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I'm constantly criticising DH. Help

(7 Posts)
Believeitornot Fri 29-Mar-13 16:39:27

If I were a man, and DH wrote about my behaviour, he'd be told to LTB.

Anyway, can someone help me? I've gotten into a spiral of negativity towards my DH. Criticising, sniping and not able to take what he says at face value - I basically act as if there's something he's not telling me.

Eg we bicker a lot about household stuff and the children. Stupid things like he likes to tidy up while the kids are playing so they only have a few things whereas I leave them to it and will clear up at the end. DH likes things tidy, I'm messy etc etc.

It feels like it's escalating - now neither one of can say something without it turning into a sulk/bicker fest. I will snap back rather quickly at DH if he says something I consider to be critical (he is critical - he gets it from his parents and readily admits it but now I take everything as a criticism).

I want us to stop. Every now and then I will bring it up, as try and make an effort then DH will say something which I see as a slight and will flare up. I don't feel like DH makes the effort or sees it as my problem to solve.

Another frustrating thing is that he does withhold feelings and thoughts so I have to push buttons to find out what's wrong. I can tell something is up by his body language and he'll deny it then it'll come out later. Drives me mad.

We've got two young kids (1&3) don't get good sleep so maybe that's making this worse. We've also got money issues (debt to clear, can't do stuff to our house) so that drags our mood down.

I just want us to be happier. I swing between beating myself up for being horrible, to getting pissed off at DH for criticising. I can't work out who's being unreasonable - probably both of us.

Anyway, that was a ramble. How do you deal with low level annoyances? I'm worried that the kids are picking up on the bickering and it unsettles them sad

scaevola Fri 29-Mar-13 16:50:08

It sounds as if better communication is needed.

You are probably too damned tired at the moment as well. Can you park the DCs for a weekend and get some quality sleep? And build in some treats for yourself - do you have a hobby to restart, things to add to your wardrobe, spring manicure, new books, exhibition to see etc? This with the aim of staying in touch with yourself, so you feel stronger and better.

His withholding is however a big problem, as it will probably leave the impression that he is withdrawn from the relationship, and is putting actual and emotional energy elsewhere.

What styles of communication worked well between you when things were easier (say, before the DC)?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 29-Mar-13 16:57:21

Beyond children and house, do you have any shared interests? Do you spend time together as a couple and have chance to communicate? Do you (singular) have a job outside the home.. other responsibilities... or do you see house and kids as your 'domain'?

HeathRobinson Fri 29-Mar-13 17:17:46

If he holds things back, but then they come out later, are they critical things? Could he be doing his best to NOT say something critical?

Believeitornot Fri 29-Mar-13 18:53:00

Thanks for the replies.

Pre DC we used to fall out about similar but both made efforts to match the other one's style. So I'd try not to rush in with an argument and he'd try to be more open.

Yes we have shared interests - but no time to do them. We are very tired, both working almost full time and not much money tbh. We keep meaning to make more time for each other but don't.

Re withholding - it drives me insane it really really does. DH has in the past tried to be more open but then withdraws again if the reaction he gets is unfavourable eg if I get upset. It's like he doesn't like confrontation so will avoid which leads me to get extreme (as in get very upset/tearful) until he reacts although if I'm upset and he thinks it's "deserved", he won't comfort me even if I think he's wrong.

I don't know, there's a lot to untangle.

As for the kids - I naturally take the lead as do most of the practical stuff for them.

EllaFitzgerald Sat 30-Mar-13 00:37:37

Pre DC, did you discuss matching each other's style or was it something that happened naturally? It sounds like you've got so much on your plates at the moment that it would be impossible to fix all of it in any short period of time, but if you could get back into the habit of both doing this, it sounds like you'd have one less thing to worry about and you'd both feel more supported by the other, which is likely to have a positive impact on other areas.

HavingALittleFaithBaby Sat 30-Mar-13 13:28:28

We had a period of doing this, it was vile and I don't really like looking back on it too much. We'd had major stress (long term fertility issues, house fire) but we reached a point where I tore shreds off him all the time and he became very PA. we realised we were nearly at breaking point but both agreed we wanted to try to make the marriage work. What helped us was Relate - DH has never really found it easy to open up but somehow the counsellor got him talking. It just got us talking, realised neither of us was really to blame but at the same time taught us how to approach things differently.

Do you think that's something you'd consider?

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