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My DH is always right. Always.(178 Posts)
When I got together with my DH six years ago, we quickly discovered, after the honeymoon period where we just about agreed on everything, that actually we are polar opposites on everything. All the inconsequential stuff. All the important stuff. Totally different. I even found out recently that he considers my taste to be garish. It's like nothing about us suits the other.
The unpleasant undertone to these fundamental differences is that he is older than me (only by 7 years) and assumes a somewhat parental/older brother attitude when it comes to disagreements. As if I'm just a bit slow on the uptake, possibly, or haven't finished school yet.
We reached an amicable truce several years ago, because we do hugely enjoy some areas of our relationship, and we make each other laugh and think, so it wasn't worth quitting the relationship even though it means we just can't civilly discuss politics or anything important.
Sorry, gibbering merrily away but don't want to dripfeed. I'll get to the point.
I'm a SAHM. Our DD is 4 months old. I do the lion's share, but DH will contribute. The trouble is, he will argue with me about how I do things, and question and question and quibble over and over. Discussions reoccur every week. I feel like he can't stand not being the one 'in the right' in this particular instance, even though I really am not heavy-handed about 'being the one at home', I really don't swan about like I am All That just because I do 90% of the parenting, but I get this sense from him that his opinion is still the only one that matters here, he is right, and he is going to do things his way, even when it detrimentally affects both of us.
It's really colouring my feelings for him significantly. I can't help but dislike him. I feel like it's the height of arrogance. The equivalent would be for me to appear in his office and gesture casually towards his computer and say, 'well, that's wrong for a start, but I'll fix it.'
Maybe there's even this sense of jostling for control, which I don't know how to handle. Next we're going to be arranging performance meetings and talking in corporate business speak.
He's not sounding either like even an averagely nice person. And clearly his general geniusness doesn't extend to emotional intelligence. Are you on maternity leave?
He actually said he thinks he is a genius? He said that out loud?
And he still expects you to take him seriously?
It is your bounden duty to bring this pillock back to earth.
What do you want to happen and what do you think is realistic? Do the two match up?
Regardless of anything else, and regardless of its success in making him a nicer H, every single time he cuts across you interrupt him back with, "do you realise how disrespectful interrupting me like that is?" If he counters with "but you're not getting to the point" or "you're talking nonsense" you say, "it doesn't matter if you agree with me or not. It is my opinion to have and to make, and a respectful person would allow me to say it in however many words I need".
I know that's a lot easier to type than it is to say in the middle of a situation where you're already flustered, but it's worth practising. Rather than arguing with him about x, y, or z (which you can't win because he won't let you) it simply calls him on his behaviour.
FWIW, I'd have laughed to if my partner had said to me that he thinks he's a genius. It's the only sane response to such madness. And, of course, it's long been said that there's a fine line between genius and madness.
AnyFucker, that's what I don't want to do. Repeat history. The fact that my DD is a girl worries me. That straight away tells me there's a problem. I need to do what my mother didn't do. Fix it or fucking well leave, not sit around afterwards being all doe-eyed and victimy. I do get that.
Dahlen, I have tried to address that before, but he has this way of... I don't know. Just a way. Which combines with my low self esteem and means I'm often hearing myself scrabbling about desperately trying to justify myself for really basic things. And sometimes I'm aware he doesn't even give a shit, which somehow conspires to make me doubly scrabbly.
Been a member of Mumsnet for nearly 18 months and have avoided posting about this. I might as well have just posted myself an LTB postcard.
I think maybe one of the first things to think about might be setting out how you feel in a very carefully crafted, no holds barred, suitably erudite letter - which of course can be helped along its editorial pathway by several old hands on here. Given his attitude to you, it's going to be the only way you actually get to tell him how you feel, why you feel it - and most importantly - why you think it's deadly, deadly serious.
He probably won't accept a word of it, because the genius is both never in the wrong and also so completely desirable that it's inconceivable that you might be dissatisfied with getting to Sit At The Feet Of The Master. But you'll need to say it - both for you, so that you feel you got the chance to put your side across, and for the situation - if you've spelled it out to him on paper, it will at least give you the security of being able to say 'But I was completely clear about this, in my letter. I said that I would no longer be able to accept x and y....' when he starts the inevitable bluster/belittle/bully when you disagree next.
What AF touched on is the real big thing, you know. He's an arrogant god-complex twat who can't bear to be in the wrong or in control, and do you know what - those kind of people generally tend to make absolutely appalling, years-of-therapy inducing parents. The emotional and mental beatings you can just about withstand will crush your child's spirit and ensure that they grow up unable to value themselves, unable to form healthy relationships of their own. Almost guaranteed. You don't sound as if you will stand for that: you're seeing the issue now in its embryo form as he lets your DD cry. Him imposing his different way on proceedings is more important to him than how she feels. That - will - not - change.
Oh x-post, on the fatherhood issue, and the scrabbling. Letter. Say your piece, as perfectly as you can. No scrabbling.
I agree that a letter is a good way to go if all else fails for the exact reasons Talkative Jim gave. People like your DH hate that, as it's so much harder to talk over and rubbish a well-written letter (although that probably won't stop him trying).
You're not scrabbly purrpurr. You sound perfectly articulate and clear on this thread. Probably because people are paying you the basic human courtesy of listening to you instead of making you feel like you are depriving them of valuable oxygen.
Hi OP. I did what your DH does.
Once. If you correct someone's pronunciation of "goujon", you deserve EVERYTHING you get.
Next he does it, say this "You are interrupting/correcting/belittling me. If you do it again, (deep breath) you will leave this house within 15 minutes. I have spoken".
...although there was more swearing in our caee.
Sorry, Dahlen I don't quite follow?
I think Dahlen meant what stopped you from continuing with the twattery ?
He sounds like he has an actual personality disorder.
I have LTB postcard I could send you if it would help.
The bollocking I just posted for the OP to use. With more swearing. And in public. In Padstow.
I could have crept down a mousehole.
I think you are probably a man who respects his wife and probably just indulged in a bit of twattery. I think the OP's H has had more than enough bollockings and appeals to his better nature and has just carried on regardless.
We've all indulged in occasional twattery. A sustained programme of it though, that is summat else
purrpurr, can I just say that you are very witty with a great turn of phrase - despite the aaargh-ness of your situation you have made me smile with your 'mums net bingo' and 'LTB postcard' remarks. What a shame your
genius husband doesn't appreciate you. I second the 'raise an imperious hand and say in stern tones 'let me finish!' approach to attempts to interrupt/derail. You might not have to do it very often to shift the balance...
You should get him tested, for geniusness, they might find something else.
I've been thinking a bit more about this. purrpurr I think you are going to be OK. I really do. You have insight, and you have had the sense to reach out to somewhere where the reality of what is going on in your relationship will be confirmed and where people will insist on your rights to be a full person. I really do think that is tremendously important. It will help you in whatever you decide. And it will help you succeed in whatever you decide to do. It will help because - I do believe this - belief in your fundamental right to a full human existence is absolutely paramount to getting through this sort of stuff (at all levels of crapness).
It may sound such a little thing, but I can only say that it has taken me years to get to this point, and, partly because it is a relatively new place for me to be, I can tell you: it makes a world of difference.
The main thing is that you really must hold on to that sense of yourself, your importance, your validity, etc, that you currently have. Don;t let it go, or be eroded. Use mn for validation. Not just from threads of your own - but reading other threads and realising that this sort of behaviour is named, and described, and documented: it is real, not your deluded imagination. And a lot of people (OK, a lot of women ) are prepared to say it is unacceptable. That should give you strength. It really is half the fight.
So - if you decide to employ Snazzy's assertiveness techniques, or other poster's suggestions, or if you decide that you will leave - you (and your daughter) will be OK. You can do it. There is nothing implicitly at fault in you. Good luck.
Liking Sustained Programme Of Twattery. A new MN acronym perhaps?
'OP, I hate to say it - but I think you've got a bit of a SPOT problem'
on an otherwise v serious thread
This man is a prick who hates women. It also sounds that you were brought up, or conditioned at some stage, to believe that men are important and godlike, and women should submit gratefully to their every demand.
I'm afraid you're not going to be able to fix this man. He is incapable of perceiving you as a human being, as important and valuable as he is. Someone once posted an excellent definition of how woman-hating men think, which I'm going to paraphrase (because I can't remember the exact wording) - basically, to a man like this, women, particularly their female partners, are like dogs. You own your dog. You 'love' your dog - you see that it is well-fed, healthy, has a comfy bed etc. You give it treats, take it for walks, treat it with affection. But it's a dog. It's not allowed on the furniture, it's not consulted about important decisions, and it has to be trained to obey you.
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