Advanced search

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.

My DH is a wimp. Would you put up with any of this?

(105 Posts)
wimpyhusband Fri 22-Apr-16 17:04:14

DH and me are both in our early 50s. The thing that has prompted me to post this is an incident that occurred over the weekend. We were going out in the car and as we were about to drive off, an old man and his dog were walking on the pavement in front of our front gates. The man was walking several metres ahead of the dog. The dog stopped and took a huge shit literally right in front of the gate. The man didn't chastise the dog and just carried on walking. I shouted at the man and he came over and was very apologetic. DH was trying to play it down and telling me to just leave it. He was practically cowering in fear and failed to back me up. The owner didn't have anything to use to pick up the shit, so I made DH go in to get a plastic bag. The old man picked it up and walked away, then we drove off. H was making out that I was overreacting and that I shouldn't have done anything. Would you let a dog take a shit outside your home and let the owner walk off without saying anything? I don't think most people would.

The thing is this wasn't an isolated incident in which DH has acted like a wimp. There has been a few occasions in the past when I have had builders coming to do work in the house. Sometimes they have given me lip while DH has been there but he hasn't said anything. He leaves me to deal with problems, like if there is problem with the boiler for example. It's me who has to make all the phone calls and then greet the worker who comes out to sort it. DH usually hides upstairs until they've gone. When DS (22) was a child, whenever there were problems at school it was always me who would go up to the school to sort things out. There was a time when DS was in primary school and getting bullied. One time I went up to discuss it with the headteacher and the other kid's dad was there staring at me and making threats. DH didn't do anything about it. No doubt he would have been shitting himself if he was there. Also whenever I would invite DS' friends to the house when he was little, DH would act weird around the other kid's parents. He would just nod his head and say yes to everything while I did most of the talking. I could tell that the other parents thought something was weird about him. Also when we are in the car he gets angry at other drivers very easily. He will shout and make gestures at them but he checks to see if it's a man who's driving before he continues. He soon pipes down if it is a man. I think he had quite a rough childhood but he doesn't like to discuss it. I think his dad was an alcoholic and abusive and that might be a factor in why he acts scared around other blokes. He also complains a lot about his job. He's been in his current position for 12 years and moans because he never gets promoted. I find myself suspecting that it might be because he doesn't stand up for himself enough. I would like to ask what other people think.

DrE678 Fri 22-Apr-16 17:10:48

You sound very domineering. He doesn't sound like a wimp, just someone who doesn't like confrontation and possibly isn't hugely comfortable socially. Do you tell him you are unhappy about all these things? If so, his self-esteem is not likely to be very high. I didn't see a need for him to step in or defend you in any of these situations, it's the 21st century. Maybe you need to accept his personality for what it is.

Jan45 Fri 22-Apr-16 17:12:51

Yes I think you are right, I think his growing up days have caused this. You either accept him with all his flaws or you don't, you can't change someone's personality.

For me, I couldn't be in a partnership where I was having to do all the assertiveness and deal with all the crap, I'd expect him to do a fair share too.

He obviously has issues around confrontations, doesn't make him a bad person though, it just depends if you can live with it.

Jan45 Fri 22-Apr-16 17:13:22

And I'd go mental if some old man allowed his dog to crap outside my front gate, what a pig.

KERALA1 Fri 22-Apr-16 17:13:37

I don't think op sounds domineering just normally assertive. This would annoy me too op.

ImperialBlether Fri 22-Apr-16 17:14:56

Oh sorry, I disagree - he is a wimp! Why should you always have to be the ones to confront other people while he cowers in the background? I'd feel like it was more of a parent-child relationship than a relationship between adults.

winchester1 Fri 22-Apr-16 17:19:13

My relationship is a bit like this I'm much more argumentative assertive and OH is a wimp or as id say more diplomatic.
We just work to our strengths as a team. Sometimes I guns blazing sometimes he goes in nicely nicely. He grew up with older parents so.prob more a 50s upbringing compared to my hippy liberal feminist upbringing - its affected our personality's but we are who we are, not much changing that.

Do you just not like him much at the moment?

blueberrypie0112 Fri 22-Apr-16 17:19:45

Make your husband clean it up every single time if he does see it as a problem enough to speak out about it

Xmasbaby11 Fri 22-Apr-16 17:21:14

You've obviously been together many years. Why is it becoming an issue now? It sounds like his personality is non confrontational. I am like that too however I force myself to stand up for my dc and Dh etc. I do my share of the assertive tasks in our relationship because I think it's important to be able to look after yourself. In a long term relationship like yours, your DH obviously doesn't feel the need. You can talk to him about it but I wouldn't bring up events from 10 plus years ago - that's history now.

OliviaBenson Fri 22-Apr-16 17:21:56

He is a wimp. However, it sounds like he's been this way for years. Why is it now that this is an issue for you? Not having a go, just wondering.

DiggersRest Fri 22-Apr-16 17:22:51

I thought dh (dp at the time) didn't like confrontation as it seemed to always be me having to be 'assertive' until someone did something that actually pissed dh off and then they got both barrels (figuratively speaking! ) and l realised that lots of things just don't bother dh. But if anyone was bullying dd1 or dd2 God help them!

Could he just be genuinely not bothered by things that wind you up?

blueberrypie0112 Fri 22-Apr-16 17:24:36

Btw, I seen my neighbors sign that goes like this" if your dog poops, you scoop" not sure a sign would help but who knows?

WellErrr Fri 22-Apr-16 17:25:34

You sound terrifying, no wonder he just lets you get on with the angry stuff.

Why does it matter though? Who says that men have to be the tough ones?

blueberrypie0112 Fri 22-Apr-16 17:27:31

"someone did something that actually pissed dh off and then they got both barrels (figuratively speaking! ) and l realised that lots of things just don't bother dh. "

I think that may be the case.They tend to pick their battle and lay back about everything else (or just don't care)

OTheHugeManatee Fri 22-Apr-16 17:28:45

It sounds like you and he are complementary. If he was as assertive as you I bet you'd argue non-stop.

If you've been married for years, I think it's a bit unfair to start criticising him for this now.

ShatnersBassoon Fri 22-Apr-16 17:31:08

Do you think he struggles to communicate effectively? It sounds like he doesn't trust himself to deal with tricky things, so he avoids them. Luckily you're confident enough to pick up the slack.

How does he deal with everyday disagreements with you?

blueberrypie0112 Fri 22-Apr-16 17:32:46

"How does he deal with everyday disagreements with you?"

Apparently he spoke up about her giving the old man a hard time?

MrsLupo Fri 22-Apr-16 18:05:10

I'm like winchester in that I am more assertive than DP, whereas, because he dislikes confrontation, he's more of a diplomat. Over the years I've found it irritating having to be the one who stands up to people, but there are occasions when a chummy, diplomatic approach is what's needed and I'm just rubbish at that. I would be pretty upset if he rejected me for being bad at the softly softly stuff. We both have our strengths and weaknesses and that's OK. It sounds as though you and your DH would both like the other to change, rather than accepting you can complement each other.

I think you are right, OP, that patterns of assertiveness (or lack of it) are set in childhood (which is not to say people can't change, because I think they can, assuming they want to). DP's father is a retiring type and it's a family joke that his mother's refrain in a crisis is: 'DPsDad, do something!' I don't want to be like that, and I don't think you should either.

Only you know if this is a dealbreaker for you, but since it isn't a new behaviour, I wonder if there's actually some other issue in your marriage that's brought things to a head?

TheNaze73 Fri 22-Apr-16 18:08:17

I agree OP. Men & women are different, he should stand up for himself.

DoesAnyoneReadTheseThings Fri 22-Apr-16 18:08:25

He's an aggressive driver but not if the other driver is a man hmm

HopeClearwater Fri 22-Apr-16 18:09:19

Bit of sexism going on about the OP here. If a bloke had reacted in that way, no one would have come up with 'domineering'. Oh I forgot, us women aren't allowed to be angry angry

Zaphodsotherhead Fri 22-Apr-16 19:58:28

My XH was like this (he's ASD though). In the end he wouldn't even take the lawnmower to be fixed because 'they'll ask what's wrong with it, and I don't know what to tell them'. (It doesn't work ffs, what do you think you should tell them?). It started out as attractive because I'd always been with argumentative men before, but it started to get wearing, always being me that had to take things back, complain, phone people, talk to neighbours etc. I'm not big on confrontation or complaining, but someone had to do it.

In the end he told me I 'mummied' him, when he left. I hope, wherever he is, he's bloody learned to at least send back crap goods...

KERALA1 Fri 22-Apr-16 20:06:30

Exactly hope. That early poster straight in there with "domineering". If its "domineering" to not stand meekly by whilst someone lets their dog shit outside your house then sign me up!

PetrolBastard Fri 22-Apr-16 20:16:08

You do sound a bit overbearing. We can't all bang the world to rights.

Joysmum Fri 22-Apr-16 20:19:53

Ah so because he's a man he should 'man up'.

Newsflash, both and women can be of the personality type to avoid confrontation and take the path of least resistance.

In my group of friends, there's a mix of this between the men and women.

One thing I do know, is that my DH is who he is and I'd never critisise him for it, I'd either step up or put up, just as he does with the multitude of attribute he has that I don't share.

Sexist bullshit is rife on this thread.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now