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Am I being unreasonable or is this verbal abuse?

(86 Posts)
Bunnysoprano Mon 29-Jun-09 21:41:04

DP and I both have quite short tempers. However, I would say that I am a better "arguer" than him in that I dont usually resort to name calling etc as it is something that I really do not like. DP quite recently has taken to calling me a "bastard" and a "lazy bastard" and a "selfish bastard" during arguments which I find very upsetting - for some reason the word really upsets me.

DP works fairly regular hours whilst I dont. He usually gets home about 6 and I get home about half seven. I usually cook dinner which I dont mind but am feeling really exhausted today. DP will do a little cleaning up when he comes in but not much - ie he will perhaps half wash his lunch box but would never empty the dishwasher - I have to do that whilst cooking etc.

When I came in this evening, DP was faffing about saying that he had got a letter from his professional body and had to send them 5 years worth of CPD records. He said that he had 14 days to do it and had 99% of the info but was looking for one certificate, I think. That being the case, no half tidying up had been done. I came in to the kitchen to find breakfast bowls shoved in the sink in the cold, dirty water that last night's roasting pan was soaking in.

I asked him if he would be able to help me clean up while I cooked as I was exhausted and wanted the decks clear for cooking. He said that he had to finish the CPD but would help after. I was a bit pissed off but didnt say anything, cleaned up the kitchen and cooked his dinner. I then called him for dinner and said (half jokingly.....OK, it was a dig) "But dont bother coming for the food if it would disrupt your CPD recording!". DP then exploded and called me a lazy bastard and said that I was being a dictator. I said that I wasn't but I really needed a little bit of help and couldn't he have given me 15 minutes of his time and then finshed the CPD? I also asked him not to call me a bastard. He responded by shouting at me again and calling me a bastard. His position is that essentially I MAKE him do that by my behaviour. My response to this is that he is not a child and has to take responsabilty for his own behaviour and no one should make him do anything.

I didn't say anything but walked upstairs and packed a bag to leave. I then drove around for an hour and a half or so wondering what to do. I originally planned to go to a hotel. However, my parents are coming on Thursday night and I knew that if I left the house would degenerate in to a total mess and DP would not do anything to prepare for them. Separately, it was my sister's wedding last week which was wonderful and they are so happy and pleased about that that the last thing I want to do is let them know that anything is wrong when they come to visit.

That being the case, I have now come home. DP had not bothered to clear the kitchen after dinner so I have spent the last half an hour tidying up.

I don't really know what to do. Am thinking of sleeping in an other room tonight but that will mean another change of sheets before my parents come. I am actually in tears at the moment thinking of them coming. I am the first person to admit that I can be difficult but I know that my parents would be horrified to know that my DP speak to me like this and I find it really upsetting too.

We're not married and I am wondering if I am just being over sensitive about this and should just put up with it. It really upsets me to think that we could have children in the future and they could hear DP calling me a bastard at the top of his voice.

Can you help me get some perspective on this and tell me if I am being unreasonable and all couples behave like this at one time or another - my parents don't act like this and neither did my previous long term partner (although he had his faults). There is clearly no way that my DP is going to apologise so I dont know what to do

RumourOfAHurricane Mon 29-Jun-09 21:46:02

Message withdrawn

pickyvic Mon 29-Jun-09 21:49:01

you are definitely not being over sensitive - no one has the right to call you names and belittle you.
why dont you postpone your parents visit. just for now and assess how you feel about things in a day or so?
its so easy to say id be packing his bags but if this is a regular thing i think i would be making plans to move on - is it regular? or a one off caused by stress?
whatever it is - you didnt deserve that. and i would point that out when youve all calmed down. then i would seriously assess what i wanted from a relationship.


Bunnysoprano Mon 29-Jun-09 21:50:21

Thanks for the message Shineon. I'm quite prepared to take all advice going on this one as I really don't know if I am over reacting or not.

Yes - 99% of the time we get on well. He could do more to help round the house without being asked (nagged) but generally we get on really well.

He is very stubborn though but so am I about this issue as I really do not like being spoken to like this. I am going to have a bath I think and then go to bed (ours) and see what he says when he comes upstairs

Bunnysoprano Mon 29-Jun-09 21:52:33

ps He is not violent at all and I have on a coupe of occasions called him a twat.

QuintessentialShadow Mon 29-Jun-09 21:52:49

Sounds like an argument. Having said that, I would be more concerned with the fact that you finnish work later than him and do the bulk of the housework.

Do you have children together?

pickyvic Mon 29-Jun-09 21:55:12

i think he has to learn to argue without resorting to calling you a bastard though. and i think he needs to hear it. are there any RL mates or family you could talk it through with who know you both?

chocolatestar Mon 29-Jun-09 21:55:12

I don't think you are being over sensitive. Being spoken to like that is awful. My DH will call me names and I am struggling to get him to understand that it is not ok to speak to me like that no matter how bad a mood he is in.

Bunnysoprano Mon 29-Jun-09 21:55:59

no children (sorry not actually a mum and an imposter but one of the girls at work said I would get really good advice on here).

Housework is an issue. We do have a cleaner. However, DP is not good at doing housework without being nagged to do so. Therefore I have fallen in to the trap of doing it myself as quicker etc. That is why being called a lazy bastard is very upsetting.

corriefan Mon 29-Jun-09 21:56:44

My dh calls me names and I get soooooo upset as well. I would also say that I'm the better arguer and so his response is to resort to abuse. I've thought about it a lot and it's basically verbal diarrhoea and an 'attack is the best form of defence' approach when they know really they have not pulled their weight. He doesn't mean it, it's just a forceful and not at all articulate way of saying 'leave me alone'. Just this weekend mine snapped at me and called me weird in front of my friends when we were camping for having a joke about who was putting kids to bed. I'd always managed to get a point across without swearing etc but since he doesn't manage that there have been times since when I've just let rip with insults and it can feel quite refreshing to give it back but really is probably not helpful! Try not to take it to heart if you can and do initiate a make up if you say sorry or that you hate falling out without covering the whys and wherefores again (as obvioulsy he wouldn't be able to defend his position sensibly) I'm sure he'll say he's sorry too.

PotPourri Mon 29-Jun-09 21:57:54

Not all couples behave like this. But it can happen and be sorted out. However, if you don't sort it, it will probably get worse. I would recommend working out what you are unhappy with, and what you are willing for hte outcome to be - i.e. if it came to it, would you be willing to break up, and would you move out or him. once you have that clear, then you need to talk to him and explain that you are not going to accept being called a Bxxx and that you want to understand why he is calling you lazy. Maybe he has good reasons and you can change something you do.

But stick to your guns on him blaming you for his bahaviour. Yes, it may make him mad and he behaves like that when he is mad. but it si still his behaviour.

And ask yourself really honestly -do you love him? Silly question maybe. But it is so easy to fear being alone, the embarassment and anguish of breaking up - and allow that to make you stay somewhere you should not be.

Hope you sort it out soon

slyandgobbo Mon 29-Jun-09 21:58:02

Just one thing I would say is that if you are already feeling oppressed by the division of labour round the house and he will not address it, it is likely to get much worse once you have kids.Also if he has this much trouble controlling his temper now, add baby stress and lack of sleep and hmmmm. I think he needs to agree there is a problem and start working to address it or he is not someone you wnat to have children with.

LovelyRitaMeterMaid Mon 29-Jun-09 21:58:24

I think it sounds like an argument.

DH and I probably had more arguments before DC were born. There was a time when he said on more than one occasion that I was "fucking things up". I found that really hurtful and at some time when we weren't arguing did talk to him about it and he stopped. He really hadn't realised how much it hurt me.

QuintessentialShadow Mon 29-Jun-09 21:59:18

You are not an imposter smile
I was just wondering if he were taking care of kids while you were cooking.

I think you need to get a more even balance of how you share your domestic chores. It is not ok for you to cook and be exhausted, while he is faffing about with his own issues. It is not YOUR chores only, they belong to both of you.

Has the name calling been going on for some time, or was it just today?

gerontius Mon 29-Jun-09 22:00:33

If you call him a twat sometimes, I think it's a little OTT to be thinking about leaving when he calls you a bastard. Everyone has fights, and if he's generally nice/loving/helpful, stick with it.

sleepymommy Mon 29-Jun-09 22:00:38

'I am the first person to admit that I can be difficult but I know that my parents would be horrified to know that my DP speak to me like this and I find it really upsetting too. '

I think you've answered your own question here. YES, it is verbal abuse. I agree that if it is a one off, then leaving him may not be the answer, but you must put a stop to it NOW.

You sound like a confident woman who knows her own mind, so tell him straight that you will not accept being called names. End of. Do not enter into a discussion about whose fault it is.

Point out to him that your parents would be would his, I'm sure. Ask him whether he would call you names in front of them.

If he cannot have an adult discussion without resorting to swearing and name calling then he shouldn't be in an adult relationship.

RumourOfAHurricane Mon 29-Jun-09 22:03:01

Message withdrawn

Schoolgirl Mon 29-Jun-09 22:03:35

Right - I don't normally do this at all but...

Get out now while you can. You say that you argue regularly and he obviously thinks that it's acceptable to call you names. He hasn't apologied. I presume during that hour and a half you were driving around he didn't call you to (a) find out how you were and (b) try to at least patch up the argument.

Why should you put up with it? I would think that if he was asked to do something at work, he wouldn't respond by calling them a lazy bastard. It sounds like you're stuck with the majority of household chores whilst he does shorter/more regular hours.

It's not just the fact that he used the word bastard. It's the fact that you asking him to contribute to cleaning and tidying is you being a dictator. Do you really think you should put up with this?

Imagine yourself ten years down the line with two children being spoken to that way. It's not pleasant - believe me, I know. The insults will get worse, the help will get less until you feel so worn down by it all that you wake up with a feeling of dread and go to sleep wishing you would never wake up.

Sorry to be doom and gloom but I do believe that a short sharp shock is in order. Even if it is what shineon says - a spat - then it should be nipped in the bud sharpish. You obviously felt strongly enough to consider spending a night away. My advice would be to spend a few nights away and give yourself the opportunity to live a normal life - one where it's not okay to call you names just because you're too tired to cook dinner and clean up. Then when you come back, you have a point of comparison and can make a considered decision.

QuintessentialShadow Mon 29-Jun-09 22:06:54

I wasnt going to say it, but I see schoolgirl has.....

Bunnysoprano Mon 29-Jun-09 22:07:43

Thanks all for the advice. Corriefan, your post really struck a cord with me. That is exactly what DP is like. Attack is always the best form of defence for him. 99% of the time, we will make up and discuss things later. However, I wish we didn't have to go through the shouting bit beforehand.

I do admit that I have occasionally called him a twat, however he has called me a bastard much more (how childish do I sound.....!). However, I have always apologised and do not do it in the course of a general argument - twice in three and half years is not a lot, I don't think.

On reflection, I don't think that it is the "bastard" issue that is so upsetting. It is being called "lazy" by someone who I don't see as actually pulling his weight in the house. The problem is that I can't really get him to much without nagging and I ALWAYS have to prompt him. I would like him to be much more pro-active

I have already said to him that I am worried what would happen when we have children. Maternity leave would be OK but what would happen when I go back to work? Who would get up in the night etc?

slyandgobbo Mon 29-Jun-09 22:11:26

I am swimmimg against the tide here but failing to help out enough with housework is not a small issue once you have children. And calling the person who does more housework "lazy" doesn't suggest he's going to acknowledge the problem and change...

RumourOfAHurricane Mon 29-Jun-09 22:12:47

Message withdrawn

slyandgobbo Mon 29-Jun-09 22:12:49

Do a search on a poster called droile - she brilliantly summed up what life is like with a person who just won't pull his own weight back in the Dark Ages of MN, like about 2003 / 2004...

slyandgobbo Mon 29-Jun-09 22:18:42

slyandgobbo Mon 29-Jun-09 22:19:06

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