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Yeah, so we all have the option of just wandering off into the night.

(21 Posts)
openerofjars Wed 18-Dec-13 00:23:31

DH and I had a rare chance to go out for a couple of pints at our local pub tonight. The long and the short of it is that we have argued and he has gone off, who knows where. Don't know when he will be back, if at all, he's just walked off. We have two DC, a 5yo and a 1yo. My mum is over for a couple of days so fuck know what she'll think. I don't know what to think but I'm sorely tempted to put my keys into the back of the door so he has to wake me up to get back in (I haven't, I'm just pissed off).

We argued about him going out on Friday night: I wanted to know that he'd be okay on Saturday to do Xmas preparations and he took this to mean that I wasn't okay with him going out at all and that I was policing his fun. I'm not innocent in this: I was probably petulant, nagging and annoying: I just want to get some of my own Xmas prep done. I work part time but toddler DD means that I can't just do what I want on my "days off" and the weekends are really full.

Clearly DH is at the end of his tether (he's had a shit time at work recently but actually so have I) but who the fuck does he think he is to just decide that he's not going to be there for the DC in the morning? I don't get that choice. Plus, I'm worried about him for himself as well: he at least knows where I am, even if he's really pissed off with me right now, whereas he could be anywhere as far as I know, plus it's cold out and he's had 4 pints.

Can I have a hand hold please? And please no LTB, he apparently just did that.

Charcoalbriquettes Wed 18-Dec-13 00:30:22

How annoying of him. It sounds like he is not coping with stress very well. Are you going to get some time off together over Xmas?

Getting organised for Xmas with little dc is really difficult. One employer round here gives all staff a 'shopping afternoon' off work so they can do their Xmas shopping unencumbered by little people. Can you extend your childcare for a half day to give yourself a chance?

TalkativeJim Wed 18-Dec-13 00:38:15

Tell him that being a dad isn't an optional role.

However, if he wants to act as if it is optional... tell him not to be surprised when that's exactly how he's perceived.

openerofjars Wed 18-Dec-13 00:40:16

m off tomorrow while my mum has the DC, but by the looks of it I'll be dealing with this, plus it's now late and he's not back so I'm not going to sleep,yet.

No, he is massively stressed and I think he has lots of the signs of depression: short temper, early morning waking, poor sleep, anhedonia etc, but he won't go to the GP about it.

So he carries on being snappy and tired and gloomy, but we have to carry on regardless, and I have to be the adult, and DS has to get snapped at. It's not fucking well fair.

Don't get me wrong, DH was wonderful last week when I pranged my car, he was truly a rock, but you don't get to earn time off being a grownup for good behaviour, no matter how great you are and this week is Xmas prep and the end of DS's 1st term at school, with all the behaviour that implies, and I feel for the man but but but we have to keep going...

No I have not said all this to him and yes I have got myself counselling for stress. It starts after Xmas.

GilmoursPillow Wed 18-Dec-13 04:04:25

I hope he's back now OP, or you at least know he's safe somewhere.

TheZeeTeam Wed 18-Dec-13 04:18:39

You should probably both sober up and sort it tomorrow.

Lweji Wed 18-Dec-13 06:03:02

The expression policing his fun is interesting. And it's usually employed by entitled men who think their fun is more important than their families. It seems like he engineered the argument and exaggerated your request so that you seemed unreasonable in asking him to be there for Christmas preps. When do you actually get to have fun?

Yes, sober up, but then make it clear that families are not optional. If yours is in the way of fun, then he can opt out or be opted out. The same goes for his moods/depression. He needs to address it or you won't put up with it for longer.
Although you need to consider if there is nothing else going on.

LineRunner Wed 18-Dec-13 06:31:56

Hi, OP. it really is a crappy time of year in many ways, so much stress and strain, so many expectations on our time and emotions.

I hope he came home and I hope he says sorry to you today. Flouncing off is really not a good look in a supposedly mature adult.

Vivacia Wed 18-Dec-13 06:49:38

I don't know where you live but out here in the sticks wandering off in the cold and dark whilst drunk is a stupidly selfish thing to do. I hope you know where he is by now.

openerofjars Wed 18-Dec-13 07:16:50

He got back at some point last night and slept on the sofa. I did text him and ask him to go somewhere warm if he didn't want to come home, and I didn't think I'd get a reply but at least he came back so DS won't worry about him.

I do get to go out as well, by the way: I got a night out on Saturday.

He won't think he did anything wrong because clearly IABU, but I guess we will find out if he's talking to me when I get up in five minutes.

We live in a city, by the way, and yes, I agree that walking around at night in the cold is really silly but he could have gone to a friend's house or indeed back to the pub if he wanted to.

Thank you for all your kind words.

Joysmum Wed 18-Dec-13 07:59:04

This is where hubby and I tend to do things differently than most people. We disagree and have arguments, we do and say dumb things too. The difference is that we generally don't think our anger at the other is more important than the initial hurt and cause of their outburst.

If things go squiffy, when we first see each other after then we have a long hug. My hubby can behave like an arse but he's not an arse, same for me. So, we aim to resolve the trigger and that's the priority rather than focussing on the resulting outburst. The best way to resolve is for the other to acknowledge the other person is hurt, even if how they reacted to that hurt was twatty. I don't want my hubby to be upset, he doesn't want me to be upset so calming things down and solving it is more important than holding onto the feeling of how badly the other is dealing with their feelings.

So there's a choice to be made, concentrate on the resulting outburst and solve nothing and perhaps escalate matters, or you can acknowledge the triggers of the outburst and try to work things through sooner rather than later.

openerofjars Wed 18-Dec-13 08:12:29

How lovely for you, Joysmum. It must be nice being different from most people. hmm

No, I'm not going to brush DH basically behaving like a stroppy teenager and leaving me to be the adult, under the carpet and see how I can take responsibility for his bad moods like a good little wifey. Bugger that.

MrsTrellisNorthWales Wed 18-Dec-13 08:22:36

I don't think that comment from you, OP, to Joysmum was warranted. She wasn't slating you or criticising you, just giving her own take of how she and her husband deal with things. Her way is as valid as yours if that works for them. You said your DH has behaved like a stroppy teenager, yet you said you also were probably petulant, nagging and annoying.

Ginwitch Wed 18-Dec-13 08:51:06

That's great advice Joysmum and would solve many arguments. One question though and I'm sure it comes down to maturity but how can one get a stroppy, rude, volatile adult to not explode in a tantrum and a. storm out and b. not have a tantrum if you do or say something they don't like ie produce the 'trigger'. I'm guessing some people are naturally more switched on but what can you suggest when dealing with someone with the emotional intelligence of a piece of lettuce on a good day. Yours is an intelligent way of dealing with issues
without creating drama an also with the view to resolve issues at source to prevent the same old argument time and time again however how do you get someone to engage on this level if they haven't before or have a pattern of avoidance.

I like your advice and maybe if you had any ideas on this as OP may be able to apply your tactics.

You sound quite cross OP, your DP had been very unfair in flouncing off and leaving you not knowing what's going on and I would be too.

openerofjars Wed 18-Dec-13 10:29:30

Joysmum, I apologise for my rudeness to you. I think it'd be lovely if it was always as easy to resolve problems that way. I think my frustration with your response was because clearly that's not what's happening with DH and I and, maturity or not, last night's situation didn't work and I was (and still am) angry with DH for having the freedom to just storm off and leave me to deal with real life. I feel as if his response doesn't take into account that it's not actually all about him and that other people could be affected by his actions, but if, as I suspect, he is struggling with depression and stress, he isn't thinking clearly.

I would love to have infinite compassion and be able to resolve arguments in a calm fashion but the thing is they are arguments. Normally, though, they don't end with one of us heading out into the freezing night and it's his thoughtlessness that I've got the issue with here, and the fact that yet again I'm making the effort to resolve it while he gets to throw his emotional weight around and abdicate responsibility.

For instance, Joysmum, it's great that both you and your husband acknowledge that the other person is feeling hurt. That doesn't happen here, and to be honest I'm getting fed up with being the person who comes up with ideas on how to better manage arguments. As I said upthread, who died and made me Emotional Literacy Manager with responsibility for conflict management. I'm cross that I have to do all the running.

Lweji Wed 18-Dec-13 10:59:00

You clearly need to address the way you respond to him. If you are always the one doing the running and suggesting ways of improving the relationship, he abdicates responsibility. In fact you are taking responsibility.
Give it back to him. As in, it's not working, what are you going to do about it?
If he is depressed, what will he do about it?
If he's stressed, the same.

Let him sulk and storm off, but warn him that you are pretty close to call it a day if he continues like that. The same as in relation to abdicating his responsibilities in family events and how apparently his fun takes precedence.

I agree with joys, but there are instances when how people behave in arguments shows a lot about how they feel and how they view the other person. As does the way how conflicts are resolved.

LineRunner Wed 18-Dec-13 12:27:26

This thread is seriously illuminating. I'm in a relatively new relationship - six months or so - and we have had a shitty few days and a preventable falling out.

What I don't think OH has quite twigged yet is how he deals with this is going to determine whether or not I think the relationship has a future. Like the OP says, who wants to be Emotional Literacy Manager? Fuck that.

DirtyLittleSecrets Wed 18-Dec-13 13:09:31

OP, have you ever sat down and talked about his reactions with him? Will he talk about it or acknowledge his way of dealing with things is not good? Do you think he thinks his problems are more important than anyone else's? Does he lack empathy at all? I only ask because I knew a guy a bit like this once (in terms of the moods and storming off) and he was impossible to reason with because he could never see anything from any one else's point of view.

openerofjars Thu 19-Dec-13 20:53:14

Hello, I'm back. Thank you for all the food for thought.

We have a communication issue but after a much nicer couple of days and genuinely being more considerate of each other, we are just trying to get to the end of the week. It's been a really shitty few weeks, involving car accidents, DH's workload doubling, minor financial worries and the kids and I being ill etc etc and I think to be honest it came to a head on our first night off in ages.

No, it wasn't the ideal way of dealing with stress but actually cutting ourselves a break and choosing to be kind to each other about falling out rather than have a massive dissection of our relationship is the way forward this week because frankly we're both so tired and stressed that any more isn't possible. It feels at the moment like we're on a liferaft and it makes more sense to help each other on with the life jackets and keep paddling, rather than argue over whose fault anything is. Anything else is a luxury we don't have the resources for at the moment.

Does that make sense?

Anyway, we are going to watch some telly together and try and have a relaxing evening tonight. Fingers crossed and thanks again.

LineRunner Thu 19-Dec-13 22:26:45

Hello, OP. That sounds much more positive. OH and I are attempting similar because frankly we feel we are drowning in stressful events and I like the liferaft analogy!

openerofjars Thu 19-Dec-13 22:46:30

One more day, Linerunner, then it's the weekend (hoping you don't work at the weekend). One more sleep until Friday night and the end of term. We can do it. Hang on in there.

<grits teeth>

<in creepy wee brackets>

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