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Is this an example of abusive behaviour?

(57 Posts)
nineteenninetyfour Thu 21-Jul-11 09:38:53

Want people's take on somethin. Not after a bunfight and I actually would prefer it if Iabu and am wrong. But please be honest all the same.
Last week, my (widowed) mum moved house. She has a lot of good qualities but organisational skills are not among them. Anyway, dh and myself gave her hand, she had done basically nothing to aid us-nothing packed etc, the time came to move washing machine and it was still full of clothes. My dh was annoyed (don't blame him, so was I) but he held his tongue and said nothing.

Now I know that had this been me (failing to take clothes out of machine ) he would have shouted, called me names and made a scene.

It's just got me wondering, really; is this abusive behaviour because he can 'keep it together' when it comes to others?

valiumredhead Thu 21-Jul-11 09:41:50

Would he really have shouted at you for not taking clothes out of the machine? That's awful!

nineteenninetyfour Thu 21-Jul-11 09:42:38

Well he would have shouted had we been in the position of moving house, yes.

itisnearlysummer Thu 21-Jul-11 09:43:53

No, I think it's just a case of being more prepared to take frustrations out on those closest to you.

Your mum was U in her expectations - expecting you and DH to pack for her and unload her washing machine before moving it.

Your DH was just behaving extremely courteously in front of your mother, but wouldn't tolerate the same sort of piss take from his wife.

My DH would be the same.

Mitmoo Thu 21-Jul-11 09:43:55

You always hurt the ones your love. You are close enough for him to tell you what he thinks, he respects you enough not to disrepect your mother.

The term "abuse" shouldn't be overused, this doesn't come under that term for me to be honest. He's a good guy helping your Mum to move you should appreciate him. It's more than my ex would do.

Purplegirlie Thu 21-Jul-11 09:44:31

Calling someone horrible names, whatever the situation, is abuse IMO

nineteenninetyfour Thu 21-Jul-11 09:46:02

Got to go for now, be back later. Please keep replies coming.

Mitmoo Thu 21-Jul-11 09:46:02

Of course he would have shouted if you were moving house and you'd left clothes in the machine. You'd be expecting him to move stuff heavier than it needs to be. That would be lazy and disrespectful to your husband.

valiumredhead Thu 21-Jul-11 09:46:19

Would he have said " Oh ffs there are still clothes in here" or would he actually shout at you - because if he would shout at you over something so minor I would find that quite worrying.

nineteenninetyfour Thu 21-Jul-11 09:48:21

One last thing, yes, I appreciate that he would be annoyed ( I was too) but my point is, is it abusive if he can keep his mouth shut for my mother but not me?

FreudianSlipper Thu 21-Jul-11 09:48:28

does he scare or hurt you by name calling when he shouts, do you feel belittled if so then yes

having a quick temper is different but name calling, shouting someone down is abuse

that fact you are asking and not quite sure yourself is concerning

MsWeatherwax Thu 21-Jul-11 09:48:55

I don't think you can tell much from an isolated example. Getting shouted at for a little things all the time might be different - it's more about finding a pattern of incidents AND of how you feel as the recipient - if you feel scared of him, that's a sign something is wrong.

BertieBotts Thu 21-Jul-11 09:51:55

Okay so it made the washing machine heavier, but there's no need to struggle on with it full, it takes seconds to take them out. There's no need to shout, name-call or make a scene either. If you're moving house, everyone is stressed, everyone forgets things.

I think name-calling is abusive too. Unless in jest, obviously, but I don't think that's what the OP is describing. Fair enough to be annoyed, maybe mutter to yourself, but shouting and making a scene? How does that help anyone?

squeakytoy Thu 21-Jul-11 10:32:25

Forgetting there are some clothes in the washing machine is hardly a big deal... and I cant believe that someone would go mad about it...

What sort of actual examples are there of him shouting at you OP, because from what you have said so far, there isnt really anything to base on if he is abusive or not here...

NevermindtheNargles Thu 21-Jul-11 10:43:00

I don't think speaking to your mum differently to how he speaks to you is abusive, no. This seems to be what you are asking? Surely you speak to different people in different ways, depending on your relationship with them? I certainly wouldn't expect DH to have the same sort of banter with my mum as he does with me, and to a certain extent I think it is ok/proper for partners to vent that frustrations at to each other.

It really does depend though. I he is shouting and calling names and getting angry over trivial things then that is a different matter.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 21-Jul-11 10:52:05

Not it's not abusive. Unless 'shouting at' means being excessively aggressive for no reason whatsoever. The beauty of any close relationship is that you can say what you really mean, even lose your temper or take the piss occasionally and everyone knows and loves each other enough that it doesn't matter. I rarely stand on ceremony with friends and close family but am relatively restrained with other people. I'd have thought most were like that.

Hmm leaving washing in a washing machine even if you are moving it, is pretty trivial as far as transgressions go. So I would expect my DH to make a comment (possibly sarcastic or exasperated) and give me the look. It definitely wouldn't warrant name-calling (which neither of us do anyway). I on the other hand, would reply that he too knows where the washing machine is and could have emptied it at anytime should he have desired!

OP would you have felt comfortable answering back to your DH in a similar manner after the name-calling?

P.S. name-calling is pretty unwarranted in the huge majority of situations as far as I am concerned.

lesley33 Thu 21-Jul-11 10:53:23

I don't think the example you give means he is being abusive. We are more honest with our OH's than with others - especially your OH's family. Your mum was unreasonable, but he was ultra polite and said nothing.

I think shouting and calling names is not necessarily abusive. With very stressful situations, we can all say things that we shouldn't. But it does depend on what he is saying and what you mean by shouting.

Shouting - but not aggressively if you know what I mean - I can't believe you did that. That was stupid not to empty the machine - is understandable.

But if he shouts very aggressively so that it feels threatening physically and intimidating and calling you demeaning names such as bitch, then yes that is abusive.

It also depends on how often this happens and whether you fear it happening on a regular basis. So losing it once every 10 years in a very stressful situation isn't good, but perfectly forgiveable. Losing it regularly, or alternatively you tip toeing around him because you are afraid he is going to lose it, is abusive.

Forgive me, but i wonder from what you wrote whether you have had an abusive childhood. Lots of people who have had, can struggle to know what is normal and what is abusive. If this is the case, then the fact you are questioning his behaviour doesn't automatically mean his behaviour is abusive.

MrSpoc Thu 21-Jul-11 10:54:50

If i was moving house and it was down to the wife to empty the washer and after a hard days moving UN-PACKED & UN-BOXED crap then to find the washer still full. Sorry but i would be livid and no doubt ask WTF is going on. 9Would not say it to MIL) Its natural. This is not abuse.

But if he shouts for no good reason and threatens you then its abuse.

Also ask your mum WTF was she playing at the lazy bitch.

BertieBotts Thu 21-Jul-11 11:04:28

"The lazy bitch" ?? How charming.

itisnearlysummer Thu 21-Jul-11 11:09:09

Not sure about the 'lazy bitch' bit.

but I think I agree with MrSpoc.

I get really pissed off when people expect me to do something they can't be bothered to do themselves.

valiumredhead Thu 21-Jul-11 11:11:07

Lazy Bitch? Nice.

whackamole Thu 21-Jul-11 11:19:48

Ummm.....MrSpoc I agree! If my mum was helping me move, and I had done nothing including leaving the washing machine full, she would call me a lazy bitch! My OH on the other hand, would not, although he would let his exasperation be known. He certainly would hold his tongue more in front of my mum than me.

I think we would all hold our tongue more in front of our in-laws than our partners. But people really would call their partners' names over something like this? Blimey - glad I am not in your relationships! And I thought I was shouty/arsey!

I can understand a distinctly higher level of frustration if you had been lugging boxes around all day and your partner had been sitting on their arse and one of their only tasks was to empty the washing machine. But not if you had both been running around like blue-arsed flies and it had been over-looked by one of you. And I presume the latter would be the case if the OP and her DH were moving house (as she was helping move her mother's house so she is obviously physically capable and isn't a "lazy bitch" hmm). So the situation at the Mother's house is actually likely to be far worse than any situation moving house in the OP's case, yet her DH managed to hold his tongue. I am not saying comments wouldn't/shouldn't be made but really shouting, name-calling and making a scene over what is probably an oversight??

The fact that the OP is asking this question would suggest that she has picked up on other things that show an imbalance in how her DH treats her and how he treats other people.

AliGrylls Thu 21-Jul-11 11:37:15

Just by reading this thread I get the feeling that people don't really understand what abuse is. I am not an expert in the subject but my questions would be: how does he make you feel about yourself generally? do you ever feel threatened by his behaviour?

If you don't feel threatened by his behaviour and are not frightened to speak back to him then it is definitely not abuse and as people have pointed out it is really hard to constantly be on your best behaviour with family.

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