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.

How to deal with this comment from DP

(24 Posts)
Passthevinoplease Sun 11-Sep-16 13:55:56

Regular but NC for this. This is long and probably sounds trivial to some people but bear with me please.

Back story:
Me divorced, 3 DC. Marriage was abusive physically and mentally.
DP is a couple of years younger than me. Never had serious relationship. No DC.
Hes an amazing guy, so much in common, makes me laugh, cares about me and DC. For the first time in my life I feel comfortable in my own skin. I can speak to him about anything, we trust each other completely and we are both very much in love.

Now the story....

Few nights ago we are eating dinner together when the DC were in bed. DP has spent a lot of his childhood in a different country where they will sit over a meal for hours chatting and drinking wine, etc. I'm more of a 'wolf it down and have done with it' kinda person, so I finished before him and sit chatting while he's stewing over his meal.

As we're sat chatting I yawn and tell him I'm tired. After a few minutes he puts his dinner in the fridge and says let's go to bed. I double check he doesn't want to finish it and even suggest I go to bed and he comes up when he's done eating as long as he doesn't mind me excusing myself before he's finished. No, he insists we go to bed at the same time so that's what we do.

We're in bed having a cuddle and I asked why he insisted we go to bed at the same time and his answer really unnerved me. He basically told me my needs are greater than his and whatever I wanted to do, he would go along with.

I tried to explain that's no way to live you're life. There need to be compromises in relationships and you need to be able to say to each other 'I do/don't want to do something right now, but you can do/not do whatever without me' and that no one should dictate to someone when they eat/sleep, etc.

I know its all a learning curve for him with this being his first serious relationship. But I'm concerned he'll get into the habit of trying to 'please me', as I did with ExH, and he'll end up resenting me. I don't want to be the controlling partner in any relationship.

What can I say to him to help him see a proper relationship is a 2 way street?

AnotherTimeMaybe Sun 11-Sep-16 13:58:48

How long have you been together for?

The2Ateam Sun 11-Sep-16 14:02:09

Was he joking?

nueday8 Sun 11-Sep-16 14:05:36

I would be quite unnerved by that comment too op, is it a cultural thing though? Where is he from?

Passthevinoplease Sun 11-Sep-16 14:08:12

We've been together 8 months but I have known him longer as he is a very close friend of one of my very close friends IYSWIM, which is why he's met my DC so early in the relationship because they already knew him.

We don't live together.

For context he's very much a people pleaser. He struggled to say 'no' to anyone/anything in the early stages of our relationship (e.g. If I asked him if he wanted to come over after work, instead of saying 'no I'm tired' etc. he'd just ignore the question so as 'not to upset me'. I had to explain that it was more 'upsetting' frustrating being ignored.)

Passthevinoplease Sun 11-Sep-16 14:13:52

I don't think he was joking, no.

He's from UK, as are his parents, but they spent a lot of time travelling to a Mediterranean country while he was growing up and his parents loved and adopted that laid back lifestyle when it comes to dining/entertaining.

It might be worth mentioning that his dad is the main breadwinner and works away, but his mum is the 'rule maker'. Shes a strong character and her DH basically bows down to her in any argument. As does DP.

I think he may feel that women are the Alpha in the relationship due to his upbringing. But I don't want him to feel like that. We are equals. And I need to make sure he knows that.

damngirl Sun 11-Sep-16 14:17:18

Sounds a bit like my OH. But I wouldn't make a big deal out of it. I usually just say "Don't be daft. You're just as important as I am!" and give him a kiss.

Passthevinoplease Sun 11-Sep-16 14:21:31

Thank you damngirl.

I've got to admit after being with someone who had no regard for my feelings it is a nice change, but it's also hit me hard that he regards my feelings OVER his own. There must be a happy medium.

gonetoseeamanaboutadog Sun 11-Sep-16 14:27:49

Is he deeply insecure? IMO, this 'selflessness' can be an unintentional way of dealing with feelings of insecurity and deep-seated personal shame. I would be wary of a flipside to this where, as you mention, he may become angry with people who don't give him this selflessness in return.

The2Ateam Sun 11-Sep-16 14:44:43

Well as long as he understands you feel that way. Re the eating thing. Do you think that you might hang around until he's finished? It sounds like quality time to me. My DH never starts eating without me, even though I tell him to go a head. Secretly I love it

SnipSnipMrBurgess Sun 11-Sep-16 14:46:15

I would be grossed out by someone like that. Its like the surrendered wives except its your partner at not you.

I would hate to be with someone who didnt have an opinion, who had no passion, no fight in them.

Asuitablemum Sun 11-Sep-16 14:49:43

If you have three kids and lots of things to do, is it possible that he meant and believed it to be true (and was right in that).

AnyFucker Sun 11-Sep-16 14:51:47

I would consider such neediness to be a former of claustrophobic control

You are two different individuals, not joined at the hup. I couldn't respect a person who based their own happiness on pleasing another to their own detriment

AnyFucker Sun 11-Sep-16 14:52:19

*form

AnyFucker Sun 11-Sep-16 14:52:48

*hip

rememberthetime Sun 11-Sep-16 14:54:24

The fact you recognise that it could be considered controlling to insist on certain behaviours means that you are never going to be that way.So don't worry on that account. but he sounds like he needs self confidence help - you shouldn't be the one to provide that though. it will undermine your relationship and he will feel like your child rather than an equal.

What he needs is counselling to explore this lack of confidence - but once again he needs to do it for himself. Any action you take to encourage it will mess up the adult dynamic.

its tricky - but all you can do is act in the way that feels natural to you and ensure that you offer support if he recognises he needs a little help.

This doesn't sound like a pattern of behaviour though - so give it time.

diddl Sun 11-Sep-16 14:55:07

I don't think that going to bed at the same time is necessarily that odd, especially at the beginning of a relationship, but to the point of not bothering to finish your own meal!

Mind you, I also can't imagine taking so long over my evening meal that I'm ready for bed soon afterwards!

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sun 11-Sep-16 14:56:31

I don't know whether to agree with AF or to worry that his mother is a controlling abusive narc, who had him and his dad completely under her thumb!

If he's a general people-pleaser, then I think I might lean towards the second option; if he only does it with you, then maybe more likely AF's idea.

Tell him it is lovely that he considers you in all things, but he is an independent adult in his own right, whose feelings matter as much as yours do and it makes you exTREMEly uncomfortable to be given responsibility for his actions like that. He should do what HE wants to do, so long as it's not actively damaging to anyone/anything else.

BlackVelvet1 Sun 11-Sep-16 15:06:44

My first thought was similar to ThumbWitchesAbroad, it sounds like co-depedency (re. your need are more important/trump mine). I would suggest some reading up on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder to see if it fits with his mother.
I don't think it would be a big problem since you are not abusive but it makes life more complicated.

AnotherTimeMaybe Sun 11-Sep-16 15:47:39

Tbh honest I'd love it if Dh was like this
Even though you knew him from before, 8 months is still early days for a relationship
Give it time, it might even go the other way....

RedMapleLeaf Sun 11-Sep-16 15:48:29

I like damngirl's approach. I think it's kind and constructive,

I wouldn't make a big deal out of it. I usually just say "Don't be daft. You're just as important as I am!" and give him a kiss.

PushingThru Sun 11-Sep-16 17:05:27

Has he mentioned why he hasn't had a serious relationship before?

Blueskyrain Mon 12-Sep-16 15:35:58

Perhaps he would find it difficult going to bed by himself given that you don't live together. He might find it awkward.

His comment was a bit weird and he needs to learn to prioritise himself occasionally with the concept of going to bed at the same time I think it's a very healthy one. Perhaps he should finish his dinner first next time though.

wonderingsoul Mon 12-Sep-16 18:36:36

I agree with blue.. ge could just be nervouse of staying up in your house with out you there.

Also me and dp always go to bed at the same times it happens naturally or well ask the other if they want to come to bed. V rarely do i go up alone and if i do he says hell be up soon. So indont think its odd that he wanted to go to bed at the same time.

Keep an eye on it. Could be something could be nothing

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