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H told me I am rubbish - warning: long description of fairly tedious argument!

(29 Posts)
wouldyoubeoffended Tue 09-Jun-15 22:20:13

Last Sunday evening, h and I sat in front of the TV, both tired and getting a bit grumpy I could tell. H about to get up very early the next day to go and work away for 3 days.

We were sniping at each other a bit and I did think it might be better if I just went to bed as it felt as if we were brewing an argument.

Sadly I didn't (go to bed) and an argument did ensue - basically about who clutters up the house more (we were watching that programme about obsessive cleaners). It went something like this - I said that if I had our neighbours' garden (full of stuff - broken sheds etc) I would empty it of everything and start again, h said that no, I would fill it. Instead of just ignoring this I took the bait and said that no that wasn't true and that any of the junk there was in our own garden was his (exercise machine protruding out of a bush because he has dumped it there, rusting wood burner etc..). He said to give away the exercise machine if a metal collector came by, and that he would sell the wood burner.

Can't remember exactly what happened then, but I was still reacting to the dismissive and uncaring tone he had used when he said that I would fill the garden with stuff. I said that there was loads of his stuff in the attic (converted and also our bedroom), he said that the attic used to be really empty and nice. I said yes and that it is now full of his stuff. He said like what? Now this is weird that he would even ask as it really IS his stuff up there (I do have boxes stored in the eves, but very little out in the room) - think a massive desk covered in paperwork, an exercise machine he never uses, our daughter's drumkit (bought by him and which she never uses), a coffee table, a wobby exercise thing you stand on (sorry, don't know what they are called), a keyboard which is on the desk and a portable easel. The only input I have in the room is a bedside table on my side of the bed and stuff on it. There is also an armchair.
So I listed these things. Don't know how on earth he could think that it is me who has filled the attic hmm but then he does have a blaming, narcissistic, obsessive, paranoid believe what he wants to kind of streak.

Anyway, for balance I did say that the front room downstairs IS full of my stuff (which it is) and he started laying into me about that. It is true that I have / have had, an issue with "stuff". Magazines, books, and boxes of the kids' school work etc as well as old photos which I don't know where to put as there is no roof space to store them in.

The conversation must have been pretty heated and we must have been referring to each others' rubbish (tbh I can't really remember) when h suddenly drops the real clanger and says to me "YOU ARE RUBBISH".

Now my question is, is it normal for arguments to end in insults of that type? My guess is he wanted the "conversation" to end and this was a way of getting rid of me - which it did because I then went to bed. Or worse - is this what he really thinks?

He went away the next day without saying anything to me and as usual has not contacted us (which he rarely does while away). In the meantime, his words "YOU ARE RUBBISH" are still ringing in my ears. Luckily I have recently started working again after a long long time being a SAHM, so my mind is occupied, but my self esteem is not great etc.. and comments like this do not help.

I know all of the above sounds very petty and stupid. Probably symptomatic of our unresolved many issues / resentments etc... However I still want to know how other people would feel about being called rubbish. For the last two days I have been telling myself that of course I am not rubbish, just because one person says so, but I have a niggling doubt that he might be right confused.

wouldyoubeoffended Tue 09-Jun-15 22:22:34

Stored in the eves in storage cupboards.

CitySnicker Tue 09-Jun-15 22:24:03

Sounds like he couldn't think of a winning put down, so he chose something a 5 year old would say.

AmyElliotDunne Tue 09-Jun-15 22:36:01

Agreed, it's not exactly high brow as insults go, so please don't take it to heart.n DP have had arguments that have ended with much worse, however, he will always apologise and want to sort it out. I, however, am as stubborn as a mule and never apologise at all first.

I know how easily arguments can escalate when you're both tired and grumpy, but going away without sorting it and not contacting you is just mean. What would happen if you sent him a message saying you're sorry you both argued? Not that you're taking blame, just acknowledging that it wasn't a great way to part.

He sounds mean and petty from what you have posted here, but if he's not usually like this I'd be tempted to try and nip it in the bud if he's not going to, otherwise he'll come home and you'll still be sniping at each other.

If he is usually like this then you need to have a serious think about whether this is how you want to live. I imagine he felt defensive when you started talking about clutter and immediately threw it back at you to take the heat off himself. It sounds like you both have some issues with hoarding, so perhaps you need to try and sort through the clutter, get a skip for the scrap metal and ebay/Facebook the rest.

If your home is causing stress and arguments, clearing out some of the culprits might help you both to think straight.

BeyonceRiRiMadonna Tue 09-Jun-15 22:38:22

As an isolated case I think you are being overly sensitive.

BUT you mention that "he does have a blaming, narcissistic, obsessive, paranoid believe what he wants to kind of streak" does this mean he's usually nasty, constantly putting you down etc? I just can't understand why this would bother you so much, unless of course this is his default behaviour?

wouldyoubeoffended Tue 09-Jun-15 22:57:05

I agree that he found a convenient put down citysnicker.

As far as sorting it out later is concerned amy, this is, sadly, not something h ever does. He certainly never apologises if he says unkind stuff. Not phoning while away is what he does every time. He is away for 3 to 5 days most weeks at the moment and does not phone unless he wants something doing. I used to and sometimes still phone him to find out how he is getting on but it is very one sided so I do it less and less. This is very much his personality as his siblings are similar - self sufficient to the point of being very detached. H is very affectionate towards our dc when at home but does not phone them either. Ditto with asking questions. The only reason h knows anything about my new (temporary) job is because I have told him - he doesn't do things like wish people luck on their first day or ask them how it went when they come back. I guess this is a family thing as my family was very much of the "how are you" type, whereas his is much more "sit around, not say all that much and let it happen can't be arsed to show an interest " variety.

I imagine he felt defensive when you started talking about clutter and immediately threw it back at you to take the heat off himself. I think this is true so maybe I will take the whole thing as an overreaction on my part - maybe I am oversensitive beyonce.

H definitely does have a petty mean streak, and yes he can do putdowns, though he has got better since I have redrawn the boundaries to an extent (which took a lot of effort and trauma). Our relationship is better in general but there are still things we are unable to talk about (major things which I think need sorting out), and h can still be bad tempered, sulky and unkind. Also fairly bossy.

All sounds terrible doesn't it?? In between there are now longer and longer periods of getting on - quite chatty and enjoying each other's company, but I can't shake the feeling (and some things that he says / has done back this up) that he would rather be on his own.

However the "stuff" that we have definitely needs to be sorted, which would help the general atmosphere / mood.

wouldyoubeoffended Tue 09-Jun-15 22:58:02

I guess I don't understand how you can love someone (maybe - not sure he does love me) and tell them they are rubbish. Maybe I am naive.

Jux Tue 09-Jun-15 23:07:00

Clear his rubbish from the bedroom while he's away. Sort his desk. Sell the drums and keyboard.

That'll open up space for a few boxes from downstairs until you've got albums etc

Get a garden clearance firm in.

littlehouseinthebigwoods Tue 09-Jun-15 23:07:43

Just to balance things out I would like to say that you are most definitely NOT rubbish. Please don't believe that you are.

When my husband is mad at me he will choose words that he knows will hurt, and it sounds like yours has done the same.

Jux Tue 09-Jun-15 23:08:41

You do know that some of the things about your husband are red flags? The not apologising, turning an argument back onto you, refusing to talk about important things, not contacting you when away.

wouldyoubeoffended Tue 09-Jun-15 23:14:01

Thanks littlehouse.

Yes I know that they are red flags jux. However, having looked at divorce in the face once or twice, I have decided that I want to work with what we have. I think that h is somewhat damaged (sounds patronising doesn't it!) by an alcoholic father and other things that have happened to him, so he is the way that he is, not all of which I like. But I am trying to focus on developing my own life despite the problems.

KetchupIsNearlyAVegetable Tue 09-Jun-15 23:16:18

There's an old exercise machine dumped in the garden protruding out of the bushes. Really? Really?

Get someone to take it away!

And get them to take away your old magazines and books too. It is only fair.

Do exactly what you said you would do, clear it all out.

Melonfool Tue 09-Jun-15 23:32:46

Well, he has said it's not his stuff - so get rid of it smile

He shouldn't have called you that, but it does sound as if you just got wound up together.

Ask him when he's back - say "so, you said I am rubbish, what was that about, it really upset me".

And, you contact him while he's away, tell him something amusing and ask how he's getting on.

AnotherEmma Tue 09-Jun-15 23:44:06

there are still things we are unable to talk about (major things which I think need sorting out)

What are those things??

I don't think the real issue is the clutter or even the latest insult. I think the issue is that he's an unpleasant partner.

It's good that you've gone back to work, that will help you to build your independence and self-esteem. I would focus on that and on other relationships - with supportive friends and family members - which will hopefully help you to feel better about yourself. And maybe even help you realise that you deserve better than this nasty man.

There may be reasons for his behaviour that aren't his fault. But he can choose whether or not to move on from his past (and get help to do if he needs it). He can choose whether to repeat the pattern of abuse. He's choosing to do that.

MeltchettsLovelyMoustache Wed 10-Jun-15 01:52:28

You were talking about clutter, rubbish if you will. It sounds like he was just grasping for a flimsy way to stop the conversation and that word came to mind.

emms1981 Wed 10-Jun-15 06:11:55

In my last job we had a rather large delivery in, I think it was Christmas time and we needed to stack in loading bay.
Some boxes of carrier bags came in and one of the blokes started to pile them up. They were meant to go straight out the back so I said "don't put them there that's a waist of space" and he replied with "you're a waist of space" and that really hurt. For the most we got on well but that comment really pissed me off so I can understand how you feel.
My dh has lots of crap and it causes lots of arguments. He never files anything away just piles it up on his deck and then we can never find it e.g tax credit letters, vet cards, mot certificate when he has a set of drawers for it. He refuses to get rid of anything to the point that we have to shell out £48 a month for a storage unit with crap like star wars cards in it. He seems to think they will be worth something one day.

BrandNewIggi Wed 10-Jun-15 06:37:48

Emms that just sounds like banter from your co-worker - he wouldn't have used a phrase like that if you hadn't just said it to him! Not pleasant though.
It might not be the root of your problems OP but if you sorted the house it could give you both a sense of calm - in which other things might improve or might not, but at least yeh clutter couldn't be blamed. There are great threads on here about Marie Kondo's de cluttering book - why not have a look? It's the best system I've come across. And a lot of posters find their families start to come on board with it when they see the benefits.

Vivacia Wed 10-Jun-15 07:23:55

OP I think he just hit upon a vulnerability. Does part of you think that you are rubbish? You mention being a SAHM in the next sentence,

I think it's the other issues that are probably what this whole argument are about though. I'm guessing infidelity.

SoupDragon Wed 10-Jun-15 07:30:17

Clear his rubbish from the bedroom while he's away. Sort his desk. Sell the drums and keyboard.

No, clear out your own clutter.

ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Wed 10-Jun-15 07:35:37

Crack on with the de-clutering. it drags you down.

My bedroom was always full of piles or ironing and general stuff which was dumped there, it just never got sorted out. It used to be the first thing me and DH saw when we woke up.

After a good sort out (still some way to go,) the room is now tidy. I didn't realise what a negative impact it was having on our whole day and general outlook. Ditto for the rest of the house which was just as messy.

Everything now feels calmer and more manageable, and keeping on top of it, once it's done, is a doddle. No longer feel like I have to wade through treacle just to do a bit of cleaning!

The "YOU ARE RUBBISH" comment would have upset, but the thing that rings alarm bells for me is that he can go for 3-5 days every week without contacting you shock hmm.

That would be my real cause for concern, OP. I couldn't cope with that level of detachment and lack of consideration.

PS - You are absolutely not rubbish!! flowers

darkness Wed 10-Jun-15 07:58:36

I'm a minimalist..dh is a clutterbug..this ownership of mess thing used to haunt our relationship. I think tidying either his or your stuff whilst he is away is the wrong thing to do. Of you tidy his stuff you are both mothering him and taking full ownership of all future mess. Hell is in that direction!
Of you tidy your stuff whilst he is not there you will have taken an opportunity to do something he didn't have and he will look bad newscast of it, he will resent you
My favourite would be to pile all his stuff in the way of the front door with a banner on it saying "welcome home a**hole" however this is apparently a bit goady..
So why don't you hire a skip for next weekend and when he gets home tell him you have , because stuff is not as important as people..and you can have a good clear out..together

darkness Wed 10-Jun-15 08:00:20

If _ not of
Because not newscast..this tablets for a skip if it dosnt shape up...

wouldyoubeoffended Wed 10-Jun-15 08:25:08

I'm guessing infidelity. shock. Though to be fair I have at times wondered this. However there are no other signs. I do think it is possible to be detached and not having an affair?

Am at work now - will write more later.

Thanks for your replies.

shirleybasseyslovechild Wed 10-Jun-15 08:40:22

Please please sell/ give away / dump the clutter. Ideally together.

You will both feel loads better.

Vivacia Wed 10-Jun-15 09:07:54

No OP! I was guessing that infidelity was the issue you still can't talk about.

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