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to wonder whether it is ever acceptable to shout and swear at your partner?

(145 Posts)
snowycakes Sat 01-Mar-14 14:10:41

Genuine question. I have only been in one (10 year) relationship so want some outside perspective and am not just looking for validation!

When DP gets annoyed about things he tends to shout and swear at me, although I have told him I don't find it acceptable, and he knows it really upsets me. However, he says that I provoke him to do it and that it's a natural reaction to being wound up. I really don't like it, but is it just a part of being a couple that I should accept if I do/say something that annoys him?

I obviously do things that he doesn't like as well, and am far from being perfect.

This sounds really petty (and long sorry!), but as an example: this morning DP was really hungry by about 11am (he hadn't had breakfast) and suggested going to get takeaway pizza for lunch before he had to go to work at 2. I agreed but said that it was a bit early for lunch - and the pizza place wasn't even open at that point. The house has been a tip all week (both of our stuff) so I wanted us to do a bit of tidying up before we went. He watched TV most of the morning and then at 12 said he was going for lunch with or without me - I said I wanted to finish the tidying up I was doing for 5 minutes and then I'd be ready. He got really stroppy and started ranting about how tidying up ruined his day, there's no point in doing it as things only get messy again, he was really hungry, and he would have to rush his lunch before work, etc. So I got in the car to go with him, and asked him why he was acting like a stroppy teenager (which obviously wound him up) about having to tidy up and the fact that he hadn't had lunch before midday! He started raising his voice and ranting for ages. In between the ranting I asked him to stop shouting and swearing at me and asked why he was acting like this. He then ranted about how he wasn't shouting etc. I said that he was (he was raising his voice aggressively), and asked him to stop. He then got really angry and started properly roaring at me, swearing, saying stuff like, "Do you want a f** slap?" "THIS is shouting, I didn't make you cry before so I can't have been shouting!" After he had calmed down he stuck by what he did, and said that it was my fault and I deserved it as I had wound him up, and if I had provoked anyone else like that I would have got punched.

Obviously I'm not perfect (and wasn't blameless this morning) and do things that he doesn't like or that annoy him, but I still don't think it's acceptable to have to be shouted/sworn at - however annoying you are! Am I just being hyper-sensitive? My Dad did it a lot when I was younger, to me and (less often) my Mum.

So I think what I really want to know is, is shouting and swearing something that happens in all couples when the man (or the woman) gets annoyed - or is it something that shouldn't be put up with?

shakinstevenslovechild Sat 01-Mar-14 14:16:20

Occasional shouting - normal, occasional swearing - normal, threatening to slap your partner - abusive.

How often is he like this? Has he ever been physical towards you during one of his outbursts?

magimedi Sat 01-Mar-14 14:16:27

100% that sort of behaviour should not be put up with.

He is behaving like a two year old having a tantrum

If my DH asked me if I wanted 'a fucking slap' that would be the end of the relationship for me.

Pippilangstrompe Sat 01-Mar-14 14:18:05

No, you should absolutely not put up with this. This is not acceptable in any way.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sat 01-Mar-14 14:19:46

DH & I haven't sworn at each other yet (married 15 years). Raised voices maybe two or three times a year.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sat 01-Mar-14 14:22:08

The sort of behaviour you are describing is not normal in an adult, unless there is brain injury, special needs or mental illness.

FriendlyLadybird Sat 01-Mar-14 14:22:28

Not normal in my marriage. Shouting, yes, on the rare occasions we have a full-blown row (but I can't actually remember the last time). Swearing occasionally in front of me, such as last night when he banged his knee on the corner of the bed, yes, but never at me. NEVER even mentioned the possibility of hitting me. I don't remember my father even raising his voice.

So, no, I don't think it either normal or acceptable.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sat 01-Mar-14 14:23:24

He is responsible for his own behaviour, and blaming his reaction on anything you are doing or saying is just ridiculous.

Puttheshelvesup Sat 01-Mar-14 14:23:40

No way is that normal or acceptable, and he threatened you with violence to top it off. If he doesn't like what you are doing/saying he can choose to remove himself from your company, instead he chooses to shout and swear. How he chooses to respond to you is never your fault, whatever he may say.

Only in labour.

Pumpkinpositive Sat 01-Mar-14 14:25:50

said that it was my fault and I deserved it as I had wound him up, and if I had provoked anyone else like that I would have got punched.

He's just so restrained, isn't he? Patience of a saint. Was he expecting a thank you for not rising to the "bait"? hmm

MrsGoslingWannabe Sat 01-Mar-14 14:30:37

Sounds like he needs to eat breakfast so he doesn't have a tantrum.

BrownSauceSandwich Sat 01-Mar-14 14:30:41

OH and have occasional (maybe once a year) shouting matches, which tend to involve swearing. Neither one of us has ever threatened physical violence. We have never aimed to make the other cry. You seem to be brushing over the most disturbing aspects of this exchange. Like magi, if my husband asked if I wanted a fucking slap, I would not be hanging around for the follow-up.

FriendlyLadybird Sat 01-Mar-14 14:31:18

I have to say that my DH can get grumpy and a bit irrational when hungry. However, we do know this and I will sometimes silently pass him a banana. He eats it, his temper improves, and he apologises.

Thinking kindly, was it the hunger making your partner especially grumpy? Still doesn't make what he said remotely acceptable though.

Nomama Sat 01-Mar-14 14:31:20

Or he was hungry, had low sugar levels and felt like a bag of shite and you just carried on cleaning..... and then talking to him like he was a four year old and he lost it!

People do. He was restrained, he was verbal not physical. He explained that talking to a stranger like that would get you a slap - he may be right!

He didn't get out of the car cos he was heading for food and work and you were.... tidying!

Perspective may be required. If he is always like that then you may need a rethink. But a one off when he told you why he wanted to leave at that time and you ignored him for a tidy up????

Maybe not!

And threebeeonegee - really? Do you really think that people with perfectly untraumatised brains don't get un/reasonably angry sometimes? I'd like to live in your world!

Pumpkinpositive Sat 01-Mar-14 14:34:55

He explained that talking to a stranger like that would get you a slap - he may be right!

He didn't say a stranger. He said "anyone else". Really? I wouldn't have slapped her, would you? hmm

Nomama Sat 01-Mar-14 14:39:25

No. Nor did he!

But someone else might have.

I'm not excusing him, it sounds horrid. But maybe, just maybe, he was not coping with low sugar levels, was anxious about getting to work, was irritated that tidying up had the temerity to continue once he was ready to go.

Maybe he feels like shit for shouting. OP will know if he is total prat or not. She has every right to be upset. He thought he did, at the time, obviously!

Perspective....

snowycakes Sat 01-Mar-14 14:40:02

The raising voice (he would say not shouting), ranting aggressively and sometimes swearing he does fairly often (e.g. a couple of times a month) if something I say winds him up. But the proper shouting like today is hardly ever, more like once a year. He's never been physically violent towards me and doesn't scare me.

The thing is, we get on fine most of the time and he can be really lovely, which makes me unsure whether this is a major problem or not. And I do know couples who most of the time have really good relationships where shouting and swearing at each other is a normal way of arguing, and neither of them seem that upset by it. Which is why I'm wondering if I'm being over-sensitive.

The thing that gets to me most is that he'll be ranting to me about something (like someone having a childish tantrum, as a previous poster said), and if I just take it then it's fine. But if I challenge him on it and don't put up with it, then it turns into either into him sulking and ignoring me (mostly), or a massive row, which I don't want.

Thanks for all the responses so far.

Backinthering Sat 01-Mar-14 14:43:07

Nomama maybe if he'd done some cleaning they could have gone for food earlier? Just a thought! Am a bit shocked by your post and what must pasd for acceptable in your world.

LingDiLong Sat 01-Mar-14 14:45:18

There is no 'perspective' to screaming, swearing and threatening to slap someone. Jesus wept. He had 'low sugar levels'?? Oh please. I've been starving hungry plenty of times in my life and I'm yet to verbally abuse anyone because of it.

How can anyone justify this kind of behaviour? I don't understand and I never will. OP, you don't have to put up with this kind of shit. Screaming abuse has no place in any healthy, loving relationship. Run, run for the hills before you end up bringing kids into this.

Pumpkinpositive Sat 01-Mar-14 14:45:26

was irritated that tidying up had the temerity to continue once he was ready to go

Yes, how dare she not desist from what she's doing the very instant he says so?? hmm

OP, do you have kids with your partner?

ThreeBeeOneGee Sat 01-Mar-14 14:46:13

Do you really think that people with perfectly untraumatised brains don't get un/reasonably angry sometimes? I'd like to live in your world!

Everyone gets angry. But to express your anger by shouting, swearing and threatening violence? My husband doesn't do this, my friends don't do this and neither do I. We have communication skills.

I have seen adults behave in this way (I used to work in the NHS) but they were usually drunk, or had had a brain tumour, or had a personality disorder or mental illness; their functioning was compromised somehow.

Nomama Sat 01-Mar-14 14:46:33

So he does it semi regularly? I wonder, is there a trigger, is he always hungry or stressed? There may be a physical trigger - which would make it easy to work out smile

But, to answer your question, we have loud, shouty rants. I am usually the loudest. Neither of us are good at sulking and we always go to bed all made up, no grudges harboured. It is possible to have a long term relationship, happily, with shouty rants. We are about to celebrate 25 years of what we would both describe as a very happy marriage.

You'll probably need to have at least one more shouty rant to discuss it so you both know what the other thinks. Good luck working your way through it.

snowycakes Sat 01-Mar-14 14:46:43

X-post - Nomama thanks for another perspective - I do want to hear a range of views so I can decide whether it's something I need to do something about or not. And you're right, I do talk to him like a four year old sometimes when he's acting like one which would make anyone annoyed!

Nomama Sat 01-Mar-14 14:48:24

Oh! I see, lack of emoticons and the use of 'temerity' and the word perspective didn't alert anyone to the fact I was trying to be helpful rather than just flying off into DTB world???

I am still shocked that some people seriously don't think it is normal for adults to get bad tempered. Stepford is all around, maybe!

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