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DH is sulking

(105 Posts)
Theblondebird Mon 19-Nov-12 09:45:58

I just needed to have a rant, and I've namechanged as my DH knows my usual username on here.

My DH has always sulked a bit whenever we've argued, and he also sometimes just gets in sulks for no reason and says nothing is wrong. These sulks can last up to a month at times, but are usually 3 or 4 days.

On Saturday night we had an argument, over something very minor, just like most other couples have from time to time. Whenever we argue he always comes up with all these things he doesn't like about me, and on Saturday night it was no exception, and he even said that he hates me sometimes. What he does is he says things that are going to inflame things and upset me, then says that he's not prepared to argue and goes to bed or just ignores me so it's pointless talking any further about it. He kept saying to me 'YOU started it' as the thing I'd said had caused the argument but he had turned it into an argument.

Saturday he just went to bed, and I was very upset and tearful but I stayed up quite late watching TV and chatting to a friend online, and then went to bed thinking it'd be ok in the morning. Well yesterday he woke up all smirking and off with me and I just knew I was in for a day of sulking. I tried to speak to him in bed and said I was sorry for the argument and could we put it behind us and enjoy the family day out we had planned. I then asked if he would apologise to me as I felt what he had said about me had been a total attack on me and he smirked and said "I'm sorry" in a sarcastic, mocking voice. I got up and went downstairs to sort the children out and he came down after a while and I could tell he was going to sulk all day. He normally doesn't bother with the children hugely but if we argue he's all father of the year and interacting with them as if to make a point to me that "We are all getting on, it is you that's the odd one out". I asked if we were still having our day out and he said "No because you don't seem interested enough" and at that point I decided to just leave him to get on with his behaviour so I told him I'd be taking the kids out as planned, and he could either stay home or come, I really wasn't bothered which he chose as he was behaving like a child. He chose to come!

The day out itself was ok but when he sulks he walks round with a smirk on his face, and does things constantly that he knows will wind me up, to try to provoke an argument and then he can say I'm unreasonable. Yesterday he'd do things like wait outside a door to get in a shop with me, then suddenly randomly walk off quickly and go in another shop without saying he was going elsewhere. Then saying he was going for a wee and leaving me in a shop with the kids where the kids were buying/choosing things, and he came back half an hour later and he was dismissive when I said he'd been quite a while and I was wondering if he was ok. Or he'd be nice for half an hour and chatty then suddenly stop talking to me again, all the time with a smirk on his face. He went to bed early last night and didn't bother locking the front door, which is something he normally does each evening, then this morning when he got up for work, earlier than I needed to get up he just put the bedroom light on, not the lamp the main light, and walked out of the room leaving it on. I wouldn't mind so much if I hadn't have been up in the night with one of our DCs who was poorly, for 3 hours.

Sorry this is long, I just needed to vent. I've decided that now I am going to get myself more of a life and leave him to his pathetic little games, and try and make out I don't really need him that much anymore. If he's in a mood tonight I shall go straight out for a run.

Anyone got any tips in dealing with sulkers?

AbigailAdams Mon 19-Nov-12 10:45:37

Talking isn't going to work. BECAUSE HE IS ABUSIVE. (Plus she has already done that and his response was to tell her he will be escalating HIS ABUSE). There is no "happier place" BECAUSE HE IS ABUSIVE.

The only happy place you will find is away from him, theblondbird.

PeppermintPasty Mon 19-Nov-12 10:47:34

Oh god it's depressing. He's horrible OP. I know you don't want to leave him, but why not? Serious question btw. I know you have children together, all of that, but this is your life. And this will remain your life FOREVER!!! He will also most likely get worse. Why would you settle for being so badly treated by someone who is supposed to love and care for you?

AnyFucker Mon 19-Nov-12 10:49:16

He'd like you to change into an obedient doormat wouldn't he ?

larrygrylls Mon 19-Nov-12 10:51:28


And you know this how? Because he sulks? Calling someone abusive on very flimsy evidence is pointless and devalues the term. It sounds like he behaves in a rude and childish way. But, of course, you have no idea what the OP has said to him or if she gives him the right to respond and listens to him. Maybe he feels that sulking is his only recourse.

I am not condoning his behaviour but what would you have the OP do? Not even have an adult discussion with him? Make no effort to change things and just leave? Of course it may come to that but that is not what she says that she wants, at least for now.

Talking may work. Counselling may work. Many things may work. He is not violent or financially abusive, he is a sulker and childish. People are capable of changing, plenty of relationships do improve rather than inevitably collapse. What is the downside of an adult conversation where the OP spells out exactly what she wants and needs from her husband in order to stay together? It may be just the wake up call he needs.

MordecaiAndTheRigbys Mon 19-Nov-12 10:52:06

Op I grew up in this type of house. Kids matter how old they are, they pick up on this. They probably spent a day out yesterday alternating between relief and fear. Don't kid yourself that they didn't. And they will never forget.
I can't tell you to walk from your relationship, no one can. But you need to take a break from him and examine what you get from this relationship.

badtasteflump Mon 19-Nov-12 10:54:08

At best he sounds like a childish little arse.

But he is displaying some quite nasty controlling behaviour.

If he really is worth the effort I would take him aside, sit him down and make him understand that his behaviour is making you very unhappy and also making you question your whole relationship. So it has to stop.

Good luck.

AnyFucker Mon 19-Nov-12 10:58:12

Larry, did you miss the bit where Op says when she tries to talk to him about how his behaviour makes her feel, he quite simply states he is going to ramp it up to teach her a lesson ?

VoiceofUnreason Mon 19-Nov-12 10:58:46

larry, sorry but based on what the OP has told us in all her postings, he has crossed the line from being rude to being emotionally abusive. amazed you can't see that, actually.

LisaMed Mon 19-Nov-12 11:00:10

OP - you could change if you like. That would give him permission to behave worse, because you gave in to the last lot.

Why do you think this will ever get better?

AbigailAdams Mon 19-Nov-12 11:04:54

Yawn. theblondbird has already talked to him larry. Probably many times more than she has mentioned on here. Generally people post here because they have tried all the normal methods of communication that non-abusive people use and they haven't worked.

HandbagCrab Mon 19-Nov-12 11:04:59

Love it how op needs to rein in her theoretical bad behaviour but her dh isn't criticised for behaving like an arse larry In fact, she should take his criticism on the chin, change and then once she is fundamentally different she can possibly look forward to a sulk free existence at some point in the future. Lucky you op smile

Mumsnet is quite good I think in that lots of posters talk about their childhoods to illustrate that abusive behaviour between parents does have an effect on the children. I'd also say that life is too short and perhaps examine the reasons why you don't want to leave a person who has told you he will behave worse in order to make you more grateful for the times when he's not a critical, controlling arse.

Anniegetyourgun Mon 19-Nov-12 11:11:00

You're right, larry, the OP is a horrible person and the most decent thing she can do at this point is to bow out of her DH's life and give him the chance to find someone who is willing to change her whole self to accommodate him. Someone who is happy to be told what their opinions should be. Someone who is never ill. He deserves a blow up doll a partner like that.

And she deserves to be treated like a human being.

larrygrylls Mon 19-Nov-12 11:11:28


"Love it how op needs to rein in her theoretical bad behaviour but her dh isn't criticised for behaving like an arse larry In fact, she should take his criticism on the chin, change and then once she is fundamentally different she can possibly look forward to a sulk free existence at some point in the future. Lucky you op "

Love it how my post recommending a discussion where the OP gives him an ultimatum to change HIS behaviour (but does at least listen to his reply) is deliberately taken out of context. It is like a those West End theatre reviews "Brilliant Play" where the whole review was "Brilliant Play if you happen to be intellectually challenged".......

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Mon 19-Nov-12 11:12:36

He is definitely abusive, and my advice is to see a solicitor ASAP and sort out your legal position - most solicitors give a free half-hour consultation, which is long enough for you to inform yourself about the basics WRT removing him from the house and sorting out maintenance and contact. You need this information, because when you confront him he may well threaten to throw you out with no money, get custody of the children, etc etc and you need to know that it's all bullshit.

Because you can't live like this. You are living with someone who is happy to upset his own children in order to cause you distress, because he likes upsetting you. It makes him feel good to punish you and make you cry, because he is such a failure as a human being that the only way he can feel OK is by making other people unhappy.

And training yourself to ignore his abuse isn't going to work; he will escalate. Quite possibly to physical abuse of you because he is determined to make you submit to him and 'know your place'.

larrygrylls Mon 19-Nov-12 11:14:25

MN relationship advice can be summed up:

"He is abusive"
"Leave the bastard"
"Spy on him"
"Play him at his own game, regardless of the effect on the children"

Normal conversations, the give and take of real relationships, the concept that most relationships go wrong on both sides and can sometimes be salvaged. All that is forgotten in the excitable storm (along with the children). Oh dear....

AnyFucker Mon 19-Nov-12 11:15:59

Why do you hang around the joint like a bad smell then, larry ?

Cluffyfunt Mon 19-Nov-12 11:18:23

I think we all know why

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Mon 19-Nov-12 11:18:43

LarryGrylls: The best thing about MN is that it encourages and supports so many women to get rid of obnoxious and inadequate men, when the mainstream world keeps on telling them to eat shit 'work on the relationship' accept being raped by their husbands 'try harder in the bedroom' obey their lords and masters 'you don't want to be single, do you?'

Sulks lasting weeks, deliberate wrecking of family days out, threats to increase the verbal abuse, punishing the OP for being ill - this is not 'normal give and take in a marriage', it's domestic abuse and entirely unacceptable.

HandbagCrab Mon 19-Nov-12 11:18:49

larry if you read your post of 10.31 you can see quite clearly there is one short sentence about splitting up and the rest is about op changing, talking calmly, being the big person, whatever. Your short sentence about splitting up is followed with a statement about how awful point scoring parents are. The only point scoring parent from op's posts is the dh. Where was your advice as to how he should change or what he could do or how a caring loving husband and father should behave even if his wife has the sheer audacity to have a bit of a moan about a small item of dispute?

TravelinColour Mon 19-Nov-12 11:19:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VoiceofUnreason Mon 19-Nov-12 11:21:40

larry - very, very few people suggested playing him at his own game. most of us said leave the bastard for, quite honestly, rational reasons. OP has said nothing in her responses to make those of us who said leave the bastard think anything different. sometimes normal conversations aren't possible. it is clear from the OP's original tale that this is one of those occasions. several of us also pointed out the possible effect on the children, so they were not forgotten. I agree, give and take is what happens in a real relationship. unfortunately, this is clearly not a real relationship.

larrygrylls Mon 19-Nov-12 11:23:31

From my post of 10:31.

Describe what he is doing, how it makes you feel and the consequences to the marriage should he continue in this way

you both need to take a step back and listen to one another with an open mind

Clearly, ultimately, if none of the above work, it may be time to think about separating. Growing up with point scoring parents is very depressing.

I am hardly recommending the OP to become a Stepford wife.

VoiceofUnreason Mon 19-Nov-12 11:27:34

larry - the OP clearly stated this: "Amongst other things he has said to me that he doesn't want to hear anything that upsets me in life"

So, he wouldn't want to hear that she is upset because of his behaviour. This is why we have generally pooh-poohed your suggestion of discussing it with the man.

akaemmafrost Mon 19-Nov-12 11:30:24

This man is an absolute cunt. I am reminded greatly if the man I used to be married too. In fact I wanted to post "I didn't know my ex had remarried!".

You've been given great advice especially liked doctordwts offerings. So I won't add anything except he WILL NOT CHANGE. So don't kid yourself that "talking" and "explaining how bad it makes me feel dh" will work because it won't. I put up with 10 years of this kind of shit, I could have written all of your posts, in fact your OP made me shock so spookily similar was it to many days of the 10 years I spent with ex.

I'd get out but I can see you are not ready for that yet, please do what you can to protect yourself. I had a nervous breakdown in the end and still have issues affecting my MH now from being made to feel so worthless and unloved for so long.

The bit about not wanting to know your problems really struck a chord with me, my ex once said to me "I can't stand the way you look when you get bad news, all white and shocked" and he wasn't saying it in a "it hurts me to see you like that" way, he was telling me he despised me. The bad news he spoke of on two occasions was my sisters possible recurrence of cancer and my mum having a heart attack sad. It's no way to live. This man who is your partner in life and supposed to love you does not want to support you or help you and has told you this. Can you see how battering that is to your self worth?

akaemmafrost Mon 19-Nov-12 11:32:00

Piss off Larry you have nothing useful to contribute so do one.

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