

dArtagnansCrumpet Mon 29-Aug-16 07:03:50

DH dad burps and lets rip WHILST people are eating. He chews with his mouth open once I looked over and saw food sloshing around his mouth when having dinner, made me queasy. He was always sure to get the biggest portion and be served first like royalty.

TheHeartOfASaturdayNight Mon 29-Aug-16 07:48:35

My exh was a bit like this.

I used to watch him eat with morbid fascination; he would hold his cutlery like an ape.

The thing is that he wasn't always like it. I know that he knows what good manners are because he used to have them. But as he got older he developed more of an attitude of, "why should I?" as far as other people were concerned and so consideration for other people (which is all good manners are) dwindled generally.

Madinche1sea Mon 29-Aug-16 07:52:10

OP, if as you say, calm and rational discussions are not really happening between you (and your DH hasn't always been like this), could he be purposely doing it as a way of getting at you? Or do you think he's just become more selfish over time?

My DH never lets the kids get away with any bad manners at all - sometimes I wish he'd relax a bit! Anyway, you shouldn't have to worry about feeling embarassed in front of guests because of your DH, that's for sure. Could you film him on your phone and then show him? If your DD was to tell him him he was being rude do you think he would listen?

Bloopbleep Mon 29-Aug-16 07:54:46

My oh is like this. I have misophonia and hearing eating literally pains me and I have to suppress full on rage/meltdown- he tries but not hard enough. His uber posh mother (not really just plums in her mouth) is even worse and doesn't seem to care she's eating like a rabid hog. It's odd given her need for everything to be proper.
Yanbu to mutilate your husband... Feed him to the guests who can eat quietly. Or collect his nail clipper NHS and feed him those for dinner. Personally I wear earplugs.

Bloopbleep Mon 29-Aug-16 07:55:40

*nail clipping (stupid autocorrect)

bigTillyMint Mon 29-Aug-16 07:59:29

How can you stand it, OP? shock

And do guests return for a second meal?

He must have some other great qualities grin

Patterkiller Mon 29-Aug-16 08:10:03

My DHs table manners was starting to deteriorate and took no notice of a few gentle reminders that we didn't need to see what he was eating and not to take his chin to the plate using his fork as s shovel.

So I ate my Sunday lunch in the same manner he was while sitting opposite him. Slapped my lips while overloaded with food chewing with my mouth open. He was disgusted.

As I said to him, he doesn't have to look at himself eating but we do. It's just not on especially around guests.

category12 Mon 29-Aug-16 08:12:28

If there's other bad stuff in your relationship and perhaps you are disengaging, that could be why this is getting to you so much. Sounds vile btw.

ArgyMargy Mon 29-Aug-16 08:23:49

Did you really not notice any of this before you married him?

ExpatTrailingSpouse Mon 29-Aug-16 15:34:49

On my phone trying to reply.

Chottie - mostly we only have people round that know us (rather me) fairly well and are the type to ignore any social rudeness or bad manners. I don't invite them that often and he does try a bit more, just doesn't always succeed.

Grumpmitchell - if he'd done this from the start, there wouldn't have been an engagement, I feel that way also. Argymargy - some guys are on their best behaviour til they get married and then a switch flips. They think you're afraid of the word divorce or something and nothing they can do will make you leave. Or at least that's how it feels sometimes.

Goldfish - that's actually a great suggestion. Need to print that out and remind myself every time. smile

Bloop - yes I think I have a mild form of that also. Heavy breathing sets me off as well, cannot stand it. And sorry should have been clear, he wasn't clipping during mealtime, just during day randomly. And it was at his parents - who were NOT ok with it.

Here's another one - while farts etc can be funny at the right moment, especially with a toddler, he'll be sitting at dinner table and then lift up one side of his bum and let loose. (Not with company thank goodness). And then try and smile and laugh like its a funny joke. I'm like, unintentional farting is totally fine and sometimes funny, but doing it deliberately and setting a bad example for ds is just not on!!! Ffs. I don't need to raise two kids.

Am I too demanding? It just drives me a little crazy sometimes and because of all the other stuff going on its hard to say something.

VioletBam Mon 29-Aug-16 15:36:55

God yes this would turn me right off. I'll never forget going to a friend's house for lunch as a kid of about 14 and her stepdad reaching into the salad bowl WITH HIS HAND to grab a fistful of it!

I wasn't even brought up with much attention to manners but the things you mention are so basic!

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