Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
I just slapped DH(131 Posts)
I'm so ashamed.
A long tiring day and the inlaws visit this evening. MIL is true to form, rude, doesnt even look at the lovely gifts we bought her. Without going in to too much detail, the family are very close and I began to feel my usual inferiority around them all. Left out, disregarded, not listened to.
I decided to go out for a breath of fresh air feeling downhearted, came home to see they had left, DH asked what my problem was. I told him honestly, he tells me it's all in my head as usual and then I suddenly slapped him and walked off.
I've shocked him and myself, I've never done anything like this before. I'm massively frustrated at DH not being able to just accept and acknowledge my feelings, have been for a while but never expected I'd do anything like this. What shall I do?
DH hasn't said a word and has gone to the spare room for the night. I feel like I've ruined Christmas. I was looking forward to a lovely relaxing evening with DH once they left. I'm lying here in tears
I wouldn't worry about ruining Christmas, I think you have far more serious problems to deal with.
Hitting your husband is completely unacceptable. You need to get help. You clearly have issues with feeling inferior and with your temper.
You need to get in there asap and apologise! You don't need to be able to put into words why it happened (just yet) but you need to start making it right this very second.
(Sorry you had such a frustrating day though)
You need to address what you did, then you need to address why you did it.
You day "I suddenly slapped him" as if this was something that happened to you rather than a. Conscious choice you made. You need to start by taking full responsibility for what you did and discussions about his family should not be part of that.
If it's true that you've never done anything like this before, I'd take this as a wake-up call and try to turn it into something positive.
OTOH, I would urge you to take a long, hard, honest look at your behaviour to see if you've been aggressive in non-physical ways prior to this.
You've committed an assault. That's serious. However, a one-off incident is not domestic abuse unless it forms part of a pattern of abusive behaviour, whether physical or manifested in other ways. You have to be honest with yourself about whether what's happened tonight is really a one-off or whether you're an abuser who for the first time can't explain away their behaviour because you've crossed the line into something physical.
The 'solution' will be different depending on what category you fall into.
Either way, however, you have to accept responsibility for what you've done and recognise that while provocation can contribute, ultimately the only person responsible for what has happened is you.
I began to feel my usual inferiority is hugely significant in this. Is it something reserved only for your DH's family or is this a feeling you experience with others as well?
Whether your DH's family are genuinely a PITA is important in this scenario. IF they are, and your DH is genuinely guilty of minimising the impact on you, then your frustration tonight is more understandable. And if talking to your DH isn't getting you anywhere, you may need to question your relationship. Can you really stay in a marriage where your feelings are ignored and where you are pushed to levels of frustration that you lose your self control? Over time, this will destroy your self esteem and turn you into a shadow of yourself consumed by self-loathing. And if, as sometimes happens in this sort of scenario, your DH is guilty of behaving in an emotionally abusive way towards you but stops short of physical abuse, the fact that he's managed to push you towards an act of physical violence that puts you firmly in the wrong and makes it seem like you are the abuser, will make you even more vulnerable as your guilt makes you feel you 'deserve' it.
If your DH is right, however, and it's all 'in your head' you need to do something about it sharpish before your inferiority complex starts poisoning your life and relationships - because it will.
You have a lot of hard thinking to do. I'd start off by first apologising to your DH and meaning it; telling him you understand if he needs to take time out to consider the effect on the relationship, and then telling him that you too need space while you think about what this means for you and your relationship. Show him you are taking personal responsibility for it. The have a think about why you ended reacting like this and what you need to do to prevent that from happening again.
Pounding said everything I was planning to, and more.
The shame is natural, as it shouldn't have happened. You must take this as a cue to make significant changes. Whether that is being more assertive (ie acting or speaking out before you get to the point of seething or exploding) or seeking counselling, individual, as a couple or both.
You absolutely can't carry on as if this never happened, though.
Never mind about flipping Chistmas being ruined, you just slapped your husband.
If he goes to stay with mates, for pity's sake let him, don't burden him with your tears because you were violent. I am taking it as read that he's never hit you?
Get thee to a therapist.
Op, I'm sorry you're feeling like this. I am guessing you have had lots of history and frustrations and today it erupted. It sounds like the most sensible thing would be to discuss, both of you, and see if he can at least understand.
Domestic abuse takes many forms.
You slapped him and yes that is physical abuse.
BUT from the sound of it he may have been emotionally abusing you? Pounding has offered you very good advice up thread.
Good luck op.
Oh Harvey it does sound like your reaction has really shocked you which is good really,if you'd brushed it off and treated it as if it was nothing or a normal thing to do then that would be pointing towards your relationship being an abusive one.
Right now above anything else I think you need to speak to your DH,if he wants to talk to you.If it was me I think I'd just be sticking with an apology right now.
I would imagine you know yourself that this can never happen again and you'll both need to think about what you want to do and where you want to go from here.For you it does sound like it would be a good idea for you not to spend anytime with his Mum for a while.
I would leave DH without a backward glance if he did that to me. It is abusive, disrespectful, self-indulgent behaviour and I would never ever be able to forgive or forget. I would expect him to do the same to me. You need to grow up.
Your poor DH. I hope he is ok.
If I was rowing with my DP and he resorted to physical violence, he'd never see me again.
Serin where on earth did you read anything that said he's been emotionally abusive?!
Op, you sound hard work in general, you went out, then wondered why everyone left?!
Then you assaulted your spouse?
No sympathy sorry.
DH and I have talked and he has been very forgiving, telling me that he's aware of how frustrating he can be and that provided it doesn't happen again, this one off incident can be forgotten.
Not sure I feel too comfortable with the outcome. Surely there are issues to address here. Nothing like this has ever happened in our relationship before and we are very loving most of the time. I understand that I need to take full responsibility and I do, I'm mortified. It was a split second reaction to pent up frustration and I should have had better control. I don't thinking forgetting it is the answer.
This is not an excuse, more of a background to what happened today. But the frustration I feel in response to DH's lack of regard for how I feel around PILS has reached optimum levels lately. I've no idea how to knock the door down to get him to hear me. I don't want to go into masses of detail but they have genuinely caused problems for us for a number of years, to the point I now struggle hugely in their company which causes the inferiority etc. DH is a stubborn man who fails to see anything he doesn't want to see.
I never want to behave that way again, but I know that foremost, I need to address the frustration. I am already in therapy dealing with some childhood issues so can address the frustration issue there.
You need to work with a therapist, to get to the bottom of your inferior feelings and violent tendency.
Bastard: I did not wonder why everyone left, nothing in my post implies so.
Ah yes, my mistake, I would've been gutted if my family left while I was flouncing, you were unperturbed though.
1) apologise. Decide never to do it again.
2) talk. Explain why you felt so upset (again) and that it doesn't justify slapping.
3) whether your DH accepts your feelings or not, decide to lower your expectations of them. See them a lot less. See someone else instead or get a hobby. Choose to be less needy of their approval or acceptance. Find the humour in their poor behaviour - have a joke with a close friend each time they misbehave.
Seeing less of them and being less available emotionally will make you less vulnerable. Oddly enough the more aloof I was, the nicer my MIL was. The bigger effort she made
I agree with PoundingTheStreets.
Harvey re Not sure I feel too comfortable with the outcome. Surely there are issues to address here.
He has forgiven you for hitting him, that is a really good outcome for you! but I agree with you that doesn't need to be the end of it.
Re I don't thinking forgetting it is the answer. Has he asked you to forget it? He may be embarrassed.
I really think you are right that forgetting it is not the best thing, it does need to be dealt with , I do think you should speak to a third party, together, to a counsellor, who can help you to access, with your dh, what issues there are in your relationship.
I know you are already in therapy so maybe it is not possible financially or time wise to see someone separate but could your therapist at least have a session with you and dh and try and help your dh to see the issues with in-laws, if the are as bad as you say?
It sounds like you feel sidelined or not heard, he thinks you are overly sensitive and whether you are or not is something a professional may be able to help you assess.
Either he is minimising what happens with his family or you are maximising it. or a bit of both. A counsellor ill help you discover which.
Harvey, I also think (just my personal opinion here) that sometimes we kind of 'allow' others to treat us in a certain way and that can sadly encourage people who are basically not very nice to just go right ahead and be as unpleasant as they want to be.
In their minds maybe we set things in motion early on that we will accept a certain level of behaviour.
An example I would give to this would be a friend whose father drank a lot (alcoholic) and she ended up always in relationships with alcoholic type men. She kind of expected, and maybe even sought it out.
Now clearly you did not seek out your in-laws, you chose your husband and they just came as part of the package! But do you feel in any way that you have self esteem issues which mean you've given them the impression it is OK to speak or act in a certain way with you?
I am in no way blaming you, I think it may be quite common and many of us do it and get into habits of behaviour with people which are not helpful.
For example, I am overweight and generally so not speak about my weight with people. But the other day on the way into work I heard a radio interview with a singer and she was over weight and a few times she made depreciating comments about herself. I went in to work and found myself doing the same thing about myself! Jokes about too many mince pies etc! How I looked like I liked cakes! Etc.
I did it so much one colleague commented on it, and I kind of laughed it off and said, no, it's just the truth.
Then I thought about it and realised I was kind of leaving myself wide open for negative comments from others because of how I was treating myself. I went and thanked my colleague for pointing it out to me and I've not said anything since like this.
I was just typing this when I saw Chopz comment and I think it kind of makes sense in light of what I have just said. When we act like we expect a level of politeness, respect etc from others we are, I think, more likely to get it.
If we begin to act like we expect to get shit, we may well just get more of it. If they are being so bad to you, you may really need to address this but professional help will help you work out whether their actions or comments are genuinely unpleasant or whether you are being overly sensitive and how to be assertive and yet also perhaps to chill out in relation to them. It doesn't mean we expect shit from people or we put up with it, it means we work out the nomal levels of pleasantness, re-access for toxic relatives and then work out how much we can accept before we say, I will not be home when XYZ are coming etc!
Darkly she said "...came home to see they had left..." maybe she was pleased they had gone if they are so horrible.
You slapped him and yes that is physical abuse.
BUT from the sound of it he may have been emotionally abusing you?
Every time. EVERY FUCKING TIME!
But the frustration I feel in response to DH's lack of regard for how I feel around PILS has reached optimum levels lately. I've no idea how to knock the door down to get him to hear me. I don't want to go into masses of detail but they have genuinely caused problems for us for a number of years, to the point I now struggle hugely in their company which causes the inferiority etc. DH is a stubborn man who fails to see anything he doesn't want to see.
But what do you want him to do about it, exactly? Cut his parents off totally so you don't have to be around them? Refuse to see them at Christmas? Go to see them alone and tell them that you won't see them any more because you don't like them? What?
An inferiority complex is your problem, not his. It sounds like you want some acknowledgement and agreement from him of how awful you think they are to you, but the problem is, he simply doesn't agree with you, and why should he? If you were coming up with specifics about what she DOES that upsets you it might be different, but this is all about how you FEEL. If he says it's all in your head chances are he is right. Chances are she isn't actually doing anything - so what do you expect him to do?
So your MIL was 'rude' because what? Because after unwrapping her presents she made all the immediate, obligatory right noises and then put them to one side and didn't keep stroking them lovingly and gushing over them for the rest of the evening to make you feel better? So you went off out in a sulk, when they were only there for the evening anyway? You sound like a petulant child.
But apparently she's the rude one.
I think your DH has been remarkably forgiving considering you embarrassed him in front of his family and then hit him because he didn't agree with you that they are awful.
* If he says it's all in your head chances are he is right*
Yes, chances are he is right and chances are he is not right. We've got no proof of this at all either way, because the OP has not said what it is the parents in law are doing. Your stroking presents idea is from your head, unless I missed that post.
Certainly the OP has behaved very badly in slapping her husband, but as for the rest, we do not know if he is being unrealisable or if her in-laws are.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.