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What do you think about this reaction? Especially if you hate confrontations

(86 Posts)
FeelsSad Sun 03-Mar-13 13:13:10

What would you do in a scenario such as the one below?

Something happens that has upset your partner/husband/wife very much. So much that he/she decides to just get out of the house for some fresh air and doesn't come back for a good 45 minutes. On his/her return, said partner looks upset/hurt/like he/she has been crying.

What would you do on her return?

What would you do if you know that asking what's going on will mean he/she is likely to tell you what is wrong and it is likely to have something to do with you?

LittleEdie Sun 03-Mar-13 13:19:33

I take it the person leaving for 45 mins was you, and your DP/DH didn't react as you'd hoped they would?

BumpingFuglies Sun 03-Mar-13 13:19:50

Just ask smile

It'll come out anyway

BertieBotts Sun 03-Mar-13 13:22:03

I would ask if they are okay but I'd have a horrible knotty nervous feeling that the following conversation would be really hard and not nice at all.

I'd hope there were no children/relatives around or that we had plans but if necessary I'd bring it up anyway (have in the past).

Branleuse Sun 03-Mar-13 13:24:36

id of course ask.

I also think though that if it was you, and you really want to talk, then you should talk, and not wait to be asked whats wrong, as thats playing silly games. Just say "WE NEED TO TAlk about this"

Chottie Sun 03-Mar-13 13:25:22

I would stick the kettle on and say, let's talk and then let the person speak (with no interruptions from me!) and listen to what is said.

I get the impression that something has happened to really upset you, I hope you get things sorted << unMN like hug >>

LittleEdie Sun 03-Mar-13 13:26:30

Yes, it's difficult to say. To be fair, I could imagine that leaving for 45 mins might seem like passive aggressive behaviour, or attention seeking, or manipulative, so I might choose not to respond in the way my DP might hope I would.

FeelsSad Sun 03-Mar-13 13:27:37

Yes me.
I came back, he was having lunch with the dcs. Not a word from anyone to ask how I was.
I retreated to the bedroom still crying. DH didn't come to see me, choosing to do the washing up instead.
He has now left with the dcs to take them to an activity. Hasn't talked to me at all, not even to ask me if I wanted to come. No one bothered to say good bye.

So I am alone at home.

I know he thinks it's better to leave me alone. I know he just can't stand any sort of discussions that is just a bit emotional.
But it just f* hurt as it really feels like no one cares at all.

FeelsSad Sun 03-Mar-13 13:30:02

Can't talk to him atm as I am way too emotional and he will shut down. I know by experience nothing good will come out of it.
Just me feeling even more shit than before.

Not that I don't want to tell him what's wrong. I can very easily do that with anyone else.

Today was the last straw that broke the camel's back.

LittleEdie Sun 03-Mar-13 13:32:23

Today was the last straw that broke the camel's back.

Then it's more likely that he's scared to hear it, rather than doesn't care. He's thinking if he sticks his head in the sand his problems will go away.

Numberlock Sun 03-Mar-13 13:33:20

You're going to have to be more specific about what he's done - both with us and him...

youfhearted Sun 03-Mar-13 13:37:59

his reaction to me sounds like you behave like this often, are you a bit of a drama queen, was it really so awful you had to leave the house for 45 minutes.
why dont you just tell him about it

LittleEdie Sun 03-Mar-13 13:42:36

I suspect you came on here hoping for the 'soothing' that you wanted and didn't get from your DP.

Can you tell us what happened?

RatPants Sun 03-Mar-13 13:45:18

Perhaps he didn't want to get into it in front of the children and was giving you the space you needed to calm down? What is the background here?

buildingmycorestrength Sun 03-Mar-13 13:45:32

My husband also shuts down and hates emotional confrontation. If he had taken kids out like that it would be out of a sense oh 'she obviously needs to be on her own right now, no good rowing in front of the kids'.

It has taken many, many conversations to convince him to just come and have a quick chat, even if just to say, sorry, have a cuppa, let's talk later.

But this is not because he doesn't care, its because we expect different things. I think my husband is a fundamentally good, straightforward man who is at sea in my world (of complex emotional and hormonal problems).

I don't know about yours.

FeelsSad Sun 03-Mar-13 13:46:19

What really annoyed me today? Just that.

<<And a lot of small things that have accumulated over the last 2 weeks (from DH bad mood because he was ill has man flu, to the fact his car is dangerous to drive but he refuses to take it to a garage. Or that I really need his dates for the hols to book something for the summer but 4 weeks on he still hasn't given me any ...)>>

But today was really about not answering to questions (or a very delayed reactions). It can be as silly as 'can you pass me the bread?' which is met by a blank. And then when I (or the dcs) repeat the question, there is 'I am going to give it you!' in an annoyed voice.
Or much more serious such as not saying anything when we have to discuss things (Hence the fact I know that I really have to find the right time and the right words/tone of voice to get to him). Anything from parenting to budget. From a small issue to a big one.

I have said so many times, that not answering is just plain rude. And so is just leaving the room when someone is talking to you.

Now the dcs are behaving exactly the same way and it's dragging me down.
And dc1 has learnt that any confrontation of any type is bad and that the best way to deal with it is to leave. Not saying that you don't like X or Y. No. Just leaving.
He even did it at my parents when we were all having lunch sad.

I don't want my dcs to learn this is an OK behaviour. I want them to know that when someone is clearly upset, you should ask them how they are. Even if it's not 'what the problem?' but at least 'Are you OK?'. At least acknowledging their presence.

badinage Sun 03-Mar-13 13:49:38

Who hates confrontations - you, him or both of you?

Tbh, I despair of people who create drama and like to have their upset prised out of them and if they do that a lot, then I won't give them the attention they seek. I'm thinking of my mother here, incidentally. I couldn't bear to be in a relationship with someone like that.

If there's something wrong, just deal with it.

badinage Sun 03-Mar-13 13:51:12

But hang on. Didn't you leave rather than air your grievances?

So you're both teaching your DCs bad lessons here about conflict management.

FeelsSad Sun 03-Mar-13 13:52:08

Btw I have never ever gone out of the house like this. This is so unlike me and my normal behaviour (very calm and levelled headed actually).

I didn't go out to get a reaction. I went out because I had enough and was going to be in an awful mood, would have told him exactly what I think in a very emotional way and he wouldn't have listened. More likely I would have ended up feeling like the 'bad' guy to be so emotional and clearly out of my mind).
This is very unusual. I normally either tell me in a calm way what is going on. Or I wait that I have calmed down and tell him. Today I was so furious that anyone, incl the dcs, would have bear the runt of it and I didnd't want them to 'pay' for something they haven't done iyswim.

LittleEdie Sun 03-Mar-13 13:53:31

And dc1 has learnt that any confrontation of any type is bad and that the best way to deal with it is to leave.

Am I missing something here, are you saying they've learned that from you?

Him not responding to your question meant that you had to leave the house for 45 mins? I thought you were going to say he'd been having an affair or something.

FeelsSad Sun 03-Mar-13 13:59:39

Thanks for the input....

I am not sure how to explain better what is going on.
As I have said before this reaction was a*ONE OFF* and NOT a normal reaction from my part.
But DH NOT answering questions and leaving the room IS the norm.

Just as stonewalling has once being his way of dealing with anything that looked unappealing to him.

Next time, I shall do as you all say and just let rip at all my issue at him....
And deal with all his sulking and his bad moods (for days) an try to go in between him and the dcs so that they don't get too much 'telling off' from him because he is in a bad mood.

What I really needed just now was some support. I have clearly gone to the wrong place for that sadsad.
I should have known.

WhereYouLeftIt Sun 03-Mar-13 14:01:04

I cannot see his behaviour being about hating confrontations (although I suspect that maybe he has told you that this is why he behaves the way he does?). Because if someone truly hates confrontation, then the work hard to not provoke any. Your example - "It can be as silly as 'can you pass me the bread?' which is met by a blank. And then when I (or the dcs) repeat the question, there is 'I am going to give it you!' in an annoyed voice." demonstrates that his actions actually manufacture a confrontation that needn't have existed.

Sorry, but this man does not hate confrontation, whatever he might say. He thrives on them, and uses them as a stick to beat you with.

LittleEdie Sun 03-Mar-13 14:02:24

You've gone to the right place, but gone about it the wrong way.

WhereYouLeftIt Sun 03-Mar-13 14:04:08

Sorry LittleEdie, can you explain the "gone about it the wrong way", I'm not following you.

FeelsSad Sun 03-Mar-13 14:06:15

Btw, I though that shouting or screaming at someone is NOT the right way to act. I went out to cool down because that is exactly what I would have done.
I did what I am telling my own dcs to do. That when you are so angry that you are ready to hurt someone with hands or words, you go away to calm down. And then you can deal with the situation.

This is what I did. How is that wrong???

I am not asking you to tell me what to do re the issue, nor to understand it tbh. because you can't wo knowing all the ins and outs and what has happened in the last 10 years.
What I wanted to know is. When someone you love is doing something out of character such as walking away and they come back cl;early upset. Would you talk to them and ask them if they re OK or would you just ignore them for a full hour before leaving wo saying good bye?
Really would you? Would you be happy to give the silent treatment to someone that you love and is clearly upset???

I was distressed when I first posted now I feel angry. And let down.

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