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advice please - unable to communicate with oh anymore

(15 Posts)
soggy14 Tue 20-Sep-11 12:34:58

we just do not seem able to "get on". Just dsilly things.

Example - dh has been making kids sandwiches as I have been working evenings. I make the bread in the day (cheaper and easier than buying it as we are rural). Cupboard is full of bits of bread. I kow that some will have been deemed "too staale for sandwiches" and some is oaky butcannot work out which as dh has quite fixed ideas on this. I ask him to sort out the bread and he shouts "you do it". If I do it then I will inevitably somehow get it wrong. So I don't know what to do sad

Any suggestions? Not about the bread grin can just bin it all smile - I mean that the above (my feeling that I cannot win over silly domestic issues because he has some "way in which it must be done" and gets cross if I do not do it in that way) is pretty typical of our problems and I'm guessing that this is a standard way in which people have problems but am not sure what to google to look for solutions smile

buzzskillington Tue 20-Sep-11 12:40:46

Sounds like a controlling type.

I don't think it is a standard problem. It shouldn't be that you can't do right for doing wrong and that he shouts at you & shifts the goal-posts on you. That's not actually normal.

buzzskillington Tue 20-Sep-11 12:43:37

Is he OCD?

soggy14 Tue 20-Sep-11 12:49:31

no - does not seem OCD - more is convinced that he is right - will say "no one would eat bread like that" when I'm thinking "well it looks okay to me". Have also disagreed over heating today. One of his "jobs" is to clean out fire so I can light it and I was cold but he says that I shouldn't be cold as it is "not cold" - ie no acceptance that maybe I have a right to feel cold if he doesn't.

coffeeinbed Tue 20-Sep-11 13:20:54

Sounds like my DH. he has all these set ideas about how things ought to be done - his way, and if I insist then he first has a tizzy and then goes off in a huff.
Apparently I'm the one who always insists on having things her way.hmm So I give up.
He does that statement thing as well - No, it's cold/hot/window's not broken because he can open it.
Drives me bonkers, haven't found a way of dealing with it though. Tried ignoring, but cannot, and find myself getting stupidly passive-aggressive, which then frustrates me even more because I really don't want to be that horrible passive-aggressive person myself.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Tue 20-Sep-11 13:21:11

He's a controller.

Are you ok with that? Because he won't change.

soggy14 Tue 20-Sep-11 13:27:48

People have said before that he is a controller but how do non-controllers negotiate? Ie in healthy relationships how do couples iron out disagreements about daily life? What would normally happen if (say) a person and their partner disgareed about what to feed teh children or bed times or how hot/cold the communal living space shoudl be?

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Tue 20-Sep-11 13:40:15

In healthy relationships, each partner respects themselves (their right to have their own opinions, feelings, and ways of doing things), and respects the other partner in the same way.

In a controlling relationship, neither partner respects themselves. One partner externalises this by needing to control the other, and the other partner internalises it by accepting to be controlled because deep-down they don't believe they deserve to have their own voice heard. That attitude enable the controlling behaviour to continue unchecked.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Tue 20-Sep-11 13:47:01

Perhaps you were looking for a sample dialogue illustrating how to resolve the situations you give in a "healthy" way, soggy, but the truth is that what needs to be resolved are the fundamental beliefs underlying your interactions.

His belief that it has to be his way.
Your acceptance at being in the "wrong" on someone else's say-so.

soggy14 Tue 20-Sep-11 14:04:17

I was looking for a sample dialogue. I suspect that he does have self respect issues - I do not - hence the rows (was quoting him when I said things about my being "wrong" - usually our discussions go along the lines of my saying "xxx"; his replying that I am "wrong because yy"; my pointing out (usually calmly) that I have a right to feel/think xxx and his then losing it and either shouting that no "normal" person would think xxx or his shouting that I'm talking a load of psycological cr*p that I've probably got off my sister (who reads some magazine with psycology in the title). If I agreeed with thim then we wouldn't row smile

So yes - was after a ficticious dialogue as to how disagreement is managed in a healthy relationship.

Have been with oh for years and so do not have a model of how couples usually resolve dispute - only what I am used to - which I do agree is unhealthy but I need to knowwhat is healthy so that I can try to explain to oh what I'd like him to try to do during disagreements.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Tue 20-Sep-11 14:18:19

Rowing is not a sign that you have healthy self-respect.

A person with healthy self-respect wouldn't feel the need to prove they were right in drawn-out arguments. For years. That person would be confident enough in themselves to not remain engaged in such fruitless arguments.

A person with healthy self-respect would instinctively know that it's only their own behaviour they can change. That person would not be online looking for ways to fix their husband.

I'm not trying to be harsh, soggy. Here, maybe it'll be easier to read from Dr Phil.

LongWayRound Tue 20-Sep-11 14:20:24

Actually, controllers CAN change. My DH has managed it, but it took a long time sad and it was a result of various life events which showed him that there were other ways of handling things... He is much more tolerant and open now than I would ever have guessed he could be. Sorry this isn't very helpful: it wasn't my behaviour that brought about any changes, and I can't tell you what you could do in your situation. I know that DH was under a lot of stress in the past, and the fact that he refused to admit it or discuss it made it much harder for everyone concerned. He thought he had to be strong, and chose the wrong way to show it: which is not really surprising because he chose the role his family and social background expect of men. He thought he had to be a fearless leader, when an equal partnership would have been easier for both of us.

Marionlam Tue 20-Sep-11 14:30:31

Perhaps talk about how you feel outside of an argument?

I also believe that, to an extent, we've all got to accept that our spouse isn't perfect, and neither are we, but we love each other and with a bit of compromise and laughter a relationship can be mostly enjoyable. That applies to both of you, ie explain to him that you'd like to be a little more free to think, but also accept some of his outbursts as a part of who he is, knowing that he probably doesn't mean to put you down.

As for your sample dialogue, DH and I constantly have the temperature debate and it tends to end in a joke or a 'you'll have to warm me up then', and sometime about half way between when I want to put the heating on and when he does we actually turn it on = a compromise!

Good luck!

antlerqueen Tue 20-Sep-11 18:27:13

Healthy relationships don't make one party feel like they can never do anything right.

In a healthy relationship perhaps you would've asked him to show you which bread is ok and he would've.

wicketkeeper Wed 21-Sep-11 09:56:05

DH1 - unhealthy relationship. Totally had his way of doing pretty much everything and woe betide anyone who did it differently. Also the whole 'it's not cold' thing. Yes, it is bloody cold. To the point where I just pretty much let him get on with it, until the day I left.
DH2 - healthy relationship. Yay. As for the sample dialogue, my DH gets too hot quicker than I do most of the time. Our conversation goes something like this -

DH: are you warm enough?
Me: not quite, are you too hot?
DH: yes, I'm boiling. Do you mind if we turn the fire down/off?
Me: not at all - lend us your jumper.

Really, it's that simple. With DH1, well, he wouldn't have asked the question in the first place, instead he'd have gone off on one about the amount of gas we were wasting, then when I stood up for myself by saying I was cold we'd have had the whole 'It's not cold' routine. And I wouldn't have wanted to wear his jumper anyway.

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