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Dh scared of me because ...?(20 Posts)
Have name changed for this.
Dh is probably mildly ea/ pompous ass (his own words) and attend couple counseling relatively regularly.
This has helped build my self esteem and dh is not let off the hook for inappropriate behavior of any sort.
Recently I told dh I felt he was bullying me and only cowards bully, please explain. He admitted to feeling scared of me because I ... And when I asked him to rephrase without accusing me of anything he could not go on.
Trouble is I often notice that when I scratch the surface, dh often has some weird accusation ready, totally not true (and I'm VERY reflective, always look to myself first to seek blame).
Have read Lundy Bancrofts bible and loved it, but don't recall reading about this detail.
Does anybody, perhaps male readers, recognize this kind of behaviour? When do men fear women? I'd like some advice before next counseling please, as Im a bit gobsmacked.
Certain types of men perhaps fear women when they don't let them control and dominate? Perhaps.
It's not that he fears you.
This is classic EA - projecting and turning it around on you, confusing you and not having any detail to back it up.
He fears losing control over you perhaps. That's very different.
I could be wrong but it sounds like old-fashioned misdirection to me. But yes, bring it up in counselling. He'll either explain himself properly or look a bit shifty, then you'll know.
It's good to hear he isn't let off the hook in counselling, by the way. I thought that wasn't recommended for EA, but I guess there are borderline cases.
He wants you to feel guilty about pulling him up on being a bully, that's all. So he makes up this 'scary' accusation in an attempt to make you feel bad about being assertive. It's a pretty childish tactic.... like the kid that sobs and says 'don't you like me any more?' just because you've had to tick them off about something.
He fears you? He's scared of your strength. You don't let him get away with crap, and any in appropriate behaviour gets pulled up. He's only better now because you're making him be, not because he wants to be. If he wanted to be he would respect you, not fear you.
Typical EA behaviour to turn it round and allege you are the abusive one.
Why are you staying with him exactly?
Thanks for all your replies.
I did have the feeling this was more ea. And as perverse as it may sound, I'm rather proud that my new found assertiveness has him rattled.
Why am I still with him? Good question. There are some pluses, one of them I think is the 'encouragement' to finally man up and become more assertive as an individual. This has actually helped me in my working life too. Coming from a dysfunctional family and only knowing ea partners, I became a total pushover all round.
The counseling does help btw, I suppose dh is more spoilt brat/ would-be abuser. I'm not scared of him, I used to try terribly hard to accommodate him and was left gasping.
And yes, dh does often remind me of a sullen child, however since counseling and my developing a backbone he has learned to back off from selfish demands, has become more reasonable on a daily humdrum basis and I am less clingy, more independent regarding spending leisure time, I.e see friends more.
Thanks to Lundy Bancroft I tend to see his manipulation attempts a mile off now and can confront him head on.
Only this tactic seemed new, but spot on! Thanks again everybody. This has been a big help. I suppose I see our relationship as a bit of karma, I can't keep running from my problems, I have to face them. Probably sound a bit weird. Has anybody else ever felt like this?
Be careful. You are trying to test your new found strength. But the relationship doesn't sound as though it is an equal one now anymore than it was before. Do you really want to be with someone that you have to monitor and watch all the time???
That sounds like a pretty masochistic approach, Lovely. Your relationships aren't supposed to be a challenge. Counselling on your own would be helping you be more assertive anyway without having a handy EA partner to test yourself on.
It strikes me that "facing" EA people rather than running away from them as fast as you can is basically like deciding to "face" a crocodile or a chainsaw. There's no moral virtue in it and most people just wouldn't see the need to put themselves through it.
Sounds about right, diy. It does keep me on my toes. I suppose that its a question of who tires first. Either he stops acting like a jerk and grows up or i give up on him, or I reach a level of strength that makes it impossible to respect dh anymore and I move on. Without him.
Knowing its a time of testing does however let me take more care of myself. Something I should have done from the start.
Madbuslady, I know I sound weird, its just that there seem to be a lot of bullies in RL and I can't see another way of coping atm.
My dsis, my only close living relative (beside ds) is another drain on my energy levels. Interestingly my dh was quite correct in his assessment of my dysfunctional family and has been helpful in lessening my guilt towards them. It's only his own ea that can't be questioned!! How ironic.
Counseling is sometimes one on one due to various unforeseen impediments and I get a lot of support there, also from friends.
Mn helps me to see clearly though as dh naive charm cannot cloud the issue.
Like MadBusLady I think that if you have to undergo counselling to give you the strength to face up to the person you're in a relationship with... it's just a bad relationship and you should save yourself the bother. Take what you've learned with you, of course. Everything you learn from this will be of use in the future - nothing's wasted. A loving relationship should be enhancing, relaxing and fun. It shouldn't be a daily battle of wits.
He's probably scared that you dig deeper into his insecurities.
Lweji He's probably scared that you dig deeper into his insecurities - spot on.
I can hear bells positively clanging when I read your OP Lovelyspringday (NC'er here too as similarly accused of being too capable/decisive/competent )
Anything that makes him look at his own behaviour, or the underlying reasons for it, is so deeply uncomfortable that he falls back on that good old favourite of misdirection and obsfucation as MadBusLady and others have pointed out. I give you the example of H lying outrageously to his family about me (behind my back) and making me out to be a controlling harridan - when in truth he has never made a decision in his life - when I discovered this and confronted him, he countered with
whined that I didn't, and should've, helped him lay new flooring in the kitchen. Like the two are even remotely comparable?! (I think he should go to the 'Grip' shop asap.)
Yes, you've become strong(er) and noticing more of his manipulations therefore he has to counteract this with more fuckwittery.
I so agree about the sullen child analogy my H seems to be regressing, and just wants to be in the safe, comfortable
lying, manipulative, narcissistic, emotionally and sexually abusive bosom of his family (not our family) and have his every minor grievance validated and supported by them. Notwithstanding he has never made these 'grievances' known to me - another one that expects a mind-reading spouse - and therefore is happy to feel legitimised in his behaviour. Arsehole.
I think you are further on than me at the moment - my H has now said he thinks counselling would be a good idea (marital, and personal for him) but, as usual, this is quantified by a small bleating 'can you help me' to access it...FFS.
Your post, and those of others, helped me clarify some of the issues I'm struggling with at the moment - thank you.
Cogito, I suppose what I'm trying to achieve is just that, a relaxed loving atmosphere. Atm we are channeling our battle of wits into solving crossword puzzles together. Very symbolic really. Dh has become more relaxed at this and willing to see it more playfully, not an actual battle.
Lweji, he has deep insecurities. Talking things over with a counselor present helps distinguish between personal character flaws and learned behaviour (exw literally from hell, no arguments from me on that one, but as I'm just about the opposite of her on so,many levels, I refuse to be used as some kind of punching ball by proxy, if the analogy makes sense...).
Thank you all for your replies. I am really trying to be realistic and am pretty good now at spotting and addressing ea behaviour. At the risk of sounding like an idiot, I do feel his buried aggression is lessening, his selfishness has become measurably reduced etc.
I can see this in his skin condition, he used to have really bad, inflamed skin, literally boiling with repressed anger. This has nearly disappeared and I explain to him regularly that his unconscious anger coming to rest is reflected on his skin. He must only trust me and respect me and thus give himself a chance at happiness too.
God I sound drippy! And possibly mad, but I used to,have an interest in this sort of stuff, I.e. linking health issues with the subconscious. Often helped me in the past.
Loved the 'bleeting'! Yes, yes, dh so,does that. And when he has to admit to fuckwittery, I.e. there is no other option, he cuddles me and asks if I still love him.
And the therapy is only working because he admits openly that his a jerk and has asked me to point out any rudeness when it happens.
Like being condescending! Sometimes I don't even hear it anymore (selective auditory nerve?) but dh will say sorry, he's just realized he's been an arse again.
And yes, he is still a mummy's boy, but luckily mil and I get on well and she supports me as much as him (sees me as his best catch EVER, which helps).
I think there is a pm possibility if you need or want to get more moral support.
You don't have to be a punching ball by proxy but, equally, you don't have to be the locum psychiatrist either. Just because you understand someone's neuroses, doesn't mean you have to either live with them or forgive them.
Well atm i do have to live with him, but no forgiving.
And yes, I'm not his therapist, hence also the idea of counseling.
There has to be a make or break situation soon, I'm guessing. If I'm really getting stronger and he can't take it, then that will be it I suppose. I know he cheated on first wife, but she did too, and his affair ended marriage.
I ended my first marriage due to realization of being married to a total pig ( no known cheating there). I don't know if I can do that again. Ds is happy how we live, dsc (mostly) too, and will be home for some years to come.
I feel I owe it to myself and ds to try a bit harder to get things to work. Atm dh is showing overall signs of improvement. We talk a lot now that I know exactly what to address. There will be no,leeway. I can't be fairer to,dh and myself than that.
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