How to deal with someone who storms off?

(52 Posts)
LouP19 Fri 25-Nov-11 13:04:44

My husband regularly walks out/storms off during a heated discussion. It's his way of coping, and even though he's been doing it for 7 years, I can't say I'm dealing with it very well.

He usually does it for a couple of hours or so (occasionally longer), and then after this he's absolutely fine. Frustrating thing is he expects me to be fine too,........ and when I'm not he's usually baffled and then get's annoyed with me.

Whilst his strategy works fine for HIM, it leaves me feeling abandoned and invalidated. Tried explaining this to him, he listens, but he still walks out if he's had enough.

I've seen this behaviour with his family (walking off if there's a problem, and then acting a few hours later as if nothing's happened) so I appreciate it's inbred behaviour in him and maybe there's little I can do to change it.

I've tried having a bath, having some 'me' time, understanding it from his point of view,.... but ultimately I can't help but feel he's found a solution for HIM, rather than US,....

Anyone in a similar position?

OP’s posts: |
daisychain01 Mon 08-Jul-19 05:00:06

I've reported that poster, their post doesn't even have anything to do with the original issue, they're just timewaster.

rvby Mon 08-Jul-19 04:47:25

@Judstur this thread is from several years ago and no one is going to find your question at the bottom of it. Please start a new thread with your question.

To everyone else: *ZOMBIE THREAD*

Cobsob Mon 08-Jul-19 02:20:07

My partner does it and I hate it although it works for him not for me at all because I can't just drop it when he comes back because I am still fuming .
So out arguments go on longer or I have to drop whatever annoyed me in the first place .
I hate it tbh and think it's childish and selfish.

Judstur Sun 07-Jul-19 22:59:25

My husband has been secretly flirting texting his female band mate
Who is single
I saw a chat between them the both criticize me
Husband lies she agrees
He says thank you for being in my life love you bunches
Today he got home from doing church band with her
I calmly asked why he feels the need to bad mouth me
He denied it want to know who and what was said
I asked why do feel like you have to bad mouth me
Again denied so I said so you never bad mouth me he said NO
I said ok then I’ll find out if it’s true he stormed off called me an asshole
You and your games

Wow what do I do?

springydaffs Sat 03-Dec-11 16:55:40

I've been a stormer offer (once banged the car door so hard the window shattered). It depends what's happening re I either storm off or leave quietly. tbh it is usually because things are getting abusive and there's no need for that. I can understand heated and I can understand exasperation but if it gets to abuse I'm out.

One of the main reasons I have to leave is because I have a healthy respect for my temper and know I could kill stone dead with my words - or, if really pushed, I know I could be violent. If I know I have lost my temper I literally turn heel and get out as fast as possible. It isn't a manipulative move but the most sensible iyswim and if anyone tried to follow me they'd be taking their life in their hands to be absolutely honest. I also can't speak because I don't trust myself to speak.

I intend to come back once I've calmed down - though I would check that the other had too and that it was ok to come back - and, depending on the reason for my abrupt exit, I will apologise if it was because I had lost my temper. I just do recognise when things are getting out of hand and/or abusive and I just won't be abused and don't abuse either. It's possible to talk about very difficult things without resorting to abuse and, until that can happen, I won't entertain horrible words flung about. It's possible to learn how to argue constructively.

Your chap coming back as though nothing has happened isn't on though. Maybe his family were used to ding-dongs blowing up like a squall and as long as everybody dissipated, everything was forgotten once they got back together? You could say that if he feels he needs to take off then fine but you will be wanting to resolve it at some stage when he gets back re his leaving doesn't mean the disagreement is over.

btw, the poster who said she was tempted to be out when her storming husband returned? I'd do that, particularly if the storming off was cruel and hurtful/manipulative. I'd go and do something nice/see somebody rather than wait at home feeling desolate.

LouP19 Fri 02-Dec-11 14:46:28

Wow, I never realised this would provoke such a debate, but thanks to evereyone for your replies/thoughts.

The issue we were arguing about was brought up the next day (probably by me, I can't remember) and we were able to resolve it,.... sort of!

I still get upset about his 'storming off' episodes but reading the comments on here I hope I can understand it a little better from his point of view. When there is an issue I probably do find it hard to 'drop it', and usually won't give up an argument until there's some kind of resolution. My failing is probably not realising when enough is enough and when we need to call it a day. Perhaps because of this my husband sees storming off as his only reprieve? I am ashamed to say I am a person who follows another from room to room when we've had or are having an argument,...... and until reading this I hadn't appreciated how annoying that could be. In my mind I'm doing it because I want to make things better, but may be he sees it as aggravation when all he wants to do is to be left alone?

But on the other hand, I still think his running out the door, slamming it, and then driving off is also very unacceptable. It lives me with nothing to hang on to.

I don't know, there's no easy answer to this,.........

OP’s posts: |
SuziQuattro Sun 27-Nov-11 16:27:35

Come back and tell us how you get on LouP ?

SuziQuattro Sat 26-Nov-11 21:14:51

But sometimes people never do learn until it's too late, some because they refuse to recognise what they're doing wrong and some who just don't know how to resolve it. It can end up destroying what would be perfectly good relationships which is very sad and sometimes heartbreaking.

The hardest thing in life to do is to step back and take a long, hard look at ones self because sometimes the truth hurts and it can be painful. It's not unusual to spot trends in failed relationships in those type of people, because they refuse to accept and are all too willing to blame the other person for their own misgivings. It's sad when this happens to otherwise 'normal' people.

tabbythecat Sat 26-Nov-11 16:48:59

hmm I totally agree SuziQuattro . Seems some posters on MN find absolutely anything a man does that goes against what his female partner wants to be abusive actions. I get swamped and overwhelmed by my feelings. Does that make me abusive for walking out or going dumb- literally being unable to carry on talking? I do agree that never being able to discuss issues is immature and needs to be worked on. Immature in the sense that it is a skill that hasn't yet been learnt. It can be learnt though!

SuziQuattro Sat 26-Nov-11 15:54:26

That's the problem with late night arguments.....alcohol. No matter how sober you think you may be ANY alcohol will have an impact on what's said, done and how people conduct themselves. You don't need to be pissed for it to make a big difference.

When is a good time for an argument? There isn't! Arguing with someone who won't for whatever reason is pointless, but if that person totally refuses to discuss at all and the other does I think you have to be very careful in then classing that person as abusive. If someone point blankly refuses to discuss anything at all, whether a good or bad time then it doesn't take the other point of view into account and is very immature in my opinion. The term abusive is 'sometimes' used very loosely around here and a lot of the time out of context. I don't agree with continuing an argument all night long so that neither will sleep, that's just daft and could possibly makes things worse.

2rebecca Sat 26-Nov-11 15:31:40

I refuse to argue when it's late and I'm tired though, I just won't let an argument begin, and if something is annoying me I write it down and decide I'll raise it the next day, especially if at least one of us has been drinking.

VioletNotViolent Sat 26-Nov-11 11:16:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maryz Sat 26-Nov-11 10:01:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

2rebecca Sat 26-Nov-11 09:49:45

I refuse to have late night arguments. I think saying to someone "I am tired and need sleep and can't discuss this more tonight, leave it until tomorrow" isn't storming off or stonewalling it's just being sensible. Trying to make someone argue who doesn't want to is pointless. I wouldn't stay with someone who couldn't respect my point of view enough to call a ceasefire to an argument that we were too tired for and was going nowhere and followed me round the house trying to have an argument with me and refusing to let me sleep. That is abusive behaviour. I would tell this to your partner crissycross, probably discuss this behaviour at a reasonable time of day and tell him it isn't acceptable and is pointless. Arguments don't need to be a combative fight to the death. You can stop and go to sleep and resume when less tired.
I don't go in for big arguments anyway though so wouldn't be with someone who got off on all the drama of regular arguments anyway. There are few issues you really need to have a big row about. Most things can be resolved by calm discussion, although often my bloke and I end up agreeing to disagree on issues or compromising. I suspect people who believe there is their way and the wrong way are more prone to regular arguments.

SuziQuattro Sat 26-Nov-11 01:55:59

This is a very interesting topic. I can see both sides of the argument here.

Storming off is as others have said, it's without doubt controlling as it flatly dismisses the other person and any point of view they may have as worthless. It renders the other useless and I can see it would be wholly frustrating especially if this was a regular pattern. What happens afterwards though is the key. Is it a case of storming off and returning as if nothing had happened, a case of storming off and then resuming in a calmer manner or a case of leaving it up in the air and therefore resolving nothing which would be even worse. Sometimes it's best to clear the air there and then or if not, BOTH agree to leave it there for now but return in a calmer manner a short while later. Easier said then done sometimes I appreciate.

On the flipside storming off could be seen as diffusing the situation. It's been mentioned a few times of following from room to room. I can see this having the opposite effect to what's probably intended in that it would cause the one who stormed off to become more ambivilant and defensive and possibly refuse to talk FULLSTOP. The aim may not have been to get it to that point by the one who wishes to talk, but the result has. Does the refusal to talk/discuss occur before storming off? If it does then that could well be seen as stonewalling which is all about controlling when the discussion takes place....on your terms?

Both sides are right, both sides are wrong! It's all about learning to accept and work around each others standpoint. I remember once browsing through the book mentioned above. It seemed to make sense at the time. It will give both sides a different slant on whats expected of them and their partner and vice versa. Alternatively discuss at an opportune time well out of an argument.
Whatever conclusions you draw LouP I trust you get some kind of mutual resolution.

crissycross Sat 26-Nov-11 00:28:36

I'm very interested in this, I too close up and just cannot speak in an argument after it has gone on going over the same old ground, I so agree with you tabby that both people are entitled to their different ways of dealing with difficult feelings.I have been accused of stonewalling but I know that isn't the case, just because I can't continue arguing like my partner doesn't mean I'm somehow abusing him. In an argument, if I try to remove myself by going to sleep in another room for example, he will follow me, and simply NOT let me rest, go on and on insisting i return to my room, follow me around the house, continue arguing for hours into the early hours so neither of us can sleep, its exhausting and very distressing, and, disrespectful I feel. We all have different ways of dealing with things after all.

Pagwatch Fri 25-Nov-11 18:42:58

Oh, how interesting tabbythecat.
I felt so foolish and I couldn't explain it and it looked as if I was just being arsy. But eventually we figured it out and I can argue a lot now smile

tabbythecat Fri 25-Nov-11 18:28:57

Pagwatch my family were like that! I had to learn how to communicate healthily from reading relationship books and by having a long period of being single in order to get to know myself better . My not speaking isn't controlling either, more a way to deal with overwhelming feelings. Now i can come back and talk but took a lot of work to get to that point and i only got there by having an understanding partner- as i said above having it shoved in my face again when i walked back in would have made things far worse.

Pagwatch Fri 25-Nov-11 18:03:25

Oh I missed that. If he gies away to let the emotion subside but then discuss the issue, fair enough.
If it is walking away to say 'that's it. Conversation over' then that is completely unacceptable.

I would stop talking to dh when we were first together. Literally would just stop speaking to him mid argument. It wan't controlling. I would just get so frustrated and upset - in my home everyone just shouted, you didn't actually have to try and resolve anything - because I didn't know how to express myself.
Eventually we would just sit there until I organized my thoughts. It was like having to learn how to do it iyswim.

tabbythecat Fri 25-Nov-11 17:36:33

btw my storming off has never been about shut up and if i was met with the same issue stuck in my face as i walked back through the door i think i'd soon want to permanently leave. Both people are entitled to their ways of dealing with difficult feelings. I don't think things should be ignored or refused to be spoken about but seems an aggressive way of dealing with a relationship. OP try a Gottman book, lots of useful info on how to approach these issues that refuse to lie down.

tabbythecat Fri 25-Nov-11 17:31:20

if you have issues that keep cropping up i can recommend the work of John Gottman. He talks about solvable problems and perpetual problems. Perpetual problems can't be solved, they are differences in core values you hold, dreams etc. You can work at them though to move from a gridlock situation to something better, and stop the endless issues going round and round.

HecateGoddessOfTheNight Fri 25-Nov-11 17:22:59

That is totally out of order. It's basically "Shut up", isn't it? I'm going to make sure that you don't raise anything that I don't want to talk about, make sure you toe the line...

If that was me then he'd be met at the door with "right. Where were we?"

No bloody WAY would I allow him to storm off and then come back and expect to play happy families!

AnyFucker Fri 25-Nov-11 17:16:33

OP has said she is expected to go back to "normal" after one of these "storming off" sessions, just like he does

so I would infer, the conversation is over as far as he is concerned

HecateGoddessOfTheNight Fri 25-Nov-11 17:09:37

when he comes back, do you continue the conversation or does he expect it to never be mentioned again?

If he needs time to himself and comes back to the conversation and discusses it, then while frustrating, it's not too bad, because at least the issue gets dealt with

If, otoh, he storms off to put an end to the conversation for good - that's not on.

So what happens when he comes back and you say "I still want to talk about this" ?

Or does storming off successfully control you by making sure the subject is dropped for good?

You need to make sure that storming off doesn't acheive anything because he comes back to the same conversation.

Either he'll grow up and stop stomping off, or you'll have to have your front door replaced by a revolving one.

AnyFucker Fri 25-Nov-11 17:04:38

I am not getting this

Walk away so you don't lamp someone, fair enough

Walk away as a control tactic to get your partner to STFU (and being successful in that) not fair enough

It's a form of stonewalling, and would be totally acceptable in my world

I will be heard, and if anyone tries to silence me, I would view it as an act of control and/or aggression

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