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to think DH has crossed a line?

(61 Posts)
YaldyGal Wed 29-Jul-15 12:07:50

Some background first:
DS is twenty months old and after he was born I struggled with (probably mild, although it didn’t feel like that at the time) post-natal anxiety. I sought treatment and I think I was back to my old self by about the time DS was five months old. During this time, DH was an absolute star, working and taking care of both me and DS. The reason I am sharing this background is that I wonder if it has any impact on the way DH is behaving now, like maybe it took a greater toll on him than either of us realised.

Cut to now, and the behaviour of my DH just seems to be getting progressively worse and worse over the past few months. He seems stressed and angry a lot of the time, and will lash out at me without warning (just verbally, not physically). He loves DS very much and is very good with him but he can also find spending time with him stressful because DH is a worrier, and so when he feels anxious he can be (imo) a bit sharp or huffy with DS. This is not all the time, it’s just every now and then a situation will occur where he gets really wound up at something which I see as quite minor (DS getting food in his hair or refusing to put shoes on when we need to go somewhere, for example.) When these situations occur I often to bite my tongue because usually me trying to tackle the situation head on only exacerbates it, whereas if I ignore it he usually calms himself down. (I sometimes will then talk to him later about it when things are more calm, if I think it was something that needs addressing.)

However, last night I feel like he crossed a line with his behaviour, but I might be over-sensitive to all this so I want to know whether you think I’m over-reacting or if you would be upset about it too. DH was giving DS his bath (DH gets stressed because DS likes to stand up and walk about and then slips all over the place). I was in the next room and suddenly heard him say “DS, for FUCK’s sake” directly to him. He really hissed it at DS, not like in a jokey way. DS was crying and it turned out that he had managed to headbutt DH’s chin in the midst of him wriggling in the tub. So I appreciate that DH was hurt, but so was DS and he is too young to understand how awkward he was being in the run up to the incident.

I went through and got DS out of the bath and away from DH. I wasn’t worried that he would actually hurt him or anything, but I was worried that they would both keep on winding each other up. Later on DH seemed very remorseful about it. He did try to excuse it as ‘instinct’ though, that he hadn’t been able to control his reaction at the time. I responded that I had managed to keep my initial reaction in check, which was to run in and lamp him for talking to DS that way, tbh. AIBU for thinking that he crossed a line by speaking in this way to DS, or am I just hyper-sensitive because his behaviour generally has been winding me up? I’ve never posted on MN before but I’m genuinely perplexed and I don’t want to potentially over-react to something minor.

Pagwatch Wed 29-Jul-15 12:18:48

If I have been head butted in the chin I am pretty sure I will have said FFS at the child that did it .

I think the bigger issue is getting him to the gp for his other behaviours - stress, anxiety, whatever is making him over react.

Spartans Wed 29-Jul-15 12:23:15

Personally I think Yabu. It's not great to swear around kids but sometimes it just slips out.

Ds once punched me and I said 'fuck that hurt' of dh told me he wanted to lamp me for saying it, he would have got told to fuck off.

It slipped out, he is remorseful.

He needs to sort out his stress for teh sake of all of you. But on this one instance I would say to cut him a bit of slack.

RealityCheque Wed 29-Jul-15 12:23:33

What Pagwatch said. The "fuck sake" incident is a bit, meh.

MrsGentlyBenevolent Wed 29-Jul-15 12:24:04

I would have sworn as well most likely.

Is there any chance he may also be suffering post-natal anxiety?

Cocolepew Wed 29-Jul-15 12:25:01

Im the same, I have swore when hurt by the DCs, its just instinct , Im sweary anyway.
I would ask DH to go to his gp, he sounds a bit stressed/depressed.

RagstheInvincible Wed 29-Jul-15 12:25:42

Only people with a strong degree of self control can restrain their language when suddenly struck and in pain. I think what your DH did was acceptable in the circumstances. Being headbutted like that must have come as a shock and hurt like anything.

It's not as though he said those words in anger during an argument.

Gruntfuttock Wed 29-Jul-15 12:26:43

I think you should let it go, OP. Your DH is human, YABU to expect perfect behaviour all the time. No one's perfect. Your son was unharmed.

SaucyJack Wed 29-Jul-15 12:27:16

I think YABU.

He swore out loud. People do.

If he'd even sworn at your son (as in calling him a name) it'd be different.

LamppostInWinter Wed 29-Jul-15 12:28:40

I think YABU. I probably would have had a similar reaction if I'd been head butted, I think his response that it was instinctive is fair enough.

It does sound like DH may need a bit of extra support with his stress and anxiety rather than just being dismissed as a worrier.

HoggleHoggle Wed 29-Jul-15 12:29:13

I think neither are in the wrong, really. It must have been bloody horrible to hear that situation between your dh and ds. But at the same time it really is hard when your dc hurts you. Just an hour ago ds was refusing to to have his nappy changed and was biting, scratching and pinching me. I had to work really, really hard to keep my gut reaction in check - frankly it wouldn't have been that different to your dh. I hate myself for having that feeling but at the same time when someone hurts you, even your own child who you adore, it really can make you very cross.

Now that this has happened I suggest your dh learns some coping strategies to avoid it happening again. I leave the room if it's safe to do so, or count to ten. Just something to defuse a situation and give myself a moment to remember that I'm dealing with a child!

For what it's worth I don't think this has anything to do with your previous pnd. Not everyone copes well with tantrums etc and it sounds like your dh is figuring out that he's maybe one of these - so he needs to have a think about it as it's not something that can happen regularly with every little thing.

AliceAlice1979 Wed 29-Jul-15 12:29:48

If this crosses a line i would be in trouble. I think the bath incident is in itself not crossing a line. You sound like a saint btw. Maybe your DH does need help with other stuff but based on this example YABU.

Aoifebell Wed 29-Jul-15 12:31:17

Unless your DH is 5 im failing to see how a not even 2 yo can

Aoifebell Wed 29-Jul-15 12:31:40

Wind him up?

Bubblesinthesummer Wed 29-Jul-15 12:32:42

Sorry but YABU. Being head butted in the chin really hurts thank for that dear niece you would need to be a saint to not say anything.

Oobis Wed 29-Jul-15 12:33:43

I think perhaps you ANBU. DH has had plenty of time to come up with non sweary swear words and from what you say, this is symptomatic of some other stress type problems he may have. Equally, he probably feels really bad about it, so whatever you say or do needs to be done and said carefully and in a positive way. No one is 100% relaxed and chilled with their children all of the time and I'm sure all parents are ashamed of their reactions sometimes in the cold light of day but if he needs to sort himself out stress wise, this is probably a big hint that the time is right.
I've recently been through similar with my DH. Regular gym sessions and avoiding beer have helped massively.
All the best

Aoifebell Wed 29-Jul-15 12:33:45

Sorry my bloody child is grabbing my phone.

I sort of agree with you about the swearing I manage to keep it in. It just seems he's constantly wound up so anything little thing sets him off. Agree with PP get him to a doctor, there's obviously an underlying problem

Writerwannabe83 Wed 29-Jul-15 12:34:17

I know I have said FFS in my child's direction a few times..... grin

KurriKurri Wed 29-Jul-15 12:35:49

Yeah being suddenly hurt will make people swear when perhaps they shouldn't - that's not a big deal in my opinion.

On the wider issue - it sounds as if your DP is finding looking after a toddler very stressful and struggling with the everyday nonsense that is perfectly normal for toddlers. I think he needs some help on how to cope with small children to make life easier and more enjoyable for himself and all of you. It sounds as if he is all at sea with it and the inability to know what to do with toddlerness is making him stressed.

Some people are better at different stages of childhood - some people find small babies hard, or teenagers or toddlers - whatever - no one is a perfect parent for every stage of development.

I think the difficulty with toddlers is that they are mobile, becoming verbal, can do quite a lot, and people start to expect a lot more of them in terms of behaviour than they are developmentally capable of - sometimes actually finding out what children can manage at different stages can be helpful.

But I do think a calm discussion and working out strategies between you of how to handle different situations (like refusing to put shoes on etc.) would be good- so you are both singing form the same hymn sheet and can back each other up and support each other when your toddler is being difficult in the way that only toddlers can !! smile

Mulligrubs Wed 29-Jul-15 12:37:24

I don't think the "FFS" incident is that bad. Getting headbutted by a small child really hurts. Shouting out is involuntary when you've been hurt. I have shouted the exact same at my DS after being headbutted in the eye. I really really shouted loudly. I felt shitty afterwards, but I had been injured. If my DP said to me afterwards "you've crossed a line" I'd have been even more upset.

Mulligrubs Wed 29-Jul-15 12:37:46

My DS is the same age as yours btw

wigglesrock Wed 29-Jul-15 12:37:52

My youngest was climbing over me and her head thwacked my cheek bone, pain was excruciating, I couldn't see for about 2 mins - I think for fucks sake was the exact wording I used.

Lovelydiscusfish Wed 29-Jul-15 12:38:07

I agree with others, the swearing when head butted I would no think too much of. Your reaction to it, of wanting to rush in and lamp him, I think you need to take notice of, as it indicates to me that there are strong feelings of frustration and resentment (which may well be understandable) towards him on your part. My reaction,if this happened, would have been to check dh was ok and hadn't bitten his tongue too badly, or anything!
It does sound like your dh is getting stressed over minor things (food in hair etc), and this I can see is in turn stressful for you. Do you think he is suffering from anxiety, as pp's have suggested, or do you think this is just the way he has always been, but it perhaps wasn't as obvious before you had a child together.

sliceofsoup Wed 29-Jul-15 12:40:08

I wouldn't be at all comfortable with a toddler walking around in the bath and slipping etc. Mine were never allowed to do that at all.

As for the swearing, maybe for some people that may be too much, but for me, no. Swearing isn't great, but then neither is being headbutted in the chin.

As for all the other stuff, does your DH realise he has issues with his mood, stress levels etc? Toddlers can be very very wearing. But he does need to try to get some help with that.

CamelHump Wed 29-Jul-15 12:41:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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