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just can't get through to my cold and angry dh

(115 Posts)
superdry Fri 27-Sep-13 12:38:34

no matter how hard i try i just can't seem to communicate effectively with my husband, any issue, even vaguely contentious, ends in a row, he won't engage with me, he won't listen to me, just goes yeah yeah, whatever, which inevitably leads to me trying harder to get him to listen, which eventually leads to him losing his temper, and sometimes threatening with some kind of violence - if i am lucky i get an apology the next day, but his manner doesn't really change as he always claims i provoked him, i won't leave him alone etc etc - the only way we have any kind of peaceful life is if i never complain about anything - anything at all, thereby 'not starting an argument' - i can go for weeks like that but inevitably i eventually 'have a go' at him about something or other, and the cycle begins again. i feel emotionally drained by it all, its the same old story, he says i am the one with the problem and obviously i think its him! any nuggets of advice out there? we have 2 young children

mistlethrush Fri 27-Sep-13 12:40:18

You know what everyone is going to say if its 'always your fault'

superdry Fri 27-Sep-13 12:43:33

actually, no??

mistlethrush Fri 27-Sep-13 12:58:44


Stroppygoddess Fri 27-Sep-13 13:05:56

Sounds draining, despressing and exhausting. poor atmosphere for your children to grow up in too.

Do you still love him? How long have you been together?

captainmummy Fri 27-Sep-13 13:07:28

What do you get out of the relationship?

Madlizzy Fri 27-Sep-13 13:07:29

I think if he's threatening you with violence, then yes, a suggestion to leave is a relevant one. He doesn't care about what you think, so you trying to communicate with him is pointless. He just wants you to shut and put up with whatever shit he wants to throw at you. He's the problem.

waltermittymissus Fri 27-Sep-13 13:11:24

sometimes threatening with some kind of violence

I'm afraid this IS a LTB one.

Tryharder Fri 27-Sep-13 13:13:52

I'm not going to say LTB, because that is none of my business, not my decision, God knows not a decision to be taken lightly and your tolerance levels for bad behaviour are your own concern.

But: Have you tried phrasing your concerns in a different way? For example rather than you saying: 'I'm not happy because you did A, B and C....' try saying 'what if we did ABC rather than XYZ.." I.e trying to make it less personal for him so he can't perceive it as an attack which I assume is how he is seeing it now.

Or what about writing your concerns down and giving him time to consider them alone rationally?

Or arranging a system where you each have 5 mins to air your grievances at a certain specified preordained time agreeing in advance that neither of you (him) will get upset or kick off

superdry Fri 27-Sep-13 13:15:43

what do i get out of the relationship? well emotionally very little, he is the most emotionally unavailable and unempathetic man you could meet, but in general we have a decent family life and i couldn't bear the thought of breaking up the family, we been together about 8 years, married for 5, i just put it down to the fact that men don't like emotional and/or angry women - so i try and be zen and not let anything fuck me off too much, but my problem is i can't keep that up all the time, to be honest i don't think i've ever been much good at along term relationships, it's just not that black and white, its too easy to blame the other guy completely - surely i have to take some responsibility for my part in it all?

WithConfidence Fri 27-Sep-13 13:15:48

Get yourself some Lundy Bancroft.

He doesn't care what you think, he doesn't want to change and communicate and have an equal partnership. He wants to do whatever he wants. It doesn't matter how you behave, he has to want to start treating you (and the dc, it's damaging for them to hear this stuff, especially threats of violence) better.

All you can do is get him to leave and hope this gives him a permanent kick up the bum. Or put up with it, making you and the dc miserable.

Squitten Fri 27-Sep-13 13:16:04

So whenever you attempt to have a voice in your relationship, you are threatened with violence if you don't be quiet?

I would not recommend that as a situation to be staying in.

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 27-Sep-13 13:16:26


You are describing an abusive relationship.

Threats of violence to intimidate you into doing his bidding is appalling.

Squitten Fri 27-Sep-13 13:18:30


This is not about "men". This is about the particularly horrific example of the species that you seem to have picked up. How on earth can you have a decent family life when you are basically ruled by him?

Living in fear of your partner's temper is an extremely toxic environment in which to raise children. You will end up with violent bullies for sons and cowed, insecure daughters - all learnt from dear Daddy.

You owe them better than that.

WithConfidence Fri 27-Sep-13 13:22:00

I'm sure you are not perfect superdry. But you should be able to be yourself in a relationship.

What is it that you cannot bear about breaking up the family? I am not being sarcastic, I have been there, I know it is not easy. But I mean specifically what is it you are worried about?

WhiteandGreen Fri 27-Sep-13 13:22:27

It seems unlikely that he is suddenly and magically going to change. This is true even if he acknowledged that there was a big problem and said he wanted to change. So the question is, are you happy to live like this?

I spent about 3 years at the end of my marriage trying to tell myself that if I could just not care about how he behaves, then it'll be alright. Tried very hard to be zen. Ha! Didn't work.

I would also tell myself that it must be my fault too, not just his. In the end I realised it didn't really matter who's fault it was given that we seemed to find it impossible to change our way of communicating.

superdry Fri 27-Sep-13 13:26:31

i've read the lundy bancroft book, i'm afraid the advice it gave didn't really help, apparently you are meant to tell them not to cross the line when they start getting out of order and they are meant to stand behind it obediently! i realise that its not a great atmosphere to bring kids up in, but its not always like that, and its nearly always late at night away from them, also he is extremely loving and affectionate with the kids, which quite frankly does my tiny little mind in even more!! he thinks i am a controlling b**ch that doesn't deserve his affection/attention/love

waltermittymissus Fri 27-Sep-13 13:30:36

'Men' don't have group emotions, feelings and reactions any more than women do.

It's not about whether men, as a group like emotional women, as a group!

This is about you being afraid to show any emotion around your DH under threats of emotional or physical abuse.

And children pick up on things all the time.

haverer Fri 27-Sep-13 13:30:37

Your husband is abusive. He's doing whatever it takes to control you so that you do not challenge him in any way. Would you accept threats of violence from a stranger? Your children are going to learn that this is what a marriage looks like, an are very likely to replicate this when it's their turn.
You sound like you're working very hard, taking whatever's slung at you, thinking if different ways to head off an argument, all for the sake of your children. That selflessness is so admirable, but they won't thank you for it. You deserve more. They deserve more.
I'm worried about you. He's threatening violence now and that's enough to get you to comply. After that it can go two ways: you keep very small and still and unobtrusive, your spirit is broken and you lose who you are; or you express your own thoughts and feelings and he has to escalate to real violence to keep you in line. I don't know what's worse.

Gerbilectomy Fri 27-Sep-13 13:33:18

Your husband hates you, don't you understand that? He properly hates you.

Get out and get happy.

WithConfidence Fri 27-Sep-13 13:34:26

That is not what LB says. He says the only way a relationship with an abuser can work is IF you can lay down boundaries and IF he will stick to them. He says that is rare.

I spent many nights in bed when I should have been asleep listening to my parents argue and was constantly afraid another argument was going to flare up at any moment. Even when very small I was aware when there was something brewing and tried to stop it erupting being keeping them both happy. Probably part of the reason why I got myself into a shit relationship as I thought it was my job to try and keep my partner happy and not start an argument! Not having that atmosphere for my ds.

haverer Fri 27-Sep-13 13:34:54

Children pick up on emotions. They will feel the relationship. They will know that you always back down. That all daddy has to do is look irritated/raise his voice/whatever and you stop your line of questioning. And they'll hear muffled arguments.

Wellwobbly Fri 27-Sep-13 13:35:42

There is only one way:

acceptance. That you truly, truly accept him for WHO he is. Someone who does not care about how you feel, what you think, or what you want.

If you truly accept this, then you will stop looking to him to fill your needs or gain a connection, and develop your own life, own friendships, own interests and own connections*

Because, at the moment, you are just setting yourself up to be knocked down again.

PS: when I accepted this, he took the giving up as me not loving him any more and permission to get himself an OW who DID give him lots of attention.

*No bad thing really. Because you are going to have to do it in the end anyway. [Cynical]

superdry Fri 27-Sep-13 13:36:57

i guess i think the pain of breaking up the family would be worse than the pain i am dealing with at the mo,

i would have to find somewhere for me and the kids to live nearby so they could attend the same school which they love, i would have to remove the kids from the home they know and love, i am not sure i can do those things, and no, i couldn't stay in 'our house', because his name is on the mortgage and he wouldn't leave anyway, i mean i couldn't physically get him to leave

Gerbilectomy Fri 27-Sep-13 13:39:35

The pain of 'breaking up the family' (which he has already broken, btw) is temporary. The pain of continuing to flog this particular dead horse, and harm your DC in the process, will last and last and get worse and worse.

Rip off the plaster. Do what you know you have to do. It's not about you any more - it's about your DC.

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