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How best to deal with sensitive and defensive dp?

(64 Posts)
Belleende Sat 09-Jan-16 11:20:30

My DP is a sensitive soul I am much thicker of skin. He tends to take any negative comments as personal critiscism and jumps to defensiveness v quickly. As an example, this am we had a barney.
We have a 6mo. I was up with her lots last night and the night before. DP usually deals with early mornings so i get a lie in. Yesterday he woke dd at 5am (just as she was getting back to sleep) and she then went mental and I dealt with her, today she was asleep when he woke up (6am) so he went out for a walk not getting back until 10am. So no lie in for me for two days And v little sleep.
When he got back today, I raised an eyebrow and said that it is not v fair for him to disappear til 10am after I had a shit night. I was genuinely not annoyed as he is usually v good, and we are trying to figure out how to make things work for both of us with a new baby. He instantly went into strop mode, became really defensive ("Right then I won't go for walks and just be a fat bastard forever")
I got proper pissed off then, not about him disappearing, but about how it is nearly impossible to say anything even remotely difficult to him without him taking personal offence and going into a strop.
I have to think and plan really carefully about how to broach difficult stuff with him To try and avoid this reaction and allow an adult conversation. I find this quite draining and as a result am less likely to tackle stuff that should probably be tackled in a healthy relationship.

Any ideas on how to broach this? I am too knackered to tip toe around so much, but I don't want to have one of those relationships where we constantly bite at eachother.

RandomMess Sat 09-Jan-16 11:25:41

I would suggest finding a decent relationship therapist and explore the dynamic together with their help.

He isn't going to be able to change easily and a professional outside perspective should help both of you learn how to communicate with each other better.

QuiteLikely5 Sat 09-Jan-16 11:28:52

He was being difficult. He certainly knew what he was doing by going for a four hour walk. He knew the baby would have been awake.

I do not think he is being sensitive as much as he is being grossly unfair. You are obviously trying to see the best in him by thinking its sensitivity.

Set a clear rota for getting up with baby and ask him to stick to it.

The first year with a newborn can be very hard, emotions run high and everyone is tired although I'm not sure your dp is as tired as you if he has the energy to go on long walks!

AnyFucker Sat 09-Jan-16 11:29:31

He went for a walk in the pitch black for 4 hours ?

kittybiscuits Sat 09-Jan-16 11:30:42

And thn got angry when challenged about it? hmm

pinkyredrose Sat 09-Jan-16 11:34:03

Is 'sensitive' another way of saying he's an arsehole?

DoreenLethal Sat 09-Jan-16 11:37:10

Any ideas on how to broach this?

Could you tell him that having strops when your partner asks you to step up is controlling and that it is a deal breaker if he keeps doing it and who is he fucking between 6-10am on a weekend morning.

Cabrinha Sat 09-Jan-16 11:37:13

The first reply is a really good one.

But I'm in the camp of sensitive = bollocks = arsehole.

Belleende Sat 09-Jan-16 11:37:14

Yes new year health kick, he also delivers stuff to his work on the way. He has taken dd with him in the past so I got some rest but she is less predictable now and he finds it difficult to deal with her alone when she is in the backpack carrier. Anyways, its not the walk that is the issue,(he is generally v good at doing his fair share) it is the reaction to me raising the issue.

AnyFucker Sat 09-Jan-16 11:41:18

I don't compute.

If you live in the UK it is pitch dark and freezing at 6am. So he has previously put dc in a backpack and carried "stuff" to work on foot. For four hours. And this is seen as normal to you.

Joysmum Sat 09-Jan-16 12:04:15

AF as a fat person myself half the time, I too prefer to exercise in the dark, winter is great for that.

It may seem strange to you but many people use walking as their fitness/weight loss choice.

Think Stephen Fry. smile

Joysmum Sat 09-Jan-16 12:04:47

Oh an when you are fat and exercising you are grateful for the cold.

Belleende Sat 09-Jan-16 12:06:28

Jesus when did a dawn walk become a freakish activity?!? We are both keen walkers One of the reasons we moved out of the big smoke Was to be able to walk more. he has been taking our daughter for dawn walks since she was born, its their thing. But now the paths are too muddy for the pram, and it us much harder to deal with a meltdown when she is in the back pack. AF any more normal now?

Right so. doreen never have I seen an accussation of cheating on mn based on such scant info. Unless his strumpet likes sweaty mucky men in hiking boots and muddy tracksuits I think I am fairly safe.

Like all of us he is not perfect, but 99.99999% of the time he is not an arsehole.

my interpretation of his defensiveness as sensitivity may be generous, but he is like this with everything, for example he is a chef and any negative comments about his food really get under his skin and knock his confidence.

So, how to deal with defensiveness in a partner?

Costacoffeeplease Sat 09-Jan-16 12:13:51

He sounds like far too delicate a snowflake, I really couldn't be arsed with tip toeing round him

He's a parent now, time to grow up and behave like an adult without the self pitying strops - how very unattractive

AnyFucker Sat 09-Jan-16 12:20:27

Right ok, we have established a background to the 4 hour tramp through the streets with a young baby in the pitch dark. Call me educated smile

There is no defense to fucking off for one then on his own during one of the physically and mentally hardest times of the day with a young baby. Leavig you to do everything.

This is not sensitivity and defensiveness...this is being an arsehole.

expatinscotland Sat 09-Jan-16 12:22:26

'But now the paths are too muddy for the pram, and it us much harder to deal with a meltdown when she is in the back pack.'

She is six months old. She doesn't have 'meltdowns'. He finds it hard to deal with his own 6-month-old baby when she cries? Take off backpack, calm child, feed child. Put backpack on. The real reason he doesn't take her is because she breaks his stride. He doesn't want to stop his walk for her. And hey, he's got you falling for his 'can't cope with 'meltdown' in backpapck' claptrap.

FFS. He isn't 'sensitive', he's an arsehole.

Time for him to grow the fuck up.

You won't change him, but will bang your head against a wall for years until the scales fall from your eyes.

Best of luck, you're going to need it.

AnyFucker Sat 09-Jan-16 12:24:46

The poor kid probably has "meltdowns" because she is freezing cold.

HotterWok Sat 09-Jan-16 12:26:00

Some people are very sensitive to voice tone, have you noticed that?

Belleende Sat 09-Jan-16 12:26:40

On this occassion yes he was inconsiderate (see above for the 0.00001 % of the time he spends being an arsehole versus the 99.99999% he is not an arsehole).
This is not usual for him, however reacting defensively when tackled is, hence this being the issue.
Fancy going for a walk sometime?

expatinscotland Sat 09-Jan-16 12:27:21

Or because he can't stop his walk, for, you know, his own kid. Wait till she's toddling and going the pace of 10 slugs pulling a rock.

I'm a keen walker/hillwalker myself. It's only now that my kids, who are 10 and 7, can keep up.

FlatOnTheHill Sat 09-Jan-16 12:28:07

OP ignore the people picking the bones out of your thread and making all sorts of assumptions. They do it all the time confused
Have a chat with him. Tell him exactly how you feel. And tell him he needs to stop being over sensitive and a stroppy baby. Basically he needs to grow up and man up

AnyFucker Sat 09-Jan-16 12:29:23

I do walk a lot, Belle. I walk up hills and everyfink.

But not at the expense of my spouse and family. I'd love to go for a walk with you so we could have a really nice chat about what is tolerable in a loving, equal relationship and what is not.

expatinscotland Sat 09-Jan-16 12:34:58

Yeah, have a chat. Tell him what Flat said.

Cabrinha Sat 09-Jan-16 12:37:31

Not the point, but at 6 months old she'll probably prefer a sling and a front carry where he can chat to hrs as they're walking.
As well as hunger or tiredness, she'll cry from being bored bobbing along on his back.

HortonWho Sat 09-Jan-16 12:37:53

Well my baby may not have had "meltdowns" but hey sure as fuck sounded like them. He'd scream his little lungs out until he was making himself vomit.

So if she's describing a "meltdown" then let's not start interrogating her about the details and accept it as part of the OP.

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