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my husbands sulking is getting me down

(31 Posts)
sulkinghusband Tue 06-Oct-09 19:55:58

Just after a little bit of advice. My husband and I had a bit of a disagreement over ds bedtime last night and because I didn't say exactly what he wanted to ds then he will not talk to me and has gone into a massive sulk from last night until today.

He has rushed out the door to his Tuesday night social club, when he could see I had made a nice meal for him. Never even said goodbye or a kiss and I just felt devastated and am sat here in floods of tears. I never realised being married would be this hard, (I know it's not mills and boon, but surely I shouldn't be crying my heart out over this)

This is not the first time he has gone in a sulk, it is how he always deals with arguments. Refuses to discuss them.

Last night after the argument he said, as I won't support him then he won't do things my way with ds at all. We have already had a major fallout over his aggressive nature. This week he smashed up my dc's pushchair because they wouldn't play nicely with it and because it wouldn't fold down easily, he stamped on it, leaving the dc's crying.

I don't want to sound too much 'poor me'. Feel I am going to get a few mner saying 'grow a pair' and deal with him. I'm just very sensitive to confrontation and hate dealing with these situations. Even though they make me feel like shit.

evaangel2 Tue 06-Oct-09 20:10:55

I would get the dc's to stamp on one of his toys and see how he likes it, all sounds a bit immature to me

evaangel2 Tue 06-Oct-09 20:11:35

his behaviour I mean

ScaryFucker Tue 06-Oct-09 20:17:20

My father was like this as I was growing up

It continues to affect my relationship with him, and mine with my mother

I see her as weak for putting up with it, and that she didn't protect us as children from his tantrums and colluding in a bad example of how relationships should be

I feel even today (30 yrs later) that she prioritised her bad marriage over the needs of her children

Now that is really harsh and possibly not the kind of answer you were hoping for

But it is from the heart and you need to be aware that your children are witnessing and being affected by what they see

I am sorry

shyandmighty Tue 06-Oct-09 21:13:43

Hi and so sorry to hear you're going through this. Which ever way you look at it, his behaviour is the worst kind of example for your dc's and I'm sure that's what's worrying you as much as anything else he does.
I too have been through the sulking, the tantrums (the you don't stand by me routine), the silences, the tears (from me) and the complete refusal on his part to ever discuss anything I saw as a problem. However, if it was a subject he considered to be a problem, he wouldn't let up until he felt entirely satisfied he'd had his say (I was usually talked at by him) a lecture....
In the end I decided enough was enough, don't know how long this has been going on for you but I tolerated two and a half years.
Aggression is inexcusable, as is never compromising.
I know exactly how hard this is for you, especially when you know it's crunch time and a decision has to be made for the sanity of yourself and your dc's. It took more than one attempt for me to summon the strength to end my miserable existence but I did it and I'm so glad I did for the sake of my dc's.
Are you thinking of leaving, or hoping things will improve?

sulkinghusband Tue 06-Oct-09 21:28:20

shyandmighty - I was hoping things would improve, we go through periods of everything being good-ish between us. But then something will set him off and it usually involves one the dc's misbehaving. We always disagree over how they are disciplined. He seems to want to dictate and control. I see this as bullying and prefer a much gentler approach to discipline. Although I still feel I get results, just in a more 'child friendly' way. He always seems to make ds cry and he comes running to me. I do hug him if I feel dh has been too harsh. It's just in my instinct to protect the dc's.

I keep hoping he will change and not be so aggressive and then sulk when he doesn't get his own way or if I don't agree with him. Tbh I am afraid of the effect it is having on the dc's. However, even with all the negative stuff, they absolutely adore him. I couldn't leave him, as I feel it would destroy them. How miserable do you need to be to leave a marriage? We have been together 5 years, married for 3. Hardly anytime really.

I wonder how much of it is my fault. Have I set him off? Is it the way I communicate? Am I overreacting?

HappyWoman Tue 06-Oct-09 21:33:36

I too would say you need to change things - either he shapes up or he gets out.

My mother was the sulky one in my parents marriage and i too can say that it is not a nice atmosphere to bring children up in.

I still see my father as being weak and my mother as being too selfish to leave - there are still together and probably do deserve each other. My father is my mothers carer now - she is cared for by someone she has little respect for and he does it out of dutysad.

You know this is not right - set yourself some boundaries and know that you are right to stick to them.

HappyWoman Tue 06-Oct-09 21:36:55

that is terrible about your h making the dc cry - obviously their needs to be disipline but this is one the things i thing it is crucial to agree on. You are partners after all.

We still dont always agree or get it right but if one of us has overstepped the mark then we dont discuss it in front of the dc or disagree but we will tell the other in private.

shyandmighty Tue 06-Oct-09 21:59:30

I could have written your post myself, it's uncanny!

My situation was slightly different, in as much as my dp was not my dc's real dad but they looked upon him as their dad and I allowed him the responsibility to be fully involved as a father figure in their lives.
He too had very controlling methods regarding discipline, whereas I would take the softer approach. Unfortunately for him, when push came to shove, they were MY kids and I wouldn't stand by and allow anything I considered to be unjust. Difficult situation to be in and in my defense I did try not to overrule him in front of the dc's. He used to call me 'weak' and tell me the dc's had no respect for me but it's funny now he's gone how much calmer things are and the dc's are just fine without him.

I also recognise the bit about the 'periods of things being good-ish', been there too but exactly how good is 'good-ish'? Think about it and does the bad out weigh the good so far? It's easy to believe things are better than they really are, especially when you've become accustomed to such a poor relationship. I was 'guilty' of this too...

The question of, 'how miserable do you need to be to leave'? Only you know really how bad it's become and whether you feel it can be resurrected. I just knew I couldn't stand to waste another valuable day being controlled/manipulated by my dp although, as I said, it took 2 attempts before I finally got him to leave and even then I was wavering. Now he's gone though, I absolutely KNOW I made the right choice in my circumstances.

HappyWoman Wed 07-Oct-09 08:55:40

I think it is very sad - do you want to look back on your life and see regret - of course you dont - none of us do.
Sometimes when you are so close to it you cannot see that and i think that is why so many couples just 'trundle' along.

you dont have to leave - but you do know that you need things to change - give him the chance and then see how it goes.

diddl Wed 07-Oct-09 09:08:25

My goodness,I have a temper, but to take it out on the children is terrible.

What exactly didn´t you say to your son?

I mean if it changed the whole meaning, then perhaps he´s right to be annoyed?

And it is important that parents are "on the same page" re certain things.

But sulking, sorry, that´s just immature.

3littlefrogs Wed 07-Oct-09 09:15:30

Sulking by an adult is totally unacceptable. He is the one with the problem and he needs to grow up.

My dh used to be a little bit sulky and I put up with it for a few years, but eventually I had to stand up to him and it was a bit rocky for a while, but it did work.

That said, dh is very gentle and would never smash anything. It sounds like your DH has anger management issues and needs help.

This will only get worse if he doesn't recognise the problem and get help. He won't change on his own, and TBH I would be very worried about the potential for violence towards the children as they get older and don't give in to him over everything.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 07-Oct-09 09:18:10

Where do you think he got this behaviour from?. Passive aggressive behaviours are often deeply ingrained; his parents acted probably the same way towards him. Now he's doing that to his children and damage them too.

Your H won't change and none of his behaviour is either your fault or even your responsibility. You are not responsible for his actions, do you feel responsible for your H. His actions will likely escalate over time too.

I don't think your kids actually adore him at all; they go along with it because you do. Also they have no real say but you have a choice ultimately. They're more likely to be afraid of him than anything else and thus run to you to protect them.

Your children are already being destroyed by him; saying that you could not leave him because you feel it would destroy them?. That makes you sound very weak indeed and unfairly puts the onus onto them. Your house is already a broken one.

You've had three years of marriage; you really want another three like this?.
Chances are that you and they by turn would be a lot happier without him in your day to day lives.

Think of your children as well; damaging lessons are being imparted here by both of you to them. They are learning from you both about relationships. What are you both teaching them here?.

Whedonzgal Wed 07-Oct-09 09:27:14

Sulking is one thing (immature at best, controlling at worst), but I would be absolutely seething and probably sobbing my heart out too if my dp had smashed up one of dd's toys like that shock I would have to seriously consider breaking it off.

NanaNina Wed 07-Oct-09 11:04:00

Absolutely agree with AttilatheMeerkat - she has hit the nail on the head. She (sorry I always assume MNs are women but then such an inciteful post could only be by a woman!) is so right that your H has learned this behaviour from one or both of his parents. In that sense he can't be entirely to blame because we are all the products of our own childhood experiences. Sulking is very controlling and this is a man who needs to be in control and the origins of this are usually to do with feeling insecure and threatened by others, even though it may not look like that. He probably had a very controlling parent who overly criticised him which is usually at the root of people who want to control eveything and can't engage in rational discussion and compromise. And NO he won't change UNLESS he can acknowledge that his behaviour is unacceptable and he is emotionally harming his own childrenin the way that he was emotionally harmed as a child.

Your biggest mistake I think is saying that your children adore him. children learn that they must be compliant with a parent who is unpredictable and has violent tendencies and do what they can to ensure that they are safe. Sounds incredible I know but this is how it is.

He may deny that his parents behaved in a controlling way towards him or that he was unjustly criticised etc but he didn't end up like this for no reason.

IF you can somehow find the courage to really let him know how his behaviour is affecting you and more pertinently the children AND he is prepared to engage in therapy to modify his behaviour your marriage might have a chance but otherwise I think you and the children are in for many many years of unhappiness and there is a strong possibility that your children will in turn carry on this behaviour when they become parents. SORRY to sound harsh but those I think are the facts of the matter. I amsure you will read many other threads where women have found the strength to leave these kind of men and found incredible peace of mind. I think you owe it to your children.

queenofdenial2009 Wed 07-Oct-09 11:57:35

Sorry NanaNina, I don't agree. He is to blame for his behaviour whether learnt or not because he is an adult and is responsible for his actions. I think a child acting this way isn't totally to blame, but a grown up is.

My partner was very sulky and petulant and always said, when challenged, that it was just the way he was and he couldn't change. I still think this is rubbish because we can choose how we behave to our nearest and dearest. It's only now that I've got away that I can recognise what a spectacularly abusive and controlling man he was. Not saying OP's partner is as bad, but lots of warning bells, especially the breaking of objects. Mine used to punch and kick walls. How is his driving?

TheProvincialLady Wed 07-Oct-09 12:10:16

"Your biggest mistake I think is saying that your children adore him. children learn that they must be compliant with a parent who is unpredictable and has violent tendencies and do what they can to ensure that they are safe." I agree 100% with Nananina here. I loathed my father but put on a loving act because anything less would have meant even more of his temper.

TBH your partner sounds very unpleasant to live with for everyone concerned and I wouldn't be too worried about his terrible childhood etc and feeling sorry for him - I would be thinking more about my children and the childhood they are receiving NOW and which can be altered and improved.

Whatever you decide to do, be it counselling or anger management or kicking him out, I think you need to do something because a man who smashes up his children's toys is a bully and the situation cannot continue.

3littlefrogs Wed 07-Oct-09 12:21:55

I agree with NanaNina upto a point.

DH used to be a bit of a sulker, until I confronted him and said I wouldn't accept it and he has worked hard to change.

His mother is a prize sulker and very manipulative, she has got her own way all her life because of it and is a very difficult and unpleasant woman.

Dh now recognises the fact that he learned this behaviour from his mother - who used to do this to him when he was a child, and he has worked really hard to overcome it.

Dh really wanted to change, once he recognised the problem. They have to really want to change IMO, and some people don't think they are in the wrong, and won't change.

imogengladheart Wed 07-Oct-09 12:45:34

Message withdrawn

NanaNina Wed 07-Oct-09 12:48:46

Queeno - yes I agree that he IS absolutely responsible for his behaviour. I was not trying to excuse it I was simply trying to say where the roots of the behaviour came from, and so therefore how it might be modified. As 3littlefrogs says her DH now recognises the fact thathe learned his behaviour romhis mother and has worked hard to overcome it. The OP seems to want to save her marriage and this may be more possible if her H is able to recognise the roots of his behaviour and do something to modify it as littlefrogs DH has done.

I accept that some men will use any excuse for their behaviour and won't be motivated to change but sometimes understanding where it has come from can be a starting point for modification.

sulkinghusband Wed 07-Oct-09 13:36:15

Thanks for your replies. I'm scared he is reading this, as he knows I am mn addict. Is there anyway of hiding this thread as I don't want him reading this stuff and fueling his sulking marathon?

He won't even look at me, just gives me an icy glare. I have sent him an email today, asking what he is annoyed about to see if making the first move will get him talking again.

I'm sorry to say this is not the first time he has been violent and aggressive with me and the dc's. It is fairly regular. Which I know is not good. He was very aggressive with our dd (20 months) in front of his family and they got upset with me for not talking to him. My parents seem to take his side too. My mother even saying that his violent outbursts were due to a build of testosterone. Basically nothing to do with him. I think all the families care about is that we stay together, no matter what the cost to mine or my dc's happiness. It feels awful saying that I can't believe they are Christian's sometimes.

I don't know if leaving is the answer as I keep thinking I will just be even more miserable without him. It's hard enough raising dc's, without having any support, fills me with utter dread.

My fear is that this behaviour will escalate until something awful happens to one of the dc's or me, when he has totally overstepped the mark. He blows into these huge rages over ds' behviour which I feel could be sorted out with far less aggression. He gets such a bee in his bonnet about being in control of ds and thinking that he is going to go off the rails if he doesn't discipline strongly.

He was smacked alot as a child and told me his father was very authoratative and also held a high position in the army. DH told me his father showed very little emotion when dh was a child, as this was the way he was raised as a child. DH's mother told me my dh was smacked alot as a child and I was hmm but she seemed to laugh it off. I can kind of see why he is like he is, but it doesn't make it right and I know things need to change.

3littlefrogs Wed 07-Oct-09 13:45:40

I would be very worried by this TBH. He needs help.

NanaNina Wed 07-Oct-09 14:03:12

I don't know how to hide threads but I'm sure someone does on here. You sound very afraid of your H and as I suspected there is a pattern of violence which involves your children, and one just a baby at 20 months. Yes I'm sure you are right his behaviour will probably escalate and soemthing awful might happen SO why are you sitting around e mailing him and trying to find out what he is thinking. Sorry to sound so harsh but why aren't you finding out how you can separate fromhim and PROTECT your children. You say you would be "even more miserable" without out - but what about your children who must be very miserable at the moment. Do you realise that what happens to a child in their formative years will have a lasting affect on them to a greater or lesser degree throughout their life. Surely you can now see how your H's parenting has affected him.

Your son is being emotionally abused and you are compliant with this abuse and failing to protect your child.

Harebelle Wed 07-Oct-09 14:16:37

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

loupiots Wed 07-Oct-09 15:18:46

I think if you are frightened of him, and TBH, you do sound frightened, then you need to address that first.

He's behaving appallingly, but he is getting away with it, and so will continue to behave badly. He is happy to do this and probably feels entirely justified.

Unfortuately, you can't really change his behaviour and anyway it is not your responsibility. You can however, change your response to what he is doing.

Have you thought about counselling? I get the feeling that he wouldn't let you. Why don't you call Women's Aid - 0808 2000 247? They will listen with an open and caring ear and are really experienced and helpful. I think you need to be very brave here and think about what is best for you and your children.

Good luck.

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