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Dh just stormed out after yet another row

(36 Posts)
whysogrumpy Wed 29-Jun-11 20:01:36

It just feels like the relationship is falling apart and I am feeling increasingly that we are being really unfair to the dc by the way we are behaving, but we can't seem to stop.

The latest one was triggered by him saying he was going out for a drink at 6.30. When he says "a drink" he means "a drink" - he was back well within an hour having had one pint, as I knew he would be. However, we have been increasingly short of money - I earn a reasonably good salary in a professional job and that supports the 4 of us (we have 2 pre-school dc and dh has a medical condition that made me the obvious choice to be the bread-winner) but the money is just not stretching that far anymore. We can pay the bills but the last couple of months we have ended up living on credit for the last few days - it's not a huge deal but I just feel he shouldn't be going out and frittering away the odd fiver here and there.

He had wanted to go because our computer has broken and this had upset him as he'd got some paid work to do from home and now can't do it until the computer is fixed which could cost him the job. To me, that is more reason not to go to the pub and it just annoys me that his knee-jerk reaction is "I need a pint." (We have no booze at home, it would have been one pint only, but it's the attitude that annoys me.) I am so stressed every night and could murder a drink but I resist until the weekend, partly for financial reasons!

Like every row we have (and they're nearly daily) it turns into him shouting and swearing at me and saying how negative I am, how I'm mad, not normal and he can't stand to be around me anymore. Dc were in bed, but possibly awake. I should add that we have always had a stormy relationship that involved shouting matches but since the dc I have calmed this down and now feel I shouldn't shout back, so it has just turned into him shouting at me and me not really replying. I just feel intimidated and I don't know if he's right - am I abnormal to be upset about his actions tonight? (He has never hit me but has got 'in my face' and is a big man - I do feel scared sometimes.)

It feels like I cannot raise any issue without him flying off the handle and I am so exhausted by it now. Our 2yo still feeds off me all night, my job is stressful and I just don't need these arguments 3/4 times a week. I keep thinking we should split but I hate the thought and I also know financially it would ruin us - I am honestly too tired to know if I really love him enough to be married to him or whether it is just the dc and money that are keeping us together.

Tonight's was especially bad - he doesn't usually storm out so no idea what to expect next - if ds wakes up before he's back I don't think I can cope. He usually apologises after losing it but it always happens again. I do know I can be negative and moany but is it all my fault.

Sorry this is so long, thanks for reading.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Wed 29-Jun-11 20:08:56

The first half of your story sounds like understandable stress on all sides due to financial, medical and family pressures.

The second half is a bit more worrying, especially:

- It feels like I cannot raise any issue without him flying off the handle
- arguments 3/4 times a week
- I just feel intimidated... I do feel scared sometimes

Has the shouting always taken place in a context of high pressure, or was it there when circumstances were rosy too? (if they ever were)

whysogrumpy Wed 29-Jun-11 20:24:46

I don't know if the shouting has always been with good reason. I have always been very anxious and seem to find it very hard to relax and be happy. Therefore, all my relationships have been pretty volatile and this one was no exception - even before the pressures we are now under started. I do think I am good at causing rows over nothing but I have tried to address this and did think I had got better.

Dh now seems a lot less patient with me and just seems to blow up as soon as I open my mouth these days. Another example is that on Sunday we were having a bbq and I noticed a snail was on the oven-glove that had been left outside since the last one. I said in a perfectly normal voice, as an observation, "There's a snail on that," and he flew into a rage and said I was ruining the bbq, was so negative, not normal etc. Then he came in and put a greasy hand on the recently-decorated wall and I said, again in a normal voice - just to warn him as he painted the fucking wall and I didn't think he would want to mark it - "You're marking the wall," and that set him off even more.

Neighbours were in their garden and must have heard some of it, I tried to tell him I was not being critical, just telling him, but didn't want a slanging match in front of dc and neighbours so we ate in near silence. A horrible atmosphere for dc (they were in another part of the house when he shouted so not sure if they heard it but would certainly have picked up on the atmosphere.)

He later apologised but also manitained it was partly my fault - I honestly don't think I did anything wrong at all. It all seems so trivial but it is so exhausting having to deal with this shit all the time.

He is still not back - I don't know whether to phone him - though I'm not sure if he even took his phone.

pickgo Wed 29-Jun-11 20:43:32

Oh dear Whyso, these things do sound trivial... one pint (£2?), a snail, a greasy mark??

Have you thought of counselling to get to the route of your anxieties?

Do you do anything to consciously try and relax? Yoga, exercise, walking etc?

Perhaps your H's diminished patience comes from looking after the DCs f-t, which as we all know often takes every ounce of patience.

Bur his means of communication sound like they need a big reconsideration on his part. Shouting in your face and leaving you feel intimidated is not fair.

garlicnutter Wed 29-Jun-11 20:51:14

It's not trivial, it's horrible!

Added to what ItsMe highlighted above, there's this:

- him shouting and swearing at me
- saying how negative I am
- how I'm mad,
- not normal

Let's just get this out of the way. You are not mad. It's normal to be upset when somebody shouts at you, swears at you and intimidates you - isn't that the purpose of shouting, etc? To intimidate and make you feel upset? Pointing out a snail in the garden is not being negative.
You are none of the things he says.

When your DC observe the way he treats you, they are learning not to 'upset' their father, to be sacred of his noise, and that it's your job to take it.

Which leaves us with the question, why does he want to intimidate and upset you? Why does he think you'll just hang around and accept it?

Any clues?

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Wed 29-Jun-11 20:57:34

This also jumps out at me: He later apologised but also manitained it was partly my fault

aka "It's your fault, you made me angry", aka "I am not responsible for my own actions"

Are you really responsible for his behaviour, grumpyforadamngoodreason?

LovelyDaffs Wed 29-Jun-11 21:00:36

It sounds like you are suffering from the stress of your financial worries with a big dollop of sleep deprivation thrown in. Dh and I used to find ourselves in a competitive hard life cycle at times when our dcs were young, it skewed our outlook and responses to each other.

It's not that unreasonable to go for one pint, even if you are broke sometimes you have to give yourselves a little treat to help get through. We had some seriously broke years I did magazines and dh it'd be a pint. When life is hard you need to be kind to each other, not resentful.

If you can each respect that life is tough for each of you in different ways then you'll get through it. Do you get any time to do things without the dcs?

whysogrumpy Wed 29-Jun-11 21:03:01

When your DC observe the way he treats you, they are learning not to 'upset' their father, to be sacred of his noise, and that it's your job to take it. I honestly don't think this is the way the dc see their father. He is lovely to them and, if anything, it is me who has the least patience with them and tends to be the 'shouty' parent sad. I do realise, though, that this is awful for them to witness or overhear and I am really starting to worry what they are going to think of us when they are older - assuming they manage to come out relatively unscathed themselves.

I don't know that he wants to intimidate me and upset me. I don't want to sound like a victim but I can be overly negative and moany, as I said before. I just don't know who's really in the wrong.

It can't be right that I just don't feel I can raise things, can it?

He's still not back and his phone is off. Just feel helpless now. Don't know how it will be if and when he gets it.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Wed 29-Jun-11 21:05:13

OP, have you told your DH clearly that you are upset and sometimes scared by his outbursts?

If yes, how did he react?

garlicnutter Wed 29-Jun-11 21:06:22

Can you post an example of you being negative & moany, OP?

whysogrumpy Wed 29-Jun-11 21:12:44

He's knows I am upset because I often end up crying. In fact, I've just remembered that one day last week I ended up crying about something he'd said in front of the dc and he said really nastily, "Oh god you're crying again. Go on, cry on, go and find somewhere else to cry" etc etc. It was just horrible and I really hate the dc to hear this - he was kind of muttering it but they could have heard and, in any case, not nice that I am crying in front of them.

When we manage to talk about it calmly, he agrees that he should not say this kind of thing in front of them but, as I said, he seems to have no control anymore and always ends up doing it. Tbf, I have said stuff in front of them as well, kind of passive- aggressive stuff I suppose. We are shit parents sad

I should also say now that in the past I have lashed out at him physically (pre-dc) but if I ever mention feeling intimiadated he brings this up. It just sounds like a shit relationship, doesn't it? It does have its good points but, yes, we have so much pressure on us now and just seem to be turning on each other.

whysogrumpy Wed 29-Jun-11 21:20:53

An example of me being negative and moany would be when we ran out of money last month I was upset and tearful and kept saying "what are we going to do?" So not very constructive. He then snapped, "Yes your life's shit isn't it, why don't we all kill ourselves?"

I also worry sometimes (not in front of dc) about aspects of their development (I know I am being silly on this one) and sometimes, if I go on enough, he will say how they're obviously not good enough for me. I think he's right on this one - there is nothing wrong with them, far from it, but sometimes I just can't let go of anxieties that there might be.

I know he thinks that I am overly critical of the way he handles the dc and that I frequently make him feel he is not good enough. The snail and hand-mark examples were typical - he saw that as me blaming and criticising him (I am semi-phobic of snails).

Ormirian Wed 29-Jun-11 21:25:04

It sounds as if the financial stress is getting to you both. And neither of you are to blame exclusively.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Wed 29-Jun-11 21:28:27

It sounds like you're very unhappy, OP.

Rather than expect that he understands your feelings because you are crying, try this technique next time he rages:

1. Describe the behaviour in a non-judgemental way: "DH, you just [swore at me / said x / waved your finger in my face / ...]"
2. State how it makes you feel: "This makes me feel [scared / intimidated / upset / ...]"
3. Demand something that will make the behaviour cease: "[Remain civil with me / Lower your tone / Stop waving your finger in my face / ...]". Don't ask, don't say please, don't bargain: state what you need for the behaviour to cease.

It has to be done in the moment, which can be tricky, but at least you will be making it very clear how you feel and what you need, with no misunderstanding possible.

You have a right to your feelings. No-one can tell you that you are being "over-sensitive", for example. The way you are feeling is the way you are feeling, and hopefully he will be concerned enough about his DW's feelings to want to improve things for you through whatever simple action you request using the model above.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Wed 29-Jun-11 21:36:06

I'm also sad to see how much you blame yourself and are putting yourself down. That makes it easy for anyone else to blame you and put you down without you questioning it overmuch, when maybe you should.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Wed 29-Jun-11 21:43:43

You don't sound negative and moany to me, OP: you sound like an anxious person with low self-esteem, who has been told that she is negative and moany.

Anxiety and low self-esteem are not crimes, and they can be managed, by you, and treated with empathy, by him.

whysogrumpy Wed 29-Jun-11 21:48:59

Thank you. I feel bad for making him out to be horrible, I do have faults but I do wonder why he is so very angry with me lately.

I am getting really worried now - he is still not back and his phone is off. I just don't get how you can just abandon someone like that, he knows ds is likely to wake anytime from now and that I have had 2 very long days. Now I am just trapped here. I am so angry that he is being so selfish and thoughtless.

garlicnutter Wed 29-Jun-11 21:52:51

But your 'negative & moany' are just normal!

Anybody would get upset when they run out of money. I know I do; I wander round my own house, muttering "What shall I do?" - to myself! "Your life's shit" is a slightly bonkers reply, imo.

I have to confess I say "Oh dear, you'd better kill yourself now," when somebody's making a catastrophe out of something minor, but it's a joke, I'm not trying to put them down. (Well, maybe a little bit!)

All mothers worry about their children. You don't feel they aren't good enough for you, do you? So that's a horrid thing to say.

Trust me, you weren't being negative about the snail and the grease on the wall.

It'll be interesting to see what happens when you try ItsMe's assertive communication approach. Post back, will you? smile

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Wed 29-Jun-11 21:54:22

What did I just say about putting your own self down? wink You don't need to apologise or feel guilty about what you are expressing here. It is all true, including your feelings, and therefore it is valid.

Don't worry about him out tonight: it is highly unlikely that he is in any danger.

Do you think you can express to him constructively how angry you are at having been stormed out on? Will he listen to you?

inatrance Wed 29-Jun-11 23:48:14

I found that there were a few things about your post that stood out for me, that I thought to be quite worrying and cause for concern;

"shouting and swearing at me and saying how negative I am, how I'm mad, not normal and he can't stand to be around me anymore"

"now feel I shouldn't shout back, so it has just turned into him shouting at me and me not really replying. I just feel intimidated"

"has got 'in my face' and is a big man - I do feel scared sometimes"

"I cannot raise any issue without him flying off the handle"

"He usually apologises after losing it but it always happens again"

"apologised but also manitained it was partly my fault"

"I feel bad for making him out to be horrible," - First of all, you are not making him out to be horrible, HE IS being horrible!

"He's knows I am upset because I often end up crying. In fact, I've just remembered that one day last week I ended up crying about something he'd said in front of the dc and he said really nastily, "Oh god you're crying again. Go on, cry on, go and find somewhere else to cry" - This is NOT normal behaviour OP!!!

A normal, loving man would not say nasty things to you like this, particularly in front of your children and then continued hurting you once he had you in tears! No wonder you feel so anxious, and I bet you being 'negative' is telling him that he has upset you. His behaviour towards you when you were upset about money is not the behaviour of a loving partner.

"I don't know if the shouting has always been with good reason" - NO, NO, NO!! You do not 'make' him shout at you, he chooses to do so and this is not the way you treat someone you love. You are not a child, why on earth should you accept being shouted at??

OP you are NOT being negative and moany, it is normal to be upset by somebody being physically intimidating, shouting in your face and criticizing you. It is NOT normal to react in the way your dp did to either situation you describe. His behaviour is abusive and wrong. It is NEVER acceptable to make you feel afraid.

You say that you 'lashed out' at him in the past, why was this OP? What preceded you reaching that point? I suspect that he pushed you to a desperate place with his words and that at no point was he intimidated by you. That is NOT justification for his behaviour now and if you have told him how this upsets you and he continues to do it, this is again not the actions of a loving man but an abusive one.

It has also struck me how apologetic you are and that you are playing down what has happened to you and I bet that there is a lot else that you haven't told us. What has he been like in your worst arguments? How often have you felt afraid? You are not overreacting to this, he IS out of order and even if you were negative or moany (his words??) his behaviour is completely unacceptable.

Please take a look at these links;

www.buzzle.com/articles/emotional-abuse-signs-and-symptoms.html

www.women-on-the-net.com/emotional-abuse-signs-women-need.html

Eurostar Thu 30-Jun-11 00:05:35

Afraid I'm going to be adding the stock response here of - can you get some couples therapy?

Sounds like you were never great communicators and with this current stress it is too much.

You mention that DH has a medical condition and that he is really upset about not being able to do some paid work this weekend. He might possibly be feeling trapped and unhappy about being supported and thus picking on things that he would normally let go. If you could both express yourselves in a safe environment it might help.

So he's got some unspecified medical condition (Are you sure about this? Have you seen a doctor's letter or been to the doctor with him?) that means he can't earn a wage, and yet he is behaving like he's the one entitled to go to the pub, and to shout at you. He sounds like a selfish dick and a bully.

whysogrumpy Thu 30-Jun-11 02:27:01

Ok, I'm seriously scared now, firstly about where he is (this staying out without contact has never happened before) and secondly about the idea that he could be abusing me.

Spring he has MS and yes I have nursed him through 3 attacks and attended hospital appointments with him. He has had it for 7 years and so far, it has been very mild - you would not know he had it, he has no treatment and the attacks have not left him with any impairment. Don't know for how long he will be so lucky. He does get very tired, though. He doesn't earn a wage because he is a sahd to our 2 dc - he didn't have a career, but did earn money, before they were born and as I do have a career and don't have an incurable disease it was a no-brainer that I'd be the wohp. As money is tight now he's looking at ways he earn money aprt-time etc (hence the computer drama I mentioned earlier) I am scared about him tiring himself though. He's no scrounger if that's what you're implying, and is a great sahd - I'm sitting here looking at the craft stuff they'd made today and sobbing sad.

Thanks for the links inatrance only a couple of the boxes I can tick - don't know what that means. Tbh, I think circumstances have piled up and we're both coping badly. Definiitely interested in counselling if it's not too expensive.

Thanks for all the replies.

Newbabynewmum Thu 30-Jun-11 05:01:21

Has he turned up OP? Are you ok?

None of his behaviour is your fault. You sound a bit in denial about it all. He sounds highly abusive from your thread and even has you thinking it's you who makes him behave like this.

I think you should seriously think about some counselling, if not for both of you then just for yourself. You need to boost your self-esteem and realise that you do not deserve to be treated this way.

You aren't moany or annoying by the way. You sound perfectly rational and normal x

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Thu 30-Jun-11 07:25:32

How many boxes do you tick here, OP? or here? Doesn't have to be all of them for it to be real.

He is being abusive, and no, it's not your fault.

Counselling is a very good idea, but for you alone, so you can untangle how you feel about your relationship.

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