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So fed up with DP's ridiculous arguments!

(146 Posts)
MsPuddleDuck Thu 21-Nov-13 11:29:59

NC for this. I am so, so fucking fucked off this morning after another argument with DP.

Over breakfast I reminded him (in a nice chatty way, just everyday stuff) we had to take something in for school fair hampers and he has various unopened bottles of whisky around (to do with a work project, we could never even get through them) so could he choose one to donate and take in. We have previously discussed and agreed on this. He takes DS to school so I explain the box for donations is in the classroom and can he take it in (otherwise we are entrusting very scatty, forgetful DS with a litre of spirits which might not even find its way out of his bag and end up being accessed by other DC - methinks it's better to get it directly to the box. AIBU about that as well out of interest.)

DP immediately kicked off that he can't go into the classroom because "the flow of kids going in is too much and I wouldn't be able to get through". This is bollocks, DS's classroom is just through the entrance door, and I and other parents go in regularly to do reading help with no prob whatsoever. It's just that DP has an aversion to going into school or talking to the teacher, which causes a lot of problems as anytime someone has to drop something off or speak to the teacher he kicks off, or I have to swap with him and he has to do nursery run (causing logistical probs to do with car) etc etc.

I argued with this for a bit saying of course he can go in, I do it all the time etc etc but he decides to put the whisky in a carrier bag and make DS take it. I dropped it as I didn't want a row and things calmed down.

10 mins later he remarks that DS has been doing well with new homework set by learning support teacher, who we saw at a recent meeting (he did go into school for this, so it's not that he's desperately phobic or anything). It suddenly popped into my head that we have stopped communicating with LS teacher using notes, as she has asked us to do, since we had a slight change of routine and DP now supervises homework instead of me. He never sends any notes so I said "Oh could you write Mrs X a little note then to say it's going OK".

He immediately kicks off! "Oh don't be silly, why does she need a note, obviously the homework is being done blah blah" I explained that I used to do this regularly and Mrs X asks us to do it and it is just a way of keeping in touch. More kicking off and arguing, claiming he "can't write a note because I don't know what to put". I was getting really wound up by this point and pointed out he's a bloody professor, an education professional of 20 years standing who deals with students and staff all the time and is in charge of vast amounts of routine communications so there is no way he can't do this.

Then he switches to huge huffy mode and snaps "RIGHT then! I WILL write a note!" and starts angrily scribbling on a post-it. By now it is a full-scale row with shouting sad and once he gets going he also starts denying what went on earlier in the argument e.g. "I never said I wouldn't do it!" hmm Also I didn't want the shitty note written in anger to go to Mrs X, so I told him that, cue more stropping.

I hate this. We had a similar row at the weekend and after that I SWORE I would NOT shout in front of the DC no matter how much he wound me up. But I've done it again. I did apologise to both DC and assured DS it was completely our fault and we would sort out the Mrs X communications soon.

The thing is, before you tell me to LTB (and believe me today I very much fancy the idea of not living with him), and I know everyone says this, but he is OK generally. He's supportive, he shows no general signs of EA like trying to control what I do or who I see, he's not critical, he's not violent, he doesn't mess me around. We do get on, love each other (AFAIK!), and have a lot in common. He does a lot of housework and childcare (admittedly I have had to push to get him to understand how much needs doing, but he rises to the challenge) and he is able to make changes to himself. He willingly admits he's naturally lazy and would happily take a back seat while I do everything, but as he knows I won't accept that, he does do his share.

So why this crappy rubbish arguing when I ask him to do something? The thing that drives me INSANE the most is that he talks utter nonsense. He just makes up barefaced lies as excuses for why he can't do something - "I can't get through the flow of children" - wtaf? He then also lies to my face about what he just said 30 seconds ago.

It makes me so fucking cross and then what should have been a simple reminder or discussion turns into shouting. I know it takes two but I don't know how to handle it. It's like the only other option if I'm not going to argue, is just take all the bollocks lying down and go along with his ludicrous claims and excuses. He's always been like this and most of our arguments are not really about anything, they're just about the argument itself IYSWIM why he said this and I said that etc.

Invariably, he will later say he was wrong and apologise (which is something I suppose), but god forbid I try to remind him of this during an argument, he just fights back more.

Sorry this is so long, thanks if you read it. I think it has helped me calm down just to get it out.

caruthers Thu 21-Nov-13 11:40:59

To be honest it sounds like you are micro managing him.

I try to remind him of this during an argument, he just fights back more

mummymeister Thu 21-Nov-13 11:44:08

hes an adult. give him the job to do and let him do it in his own way. you might not agree with how he does it but then that's up to him. you have 2 choices - either this is minor and you can sort it out or its major and you cant. best piece of advice someone ever gave me - pick your battles. argue over the important things worth arguing over not the trivia.

I am not thinking EA at all.

You are micro managing him, which drives him mas and then he acts like a dick.

Could the bottle not have been taken in by the child? Could the note not have waited? Why are you so tense? This is all small stuff, really?

Topseyt Thu 21-Nov-13 11:49:17

I think you maybe need to back off a bit.

He is doing what you ask of him, but perhaps you are issuing long lists of instructions and getting his back up??

Of course he could have popped into the classroom and put the whisky in there, and I agree that it would be safer if he did it.

However, you then move on, without much of a break if I read it right, to wanting him to write a note to the learning support teacher. It does sound like micro-managing. I don't write notes to my children's teachers unless there is a specific problem. The most I do is try to remember to sign their school planners every week.

Have a list of jobs that you each normally do. Build in some flexibility, but if he is generally doing his share than leave him to it. It is too pushy otherwise.

MsPuddleDuck Thu 21-Nov-13 11:49:48

Thanks v much for reading and for your replies. I can see that I want things to get done properly and I do nag.

But if I don't nag/remind/bring things up, I would have to either do them myself, or they would not happen. So I could let go and let them not happen - but I do find that hard if it affects the DC or me.

(I do let go anything that relates to him and his affairs i.e. he never opens any of his mail including bank letters etc because he can't be bothered - I never tell him to do that because on his own head be it.)

Also OK if I'm micro-managing and a nag - I accept that is an accurate assessment of what I'm like sometimes. But then couldn't he say "you're stressing me out with the constant instructions, can you let me do it my way." Why make up lies?

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 21-Nov-13 11:51:31

I have absolute no idea what either of those rows were about.

It must be very confusing living with somebody who kicks off in such a major way about so little.

MsPuddleDuck Thu 21-Nov-13 11:53:23

I have had a bit of a wake-up call from your replies. I do micro-manage.

I can't stand stuff either not being done, or it all turning into a huge pile of wifework that I have to do. I need to let it go but it's v hard for me.

Topseyt Thu 21-Nov-13 11:54:50

I think in the final paragraph of your last post you have just provided the solution to your own problem. Back off, curtail the micro-managing/nagging, and let him go things his way.

You ARE stressing him. That is why he is reacting as he is.

Topseyt Thu 21-Nov-13 11:56:11

* "do" things his way.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 21-Nov-13 12:02:03

Actually, I think "letting it go" if that creates extra work for you and lets him take the back seat he seems to think is his rightful place in family life is a TERRIBLE idea.

Asking someone to bring a bottle in to the school is not micro-managing them. It's just being the person who knows what's going on a school.

Mentioning that you should keep in touch with a teacher who is giving your child extra help AS YOU WERE ASKED TO DO is not micro-managing, it's reminding.

His reaction was way, way over the top and it's shocking to me that you are being blamed for a row that he caused because you are a woman "nag".

littleblackno Thu 21-Nov-13 12:03:41

My ex was like this. I really don't think i was micro- managing him. In fact I KNOW I wasn't! It's like he would argue for the sake of arguing then blame me for being a nagging wife (trust me I wasn't). I think a general conversation about who's doing what and how/ why shouldn't end in an argument.
I agree - give him a job and let him get on with it, but I also think if you have been the one mainly doing it before to give him an idea of what works best and why you have been doing it a certain way also isn't unreasonable.
I'm not sure what to suggest really, I guess you need to find a way to sit down and try and talk about why these arguments are happening and how you're both feeling about how you communicate. I agree it's not good for your kids so it's important.

caruthers Thu 21-Nov-13 12:05:27

JoinYourPlayfellows she's treating him like a child and as she states herself "He just fights back more" which suggests he's defending himself.

WilsonFrickett Thu 21-Nov-13 12:07:25

I don't think you're a nag. I do think you (from your OP) micro-managed a little. You think a grown-up should take the whisky in, he doesn't. That's a non-issue. You should have let it slide because in the grand scheme of things, that's not important.

The notes I absolutely agree with you - but I think two lots of instructions back to back obviously got his back up.

That is his bad. (hate that phrase but it seems apt).

You then met fire with fire though.

I think actually two things:

He has a bit of a blind spot about 'school stuff'. It may be worth exploring why that is.

You two need to learn when to agree to disagree. And how to do it. You need to let some stuff go, he needs to pick some stuff up.

sparklysilversequins Thu 21-Nov-13 12:07:45

I'm not sure asking him to drop off a bottle of spirits while he's at school anyway is micro managing him tbh. I don't actually see that in any of your examples.

However some things make people uncomfortable I don't particularly like speaking on the phone to people I don't know and would always prefer to email. Maybe he's like that about school stuff?

Annonynon Thu 21-Nov-13 12:07:55

You shouldn't let things go if it means more work for you, but in your two examples in your op there was no need for you to micro manage

He was going to take the bottle in, how he does that is his call. With the note I can totally see his point that if things are going well there doesn't need to be that much communication

I think it can be easy to fall into the trap of 'my way is the right way' but if you expect someone to share things equally with you ( which I absolutely do) then they can do things in thier own way as long as they get done

cocolepew Thu 21-Nov-13 12:08:50

I don't think you are micro managing him. All you askedasked waswas he take a bottle in hmm.
I have no answers <helpful> but I don't think you are at fault, especially if he admits at a later stage he was wrong.

WilsonFrickett Thu 21-Nov-13 12:08:51

I think also your thread title is telling. It's not DP's ridiculous arguments. Can't be. You can't have an argument with just one person....

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 21-Nov-13 12:12:06

"You can't have an argument with just one person...."

You can have an argument that is only started by one person where the other person has no fucking idea what they are even arguing about.

Which seems to be the case here.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 21-Nov-13 12:13:43

"she's treating him like a child "

He's acting like a child.

I suspect so he can get out of having to do any school-related work.

As he admits, he's prefer she did all the work and unless she forces him to do his bit he won't bother his arse.

And "defending himself"? From being asked to walk into a classroom and put a bottle into a box? hmm


MsPuddleDuck Thu 21-Nov-13 12:13:55

I realise it's a vicious circle, if I treat him like a child, he'll act like one and vice versa.

But in a relationship surely it's normal to remind each other of things like events at school? It's just that I do the reminding and he doesn't, because although he gets all the same school letters and emails as me, he doesn't read them because he can't be arsed.

I want to micro-manage less, but OTOH if I didn't pick up the slack, all kinds of things would be going to hell in a handcart - our interaction with the school, household finance admin, etc. We would never go on holiday or book a babysitter or sort out appointments for DS etc etc unless I either do it, or remind him when it's his turn.

It's like the choice is do it all, micro-manage and nag, or let it slide. I don't want to let it slide, I don't want to live in chaos with things not getting done and sorted. I don't want to do the other two things either.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 21-Nov-13 12:16:03

"But in a relationship surely it's normal to remind each other of things like events at school?"

Yes, it's normal.

What's not normal is having to constantly chivvy somebody along to bear their half of the load.

He is being very unkind in demanding that you nag him in before he will do anything and then shouting at you when you dare to do it.

I think you have to let him organise how he does somethings provided it doesn't make work for you.
e.g. I will say to DH - at some point this evening could you get the DC's uniforms ready for tomorrow.

I don't care if he does it straight away or at 5 past midnight provided it gets done. He did it about an hour after I asked and even stiched up the hole in DS1's jumper.

I had too many rows in the past where I was trying to organise him into doing it my way and in my timeframe.

sparklysilversequins Thu 21-Nov-13 12:16:41

From what you describe you're NOT micromanaging him. He sounds like a foot stamping 7 year old.

caruthers Thu 21-Nov-13 12:16:58

He's acting like a child

No he isn't, she's ordering him about with regards to small stuff. Things don't have to get done her way at all...they can also be done his way even if she doesn't agree with it.

She even states that he "Fights back" which denotes her as the "Attacker".

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