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So fed up, is there a name for this?

(25 Posts)
Palmcove Sun 09-Nov-14 19:40:38

I am so angry with my husband at the moment. I just don't know what to do. We just can't seem to discuss certain topics without fighting. Basically it starts with him raising his voice and interrupting and speaking over the top of me, and then it escalates. He will not let me speak and I end up screaming. We've been together for 8 years and it's got to the point where as soon as I hear his tone of voice start up I see red.

All I want is to be able to discuss things like adults, establish the facts of the situation, list all the options and decide the course of action that works best for everyone. Instead I am reduced to (for example, today) arguing in the supermarket, I try to walk away but he won't let up, speaking over me, making sarcastic comments, sweeping generalizations, martyr like comments - I don't even know the words for what he does - is it fatalistic? Like 'oh well if we can't do that we might as well forget the whole thing' type statements, but it drives me crazy. He completely derails any conversation he doesn't like. I avoid discussing things with him as I know it's going to be an argument. If I tell him not to raise his voice he stars arguing that he is not raising his voice, if he was raising his voice I would know about it. So then we are arguing about what level of volume is raising your voice.

At the moment I hate him. And I told him that I hate him. I am seething with rage. I am sick of being talked over. I would never do it but I am so angry I wanted to hit him. If it was just us now I would probably leave him I am that angry and fed up.
But we have a 10mo baby. I am from Australia and have no family here. We are currently arguing over when to next visit Australia.
The actual topic of the current argument isn't really why I'm posting, I just want to call him out on what he is doing and I don't know how to put it into words.
I sent him a text saying he is a fucking bully but I hate myself for being so angry and swearing and shouting myself. I've tried so hard to rise above, to walk away and try later, to email him so I can get my point across. I don't know what to do. The other thing he will do is then cave in like a martyr and say do what you want, whatever you want, have it your way. I just want to discuss it like adults! I'm so fed up I could cry. Is there a name for what he is doing? And how do I call him out on it? How can we learn to discuss things rationally? Is there any hope?

cailindana Sun 09-Nov-14 19:47:10

Yes there's a name for it.

It's called being an immature dick.

Spinaroo Sun 09-Nov-14 19:52:50

I think you are both under a lot of pressure- far from home and with a ten month old. The first year after our first child was born we argued a lot- silly things that would blow up into nothings and I saw red so many times- but it did settle. Do you still want to be with him? Can you still see why you live him? If you can, then try to talk things out at a quieter time- right after an argument us never the time - emotions are running too high. Ps- we still bicker lots but I don't pack his bags which I did on more than one occasion during that year

LineRunner Sun 09-Nov-14 20:01:28

Why do you think he needs to 'win' arguments? When did all that nonsense start?

Hope you are ok flowers

Palmcove Sun 09-Nov-14 20:40:25

spinaroo when I calm down I hope I still want to be with him. I do love him but this just wears me down. We've come back to this topic numerous times already. Ive already conceded to having Xmas and baby 1st birthday in UK, but want to go soon after, possibly late dec early Jan. At first he needed to be around in January because there is a team building day 'some time in January' at his work. No date set for it yet but I have to work around that. He wanted to go late jan into feb as the solution to keeping this day free even though we don't know what day it is, which I am struggling not to see as ridiculous. Have since found out my family members have time off early January so even more incentive for me to want to go sooner rather than later, meaning we will be back mid January and plenty of time to do the teambuilding exercise. Now his excuse is he can't go straight after Xmas as it means he will be out of the office for too long. This is the office that is so quiet in January they can spare a whole day for everyone to go 'team building'

linerunner I am not sure. He is defensive to the point of attack though and cannot handle the slightest criticism. In his family growing up someone always had to get 'the blame' if things went wrong and he seems to be desperate for it never to be 'his fault'. I can't relate to this as in my family, dysfunctional as it could be, if you did something wrong it was explained why it was wrong and you were given the chance to apologise. If it was obviously an accident, eg breaking something, it was not a big deal but that is the sort of thing he got in a lot of trouble for. Also if we told the truth we would not get in trouble, but he will lie to avoid it (another pet hate of mine and I see it as a real weakness but that's another thread probably )

Meerka Sun 09-Nov-14 20:46:07

Have you talked calmly about how he deals with disagreements? He sounds like he's pretty well permanently defensive and has no idea that you can do that strange thing called compromise. It can be hard .... I've struggled at time with it too blush but getting there!

I think he needs to realise he has a problem in that he can't handle disagreement. Then he needs to tackle that problem, practise different ways of handling things. it would take time but you can get there.

If he can't accept and work on this, he's always going to remain a jerk. At that point you have to decide to live with it for yoruself and a model for your child, or to find fresher air apart.

Palmcove Sun 09-Nov-14 21:02:52

meerka I've mentioned the voice raising and interrupting so many times, but not worded it as how he handles disagreements as such. He has even said to me ' you've always got an opinion haven't you?' Uh yeah I do actually! Questioning he sees as criticism. He also kind of exaggerates to try and get me to stop questioning him. If I am not convinced then I don't stop. Like with this work thing I think he is exaggerating the importance of it. He doesn't want to discuss it as he knows I will never see him going on a jolly with work as important as me seeing my family. (But even so I'm still trying to work around it!)
I am worried about the model for our child. I hate having to shout to be heard but that is what it comes down to. He won't listen unless I shout. If I don't shout I feel like he just takes advantage.

Meerka Sun 09-Nov-14 21:16:00

hmm. He's got a lot of changing to do.

if you have to shout to get him to listen, that's not right. Also in the long term it'll probably lose its effect. Also ... as you clearly know, it's a really shit way of handling conflict.

Will he ever take it seriously if you arrange a time to sit and talk with him? It sounds to me like he's convinced he's right and disagreements become a power struggle with a winner and loser. People like that tend to have a problem learning that there's such a thing as negotiation and even win-win situations.

If he can't .... I'm sorry, but it isn't looking good.

Palmcove Sun 09-Nov-14 21:40:54

I wouldn't even know where to start to try to sit down and talk. Like how to raise it. I still feel so hostile towards him atm anyway. I don't know if he'd take it seriously. What usually happens is he capitulates, apologises so the current matter is solved, until the next time. I want to learn how to 'fight fair' as they say, but anything he sees as self help or things like counselling he is very anti....

Spinaroo Sun 09-Nov-14 22:53:51

Would you consider going alone to see your family? He could come out later? It means you're not fighting about that. That in itself could be building resentment then it rears its head every time there's a minor disagreement. Maybe some time apart- even just a week or so could allow a sense of perspective.

AnotherEmma Sun 09-Nov-14 22:56:20

Sounds like you need relationship counselling. Relate are very good. Good luck!

Smukogrig Sun 09-Nov-14 23:22:34

split up for goodness sake! you hate him, you can't discuss anything with him, he interrupts you and shouts you down, he's martyred, sarcastic....

Counselling?!?!?! I wouldn't want him as a neighbour.

Smukogrig Sun 09-Nov-14 23:29:48

of course he's anti counselling!

He doesn't want to have to sit in front of a professional and justify to him/her why he is impervious to reason and logic, why he will sneer at a reasonable argument. He knows that that's not possible.

Obviously there are benefits to never compromising, never yielding a privilege, never conceding a point.... his way or the high way / big row.

Do you ever go through phases of putting up and shutting up?

supposing he admits that your argument (even one of your arguments) is based on compromise or fairness, and that you have some rights and some needs, then that would set a precedent that wouldn't be good for him. He might have to relinquish some of the privileges he enjoys.

trackrBird Sun 09-Nov-14 23:44:43

You feel he's a bully, and I can see why..... He completely derails any conversation he doesn't like. I avoid discussing things with him as I know it's going to be an argument.

Interrupting and talking over someone are petty- but effective - ways to bully someone, and stop them from having their say. Turning practical differences of opinion into personality clashes and deal breakers ('we may as well forget the whole thing') is also very childish, even manipulative.

It will be quite a task to sort out a relationship where differences of opinion cannot be negotiated without a row. More so if you're with someone who has learned to lie or blame others. But I think you have to start with a serious talk about how to resolve conflicts between you.

Can you face that ?

Momagain1 Mon 10-Nov-14 00:00:51

If he wont attend counseling, the only way to change, is for you to change how you react. He (unadmitted to himself) wants you to be enraged and unreasonable, so making everything your fault. You can react in ways other than the rage he is manipulating you into. It will probably require counselling or training on your part. This training will serve you well as a parent as you will have a lot to do overcoming the parenting style he knows and the effects of that on your dc(s). In fact, maybe a long term campaign to get him into parental skills training will eventually get him in counseling. Learning how to parent differently involves a lot of learning to deal with conflict differently.

Either that, or put your foot down, counseling or divorce. It matters that much.

Palmcove Mon 10-Nov-14 08:33:18

spinaroo I could go on my own, but would have the baby with me so not impossible I know but was hoping to go together.

emma I would love to go to relate. Pretty sure he will refuse and I feel like it's my last card to play, I would have to give him an ultimatum and I'm not sure I'm game.

smuk no I never put up and shut up. I stop speaking to him not as a deliberate PA tactic but I am sick of being spoken over. So I suppose I shut up but not put up. He is well aware I'm not happy.

trackr I do feel he is a bully and manipulative and I don't know If he even realises. That's why I need to call him out on it. I'm pretty sure in his eyes he is the victim. I can't face a serious talk at the moment. I feel like I'll lose my temper too easily.

momagain what you wrote really resonates with me. I think I need counselling anyway as my mum used to hit me and go berserk yelling calling me a moron and an imbecile. Obviously I really do not want to emulate that model and I feel like I never would, but she was also under a lot of stress so there is a part of me that is scared I could lose control as well.
I don't really expect him to change tbh, well I am not counting on it anyway, but I know I can change the way I react and I think I need help to do that.
Thank you for the responses. I feel so flat and defeated at the moment.

balloonsong Mon 10-Nov-14 10:57:49

Palmcove, I am watching this with interest because I am in a very similar situation and at my wits end. Been with my OH 22 years, have a 3yo DD and last night I was this |--| close to telling him I want us to split up. I'm sending you a lot of courage but have no advice as I'm struggling too.

BeCool Mon 10-Nov-14 11:22:34

Palmcove I could have written a lot of your OP.

The main problem as I saw it, was I wanted to have a discussion about things. A conversation about things we need to talk about. What XP would do was one of the following:
A) Be moody and silent for a few days and then present me with a diatribe/lecture of how he saw things - rejecting any input from me;
B) If I tried to discuss a problem or raised an issue we needed to talk about he would go into max defensive mode, and then start shouting and being really angry with me - essentially with the goal of shutting me and the conversation down;
c) If I ever got angry or upset with the above, he would get angry and accuse me of many offences again him - usually these accusations would be screamed in my face, screaming at me to stop shouting at him - I never understood how he could not see the irony in what he was saying.

Essentially I came to realise it was because he was too stupid, and closed to communicate any other way but from an entirely defensive position.
Whilst he might be smart/intelligent in many other ways, emotionally he was closed, defensive and stupid.

He did not want to try to take even small emotional risks within the safety of our relationship. So we couldn't even discuss the most basic of 'family' matters.

When I finally, at long last, realised that he wouldn't change or make any effort to engage with these issues I left him. I was not prepared to waste more of my life with someone who either thought so little of me he would not even try to communicate with me in a loving and more supportive way OR he thought so little of himself he would do nothing to support himself in changing the very poor way he communicated with his "life partner" and mother of his children.

I don't know if there is a "name" for it though. Anyway a name won't help you.

BeCool Mon 10-Nov-14 11:28:07

I don't really expect him to change tbh, well I am not counting on it anyway, but I know I can change the way I react and I think I need help to do that.

As for changing how you react, this is what most of his behaviour is probably designed to do. To get you to shut up, shut down, modify your behaviour AKA know as "treading on eggshells".

Is this what you mean by "modify your behaviour"? Why do you see this as a viable option? He will still be a manipulative bully and you tip toeing around him won't improve anything.

What do you mean by "modify your behaviour"?

Saltedcaramel2014 Mon 10-Nov-14 11:39:44

This behaviour sounds hugely frustrating and difficult. My ex partner behaved similarly. I knew it was wrong and also longer for a name for it. But a name wouldn't really have helped. There are some people who simply won't let you win. In the short term, esp as you have such a young baby, my advice would be to spend your time with as many gentle, sensible, kind people as possible. They will help give you strength and balance and help you to see what is best for you to do going forward.

jubilantia Mon 10-Nov-14 13:00:05

Try having your arguments by email. I'm afraid we do this. I write down exactly my concerns and he responds.

The 'well if that's what you think why are we even together' is called brinkmanship - upping the stakes to the point where the other party gets scared and backs down.

BeCool Mon 10-Nov-14 13:08:39

I avoid discussing things with him as I know it's going to be an argument.

Listen to what you are saying here OP - you are now avoiding having conversations with your partner as he will turn it into an argument. I imagine this could be a conversation about pretty normal and/or necessary things.

As you are parents you will need to have more and more of these conversations - about finances, trips home, raising your child, school etc etc - it doesn't get easier it gets more and more challenging. And you are already in a cycle of not raising stuff to avoid him creating an argument about things you should be able to discuss and need to discuss.

Oh this is bring back lots of horrible memories.

Making decisions on my own isn't the ideal position I wanted for me and my DC, but it is many many times preferable to how it would have been if I stayed with XP.

You can never "let the lunatics take over the asylum" so to speak. Which is what is happening if his way wins in shutting you down and shutting you up. Then his dysfunction rules your relationship and your life, and that of your child.

BeCool Mon 10-Nov-14 13:10:18

Should clarify when I say "Oh this is bring back lots of horrible memories" I mean in a positive way as thankfully I am now out the other side of that time.

ItsGotBellsOn Mon 10-Nov-14 13:12:15

In your situation, i would book a plane ticket for myself and the baby to go to Oz in the new year and take that time to really think things through.

He sounds ghastly.

Smukogrig Mon 10-Nov-14 13:21:39

Don't give up on the idea of being able to take your dc back to australia.

Tell him you're going home for Christmas. Book return (even though it's more expensive) to cover your ass later in any court proceedings should it come to that.

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