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.

Not apologising for something

(46 Posts)
BranchingOut Tue 13-Nov-12 12:09:56

On my work days I take my son to nursery in the car, come home, collect my bag and work things then head off to work by public transport.
This might sound a bit complicated, but we live in London so this is the best way.

I just take the car keys and a set of house keys with me to the nursery - I need both hands to wrangle DS and the nursery is tiny, so it is better to leave excess stuff at home.

However, I got back home today and realised that there was no key on the fob, only other keys that would not open the door. DH had removed the key to go running, failed to replace it on the fob afterwards and then headed off to work. The keys in question are a general household set that we keep handy, for locking the door or popping out.

I was locked out, due to be late for work and in a real fix. No money, no travel card, nothing. In the end I had to go to a neighbour to call DH, drive quite a distance to his offices in Central London, pick up the key and then come back home. This took up the best part of the morning. I couldn't have driven to work as there is no parking there.

What really got me was he was steering very clear of admitting any kind of fault for this (you should have looked etc) and did not apologise. I told him that I was pretty upset, but although somewhat helpful in telling me the route to drive out of the city, he seemed to regard it as just one of those things. Obviously, yes, some of the fault is mine, but you do expect keys to still be on a fob where they normally live. He didn't express any concern for me missing work, being locked out or suffering a lot of inconvenience.

Things are not great between us (he does have some quite critical tendencies) and in some way maybe I was waiting for some kind of event that might test his reactions.

Any views? Thanks.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

olgaga Tue 13-Nov-12 12:15:45

Frustrating, isn't it, when they simply won't admit to being at fault or see the need to apologise. I used to think this was a trait peculiar to my DH - until I discovered Mumsnet! Is it a pride thing?

I'm not sure what the answer is - except to ask him how he would have felt if he had been in your position. No doubt if the boot was on the other foot, he would have been pretty hacked off too - the difference is you would have been mortified and apologetic.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 13-Nov-12 12:17:23

We all make mistakes but a total lack of apology sounds off. Didn't offer to come back or even meet you halfway to halve your journey so I wouldn't be turning cartwheels at him giving you map directions. Is he normally this thoughtless? Has this been brewing a while?

BranchingOut Tue 13-Nov-12 12:22:31

Santa, literally nowhere to park near where I work. No car park. No street parking. On a main road with double yellows and a bus lane, plus if I had found a meter space anywhere nearby then no money to pay for it.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

suburbophobe Tue 13-Nov-12 12:27:27

Surely the solution is for you each to have a set of keys....

BranchingOut Tue 13-Nov-12 12:34:38

We do have separate sets of keys, but if they are inside the house then they aren't much good to me!

I had taken a set of keys which had been rendered non-functional by the deliberate removal of the most important key.

The point is, it isn't about the arrangements, it is about the relationship.
If I had borrowed his travel card and not returned it, then I would be at fault. If this removal had meant that he was unable to get to work or some other inconvenience resulted then I would be ready with a heartfelt apology and be doing what I could to make things better.

Whatnowffs Tue 13-Nov-12 12:34:56

I think it sounds pretty trivial - annoying but trivial, however, the fact that you are so cross and he didn't apologise and its looking like you are going to end up wiht a big blow up over this, trivial but annoying thing, says that you really need to be looking at your relationship. Maybe use this as a catalyst to have a heart to heart about what has been going wrong recently? could it be that you are both really stressed out? work, young DC etc and look at ways to ease the stress?

BranchingOut Tue 13-Nov-12 12:43:34

I think that what got me was that he didn't even do the "Oh" followed by a long pause thing he does when he realises that he might have made a mistake.

There was something slightly shifty about the way that he was not forthcoming with any apology or any real concern. Just a sense that he was determined to still be firmly in the right.

There are deeper issues, but I suppose I just expected a bit more from him.

Whatnowffs Tue 13-Nov-12 12:48:50

What are the deeper issues? Were you shitty with him about it? (i freely admit i would have gone off he deepend to DP about it so i would have got short shrift too so.........).

Maybe he was just caught up in work?

I think he was pretty thoughtless actually, but its not worth having a major falling out over. But do have a talk.

mummytime Tue 13-Nov-12 12:51:32

Why did he take your key?
My kids on occasion have taken it to let themselves in when I have taken another on another of my kids taxi runs (they are teens), but they usually have their own with them. I have nearly borrowed DHs when I have been late and couldn't find mine (usually when he is out of the country). But I fail to see why your DH had taken yours.
Was it just because he was too lazy to find his own? Because he wanted to set you up to fail?

I think you do need to think deeply about this.

And yes He Was Being Unreasonable not to at least apologise.

If you take a key off the keyring where it always lives, you are responsible for putting it back, and if you don't put it back, you are responsible for any disruption or trouble this causes someone else.

Your dh should have apologised.

lovemydogs Tue 13-Nov-12 12:58:37

that would upset me too. Alot. Some men don't apologise - it is rare for my OH to apologise and he also tends to be critical - sometimes we think things but we don't have to say them is how I try to live. I think your husband is in the wrong. I would get a spare key cut, give it to him, and tell him to use it when he goes running so as not to leave a set of keys incomplete. Good luck. xx

gladiolus Tue 13-Nov-12 13:29:26

I think your dh knows he is in the wrong, feels bad, but doesn't want to lose face, so he is pushing the blame onto you.

How about, doing what lovemydogs suggests, getting a key cut for him, telling him this is his special running key so the situation doesn't arise again, then giving it to him with a kiss.

Hopefully, he will a) feel bad that he did it in the first place, b) feel happy that you have thought about him and come up with a solution and c) be prodded by his conscious into an apology because you haven't gone off on one about it like he deserves.

gladiolus Tue 13-Nov-12 13:30:28

^conscience, not conscious. smile

BranchingOut Tue 13-Nov-12 13:34:25

I definitely wasn't shitty or even shirty.

When I called him, my tone was probably a bit upset/anxious/puzzling out what to do. By the time I got to his office I was a bit frazzled after driving through central London and numerous diversions, road closures and satnav failiures, plus being generally frustrated about the loss of my morning - but it was more upset than going off at him. I did say 'I am upset about this' and my facial expressions and body language would have backed this up.

The first thing I did when I finally got home (had called work, explained and told them I would be working from home, albeit unplanned and not what I wanted to do today) was to go round to the locskmith and cut him a spare key for when he goes out running, so there is no excuse for this in future.

Bizarrely, he did not want me to do this and said it was not necessary. It was as if he would rather me be permanently checking around him rather than put something in place to sort it out.

I am not going to make a big thing out of this, but I will remember it.

gladiolus Tue 13-Nov-12 13:38:06

Well maybe you can hang onto that spare key and put it on your car keys. I must admit, his reaction wasn't what I would have hoped for.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 13-Nov-12 13:40:32

I don't really think this is just about keys, sorry.

Dahlen Tue 13-Nov-12 13:50:11

THat's just weird behaviour on his part. I was going to say that sometimes people can get all defensive when they know they're in the wrong, but the normal reaction in this sort of situation would be an "Oh shit, I didn't think. I'm really sorry" followed by an "It's ok, I know you didn't do it on purpose" and then both of you letting it go. So he's BU for not reacting like that, which most people would do instinctively I think.

Follow that up by not wanting you to have another key cut...

Do you think he wanted you to be wrong-footed today? And if so, why?

BranchingOut Tue 13-Nov-12 14:22:22

Thanks for all the responses.

The thought that he might have wanted this on some level makes me feel a bit wierd. In fairness, the key was just lying out in such a way that it was near where we normally keep that set, so it was as if he had just forgotten.

But there was a sense of 'Well, you should just double check or change the way you do things in order to accommodate my own out-of-the-ordinary action.'

Regarding the cutting of the extra spare key and him not feeling it should be necessary. He likes me to let him in when he has been running rather than taking a key (due to them jangling in his pocket) and can get a bit sniffy if I ever say that I might be popping out or won't be able to come to the door for some reason. So by cutting this key I have neutralised his whole 'letting-me-in-when-I-go-running' complaint.

He also hasn't liked it before when I have done something to neutralise a source of complaint eg. he used to always complain when I worked pre maternity leave that I couldn't tell him my bank balance at any given point in time (I don't hold that info in my head) or would accuse me of not contributing enough money to the joint account. However, I did contribute the agreed amount of money to cover mortgage and bills, plus keeping back a bit for my own personal expenses and a few savings, but not the extra £000s per month that he could put in there due to his high salary.

So, when I went back to work I decided, enough was enough, and asked my employer to pay my whole salary directly into the joint account. Then I set up a small standing order to my own bank a/c for my own personal expenses. Totally up front, all money going in visible, all money coming out visible. He seemed strangely irritated by this.... grin.

captainmummy Tue 13-Nov-12 14:30:13

Of course you shouldn't need to 'check' the keyring before going out - who does this? If the key should be there, if it's always there, then you assume it's still going to be there! I am notorious for forgetting keys, so now i have (in additiion to my keyring) a spare key in my purse, so if i forget my keys I've usually got my handbag/purse at least.

But it's not really about keys, is it?

SugaricePlumFairy Tue 13-Nov-12 14:43:09

It does sound like he wants you to have an ' itch that needs scratching' like a reminder that he thinks you are at fault for something, you sorting out the bank account stopped him being able to complain so did he find something else to moan at you about?

Put the spare key under the door mat or a plant pot then you don't need to be at his beck and call when he returns from a run.

digerd Tue 13-Nov-12 14:44:59

Reading between the lines, no, I don't think it is either.

BranchingOut Tue 13-Nov-12 14:54:37

Yes, that sort of 'being on the tips of your toes' feeling.

We had a lot of problems about two years ago, but have been ok for over a year. But I still feel a bit 'jumpy', as if he wouldn't ever let me off for doing or not doing something and that I always have to have good reason on the tip of my tongue if something hasn't gone to plan.

amverytired Tue 13-Nov-12 15:24:19

Is it kind of like a 'walking on eggshells' feeling?
Do you worry about getting things 'wrong' because of his reaction? i.e. sighing, getting cross, lecturing etc.?

OxfordBags Tue 13-Nov-12 15:59:26

He sounds like my ex, always moving the goalposts (look that up as a style of emotional abuse), always trying to keep me on my toes, try to make it seem like I was the unreasonable one for expecting normal, thoughtful behaviour and reactions from him, etc. He used to smoke outside last thing before bed,and liked to do so when I was washing just before getting into bed myself, etc. Trouble is, he nearly always left it unlocked BUT when I started going downstairs to check it when he came up and wash in the bathroom himself - without making a fuss or being annoyed or anything - he would go apeshit at me. It's like he wanted to push some sort of point about him not having to be accountable or seen as making any sort of mistake, ever at the expense of our safety. Even when a neighbour's unstable dog got in the unlocked back door and shat all over our kitchen, ripped stuff apart and started to come up the stairs on the attack, it was not his fault. And when I said he should at least let me go lock the door if he refused to remember, he STILL said that would be patronising, emasculating, etc.

The point is, it's both mindfucking and totally disrespectful. You and your needs don't exist, unless they serve him in some way. You having to deal with a load of stress and mess your work around is far less important than you being athome to let him in. It's like these men are little kids who haven't grasped yet that Mummy is a person in her own right who doesn't exist solely to make his world run how he likes it. And, like tiny kids, they cannot, will not ever admit being in the wrong.

He won't change. He's stuck in the mindset of an egotistical, selfish, disorganised child. It's a very subtle form of emotional abuse, because it seems silly to say you're being abused because someone never apologises, or whatever, but it's what it indicates that is what hurts so deeply - that you don't actually matter to him.

Is he weird if you hurt yourself or are in pain? My ex used to get terribly affronted at the concept of having to express empathy or sympathy for others and I've found this a classic symptom of men like him, ie if you trip over their foot and scrape your knee, their focus is on you not blaming him and saying you were in the wrong for not seeing his foot, not worrying about your knee, like a normal person.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 13-Nov-12 16:07:47

Not wanting to make a huge leap but, since OxfordBags mentioned attitudes to you ever hurting yourself or being in pain, has your DH started bumping into you, stepping on your foot, knocking into you or jabbing you when half asleep, being clumsy around you?

BranchingOut Tue 13-Nov-12 16:12:24

Donkeys - no, he doesn't do that, thank goodness. Although occasionally when we have been in the middle of bad episodes he will go through phases of not yielding space to me eg. if he wants to walk where I am standing he won't move around me, but just wait for me to move.

OxfordBags - he sounds like a nightmare sad.

AnyFucker Tue 13-Nov-12 16:18:54

If I told you the number of key-related incidents in our household you wouldn't believe me. (he once took my only set of carkeys on a plane abroad with him)

None of them have involved such careless disrespect of me though sad

and he was very apologetic (until the next key-related incident...)

OxfordBags Tue 13-Nov-12 16:28:34

Don't worry about me, Op, I have a wonderful Dh now smile

The whole not moving to let you get past sounds horribly familiar, however...

OxfordBags Tue 13-Nov-12 16:31:23

Incidentally, said wonderful Dh did accidentally take my keys to work last week, accidentally meaning me and toddler DS couldn't leave the house. As soon as I rang him, he raced home and was full of "I'm an idiot!"-style apologies. THAT should be the normal reaction, OP.

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Tue 13-Nov-12 16:42:30

I don't like the sound of this man. I think he's abusive: he's sabotaging you and trying to make sure that you are always thinking about him and how to please and placate him.

Viviennemary Tue 13-Nov-12 16:48:39

It was totally his fault. If he took the key of the ring then he should have put it back.

AnyFucker Tue 13-Nov-12 16:52:03

It's like taking someone's purse out of their handbag and not putting it back < glares at teenage dd >

You leave the house assuming it is there, because that is where you leave it. It's really not on to change something, and not inform. If you do, you should grovel.

PoppyField Tue 13-Nov-12 17:43:29

Hi Branching,
I agree with the others here who feel that this is not about keys. It is about what the key incident represents ... which is a lack of respect and care for you. He is not only acting as if it is not his fault, he is acting as if he doesn't care that you're upset. He is not reacting with care to the fact that you're hassled, bothered and upset at your morning being ruined. It almost doesn't matter that the key thing is his fault (although it most certainly is) but that he really doesn't seem to care when you are upset. And if somebody does care about you, they usually care if you are upset and they find some way to make you feel better.

He did not do this. The absence of 'care' is what is flashing in your head and your instincts are saying 'How can he be so uncaring? How can he be like this?'. This is probably just one incident among many where you have bitten your tongue or considered your reaction before reacting normally. You didn't march into his work and have real go at him about your day being ruined, which might be expected. Most people in a normal relationship would probably then get a mortified apology along the lines of 'Oh my God I'm so stupid, I didn't put the bloody key back, I'm so sorry.' And you would have had the right reaction. There is a conspicuous absence here and you are feeling in your gut what it represents.

If you're jumpy, watching what you say, rehearsing your answers or having 'a good reason on the tip of my tongue if something hasn't gone to plan' -just in case he attacks you or flares up at you.... then there is something seriously wrong. I think there is a strong possibility that he is an emotional abuser and that he is abusing YOU. You say in your last post that this has been going on for years. I have been there, and I didn't notice it happening to me - it is subtle and very hard to put your finger on just what is upsetting you and whether or not you are actually dreaming it or being unreasonable. I don't like the sound of the way he treats you. The key incident is just one, and it sounds plain nasty.

Have a think about your situation. I know it is really hard to start admitting that you might be in an abusive relationship. But that is what happened to me and has dawned on an awful lot of MNers. You are not alone, but at first you are bound to be a little incredulous, and 'Me? Abused? Surely not!' Have a think about his behaviour, the fact that he is never wrong, never apologises, seems not to care if you are upset and then blames you for every little thing that goes wrong. Hope you're ok. I don't want to escalate this for you, in time-honoured MN style, but you are obviously hearing big warning bells - which is very healthy in my book. They are telling you something is very wrong.

PoppyField Tue 13-Nov-12 17:59:32

Sorry - didn't see your last post about not yielding space... was referring to the one before that.

mummytime Tue 13-Nov-12 19:03:23

An example of what someone who cares does. Quiet early in our marriage, we had two cars. I was driving home in the middle of the day (I had just had a meeting). I stopped in a pretty remote petrol station, and when I went to unlock the petrol cap my key snapped in it. The people at the petrol station all helped quite a lot, but my DH drove from where he worked to give me the spare key, checked I was okay and then went back to work; an hours round trip.
It wasn't even his fault.

ImperialBlether Tue 13-Nov-12 20:55:58

I don't like him at all.

I wish you hadn't put all of your wages into the joint account, too.

He could have gone to a nearby bank and arranged for you to pick up enough money from the nearest bank to you so that you could have gone to work.

He could have gone to his nearest station and arranged for a ticket to be waiting for you at your nearest station.

He could have apologised fulsomely for being such a prick.

He likes you at his beck and call, doesn't he? He likes to blame you for things that go wrong, no matter who was responsible.

Can you tell us what happened a couple of years ago?

Lueji Tue 13-Nov-12 21:58:19

Apart from everything else:
"He likes me to let him in when he has been running rather than taking a key (due to them jangling in his pocket)"

but he did take the key with him?
And why not from the spare set?
Or his set (I assume he has one?)

With everything else, and the not apologising, it sounds bad.
It's the type of thing that it's not that significant but definitely erodes. sad

ThereGoesTheYear Tue 13-Nov-12 22:10:07

It's telling that you didn't feel able to tell him you were upset with him. He made a mistake that cost you a whole morning and you can't even say 'Look at the hassle you've given me, can you not be so forgetful next time.' He's trained you well, hasn't he?

AnyFucker Tue 13-Nov-12 22:16:05

Death by a thousand cuts...

janelikesjam Wed 14-Nov-12 09:55:48

Are you saying he looks down on you?

PoppyField Wed 14-Nov-12 14:52:02

AnyFucker - just like to say before it gets all Xmas mushy etc - I do think you're brill. x

AnyFucker Wed 14-Nov-12 15:54:10

ooh thanks, Poppy. How very sweet of you. I haven't said much at all on this thread though, lots of others have been much more helpful than me.

ImperialBlether Sat 17-Nov-12 12:45:27

Thought you said, "Death by a thousand cunts" then, AF. I thought you were planning a mass MN attack.

And Poppy, she is, isn't she? Marvellous.

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