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To be frightened of my husband simply because of the contempt in his voice?

(38 Posts)
ConchettaFeta Mon 02-May-16 21:22:13

It makes me go weak and just want to run.
It was about something v small, texting during a tv show when he said he didn't mind and that an earlier tongue lashing for doing that had been teasing. I just went straight to bed (separate). He is the ever patient husband in front of friends and family and I am the exhausted, slightly controlling, slightly paranoid one. It's not so much the volume of his attacks ( not quite shouting) but the contempt and the drilling relentlessness of the way he tells me what I have done wrong. I have been trying really hard to keep this marriage going as we have a toddler but I'm really struggling.

SleepyRoo Mon 02-May-16 21:24:27

YANBU. You sound afraid of him.

ConfusedNoMore Mon 02-May-16 21:26:49

Conchetta, that sounds horrendous. You can't keep a marriage going on your own. That contempt for you will be killing your self esteem.

I would ask to move this to relationships. Although you haven't written a long post, this rings big alarm bells for me: I was in a mentally abusive marriage but took a long time to figure out the truth. flowers

Onlyicanclean10 Mon 02-May-16 21:27:50

He tells you what you have done wrong?

Stupid fucker!

Get legal advice love. He's a knob

Alexa444 Mon 02-May-16 21:32:59

Hun, you need to get out. Your OH is the one person you should always feel safe around and if you don't that should set alarm bells ringing.

Shakirasma Mon 02-May-16 21:33:51

You are an adult woman, his equal. It is very wrong for him to be speaking to you in that way and it is not normal for a person to feel frightened of their spouse.

It is also not possible for a victim to change their abuser's behaviour by trying hard. And yes, intimidation, control and domination is abuse.

ConchettaFeta Mon 02-May-16 21:35:02

Thanks. He's great on paper so to speak, great to friends and family members, says lovely things to me about what a good mum I am and always tells me I am beautiful but loses his temper quickly ( verbally) with me, is impatient with me if I am
Indecisive or if I try to plan our time too much. He is from a shouty family and culture but it's more the nastiness on his voice and eyes that floors me.

witsender Mon 02-May-16 21:35:44

Out out out.

minifingerz Mon 02-May-16 21:35:49


From the article:

"University of Washington Psychologist John Gottman says he can predict with 95% accuracy whether a marriage will end in divorce within 15 years by microanalyzing a videotape of the pair talking for an hour. His secret is paying attention to the number of times in the conversation the couples participate in what he calls the Four Horsemen:

* Defensiveness: A response like "It's not my fault, it's your fault!" to a real or imagined attack.

* Stonewalling: The silent treatment. This seems to be more common in men than women.

* Criticism: Labeling a partner with a negative trait, such as "You're selfish."

* Contempt: Labeling a partner with a negative trait as if the blamed person is inferior and the criticizer is superior. Contempt is often shown through body language: tone of voice, facial expressions, and body movement. Just a roll of the eyes can signal that someone considers themselves above you.

The fourth danger sign, contempt, is the greatest predictor of divorce. It's the single most important sign that the marriage is in trouble. In fact, Gottman reports that having your significant other hold you in disgust is so stressful that it can have a negative effect on your immune system. "

ConchettaFeta Mon 02-May-16 21:40:09

Yes Gottman is right...

ConchettaFeta Mon 02-May-16 21:41:22

The thought of having to deal with him as an ex husband really worries me.

RainbowJack Mon 02-May-16 21:43:44

Stop using your toddler as an excuse, and leave.

Do you want your toddler growing up thinking this is how you behave? How you treat people?

Theydontknowweknowtheyknow Mon 02-May-16 21:51:12

My ex was like this. He would be fine and then get this cold hard tone to his voice which would send shivers down my spine. Sometimes he would blow up over nothing then get over it whilst I was still reeling then blame me for dwelling on it.

He would tell me what was wrong with my behaviour but refuse to let me go. It felt like a verbal torture.

mineofuselessinformation Mon 02-May-16 21:54:53

That's harsh, Rainbow.
OP, to answer your question, I hadn't realised how much I was afraid of making a man angry with me until a few years after my divorce.
It happened in a perfectly reasonable situation - I had made a mistake and the man in question pointed it out very sensitively - yet I spent the rest of the day battling tears and ended up crying on the way home. It was only then I realised how badly I was affected by it.
Only you can decide how serious this is, and whether you want to stay in your marriage, but ultimately if you are in fear of this, my advice is to get out.

ConchettaFeta Mon 02-May-16 21:55:13

That's it Theydont know. I am so physically tense after it i can't sleep and he will be fine and yes be cross if I don't get over it.

Confusednomore Mon 02-May-16 22:04:36

My ex would be very cruel then get angry when he'd made me cry in front of our new baby. Would even then tell me not to get upset in front of the baby and remove him from me. Minutes later he'd act as if nothing happened. All part of the game. an ex he's pretty awful. As a husband ..much worse. X

5608Carrie Mon 02-May-16 22:10:21

I would really worry that this is an emotionally abusive marriage. Don't underestimate the effect of emotional abuse.

It might be worth asking for this to be moved to Relationships.

TheReferoo Mon 02-May-16 22:10:27

My husband is exactly like you've described. He can be so lovely but his contempt is destroying me and our marriage and he doesn't even realise it. It breaks my heart as I do believe he does love me but it's so polar opposite to how I would treat anyone, let alone someone I love, I just can't help but be chipped away by it every time it happens. This is hard to post as most of the time I try to pretend it's not really happening but your post struck a chord. Sometime he apologies and sometimes he tries to jolly me out of it and pretend it was no big deal but to me it is a huge deal. I'm too scared to talk to him about it most of the time as it mostly turns into a 'yes I talk to you badly and need to change but this is what pisses me off' conversation and yet sometimes he acknowledges it himself and says he wants to change. But he doesn't. We have 3dc and it only really got like this once we had kids and we were together 13 years before we had them. He had a sharp tongue but noting like this. Sorry I'm wittering. I have no answers but just to say you aren't the only one.

StitchWitch Mon 02-May-16 22:39:43

My ex used to talk to me like I was shit on his shoe. He still has his moments as an ex, but they're few and far between and, crucially, he no longer lives here. Mostly, my home is a peaceful, respectful place.

AdjustableWench Mon 02-May-16 23:53:25

That's how it started with my ex. It progressed to daily screaming fits, and by the time I left I was walking on eggshells all the time. Of course, he told me it was all my fault.

A man who treats you with contempt does not respect you. Therefore he does not love you. He's also gaslighting you - making you think you're crazy.

I left when I realised that I didn't want my children to grow up thinking it was an acceptable or normal way of relating to a partner.

You need to leave too. It might take you a while to get there, but you already know, deep down, that you need to leave.

Theladyloriana Tue 03-May-16 00:02:09

I'm so sorry you are going through this flowers

No it's not normal, no it's not your fault and no, whatever you do, however you bend and listen and apologise it won't change.

It is emotional abuse. It is abuse of your emotional reality. It is a betrayal of trust. And it is disrespectful of your boundaries and your person hood. It is not OK. It is not excusable or understandable because of upbringing. He is choosing to behave like this.

Please don't live your precious, wonderful, beautiful life in fear, you deserve peace, respect, care and safety. flowers

Theladyloriana Tue 03-May-16 00:04:12

The referoo - keep posting on mn, keep believing in yourself and keep listening to things that strike a chord. flowers

Theladyloriana Tue 03-May-16 00:06:01

Please contact women's aid and look up the freedom programme and remember that the only amount of abuse acceptable in a relationship is zero. Unmumsnetty hugs xxx

DancingDinosaur Tue 03-May-16 00:06:03

Have you got any rl support op? It sounds to me like you need to get out. This is no good for you or your confidence.

Theladyloriana Tue 03-May-16 00:09:02

Last post... not living with a man who spoke to me with utter contempt has only improved my quality of life immeasurable ly, as well as my physical health. Much better as an ex, it's such a relief to shut the door and be safe.

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