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please help me get some perspective on this?(7 Posts)
Regular poster, name changed.
I'm struggling to retain a sense of perspective here, I can be very black and white and tend to over react. Last week DH and I had friends over for dinner. DH is a musician and although I hate being centre of attention and don't really have much musical talent we do play together in the privacy of our home, he also has other projects/bands he plays in.
DH has been playing about with some recording equipment, video camera and microphones, for one of his projects. He recorded one of our practises with permission as he wanted to practise using the equipment. Without asking how I felt, he then played this (without warning!) in front of our friends. I commented several times that I felt deeply uncomfortable with this and began to feel physically stressed - sweaty, dry mouth. I know this seems a massive overreaction but being in a room where others are watching me on a screen is like my own personal nightmare. I did say this at the time. I also said that I was so mortified that I felt like I was in the dreaming you're at school in your underwear scenario, to get my point across. This again was completely ignored. I told everyone in the room that i wasn't compliment fishing, i genuinely hated seeing/hearing myself, its a long held anxiety (that DH is well aware of).I was so obviously distressed that our friends stepped in to say he shouldn't screen the practise if I didn't want him to. In the end I left the room to escape the situation. With the bloody thing still playing as I walked away.
I feel like my wishes were completely disregarded and its now difficult to believe DH has any respect for me. He maintains I have nothing to worry about and he just wanted to share it with our friends, although he was decent enough to apologise for how I felt afterwards
Am I overreacting? If I could see another person literally squirming in embarrassment and had the power to stop it, I couldn't continue to watch. He's supposed to be the one person I know I can trust and I don't feel like I can anymore. So upset. He took away my choice and I had to escape my own lounge to relieve my distress. Please help, I don't quite know what to do about this but it isn't getting any smaller in my mind.
Sorry typing on phone, so may not make perfect sense. Thanks for reading.
No, I don't think you are over-reacting. Your husband did something which made you very upset and embarrassed in front of your friends, despite knowing how you felt about it. I could just about understand putting the video on, although I wouldn't agree with it. But leaving it on when you were obviously unhappy was downright cruel.
It must have been a very embarrassing situation for your friends as well as you. What was he thinking? Can he offer any kind of explanation?
He said he was proud of what we'd done and so wanted to show our friends. He thinks I have talent and should 'put myself out there more'. Like I said I don't compliment fish - I am extremely shy which he's well aware of. Just a natural introvert, nothing I can change, I'm happy with who I am. Never going to be one of life's performers and that's fine with me. I just wish he could accept this and me, I don't need to be pushed by him. I feel like I don't know him anymore. What happens in future if I'm vulnerable and need him to respect my decisions? He'll just do what he wants to anyway regardless?
I really don't know what to do about this because I can't understand his behaviour. Like you said, it was cruel, and I don't understand cruelty.
I'm not sure it was meant to be cruel. It sounds like he is an extrovert and performing musician so quite happy to put himself out there and thought that you should as well (he obviously thinks you're great!). Maybe he thinks you lack confidence and all you need is a push instead of appreciating that you are a different type of person. Introverts have a much lower tolerance for external stimulation and prefer to process things on their own terms - maybe you need to sit him down and explain this. There was a thread on Mumsnet about it - maybe you could ask him to read it.
We seem to have a society that regards extroversion as 'normal' and introversion as a bit 'weird' so he's not totally to blame for any prejudices he has. He did apologise and is happy to be making music with you and supportive of your talent so not sure he could be described as cruel or abusive unless there's more to it.
I don't think you are over reacting exactly, I completely understand how you feel about things like that. I absolutely LOATH seeing photos of myself or seeing myself on video, I also find it almost physically painful to sit there while others look or watch.
The only thing I would say is that you DH probably thinks you look and sound absolutely great and so can't understand your concerns. That doesn't excuse his behaviour but in my personal opinion I don't think it was unforgivable behaviour as long as he doesn't do it again.
I don't think you are over-reacting. Maybe he thought that if he just pushed on you would feel differently once it was finished and it would help you in your anxiety to hear people be complimentary because he enjoys this joint activity and wants you to feel good when your talent is appreciated, like he presumably feels himself. That is the only thing I can think of.
But even if his behaviour did 'come from a good place' rather than impatience with your anxiety then you did not over-react by leaving the room when he insisted after you'd plainly asked him not to show it. The others in the room obviously felt the same.
He has apologised at least. And maybe you need to explain to him that whatever kick it is he gets from performing that just isn't there for you and that ignoring your wishes in this way does nothing to alleviate your anxiety/help.
Whether you overreacted or not to the playback is immaterial. Your DH should a) know you better by now than to screen the thing in the first place and b) acknowledge your discomfort enough to switch it off. What he did was the equivalent of knowing someone was scared of heights & booking a surprise visit up the Eiffel Tower.
I think he was grossly insensitive on this occasion and I particularly worry that he knew you'd be unhappy about it but went ahead anyway. Disregarding your feelings on an 'I know best' basis is not the foundation for a happy relationship. It's bullying.
It's good that he apologised but I think you need to stand up to him full square and make it clear that should he ever pull a stunt like that again there will be dire consequences. Don't allow yourself to be steam-rollered.
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