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Chipping away... Chip, chip, chip

(67 Posts)
CheeseEqualsHappiness Sat 06-Dec-14 19:40:48

I think I am about to break.

Nothing major, just a day of dp being unnecessarily critical and winding me up then saying I am too sensitive when I finally crack

He is not usually like this but today he has been horrible

I can't even put it into words, they.all sound daft and minuscule but over the course of a day I have had enough

I think he is passive aggressive, it fits and I cope sometimes and don't other times. When I need support or am feeling fragile I handle his big stroppy baby nature less well

Not sure what I want from this, just needed to write it down


stayanotherday Sat 06-Dec-14 20:57:58

You need time to yourself and to put yourself first. I hate people who constantly provoke and blame the other person when they react. I would give him distance until he behaves.

CogitOIOIO Sat 06-Dec-14 21:01:56

People who are critical for no reason other than to make you feel bad or provoke you into snapping are miserable bullies who you shouldn't tolerate. You say this is unusual behaviour. What's the context? Why are you being picked on?

SavoyCabbage Sat 06-Dec-14 21:03:25

Do you want to leave him? You sound so unhappy and it just shouldn't be like this.

Walkacrossthesand Sat 06-Dec-14 21:10:37

he doesn't sound very nice, and it sounds like you put up with it most of the time but some days you can't. Why do you put up with it most of the time? Isn't the whole point of a partner, that they are on your side?

CheeseEqualsHappiness Sat 06-Dec-14 22:06:47

I do put up with it a lot, mostly sarcasm etc and just generally being emotionally immature.

I struggle as I think things over a lot and he seems to find dealing with the reality of things tricky

I don't want him to leave, I just need to confront him about it and chip away at his behaviour right back at him.

I let him get away with it really. He is a bit irresponsible and I wouldn't say very grown up which can be fun, but really I can't put up with him in a mood like he was today.

CheeseEqualsHappiness Sat 06-Dec-14 22:10:17

Today we had one of those days out in the car going from place to place and I was driving. He is a complete back dear driver

The extent of the really unbearable picking on me is unusual but I suppose the general level of undermining me isn't

Why do people have to be so jeckyl and Hyde? He can be so wonderful

CheeseEqualsHappiness Sat 06-Dec-14 22:10:38

Back seat driver!

stayanotherday Sat 06-Dec-14 22:33:11

I would treat him like a naughty child when this happens. I would distance myself by going somewhere on my own for a while and not bother until he grows up. You could have had a lovely day out if this hadn't happened.

CheeseEqualsHappiness Sat 06-Dec-14 23:21:04

Yes, I need to make it clear this isn't acceptable. The problem is he says that I am being too sensitive. What do I say to that? I have tried explaining how unreasonable it is to try and wind someone up then complain when I react, but he doesn't understand.

CogitOIOIO Sun 07-Dec-14 01:10:42

Stick to your guns. What you're describing is really bad behaviour .... it's petty, annoying and unreasonable. Back seat seat driving shows huge contempt for someone's driving skills, for example. To wind someone up and then accuse them of being 'sensitive' when they eventually snap is very manipulative. Never mind that he can be lovely at other times. When he chooses ( and it is a choice) to treat you this way he is showing you neither love nor respect.

CogitOIOIO Sun 07-Dec-14 01:11:55

BTW. .... when you say he 'doesn't understand' I think you'll find that he understands perfectly well. He just doesn't care enough to stop.....

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sun 07-Dec-14 01:51:51

"You are being too sensitive."
"No, I'm not being too sensitive; it you who is being insensitive."

Is this a deal breaker for you? You are not his subordinate.

It is very frustrating to endure this...And when you "snap" it is this frustration manifesting itself in anger.
I agree with taking some time for yourself. If I may be so bold as to guess- perhaps you won't miss him... in addition to experience a sense of relief because he isn't hovering over you sucking out your self esteem.

CheeseEqualsHappiness Sun 07-Dec-14 10:08:24

Thank you all for your replies. You are so right, he does choose to be like this and I feel so confident and sure of myself when I am not with him. I have some days at home while he and dd are at pre school and work so I recharge then.

The driving thing is very annoying. He comments, winds me up, makes me nervous, then when I say something he says I shouldn't be driving if he makes me so nervous. What?! I reversed into a wall yesterday as he was criticising my choice of parking space as being too far from the shop and we would have to 'trek to the shop!'

The worst thing is, dd picks up on it. She is 3 and yesterday when I was in the kitchen just trying to get away from him for 5 minutes she comes in with him. He asks what's wrong, I say I just need 5 minutes as today has been too much, then she says on his promoting 'you'll get over it'

Thanks dp for teaching her that

CheeseEqualsHappiness Sun 07-Dec-14 10:11:08

The worst bit is I never know which dp I will get. Today I have a nice dp who has got dd up, I am still in bed, just off to make me a cup of tea, and is taking us all to a Christmas market for the day

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 07-Dec-14 10:17:51

Frankly you and this abusive immature manchild would be better off apart.
He is no decent partner at all to you, let alone father to his child. If he was at all a decent man he would not be treating you like this. He is straight out of the Abusers Handbook.

What do you get out of this relationship now?. What needs of yours exactly is he meeting here?.

He is a poor influence to his DD as well, she is indeed learning about relationships from the two of you. What do you think she is and will be learning here?. She is seeing a dominant abusive dad and as a result a put upon upset mother (who has not as yet left). She is also learning from him how to emotionally put down her mother, her brain is like a sponge and she is absorbing all of what is happening around her.

He is choosing to be this way and you won't be able to make any inroads whatsoever into changing his behaviour. Trying to change someone else's behaviour is impossible. This is the real him you are seeing and your 3 year old is copying him too. Is this really the life you want for her going forward?.

You have a choice re this man, your child does not. I would suggest you talk now to Womens Aid.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 07-Dec-14 10:20:39

Read up on the cycle of abuse wheel; these men can do nice/nasty very well but its all part of a continuous cycle of abuse. His behaviour is following the usual abusive patterns; its all designed to keep you quiet and in check. Today you have Mr Nice, tomorrow, the next day, the next week or the next month you will get Mr Nasty.

Abusers can be very plausible to those in the outside world and he is probably charm personified to those people. He is really a wolf in sheeps clothing.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 07-Dec-14 10:24:13

Most abusive relationships display a distinct pattern, known as the Cycle of Abuse or Violence. Abuse is rarely constant but alternates between: tension building, acting out, the honeymoon period and calm.

Not all relationships follow the same cycle, and individual experiences vary, some stages - especially the honeymoon or calm periods, may shorten or be left out completely, especially as the abuse intensifies over a period of time.

Each stage of the cycle can last from a few minutes to a number of months, but within an abusive relationship, the following stages can often be pin-pointed:

Tension starts and steadily builds
Abuser starts to get angry
Communication breaks down
Victim feels the need to concede to the abuser
Tension becomes too much
Victim feels uneasy and a need to watch every move

INCIDENT or "Acting Out" phase
Any type of abuse occurs
Or other forms of abuse as found in the power and control wheel.

HONEYMOON or Reconciliation phase
Abuser apologizes for abuse, some beg forgiveness or show sorrows
Abuser may promise it will never happen again
Blames victim for provoking the abuse or denies abuse occurred
Minimizing, denying or claiming the abuse wasn't as bad as victim claims

CALM before the tension starts again.
Abuses slow or stop
Abuser acts like the abuse never happened
Promises made during honeymoon stage may be met
Abuser may give gifts to victim
Victim believes or wants to believe the abuse is over or the abuser will change

Please do not fall into the trap that your abuser will change. They do not.
Would you want your DD as an adult to be with someone who is really a carbon copy of her dad?.

CheeseEqualsHappiness Sun 07-Dec-14 10:26:04

Really? You don't think I can sort this out? I am a strong, intelligent, opinionated person in other areas of my life, surely I must be able to apply this to my relationship?

I'm not entirely sure why I can't. It is the self doubt I think which stops me immediately stamping on the behaviour.

As per the title, the gradual eroding of my resources. Surely with some skills, stock phrases etc I can confront it and if he still does it, reassess then?

Don't the passive aggressive always play up to an easy target? Maybe I need to stop being an easy target

Oh great, now I sound like I am blaming myself r

CheeseEqualsHappiness Sun 07-Dec-14 10:27:44

Thanks Attila, appreciate the info. So confused

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 07-Dec-14 10:36:13

"Really? You don't think I can sort this out? I am a strong, intelligent, opinionated person in other areas of my life, surely I must be able to apply this to my relationship?"

You may not want to hear it but in a word, No. He is neither a puzzle to be worked out nor a project to improve, rescue or save. His behaviour is deeply ingrained too; I would imagine that either one or even both his parents behave very similarly. What are his parents like?.

It does not matter a jot that you consider yourself strong and opinionated, what is your self worth and self esteem like?. Abusive men like "strong" women to take down, he really hates your very being perhaps because you earn more than him or can express yourself better. He will find any and all justifications in his head to treat you the ways he does. This relationship is not good for you at all and your DD is copying from him too.

AliceinWinterWonderland Sun 07-Dec-14 10:40:31

OP, think. YOU can't sort it out. It's NOT YOUR BEHAVIOUR that's the problem. Changing YOUR behaviour to "sort it out" isn't fixing the problem, it's adapting to his bad behaviour. I always felt this way too. "I am an intelligent, strong person, surely I can solve this or make him understand what's wrong here."

No. You can't. The only person that can fix his behaviour is HIM. You MUST come to terms with this, because it's the root of all of it. You tell him ONCE that this is unacceptable. He either fixes it or you're done. Then stick to it.

Because if he doesn't care enough to take you seriously that it's inappropriate behaviour, do you REALLY want to spend the rest of your life with him? When he shows you such disrespect and disregard?

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 07-Dec-14 10:40:57

The fault here is all his, none of this is your fault at all. Abuse is insidious in its onset and the power and control ante over their chosen victim ramps up over time. He was probably charm personified in the early days. Abuse also is no respecter of persons; people from all walks of life and backgrounds are affected. Abuse could happen to anyone.

The only level of abuse acceptable in relationships is none, and he has crossed that line numerous times.

Do speak to Womens Aid; they can and will help you here.

CogitOIOIO Sun 07-Dec-14 11:46:29

I think there are largely two ways to deal with someone like this. You either reject them out of hand LTB style or you go the 'zero tolerance' route. The latter is very hard work, involves slapping down all head-fuckery on the spot (not disappearing to calm down) and not compromising so much as an inch. This will not change his behaviour......but it raises the chances of you holding onto some self respect.

AliceinWinterWonderland Sun 07-Dec-14 12:06:36

Cogito Very true. The problem with the second IMO is that you then become the "behaviour police" and it shouldn't be your responsibility to monitor and police his behaviour. You are his partner, not his mother.

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