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DH feels like I am too critical of him

(69 Posts)
SleepShake Tue 21-Jul-15 13:45:06

DH feels like I criticise him too much. I do criticise him when I feel he is in the wrong, but the truth is he very very rarely criticises me (a) I just don't think it's in his nature to do so and b) I very rarely upset him).

He on the other hand ends up doing things to annoy me and I think I lost a lot of confidence and respect of him when he wasn't there for me when I was going through a very turbulent time.

Sometimes it's small things like taking 1.5 hours in the shower when he knows we are running late.

We are currently going through couples counselling but I'm just wondering how can I stop being so critical of him? Especially when I am upset. I don't think it's helping our relationship.

Thanks!

FunkyColdOedema Tue 21-Jul-15 14:09:38

Has this issue been raised in the couples' counselling?

pocketsaviour Tue 21-Jul-15 14:16:20

WTF is he doing in the shower for 1.5 hours?!!?

He on the other hand ends up doing things to annoy me
Has he admitted this?

SleepShake Tue 21-Jul-15 14:43:27

pocketsaviour, yes he has admitted that he was wrong to do that, he was having a long groom etc. He will say sorry but then do it again at some other point. He just isn't that bothered about time keeping as much as I am.

Funky, I'm not sure if he has raised it or not in an individual session he had, but I feel I need to raise it. I hate being critical.

FenellaFellorick Tue 21-Jul-15 14:48:31

taking 1 and a half hours in a shower when you KNOW you are running late and the person waiting for you is stressed about being late is deliberate. I can't see how it isn't a great big fuck you, tbh.

How do you raise your concerns? Is it that you are personal and spiteful, giving him a complete character assassination or is it that he thinks he should never be told you are unhappy about something ever and be allowed to do whatever he wants, however he wants, totally unchallenged?

I wouldn't wait 1.5 hours for someone who was in the shower at me! Go without him!

Has he told you how he would prefer you to articulate your concerns as they arise from time to time? Is there a way he would prefer or does he think that you should stfu and just let him do whatever he likes?

Twinklestein Tue 21-Jul-15 14:48:34

So when he says you're too critical of him, what that really means is he does annoying things and is put out when you get irritated with him?Furthermore he intentionally does things to annoy you?

The way for you to stop being so critical of him is for him to stop being an arse, no?

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Tue 21-Jul-15 14:51:48

If he is constantly passively-aggressively doing things to cause you stress, that is a big issue. I had an XH who did this. Doesn't mean yours is the same, but in my case it was symptomatic of him checking out of the relationship.

Twinklestein Tue 21-Jul-15 14:55:21

Exactly. ^^

You say you don't upset him OP, but it sounds like when you do or life does, he does a passive aggressive kick rather than being upfront and saying he's annoyed.

SleepShake Tue 21-Jul-15 14:59:39

How do you raise your concerns? Is it that you are personal and spiteful, giving him a complete character assassination or is it that he thinks he should never be told you are unhappy about something ever and be allowed to do whatever he wants, however he wants, totally unchallenged?

I do get personal and a bit spiteful. He doesn't mind me telling him to change for example, but I am fed up of nagging. He doesn't like that I get personal and get upset with him, and don't want to talk to him.

To be fair to him, he didn't do 1.5 hours deliberately, but he does do an extra 15-30 min when he knows I am waiting. He rarely does things directly to upset me, but its more what he doesn't do, like be on time, or be more self-less, etc.

So when he says you're too critical of him, what that really means is he does annoying things and is put out when you get irritated with him?Furthermore he intentionally does things to annoy you?

He doesn't intentionally do them. He just doesn't think its that important to be on time for example. I on the other hand get irritated and stressed about it, so I tell him off, and don't feel like speaking to him for a day or two because I am so annoyed. He will sometimes take responsibility and other times will say I don't understand why you are making such a big deal out of it

SleepShake Tue 21-Jul-15 15:01:53

I do sometimes feel like I am being a bit emotionally abusive by telling him off and putting him down (when he unreasonably upsets me or doesn't do basic things for us). I don't do it very often, but because he never does that to me, it feels like I am the only one nagging or criticizing.

FenellaFellorick Tue 21-Jul-15 15:20:42

He does intentionally do them.

He didn't fall asleep in the shower, did he? There isn't a time distortion behind the shower head so that 10 minutes in the bathroom is an hour outside of it. He knew he was getting showered and ready for a reason.

He purposefully adds time in the shower when he knows you are waiting. You think that's normal? It's not.

You do him, you and the situation no favours by fooling yourself. He isn't accidentally like this. He is making choices. He doesn't go whoops, tripped over 2 hours of time in the shower this morning. He does it. He chooses it. He decides it.

He knows that you get stressed and irritated. He knows that there is a time to leave/be somewhere.

It is actually not a good trait for someone to have to feel that they are so important that timekeeping is not something they have to worry about and the rest of the world should hang around for their convenience.

It's also not a good trait to choose to do things that you know will upset, irritate or annoy someone.

sounds like you would also benefit from changing the way you communicate, if you are spiteful and personal, because that isn't good and yes, that gets someone's back up.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 21-Jul-15 16:35:45

puzzled at ninety minutes in the shower too.

Anyway you say you dislike being critical. Maybe by now it's like water off a duck's back. If you only ever bring up the genuinely vexing things then you feel it's justifiable but he is digging his heels in by claiming you make a big deal out of it. It is as if you may as well have not broached it.

He doesn't criticise you but perhaps he simmers underneath ie he is quietly passive aggressive. You want him to hear you so by inflicting the silent treatment you are shooting yourself in the foot not punishing him.

The only other thing I can think of is do you tackle the issue at hand or add in some more grumbles while you are at it? I know it is hard to stay calm when he just repeats annoying behaviour but try not to get personal.

Whatever it was he failed in when you needed more support than he gave is still on your mind. I wonder if this affects you more than you acknowledge. We should be able to expect that bit more from a long standing partner than say, a colleague or neighbour.

SleepShake Tue 21-Jul-15 19:15:19

Donkeys, I don't know.

Today he promised to be home for 3pm, then texted to say he wanted to finish a document so would be home around 6pm (its annual leave but he is optionally working). He then turns up at 6:45pm. I wouldn't mind if we didn't have kids but I was looking forward to a break from the kids. I also wish he could turn up at the time he says he would. He turns up - no apology, nothing. Acts like he has nothing to apologise about.

I then told him calmly why I am upset and don't appreciate him turning up late. He says he informed me therefore it is fine. He is now sulking because I have told him off, and I'm feeling crap because I told him off and more importantly because he let me down.

hmm

It sounds petty but basically it reoccurs a lot and it frustrates me a lot. I want to be able to rely on him and for him to understand that it's not just his work that is so important - mine is too (I run a business from home)!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 21-Jul-15 19:29:51

Optionally working when on leave isn't common is it. Just a guess are your DCs pre-school-age?

I am glad you kept calm (moderate tone of voice, no black looks presumably) when stating how you felt. He went on the defensive now you feel crap. If this is played out time and time again it is worth relating in counselling however petty it seems.

SleepShake Tue 21-Jul-15 19:44:51

Donkey, yes DCs are pre-school age. He does have work to do even on annual leave but we agreed he would be home by 3pm. He agreed, why can't he stuck to it.

I will bring it up in counselling. Thanks for listening.

tribpot Tue 21-Jul-15 19:48:38

Have you asked him how he would like to receive feedback? That sounds a bit clinical and job-like, but clearly in any relationship it's necessary for both parties to be able to explain how the behaviour of the other makes them feel. Both parties should want to make sure that this is constructive, which is exactly why you're posting here - you want to find a better way of engaging with him so that he is better able to hear what your concerns are.

So it would be great if he could give you ideas of how you could give the feedback in a way that wouldn't make him feel criticised. I would raise it as a communication issue in your couples sessions. How would he handle a similar situation at work? Let's say he and his boss (not that you're his boss but you get the idea) are leaving for a meeting in half an hour. He becomes absorbed in a task that takes 90 mins instead of the more usual 10 mins. How would he expect his boss to notify him that this behaviour was unproductive and caused problems to others? How would he handle it if he were the boss and a junior of his overran by a very significant margin on a time sensitive task?

The example today of the use of his time - you aren't the sole carer of your children, that is his job too. He unilaterally decided to prioritise his work over that responsibility. If you did the same thing, how would he react to that? What if tomorrow morning you just walked out for the day, stating that there was an emergency with your business and you had informed him of this?

For what it's worth, I simply do not believe that the frankly bizarre length of that shower was not done deliberately to goad you. It strikes me as highly passive aggressive and designed to put you constantly on the back foot. He does not seem to treat you as an equal.

SleepShake Tue 21-Jul-15 21:05:16

tribpot

Thank you. You've expressed it better than I have:

The example today of the use of his time - you aren't the sole carer of your children, that is his job too. He unilaterally decided to prioritise his work over that responsibility. If you did the same thing, how would he react to that? What if tomorrow morning you just walked out for the day, stating that there was an emergency with your business and you had informed him of this?

IF he was at home not working, he may be OK with it the first couple of times, but not regularly, definitely not. I never do that, because I know it is unfair.

I am going to take this to our next counselling meeting. I like your idea of discussing how he would like to receive feedback.

thegreysheep Tue 21-Jul-15 22:35:11

I too think he I passive aggressive. I had this with ex- disappearing off for ages just before dinner, taking 20 mins to choose a belt when we were running late, turning up late or trying to get out of organised events at last minute. I could never trust him and was always on edge, the end result would be me in a rage and him calm as a breeze saying what's the big deal?
After we broke up he admitted he would get pissed off with me for something, usually minor, but didn't want to 'say anything' as it's 'not nice' but would instead punish me in small ways like this, often for months, but not tell me why as 'he didn't want a row' , it's crazy making. Definitely bring it up in counselling.
I think with my ex, he came from a family with dominant father and mother who would never challenge anything but go behind the dad's back or get others on side to do it for her.
So he was unable to handle conflic, even when constructive, and this was his way to work through the resentment from unexpressed opinions, like he was getting even with me in some way, indirectly.

junebirthdaygirl Tue 21-Jul-15 22:37:42

Actions speak louder than words so don't criticise have consequences. He is late go without him. He comes in at 6,30 you pop in car and off to a shopping centre for a browse he takes dc for the evening. Don't waste your energy and keep your dignity

BarkLikeAMoose Tue 21-Jul-15 22:44:58

90 minutes in the shower? Forget about getting ready on time, what on Earth is the size of your heating bill each month? shock

tribpot Tue 21-Jul-15 23:29:42

I never do that, because I know it is unfair.

But that's because you're trying to work as a team, and he isn't. I suspect he doesn't regard your work as being as important as his because you do it at home. I would consider whether you can rent a shared office space somewhere so that you can regularly be absent from the home to make the point that your work is also work. (Plus WFH is murder with children, today I had to do three dances on Just Dance 2015 before doing a conference call with my client - I was Lady Gaga and Pharrell Williams which did not leave me necessarily in the correct state of mind for discussing matters of public health wink that said Just Dance is great exercise!)

TheChandler Wed 22-Jul-15 08:58:32

I don't think you are the unreasonable one here OP. It reminds me of my DH, and in his case, I think its due to his family background. His father gave up working in his late forties (due to inheritance and final salary pension scheme) and has basically sat around the house ever since. The whole family are incredibly inactive, and deadlines mean nothing to them. His mother controlled the whole family, but she did work, which meant a lot of things didn't get done. They have no discipline, but some kind of "no blame" culture, which means basically they blame someone else ie me whenever there is a disagreement (instead of solving the cause of the disagreement).

And that is where your DH is at fault. He isn't doing anything to solve the cause of the disagreements. Its quite reasonable of you to get frustrated at his constant disorganisation and selfishness, but it sounds like he is incapable of improving it. I think you need to make him aware that this is incredibly frustrating for other people, but good luck with that one, as my DH is incapable.

Incidentally, we went to marriage guidance and the counsellor would basically have no truck with my frustrations, and basically told me that I had to stop criticising DH and not get worked up about things like being made late for flights and missing them, because it didn't matter in the grand scheme of things, and to spend more time doing joint activities in the evenings together, such as cooking. In other words, I had to do everything to make him happy, forget about myself, and never criticise. Load of ****!

Twinklestein Wed 22-Jul-15 09:11:32

He doesn't want any feedback of any kind.

He wants to behave selfishly and irresponsibly with no comeback. Any complaints about his behaviour is twisted into you being too critical, which neatly shifts the focus from his behaviour onto yours.

It has worked very well as you have titled this thread 'my dh thinks I'm too critical', rather than 'my husband behaves like an arse and I don't know what to do'.

You need to switch the focus back to where it really lies: his selfish, entitled, irresponsible, passive aggressive behaviour, and not let him wriggle out of it.

SleepShake Wed 22-Jul-15 10:09:02

Thanks everyone!

I've just looked up passive aggressive and ... you are correct. He definitely fits into that box! Its so nice to finally put a name to his behavior, and have more of an understanding of what he does.

What do I do now? sad

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 22-Jul-15 10:11:02

The bit about work made me wonder if this whole apparent disregard for timekeeping somehow centres on time and how free time is allotted. Have you always run a business from home? Does he think if you are not physically out at work you have an easier ride?

TheChandler it was unlucky the counsellor you saw dismissed those concerns rather than seeing the attitude displayed could be the thin end of the wedge.

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