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What is this behaviour and how do I challenge it.

(95 Posts)
Iseeall Sat 13-Sep-14 17:44:54

I have looked at many posts in relationships but can't find the answer.

I want to be able to challenge dh but I don't understand exactly what it is he is doing, two examples from yesterday.

1. We were in a bakery and dh was ordering, he said to me, conversationally, 'what are you having'. At this point I was still looking at the selection. I then said to dh 'I will have xxx'.. Then dh says 'well tell the man then'

2. we were on the station platform, dh was ahead of me but I wanted to use the Ladies. I asked him to wait a moment, but he just looks at me and said 'don't look so confused, we were on the same platform earlier'

These examples sound trivial when I type them out, but it is something I would like to challenge, because it is fairly constant.

What should I say/do.

FunkyBoldRibena Sat 13-Sep-14 17:47:50

I don't quite get it..

If he says 'tell the man then' I'd say 'I'm telling you because you asked'

I have no idea what he means by being on the same platform earlier.

He could just be a knob end. Any other examples?

Nomama Sat 13-Sep-14 17:50:06

Ooh, that must feel really odd, to be belittled like that.

You could use those 2 examples of how what he says makes you feel belittled and that you would appreciate him giving you credit for being a fully functioning adult.

Tell him, it is the little things, the treating you like a child, that is upsetting for you.

His response will be illuminating. I wish you good luck...

Iseeall Sat 13-Sep-14 18:01:27

Yes, It feels like I'm belittled.
I really want to nip it in the bud now, I've let it slide for too long.
I suppose I should challenge every comment whenever and wherever.

ImperialBlether Sat 13-Sep-14 18:06:38

It's exhausting having to challenge every comment, though, isn't it?

What did he mean about the platform, earlier? I didn't understand that.

Do you two have children together?

YouAreMyRain Sat 13-Sep-14 18:16:04

How long have you been together? It sounds awful, he sounds incredibly patronising and his behaviour seems to be suggesting that you are making mistakes all the time. Making you question yourself. Gaslighting basically.

PetraHabbit Sat 13-Sep-14 18:18:50

Hmmm yes, I do get what he's doing, and why it's so unpleasant.

He's subtly changing the tone of the conversation so it looks like you're stupid/a child/he has power over you, and particularly in front of other people.

In my youth, I got some comments from my parents, a couple of men I dated. Not overtly aggressive, but just snide put-downs.

"why is your face like that? why are you putting that face on?" (my face is just normal/expressionless)

"standing around in la-la land"

"acting like you're dumb"

"why did you do X?"

In none of these circumstances was I actually doing anything impractical/dangerous: I'm actually fairly high-achieving and intelligent, organised and socially proficient/popular.

I really don't know what the solution is to people like this, or if there is one.

I do feel the way they act - the little digs and criticisms - is a reflection of their own shit/insecurities? They feel awkward, so they get off on projecting those awkward feelings on whoever they're with, so then they can go "oh look, she's the weird/silly one".

(my parents are academic/social failures and the men in question the same)

Like Imperial says, it's exhausting having to stand up for yourself all the time, your partner should be the one who supports you.

Iseeall Sat 13-Sep-14 18:21:15

Re the train comment. We had been out for the day, by train, and I wanted him to wait. That was all. To me, it was a polite request, but I get a strange belittling reply.

Yes with have dc.

Another example, dh had a visitor to the house(someone I had only met once before). I was upstairs when guest arrived. Dh let his friend in, I came downstairs to say hello etc. As I was half way down dh said
'If you've come down to ask if xxx wants tea he doesn't.'

It seemed like I was being dismissed.

I need some pithy responses. I'm never quick to respond.

YouAreMyRain Sat 13-Sep-14 18:24:48

He sounds awful! Really rude.

PetraHabbit Sat 13-Sep-14 18:24:55

I'd also add that there's something very unsettling about the sheer triviality of the things he is choosing to "correct" you on.

It's almost like he wants you to have to explain yourself and your fucking mode of speech

Small talk, practical chit-chat that takes us through the day, buying something from a bakery, should be a place where you are relaxed, not a place for someone to play Teacher hmm

Who does he think he is?

Has he always been like this?

Iseeall Sat 13-Sep-14 18:28:03

petrahabbit you understand exactly. The comments about your face. I've had those comments too.

I never thought I was stupid, but yes, that's how I'm made to feel.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sat 13-Sep-14 18:28:04

How about "what the fuck is your problem"?

HansieLove Sat 13-Sep-14 18:30:54

Easier to think of later, but on the stair thing, you could have said, actually, I am coming downstairs to say hi to Tom.

I do think it is important to correct him each and every time.

CaptainFracasse Sat 13-Sep-14 18:31:31

Is he like this only with you or with everyone else?

ouryve Sat 13-Sep-14 18:34:26

I think headfuckery is the word for that.

LadyLuck10 Sat 13-Sep-14 18:34:41

I can't see the issue, seems like you're looking for one.
With the platform did you have a confused look on your face? I really don't see him belittling you. Are there more examples?

ouryve Sat 13-Sep-14 18:36:19

Of course, next time he does it, you should tell him that he needs to see his GP because he seems to be losing his memory.

Quitelikely Sat 13-Sep-14 18:42:44

I can't see the problem either. If dh said those things to me I wouldn't even give them a second thought!

I'm not belittling you here btw but I genuinely can't understand!

Karenthetoadslayer Sat 13-Sep-14 18:50:03

I am getting it (but I would, wouldn't I).

Have you ever challenged him and if yes, how did he react?

It is very stressful to live like that, it makes you so defensive about everything you do and say.

CaptainFracasse Sat 13-Sep-14 18:52:21

I can see exactly where the OP is coming from. Her DH us answering her always on the side and never the initial question leaving her wondering what in earth is happening.
No1: he is asking her what she wants (ie she is suppose to tell her DH) and when she does he is telling her off for not talking to the man instead.
No2: he us answering cometely out of the context as if she hadn't said anything (instead if I'm going to the loo, wait for me) in effect telling her she is stupid for looking lost.
No3: could be understood if they had talked whether the friend was staying or not. But surely you wait until they have said hello to each other??? Again a way to make her unwelcomed in her own house.
I asked of he us like this all the time because it could be that he is following his own train if thoughts and getting 'out of sun' but that would happen with everyone.

Iseeall Sat 13-Sep-14 18:54:32

To answer some questions...
No he is not like this with everyone. Only me.
Yes it is always small talk/trivia that seems to elicit a strange comment.

It is useful to know some posters don't think it is a problem and i'm over thinking.

FunkyBoldRibena Sat 13-Sep-14 18:57:03

Ok yes, this is one of those things that cunts generally do to start the ball rolling with gaslighting. Does he also change the story depending on who he is talking to in order to make you look like a twat?

Karenthetoadslayer Sat 13-Sep-14 18:59:25

To start with, you can may be find out if he is doing this with the purpose of belittling you or if it is he is doing this inadvertently.

Are there typical situations that you can find stock phrases for? Next time he orders for everybody, could you just ignore him and just speak to the waiter with a big smile?

I would definitely try and find out what will happen if you react in a different way. Have you ever confronted him?

Iseeall Sat 13-Sep-14 19:04:34

captain you have nailed it with how I feel.
Answering out of context...brilliant
leaving me wondering what is happening.....when we are having simple conversations.

funky yes , he does sometimes try to get cheap laughs at my expense. I have pulled him up about that before.

Letitbee Sat 13-Sep-14 19:04:39

I would just say 'oh dear pompous arse mode again dear ' and move on if its just odd remarks - If he treated me like an idiot most of the time (when I wasn't being an idiot) then I would challenge him every time.

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