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to say saying 'I told you so' can never end well?

(10 Posts)
unlucky83 Wed 04-Nov-15 12:47:58

DP have had a massive argument...currently not speaking ...and I am fuming.
Basically it is parenting a teen DD with ADHD who can be incredibly difficult, stubborn.
DP and I have had disagreements about it before - he thinks we should be really strict and take a hard line whereas I think it is better making her want to do things for herself, rather than try and force her.
Anyway we left it that we would do it my way for now ..(he did say if it wasn't working he would take over - twat).
(Just been to a support group thing -that he didn't bother going to -and my approach was more or less what was recommended - pick your battles, avoid unnecessary confrontations - try to work with them)
A couple of weeks ago we got her report and it was quite good - and he said hmm maybe your way is working....but then we have just found out she hasn't been doing all her homework and is a little behind.
To cut a long story short a couple of years ago she had a desk and DP tried to make her sit at it - became a battle - she refused to use it. You could force her to sit at it it - but she just didn't do any work.
As part of the homework fall out she has agreed to trying to use one again, to see if that helps her - I wanted to get (not the contentious) one up in her room before she got back from school.
DP was asleep and then at work (early shift) so I hadn't spoken to him about it. As soon as he got home from work I asked him to help me get it out of the attic ....planning on telling him what had been said etc whilst I put it together (and warning him not to mention the other desk or to make a fuss about this one)
I wasn't in the best of moods anyway - then I saw two things in the attic that that pissed me off - one he'd put something on top of something that has a huge label on it saying 'Don't put anything on top' and the other it seems the woodworm has spread into there - which will be an absolute nightmare to sort out sad .
Whilst I was handing the stuff down he started on 'I told you so' 'we should have carried on making her sit at that desk' etc etc.
I was biting my tongue - then he started on about getting children used to things and swimming and babies (another issue - did baby swimming and then a whole raft of other lessons with DD1 and came to the conclusion they were mostly a waste of time and money - DD2 has never had a lesson, can swim but badly and is on the waiting list for one to one -which I think is a better plan).
Anyway I'm afraid I lost my temper - and told him he was talking complete bollocks...which didn't go down well ...
So AIBU to think saying 'I was right - I told you so' can never be a good idea - is just the opposite of being constructive? Totally infuriating (and worse when they are actually wrong anyway).
(I will concede that telling someone they are talking complete bollocks isn't very constructive either blush)

Mrscog Wed 04-Nov-15 13:28:54

No, 'I told you so' is not very endearing or useful. Surely, ' this was my concern, but how shall we move forward' is better, but still not valid in this case as like you say he's not actually right!

unlucky83 Wed 04-Nov-15 14:12:46

Thank you - I was thinking about it and I thought well he didn't know about the conversation etc etc - so he could have been right but actually what he said was never going to help in any way anyway ....
I think also I am angry that the way he was talking - and in fact with the whole 'we will do it your way until ....' seems to suggest that he would be happy for DD to 'fail' as long as he was proved right ...which I am sure isn't how he really feels (just he can be very competitive ...has to win - struggled to let the DCs 'win' at eg snap when they were tiny hmm )

jacks11 Wed 04-Nov-15 14:19:20

You are right "I told you so" does not help many situations. He shouldn't have said it.

That said, you haven't been exactly helpful either (as you've admitted)- telling someone they are talking bollocks isn't really likely to pull him round to your way of thinking either. Losing your temper is also unlikely to help.

I also think the mentality of "my way" vs "his way" (with the conclusion- quite possibly correctly- that your way is by far the better and all/most of his thoughts/feelings on the subject are incorrect/"bollocks") is probably not helping much- it is an almost constant "I told you so" to him, IYSWIM.

It's sort of an adversarial approach, which pits one "side" against another. I could be wrong, and it's just the way it's been written/the way I'm reading it- but you do sound quite dismissive of his approach (with reasons, I understand that). As you don't like it when he says "I told you so" to you- I think you can bet he doesn't appreciate it either. I think, in this instance, you are both in the wrong. Although in the wider scheme of things, your DH should be taking on board what is working and going with that, and also taking suggestions from support groups and professionals.

I'm not minimising how hard it can be managing a child with your DDs difficulties, especially when one parents way of managing things isn't helping. I'm not saying your DH is right in his approach- if "your way" of dealing with things is getting positive results it would seem your way is indeed the better way to do things. I am just trying to suggest that this adversarial way of thinking about whose approach is the "right" approach probably isn't helping much either.

Lastly, I think you are both under quite a lot of pressure, things are hard- I'm not surprised tempers are short. Be kind to each other if you can (easier said than done, I know).

jacks11 Wed 04-Nov-15 14:44:07

I think also I am angry that the way he was talking - and in fact with the whole 'we will do it your way until ....' seems to suggest that he would be happy for DD to 'fail' as long as he was proved right

Anyway we left it that we would do it my way for now ..(he did say if it wasn't working he would take over - twat)

Can you see though that your approach to him is almost the same as his to you?

I think this reflects the "my way" vs "his way" approach. You each took sides and it was not really a collaborative thing in any way. He agreed to try your way, but doesn't really believe in it so has agreed to try "until" it is proven not to work. I imagine he doesn't want her to fail at all, just really did not believe your approach would be effective. Now he is having to admit it is working, he probably feels like he was having to admit he was completely wrong which is hard, so he was holding on to the one thing he may have got "right".

That doesn't excuse him saying "I told you so"- it wasn't helpful.

BlueJug Wed 04-Nov-15 15:07:16

As PPs have said -you are dismissing his views.

I have a similar problem with DS and have wasted so much money and time. Basically "pissing in the wind". My DP's approach is to wash his hands of the situation. I tried to get his input on a school and his view was that he didn't think anything would work. Helpful!

You are lucky your DP cares but the A v B approach won't work anymore than the A v nothing approach is working for me.

Good luck - not easy.

Enjolrass Wed 04-Nov-15 15:15:49

Honestly you both sound unreasonable.

But it's kind of understandable. You are definitely in a mentality where it's you vs him.

And it's both of you.

AlwaysHope1 Wed 04-Nov-15 15:17:56

But you treated him the same way? I agree it's not helpful to hear it but for the person who actually had a good point and was dismissed it must have been annoying.

Enjolrass Wed 04-Nov-15 15:18:00

Sorry forgot to say 'I told you so' usually isn't the best thing to say.

But then you admit you were shitty too.

Think you both need to sit down together. Discuss both concerns, and way to move forward together. All of you.

unlucky83 Wed 04-Nov-15 17:53:57

You'll be pleased to know we have had a chat and both agreed that it wasn't the most constructive way of going around things...(and we both apologised).
The problem is we do both have opposing views on it...and that does make it difficult.
It is 'my way' because for years he wasn't around much (worked extremely long hours) and I had to deal with her on my own and I found ways of managing things.
He does struggle - he was brought up strictly (as was I) so it is hard to get your head round the laid back (hippy as he calls it) approach.
But I've learned the hard way that it is the best way - although I don't think he really believes I have tried being 'strict' and found it just made us all miserable (and the laid back approach was backed up at the support group)
And she is doing ok - far from perfect but OK.
He really should have come to the group ... I think I'll see if there is another one and see if he can go...then he can see it isn't just me being 'too easy on her'...

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