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.
DH is sulking(105 Posts)
I just needed to have a rant, and I've namechanged as my DH knows my usual username on here.
My DH has always sulked a bit whenever we've argued, and he also sometimes just gets in sulks for no reason and says nothing is wrong. These sulks can last up to a month at times, but are usually 3 or 4 days.
On Saturday night we had an argument, over something very minor, just like most other couples have from time to time. Whenever we argue he always comes up with all these things he doesn't like about me, and on Saturday night it was no exception, and he even said that he hates me sometimes. What he does is he says things that are going to inflame things and upset me, then says that he's not prepared to argue and goes to bed or just ignores me so it's pointless talking any further about it. He kept saying to me 'YOU started it' as the thing I'd said had caused the argument but he had turned it into an argument.
Saturday he just went to bed, and I was very upset and tearful but I stayed up quite late watching TV and chatting to a friend online, and then went to bed thinking it'd be ok in the morning. Well yesterday he woke up all smirking and off with me and I just knew I was in for a day of sulking. I tried to speak to him in bed and said I was sorry for the argument and could we put it behind us and enjoy the family day out we had planned. I then asked if he would apologise to me as I felt what he had said about me had been a total attack on me and he smirked and said "I'm sorry" in a sarcastic, mocking voice. I got up and went downstairs to sort the children out and he came down after a while and I could tell he was going to sulk all day. He normally doesn't bother with the children hugely but if we argue he's all father of the year and interacting with them as if to make a point to me that "We are all getting on, it is you that's the odd one out". I asked if we were still having our day out and he said "No because you don't seem interested enough" and at that point I decided to just leave him to get on with his behaviour so I told him I'd be taking the kids out as planned, and he could either stay home or come, I really wasn't bothered which he chose as he was behaving like a child. He chose to come!
The day out itself was ok but when he sulks he walks round with a smirk on his face, and does things constantly that he knows will wind me up, to try to provoke an argument and then he can say I'm unreasonable. Yesterday he'd do things like wait outside a door to get in a shop with me, then suddenly randomly walk off quickly and go in another shop without saying he was going elsewhere. Then saying he was going for a wee and leaving me in a shop with the kids where the kids were buying/choosing things, and he came back half an hour later and he was dismissive when I said he'd been quite a while and I was wondering if he was ok. Or he'd be nice for half an hour and chatty then suddenly stop talking to me again, all the time with a smirk on his face. He went to bed early last night and didn't bother locking the front door, which is something he normally does each evening, then this morning when he got up for work, earlier than I needed to get up he just put the bedroom light on, not the lamp the main light, and walked out of the room leaving it on. I wouldn't mind so much if I hadn't have been up in the night with one of our DCs who was poorly, for 3 hours.
Sorry this is long, I just needed to vent. I've decided that now I am going to get myself more of a life and leave him to his pathetic little games, and try and make out I don't really need him that much anymore. If he's in a mood tonight I shall go straight out for a run.
Anyone got any tips in dealing with sulkers?
He sounds immature and it would drive me mad. I find the best way to deal with people who sulk is to ignore them and not feed the attention seeking behaviour.
Your 'D'H sounds like a prick.
VoiceofUnreason, I really don't want to leave him. I know that sounds pathetic but most of the time things are ok with us.
Squeakytoy, that's what I'm trying to do. This morning when he put the light on I just got up and switched it off. I'm trying to remain as calm as possible so he can't see he's riled me or upset me.
I feel bad as it was my fault the argument started but I was disagreeing with him over something rather than starting a row. I think he wants me to try to ingratiate myself with him constantly and really earn him being nice again
What a pathetic little twat you are married to!
I think that once you focus on that, you'll soon get to the point where you genuinely aren't angry and riled, but start to pity him.
Start on that process by going out on your run, and make a couple of plans that don't involve him. And if he asks, tell him that since his big sulk you've actually begun to think you like it better when he's not around. Smirk when you tell him this, naturally.
Mr. Smirk thinks he has all the power at the moment (hence the smirks). What you want to get across to this pathetic little toerag is this. If he continues to act like an unpleasant, childish little wanker for too long, he's going to create an effect which he didn't intend - namely, to make you genuinely go off him. And once your get to that stage, he's on a rather sticky wicket, because he might not be able to persuade you that he's worth sticking with after all. Everybody has their limits. Warn him with a smirk that he might not want to push you too far.
The way he is treating you is very nasty.
You may have started the row, but he continued it and was horribble. Are these things not to be addressed? So if he picks a row with you, and you say nasty things to him then it's okay as you weren't the one that started the row?
The nicest thing I can think to say about him is that he sounds like a petulant child.
I had one of those. I left the bastard. Mind you if he'd done that thing with the light I'd have bitten his head off...
He sounds like a child. Really Voiceofunreason said it all. He isn't going to change. Speaking as the child of a sulker it is hell, never knowing what mood he was going to be in, walking on eggshells.
Oh and it will always be your fault, because you didn't agree with him/didn't do as he asked/didn't let him behave unreasonably etc etc etc. Sulking is a form of controlling behaviour, to punish you for having the temerity to speak out.
theblonde - sorry if I came across as blunt, but I don't understand why anyone would want to put up with that. Do you really think that's acceptable behaviour from a loving partner? Now, if you'd had a MAJOR row that resulted in a bit of not speaking for a short while, I could perhaps understand that. But you tell us sometimes these arguments are over minor things, which he decides to escalate into personal rants about you, which results in sulks and really quite obnoxious childish behaviour for 3 or 4 days but sometimes upto a MONTH???
That's not normal, healthy behaviour. And you know it isn't, or you wouldn't be here asking for advice. And stating that you are going to get yourself more of life - presumably things that don't involve him. Even though "most of the time things are OK".
OK, let me rephrase my advice. Tell him the way he treats you is unacceptable and you won't put up with it again and he needs to change. But I doubt he will. Still, if you're happy to spend many more years being treated that way, that's your choice.
Great advice doctordwt, thank you!
Amongst other things he has said to me that he doesn't want to hear anything that upsets me in life, so if my mum's annoyed me or one of the kids has acted up during the day he doesn't want to hear. I'm going to take this quite literally and tell him nothing about me any longer. I'm also going to be less easily contactable during the day and less amenable to fitting in with things he wants to do.
'I think he wants me to try to ingratiate myself with him constantly and really earn him being nice again'
Yes, he does.
Which is nasty and abusive.
So you don't do it. You do the opposite, which is to treat him like you would anyone else who is beign unpleasant and unreasonable. You avoid them and thus minimise their negative impact on your life. When it's your husband taking this approach, you do the above at double quick speed. Why? Because why would you want to 'earn' your partner treating you with respect? If you have to do that, he doesn't respect you, and your relationship is a sham and a nasty joke.
I don't like the sound of your husband very much.
His sulking is his way of bringing his bitch to heel. That's all he thinks of you a dog to be trained.
Zero tolerance is the only way. Let him know,preferably in front of others how pitiful you think sulking is and then just pretend he doesn't exist when he is being pathetic. No more "Are we doing X" you decide what you want and give him no opportunity to spoil it.
Thank you everyone.
I know it's not normal, healthy behaviour, but at the moment living with that seems preferable to splitting up. He is just like a petulant child and I do feel like I tread on eggshells a bit.
Problem is too that to everyone else he comes across as being wonderful and everyone, even his own family, tell me just how lucky I am to have him and what a good catch he is
when he's sulking too he gets stroppy whenever I say I'm going to do anything and makes me feel I'm doing the wrong thing and that I need to do something else to please him. For example yesterday he and the kids were having lunch and I wasn't hungry (wonder why!) and I said I was going to go off into a shop he hates whilst he ate and he just pulled a face, rolled his eyes and ignored me. So I went off. All day long if I spoke to him he just looked at me and didn't acknowledge what I'd said. He also said he's going to make a point of speaking to me badly more often as then I will realise just how nice he normally is.
I don't think he's sulking.
To me, the basis of sulking is that you feel hurt. I have sulked and it was more of a protective reaction, shutting down to the outside world while you lick your wounds.
Oh blimey, he gets worse. This man is controlling and emotionally unavailable (although I suspect he expects you to be emotionally available for him).
I don't see how it can be fine most of the time if he sulks for up to a month at a time. That is an awful lot of time when it isn't all right. I think you maybe deluding yourself there. Perhaps keep a diary to see how often this is actually happening.
Also.if you stop playing his game, which I don't necessarily disagree with, he may become more openly nasty as he realises you are moving away from his control.
How is he with the children during these sulking episodes? In fact how much does he do with the children at all? How is he when they hurt themselves for example? Does he do any of the "drudge" work?
You really want your children growing up with this?
A smirking father who behaves like a total shit on family days out to punish their mum and keep her in line? You think they dont notice?
You think they enjoyed yesterday? Children are more perceptive than you think!
Most likely the kids played along, their little hearts breaking.
This is the role models for relationships you want them to have?
You need to address this issue.
He is a manipulative scumbag.
The worst part is, it is working.
He is telling you that he does not want to hear about your life, your childrens behaviour, and you think you are punishing him by complying? You are doing what he wants!
Those are some terrible lessons you are both teaching your children.
He acts like a petulant child, and you act like a doormat.
heath is right. This isn't sulking, this is obnoxious, calculated behaviour designed to wind you up.
blonde I feel very sorry for you that you would prefer to be treated like something he has trodden in, and with no respect, than be on your own. Because the likelihood of it ever improving is very low, you must realise that, even if you try what doctor suggests. Based on what you've said him, I suspect ignoring him will actually wind him up more.
I think next time someone says how lucky you are I would say "you wouldn't be saying that if tou could see the sulks he goes into- its hilarious and can last for days on end!"
Really, blondbird he is so deliberately nasty and controlling. Going to be nastier to you so you appreciate the nice bits??? He is telling you exactly who he is there - an abuser. Classic abuser behaviour.
He's not sulking. This is NOT sulking. And that's a very minimising way of describing it anyway.
I'd describe it more as him taking delight in punishing and wrong footing you. And I'd understand this slightly more if you'd had a major disagreement over something.
Also blondbird does he do this sulking thing often before family days out?
Join the discussion
Please login first.