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If I criticise DH he sulks for days

(115 Posts)
TabbyT Sat 24-Oct-15 17:10:03

I am at the end of my tether with DH. Whenever I am upset with him for any reason or show any emotion that is not totally positive he turns the whole thing round so that he is angry with me and ends up sulking.

For example today is DDs birthday. Her friends have come over this afternoon for a tea party and sleepover. This morning I was a running round like a mad thing trying to get the house clean and tidy. DH was in his study working/on the computer. This is typical. He does barely any housework and however much I ask nothing changes.

Anyway I asked if he could help me and he said he didn't mind helping if I told him what to do. So I suggested some things he might do and he did start doing them but was obviously pissed off and now he has spent the rest of the day sulking and barely talking to me.

I am having a very hard time at the moment as I have recently gone NC with my narc mother and enabling father. I feel quite vulnerable and alone. I can see that growing up with such difficult parents meant that I chose quite a difficult husband too but I don't know what to do to change things for the better. I am so sick of his sulking and his withdrawing. He never apologises for anything. He thinks everything is my fault. It really upsets me that I even need to ask him to do some of the tidying up, and that when I am stressed instead of comforting me he just gets angry.

ImperialBlether Sat 24-Oct-15 17:13:11

That is hard to deal with. Did he then act nicely with the children/parents who were visiting? How do arguments like this usually resolve themselves?

AnyFucker Sat 24-Oct-15 17:13:18

He sounds awful. Do you love him ? How does he think your dd feels when he throws a black cloud over her birthday ?

TabbyT Sat 24-Oct-15 17:16:18

Thanks so much for replying. The children are playing downstairs and I am almost in tears. He is in the garden. He didn't say hello to the parents who dropped off their kids (7-8 year olds by the way). That is fairly typical though to be fair if he had come down he would have been polite. Usually he will eventually start being "normal" again. It may be tomorrow but it may be a few days.

Shakey15000 Sat 24-Oct-15 17:16:51

That is not adult, supporting behaviour whatsoever. Maybe can't change things for the better? A frankly, you shouldn't have to. Hope your DD has a lovely party.

AnyFucker Sat 24-Oct-15 17:18:29

I don't know who these people think they are, tbh

When he starts to act normal again (in his own sweet time of course) do you let it go ?

Seeyounearertime Sat 24-Oct-15 17:19:03

My first suggestion is tell him tbh. But I'd imagine you've tried that, my second suggestion would be tontry and figure out why he reacts this way?

Going from my experience with my Exw it went like this:
She'd be doing stuff, I'd help, she'd moan that I'd not done it how she'd do it.
She'd be doing stuff, I'd ask what she wants me to do and how to do it, she'd moan that I've asked.
She'd be doing stuff, I'd stay out the way, she'd moan.
I'd be doing stuff, she'd get involved because I'm not doing it right.
I'd be doing stuff, she'd not get involved but donitnafter is finished because it wasn't right.

Eventually I gave up and played Xbox. Lol

Immnotnsyingnthis is true for you OP, but I'd certainly question why your OH is the way he is. If you don't know, then there's a conversation to be had.

Good luck with sleepover though. grin

TabbyT Sat 24-Oct-15 17:24:27

Thank you. The trouble is I know that his behaviour is childish but I am at a loss as to how to change things. I have had lots of counselling over the years to deal with the issues I have had from a very difficult childhood. And that childhood had the effect of making me someone who had no confidence, who always blamed myself for everything etc so I can see why I chose him and why I let out relationship develop in the way it did, but I want to change the pattern now and I don't think he does. I do love him and he is a good father and we have been together for 20 years. He never opens up emotionally or shows any vulnerability.

AnyFucker Sat 24-Oct-15 17:26:11

He is not a good father. Good fathers don't treat the mother of their children like this. He is a terrible example to your children.

TabbyT Sat 24-Oct-15 17:32:02

Thanks for your perspective seeyounearer. I don't think I particularly moan about doing things a particular way. I think the problem I have is that I have, over the years done more than my fair share and now I want things to be more equal. I work four days a week too so it's not as if I have taken on the housewife role. Anyway this isn't just to do with housework. He can withdraw over all kinds of things - like if I go to bed early because I am tired or if I say anything that he perceives as critical. He never apologises he just turns it round.

TendonQueen Sat 24-Oct-15 17:32:22

Of course he doesn't want to change the pattern. It works for him. Sulking keeps you in line and puts you off asking him to do his fair share, because you know what the reaction will be. Very unfair

Do you try to win him round when he's like this? If so, stop. When he deigns to speak to you again, tell him you're still angry that he behaves this way and now you don't want to speak to him. I assume he just gets to carry on as if nothing ever happened after one of these episodes?

Seeyounearertime Sat 24-Oct-15 17:32:39

He sounds a bit "typical bloke" to me (sontheu exist still? Lol) I'm guessing he's over 40? Bitnold fashioned? Has he always been this way? Does he use the old, "I've been at work all day" excuse a lot? Why does he hide in a study?

Whatever the case, I think tell him is the answer, if you get nowhere with him, next step is separation or 'put up and shut up' basically.

Shakey15000 Sat 24-Oct-15 17:33:24

It sounds like he chipped away at you over the years. But at least you've some left to realise that it's not good/healthy. But are you going to settle for this for the rest of your life? You can't change him but you can change the rest of your life.

TendonQueen Sat 24-Oct-15 17:34:38

I also agree that I don't see how he can be a good father, when he does nothing around the house, ignored the fact that your DD had a birthday party, and generally treats you like dirt.

TabbyT Sat 24-Oct-15 17:37:20

Yes he has chipped away at me over the years. I think because of my parents I had no confidence. If I am honest I had so little confidence that I felt I was lucky anyone would want me. However I have worked really hard, I have a good professional career, three great kids and good friends and I feel now that I deserve more respect from him. And yes he is over 40 and a bit "typical bloke" but I am fed up with this attitude now.

AnyFucker Sat 24-Oct-15 17:38:13

This is not the behaviour of a "typical bloke", it is the behaviour of a typical twat

TabbyT Sat 24-Oct-15 17:38:47

I'm going to go to see to DD and her friends now but thank you so much. You have all made me feel less alone this afternoon. Will be back later. xxx

TendonQueen Sat 24-Oct-15 17:40:14

I know plenty of men over 40 who are nothing like this. Don't fall for the nonsense that this is normal for men and what you have to expect. It isn't and you should expect better.

Castrovalva Sat 24-Oct-15 17:40:59

but I am at a loss as to how to change things.

You can't change him. Only how you respond. In my experience the only thing you can do is stop rewarding him when he does it. He sulks to get you to put up and shut up...

ImperialBlether Sat 24-Oct-15 17:49:55

I don't know many men like this. Why can't "typical bloke" be the kind who does pull his weight? Those are the kind I know.

TabbyT Sat 24-Oct-15 17:53:53

I am trying to change my attitude towards him. I am much stronger than I was when we met - due to years of counselling, and getting a good career etc but the trouble is if, when he starts being normal again I say "I am still upset" he will just get angry and withdraw again.

I know that if he does not change I may have to leave one day but the truth is at the moment my life would not be better if I left him. It may be one day when my DC are older.

DoreenLethal Sat 24-Oct-15 17:59:29

Don't be too sure of that. You won't realise just how he drags you down until you are free of this complete and utter wanker.

AnyFucker Sat 24-Oct-15 17:59:29

And by then you will have wasted umpteen years being ground down by him

Not to mention watching as your kids absorb the poor examples you are both giving them about what makes a relationship

NanaNina Sat 24-Oct-15 18:05:26

Tabby you can't change your DH's behaviour towards you but you can change your behaviour towards him. Try it - you might be surprised. Doesn't have to be anything major - relationships are like plays and each partner plays their script and so subconsciously will know how the other is going to react, especially when there's conflict. So just change your behaviour over something - anything - doesn't matter - the important thing is that he notices and he will be confused because you aren't sticking to the script. This is just to test out the theory. Then you can use it to tackle the major issues in your relationship.

If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got!

Joysmum Sat 24-Oct-15 18:08:24

I am trying to change my attitude towards him

Comply you mean?

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