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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?

clam Mon 19-Nov-12 14:23:50

Am I right in thinking he will start being nice to you again when he decides he quite fancies a shag?
And what will you say/do then? Hopes it's 'you're having a bloody laugh, aren't you?

TigerFeet Mon 19-Nov-12 12:42:46

My dh used to be a bit like this, although not on this scale.

I sat him down and told him, calmly, that it was affecting my mental health and I didn't deserve to be treated that way. He had a choice - shape up or leave. He chose to shape up. I put up with it for a long time, stupid really, but when dd2 was born and dd1 was old enough to start noticing I decided that it was time to do something about it.

The difference with your dh, OP, is that when you try to talk to him he just escalates his behaviour. This is the difference (imo) between a man who has fucked up and is willing to try and fix it, and a man who's an abusive twat.

I won't pretend that everything's all rosy, I still have to pull him up from time to time, but the message now is that he either talks about what's bothering him, sorts it out himself so he's not taking it out on the rest of the family or just damn well gets over himself. He finds talking about things difficult, mostly due to the fact that his parents only ever talk about the weather and what happened on Coronation Street. He's realised that if he doesn't behave like a rational functioning adult then he will lose his family and he doesn't want that so he's trying.

If he's not willing to try then he's not showing you the love and respect you deserve and you need to get rid.

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Mon 19-Nov-12 12:36:24

One of my ex's was like this, but it's only on reading this thread that I've really twigged it.

I remember once when I was seriously ill with tonsilitis. ExP did not stop moaning once that I was ill "in case he caught it" shock

I remember spending one weekend huddled on the sofa as far away from him as possible so I wouldn't give it to him and apologising all the time that I was ill...and only at the end of the weekend did I think WTF? Why am I apologising for being ill? (and he didn't catch it).

Am blush to say I stayed nearly another year with him until other stuff just made it horrible being with him. I felt I always had to accomodate him and his wishes and walked on egg shells if he was unhappy until I worked out what was wrong so I could fix it.

I am now with DH who is the total opposite of controlling etc. DH's main wish is for me to be happy.

Rachog Mon 19-Nov-12 12:26:59

I agree with the leave the bastard brigade, however if you are not ready for that I suggest just ignoring him when he behaves badly. Take the children out for the day on your own. Visit friends or family, don't discuss with him where you are going. Don't try to persuade him out if it, just don't react at all.

QueenieLovesEels Mon 19-Nov-12 12:17:53

I was of the view that you would attend a joint session and then the counsellor may recommend individual counselling.

However reading this has proved food for thought.....

VitoCorleone Mon 19-Nov-12 12:12:16

What an awful situation, he sounds like a nightmare to live with.

My mum is a bit like this, step out of line or say the wrong thing and she wont speak to you for days/weeks she didnt speak to one of her sisters for 3 years! And she was a nightmare to live with, me and my stepdad constantly on eggshells.

I remember even from a young age there being tension in the house, id know that somethin was wrong then id fear that i would be next in line (i wasnt, not til i was much older anyway) it was awful, and even to this day i still walk on eggshells around her. There have been times whete ive thought about cutting her completely out of my life.

And your partner sounds much worse than my mum.

My point is, do you want your kids to feel like that? Because they will.

And more to the point, why should you put up with this behaviour?

Spero Mon 19-Nov-12 12:11:43

Agree with everyone who says this is abusive and you must give serious consideration to ending this 'relationship'. My ex was also a 'sulker' and deeply unsympathetic when I was ill, probably because I wasn't available to meet his needs and was asking him to help me.

A man who loves you would never behave in the ways you describe. Is this really how you want to spend your one precious life? Are these really the lessons you want your children to learn about adult relationships?

You may not be ready to hear this yet, but I hope one day you will.

Abitwobblynow Mon 19-Nov-12 12:08:51

Queenie I went to one session of joint counselling, the therapist backed right away from him.

I said to him afterwards 'you let me down!' Therapist said, yes, I did. But his defenses are just simply too high

ie, there is no way on this sweet earth will he EVER acknowledge or own anything, ie he is too unhealthy to participate in joint counselling.

PS the therapist kicked my ass too, I heard him and worked on the issues. Therein lies the difference....

SugaricePlumFairy Mon 19-Nov-12 12:07:14

Dear God, he sounds like a nightmare to live with, how on earth have you managed to stay with him when he treats you so very badly.

He is a massive twat who is intent on causing you emotional turmoil!

Do you really envisage having to put up with this for years to come?

PeppermintPasty Mon 19-Nov-12 12:05:46

Are you still with us OP?!!

VoiceofUnreason Mon 19-Nov-12 12:01:53


AnyFucker Mon 19-Nov-12 12:00:12

Individual counselling only would be recommended here

QueenieLovesEels Mon 19-Nov-12 11:59:39

A good counsellor will be able to call him on his behaviour and see through his rhetoric.

HandbagCrab Mon 19-Nov-12 11:59:33

Yes larry your opinion just happens to chime with the view of a trained counsellor whist everyone else is full of 'vitriolic' personal experience. hmm

I disagree with your assertion that a trained, professional counsellor would give the op your advice as it is your opinion, not fact and I think it is very unhelpful that you are presenting your opinion as considered and others as not when this is simply not the case.

lurkingaround Mon 19-Nov-12 11:54:45

I think the most troubling part is that OP's husband is calculating enough to plan on treating OP even worse so she can appreciate how nice he is (when he is 'nice') even more. Frightening. Sounds a bit sociopathic.

I would say, tease out your feelings with a good counsellor.

I hope you find a solution to this.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 19-Nov-12 11:53:52


Joint counselling is NEVER recommended when there is ongoing abuse. Such men can and do manipulate counsellors and make it all out to be the other person's fault.

PeppermintPasty Mon 19-Nov-12 11:52:04

I think Abitwobbly has it Larry.

QueenieLovesEels Mon 19-Nov-12 11:50:28

This is psychological and emotional abuse.

I would get out of this relationship.

If you don't want to then I suggest counselling as a couple.

I think he is a deeply manipulative character who is damaging to be around.

You could go all out and try to find ways of countering the behaviour but it is more than likely he will thrive from the attention and up the anti.

Every single time he pulls this stunt disengage. Don't talk it over with him. Don't have a discussion after it.Take the children out on your own without discussing it with him when he is behaving badly. Stay away with relatives and just leave him a contact number.

We are talking zero tolerance.

Don't apologise.
This may well 'work' well if there were no children witnessing this, however, I think that they've seen enough and you should show him the door.

I think you need to examine why you have tolerated this and continue to.

larrygrylls Mon 19-Nov-12 11:47:08


Although this thread is about the OP, and not you nor me, I will try to take your "constructive" criticism seriously. What particular boundary do I have a problem with? Am I not allowed to post an opinion. Not only an opinion, but an opinion in line with what most professional counsellors would suggest, as opposed to a vitriolic "opinion" based on personal experience? Is this meant to be a "female space", maybe?

It is funny that I posted one comment, which was pretty neutral, the OP could either think "yes, maybe he is right" or "he has absolutely no idea" depending on her PERSONAL knowledge of her OWN relationship. And then 10 posters prefer to attack me than offer the OP advice. Sadly, I do have a weakness in that I respond to personal attacks that I should just ignore. If people had stuck to giving advice, then I would have posted ONE single post on this thread.

It is not me derailing this thread. Over and out.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 19-Nov-12 11:46:34

Abuse is about power and control - The blondebird's H will stop at nothing to have absolute power and control over her. He likes her in the cage of his own making.

Abitwobblynow Mon 19-Nov-12 11:44:11

Larry, I would just like to tell you gently that you are applying perfectly reasonable scenarios of a healthy relationship between healthy people. People who are healthy care about the other person, listen to them, and think about them enough to adjust/negotiate. That is how is should be.

Except, this isn't a healthy person. This is a person who is controlling, projecting (he is without fault and it is Blonde who is the problem), who acts passive aggressively, who denies anger and projects it onto Blonde, and who RETALIATES because she has has THE CHEEK to raise some needs of her own/complaints.

Larry, please believe me when I tell you that your suggestions do not work with an abusive person. They do not want to face their faults or change, and will escalate any attempt to do so into a power struggle and punishment. There is nothing the spouse can do, to be heard or to be taken seriously. As Lundy Bancroft says, their desructive behaviour/abuse of you, is their ticket to running away from themselves.

I thought I would go to the trouble of explaining.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 19-Nov-12 11:43:15

The blondebird,

re your comment:-
"I know that sounds pathetic but most of the time things are ok with us".

Many abusive men like your H can do nice/nasty very well but the nice part is an act which never lasts very long. It is also a continuous cycle. Abusers can be and are very plausible to those in the outside world.

Joint counselling is NEVER recommended when there is ongoing abuse. Such men can and do manipulate counsellors and make it all out to be the other person's fault. If you do have counselling you need to attend such sessions on your own and certainly not with him present.

Womens Aid as well can and will help you here; please do talk to them.

You cannot talk or reason with someone like your H; abusive men do not want to know. He also thinks that he is not doing anything wrong in the first place and as well actively enjoys seeing your discomforture. Your opinions and feelings mean a big fat zero to him, this is why he does not want to hear about any problems you encounter in life.

When I see the phrase "walking on eggshells" you may as well have instead written, "living in fear".

What do you get out of this relationship now?. What keeps you within this?.

This relationship is not fit for purpose because of the ongoing abuse within it; you and he should not be together now under any circumstances. He will just drag you and by turn your children down with him.

What do you want to teach your children about relationships - they learn from the two of you as to how relationships are conducted. This is not the legacy you want to be leaving them.

TravelinColour Mon 19-Nov-12 11:42:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VoiceofUnreason Mon 19-Nov-12 11:39:21

Just to say that I'm a bloke and we're not all twunts.

AbigailAdams Mon 19-Nov-12 11:39:00

Oh goody another helpful thread derailed by larry policing us wimmin.

Here is some constructive criticism for you. You have a problem with boundaries, Larry.

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