Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Wwyd or say if your hubby said this.

(28 Posts)
shesgotherlipstickon Wed 03-Aug-11 19:42:24

Friend just rang, her and her husband had words today. He said to her he was going to put her through the window if she didn't shut up.

I want you to give your honest opinion as she thinks it's jokes and these things are just said. I'm directing her to mumsnet for some sage advice, when she can.

I want to link her to this flash poll.

GirlWithALlamaTattoo Wed 03-Aug-11 19:46:09

Depends on the context. It could be an expression of frustration, "Right now I feel that I would like to push you through the window because I'm so angry, but I would never do it," or it could be more sinister.

If she took it as a joke, and he doesn't actually hurt her, physically or emotionally, no harm done.

If his behaviour does hurt her, in any way, maybe it is an example of abuse.

greycircles Wed 03-Aug-11 19:48:48

It depends on the context. If he is someone who has never been physically violent with her or anyone else, he could have "just" really lost his temper and shouted something awful that he didn't mean. It's not a joke really though, it's a severe temper loss but forgiveable if only verbal.

However, if he is in any way violent at all or prone to doing any stupid things in the heat of the moment, then she needs to watch out for her safety.

shesgotherlipstickon Wed 03-Aug-11 19:49:57

No he said to her, shutup or I'll push you thought the window. He also said he'd break her fingers, in a later convo.

Now unless you are into extreme bdsm I just can't see how these things are said in a normal relationship. Best to stay out of it then?

ohgawdherewegoagain Wed 03-Aug-11 19:51:34

OP, surely if she is pretty relaxed about it, it's not really for you to inflame the situation in someone else's relationship.

shesgotherlipstickon Wed 03-Aug-11 19:54:28

Ok, fair enough.

FabbyChic Wed 03-Aug-11 19:56:26

If a partner said that to me I'd say try it and see where it gets you you nasty fucking asshole.

GypsyMoth Wed 03-Aug-11 19:57:55

Er no it's not normal. And not at all what I would want to hear. Does he say this in front of children?

aliceliddell Wed 03-Aug-11 20:01:04

Try 'For a minute there, I thought you said you were going to put me through the window. But, of course, you're not that stupid.'<expectant pause>'Are you' <nb no question mark>

shesgotherlipstickon Wed 03-Aug-11 20:01:54

Yes ILT it would seem so. I didn't ask. But I guess if this in normal arguing for them then, they must have.

So shocked. He's the quiet but fun guy everyone loves, so, so polite. Shocked that would come out of his mouth tbh!

Isn't that always the way though!

buzzsore Wed 03-Aug-11 20:03:42

Well, it's whether she felt threatened or that he meant it. If he's saying these things to make her back down and comply, then it's bad news.

If he's feigning anger and they both fall about laughing the moment he says these things, then it's not a worry. Although if they have children hearing it, I'm not sure it's a good example.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Wed 03-Aug-11 20:40:28

Well, when my stbxh did make those kinds of threats to me, I would have a kind of weird feeling of numbness, while my body said "Run!" and my brain said "But I love him and I need love! Surely it's only a mistake."

Out loud I would say something like: "I can't believe you just said that."

And he would respond: "It's your fault! You made me angry!"

And I would say: "Come on now, that's a wife-beater's excuse!" ...because my husband couldn't possible be a wife abuser, right? Domestic abuse only happens to other people!

Until the day I finally, finally realised that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

For your friend, I suspect she might feel a little affronted that you brought out something she said to you in private on an internet forum. She may also not be convinced by the ramblings of strangers on the internet. So I suggest some of the following:

- Have her talk to you. Ask open questions (use "active listening" techniques, eg. "How did it make you feel when he said that?"). Give her time to hear her own words and see if she finds something not quite right there.
- Direct her to slightly more professional websites on verbal abuse, eg. this page (there are tons to choose from, this is just the first one I gleaned from the resources on the EA support threat)
- Buy her the Relationship board's bible, known to have opened the eyes of many an abused MNer:

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Wed 03-Aug-11 20:43:12

gah, being lazy about links does not make for a pretty post.

Verbal abuse description
"Why does he do that?"

babyhammock Wed 03-Aug-11 22:28:00

ExP used to say that kind of thing too....alot. Always when he was very angry (my fault) so no confusing with a joke. Nonetheless I used to downplay it to myself and then just not think about it.

Maybe your friend is doing that... simply minimising it as she doesn't want to/isn't able to fully compute it yet?

ImperialBlether Wed 03-Aug-11 22:36:44

I wouldn't take it as a joke, particularly the bit about breaking her fingers.

BertieBotts Wed 03-Aug-11 22:49:35

I don't think it sounds like a joke either. Sounds like he's saying "I want to do this to you but I'm resisting. You're lucky, this time." ie to intimidate her. He's being very specific, if it was an unthinking thing that slipped out because he was angry.

Joking or not-really-meaning-it frustration is something like "If you've just woken the baby I'm going to kill you!" - "I'm going to push you through a window" is not exactly such a well known phrase. Or if really angry I've had experience of "The next one of you to speak, I'm going to rip your head off and spit down your neck." - it's cartoon-violence, it's outlandish. It's not something you could actually picture them doing. It gets the frustration across without actually scaring the other person. Something like threatening to break your fingers is sufficiently minor to be able to imagine being done to you, while being serious enough to be frightening.

Either he's trying to scare her or he has a pretty twisted sense of humour and a gory imagination.

DrPolidori Thu 04-Aug-11 00:41:31

Well, he is a total shit, what more do you need to know?

threatening violence is violence is itself.

LittleHousebytheRiver Thu 04-Aug-11 00:51:57

Buzzsore is spot on in my view

seeker Thu 04-Aug-11 00:57:40

Even if they think it's a joke, the fact that language like that is part of his mental furniture is a massive alarm bell for me.

garlicbutter Thu 04-Aug-11 01:27:30

Violent language indicates a violent mentality. Even if he's never so much as hugged her too hard, the violence is still part of his mental furniture, to use seeker's excellent phrase. It's also quite specific here, meaning that shoving people through windows is a familiar thought to him.

I used to use violent imagery quite a lot in my speech. I first noticed it when colleagues were visibly shocked. Violence has been a feature through much of my life; I hadn't realised it had permeated my mind so thoroughly. I was sometimes violent in anger; it was my normality.

I only ever used words that reflected things I really would do, and had been done to me: my normality; putting people through windows never featured in it. So I think your friend should be careful.

Some groups of friends do use catchphrases that are violent but don't reflect any realities - "smack him/her in the mouth" is one that sprang to mind. That's not for snarling in anger, though, it's just an ugly way of saying someone's been annoying. As a threat during a row, it's a whole different game.

garlicbutter Thu 04-Aug-11 01:36:57

Covering threats and insults as a joke is a well-known abuse tactic. The idea is to scare you and make you feel silly for being scared - that's what bullies do, right?

If anyone said something like that to me now, I certainly would not let it pass. I think FabbyChic's response would be appropriate grin
And I would have definite sense of humour failure over it. You want to break my fingers - that's a joke how, exactly?

Whatmeworry Thu 04-Aug-11 07:01:00

If she is not worried then I'm not

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Thu 04-Aug-11 07:41:08

If she is not worried she could very well be in denial, though, whatmeworry.

If she is in denial about an abusive situation, it's true that it's something she can only deconstruct herself. This thread is unlikely to help her if it's just saying things to her that she doesn't want to hear. That's why I think the OP should have her friend talk more about what goes on between her and her husband, and how she feels about it, so that the friend can notice for herself if anything about her relationship seems "off" to her when she brings it out in the open.

Another thing that has been found to be helpful is hearing about other people's experiences, and hearing them labeled as unacceptable. That's always easier to take in than a direct assessment of one's own life. Hence my recommendation of a good book on verbal abuse, such as the ones by Lundy Bancroft or Patricia Evans. Or the entire MN Relationships board!

BertieBotts Thu 04-Aug-11 09:31:14

Garlicbutter explained what I was trying to say so much better smile

Callisto Thu 04-Aug-11 09:38:48

Joking or not, that is not a normal thing to say at all in my world. The context is irrelevant, if DH said something like that to me, even as a joke, I would be shocked to the core.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: