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.
Is my husband nasty & mean or am I completely at fault?(92 Posts)
Just need some perspective as I don't know what to do.
We've been together 5 years, married for 2, & have a 5 months old who we both adore. Were both fairly long in the tooth (I'm now 38 & he's 46) when we met, & fell madly in love very quickly. I love him to bits most of the time, but he's a nightmare to communicate with, & we can't discuss anything contentious without it turning into an argument.
If something has annoyed me, or we've had cross words, I'll want to talk about it & let him know why it annoyed/upset me. But he just wants to forget it happened & move on. To me, that just harbours resentment & means the "issue" will likely keep recurring.
Our latest barny started like this: I put baby to bed last night. (Nearly always me doing it as DH works late) As per usual, he fought going to sleep in bedside cot, wailed for ages, & eventually fell asleep snuggled up beside me on bed. As he nodded off, I suddenly had revelation that maybe bedroom is just too bright for him, with light curtains & facing evening sun. (Maybe this should have occurred to me sooner....doh!....) So when I eventually got back downstairs I reported my (hopefully) genius revelation to DH, saying I would try putting something darker over window to see if it helped. Note: DH was in the throes of a college assignment with a midnight deadline, but in fairness he had left it to the last minute as per usual. But he had asked how bedtime went, & I only planned to tell him re curtains idea & then leave him to work. Anyway, he dismissed the whole notion, started saying "I think we're putting him to bed too early" - kept repeating this, (we're not - it's usually between 7-8pm), "what's the big deal?"(doh! - baby is wailing & upset & obviously it's not nice for me either) He started saying "why don't we just keep baby downstairs until he's sleepy?" (we/I do!). Also, when it's him putting baby to bed if I'm out (twice!) "he just brings him out for a walk maybe at 9pm to get him to nod off , why can't we just do that every night?" I explained again all about bedtime routines etc, which he should know. He was obviously getting frustrated with conversation & saying "what do you want me to do???!!". I didn't want him to do anything! I just wanted to mention curtains idea, & didn't appreciate him suddenly questioning & criticising the whole bedtime routine I had been trying to establish 😞To clarify, baby sometimes goes to sleep easily enough, but has been bad every night for past week.
I left the room, then called into him asking when he was ready for dinner. He grumpily said he didn't know, I said "well, are you hungry?, again a grumpy "I don't know, I'm not hungry, I'm busy, I'm under pressure" So of course I got cranky & said "I'm only trying to help!" I warmed up dinner & gave it to him, popped in once or twice to see if he wanted a cup of tea, but was stand-off ish & obviously still annoyed.
Sorry this is so long! Fast forward to today, & we're both civil with each other but not exactly friendly or affectionate.
I tried to start a conversation by saying "you were a bit stressed last night". I planned to then let him know I was upset about direction conversation took last night, & ask why was he suddenly questioning & criticising bed TIME all of a sudden, & let him know why it pissed me off.
That's not how our discussion went tho! Before I'd barely got a word out, he blew up at me. Apparently, he "wasn't stressed!!!". He was "under pressure!!!" I said, ok I was just trying to be supportive (i.e. re making dinner when he wanted it) Apparently I should have just made it & handed it to him. (N.B. he's not a caveman, he does most of the cooking) And "I wasn't being supportive, I was trying to cause an argument as usual".
I barely got to say a word for the next few minutes....he started getting really angry, saying I'm always looking for an argument, that's my pattern etc, why can't I just leave things. He wouldn't let me explain why I was upset. I was crying & at one point he sneeringly complained about my "pathetic whining". When I tried to ask if he meant the crying, or having a moan about the baby the previous night, he really blew up. Apparently I was always asking questions, interrogating him etc. Why couldn't I just "reflect on my own behaviour". He also called me a moron & a psycho at various points.
I tried to say, as I've done during/after previous arguments, that we just deal with conflicts differently - I want to discuss, he wants to ignore, why can't we compromise or maybe get some help from a counsellor blah blah blah... But when he's like this he just won't listen to anything.....
But also, if I try to suggest same when everything is rosy between us he says it's unnecessary, every couple falls out etc etc....why am I bringing it up, almost getting annoyed...
Sorry again this is so long, but I have 2 main questions.
How do we improve our communication when we're so different or should I just adopt his way of ignoring every conflict/issue as he's unwilling to change?
Is it ok for one person to say such horrible things (moron, psycho etc) in the heat of an argument, & then expect the other person not to be seriously considering divorce?
That is verbal abuse. Calling you a moron or a psycho.
You have a joint problem (your son can't sleep in his room). You tried to discuss solutions and that irritated him because what would inconvenience him least is that you deal with the repercussions of your son not sleeping on your own, rather than bringing the issue to him and making it a joint problem.
if he's not stressed it's because yelling at you and calling you names is a release for him. he feels better afterwards. You don't.
No, he's grumpy and mean.
I don't think you need joint counselling. I think he needs to work on his communication skills.
Ignoring things is not a valid communication method. Nor is bottling things up and exploding or taking out your feelings on your wife.
You don't seem to have any issues communicating.
If you go to couples counselling they will try and get each of you to take responsibility and compromise. This would be bad since the issue is entirely his and he needs to change how he behaves IMO.
He sounds vile.
My advice is to not let him dictate the way everything has to be discussed/dealt with - you will be making a definite rod for your own back if you do.
He does sound like a nightmare, but to be honest, your timing was awful.
He was trying to do an assignment with a tight deadline and you wanted to talk about curtains.
The communication issue needs dealing with, but both of you need to be willing to do that. If he isn't, then you could well have big problems.
Name calling is never acceptable.
He absolutely shouldn't speak to you like that, of course.
But you sound so bloody annoying! I'd have been tearing my hair out with your behaviour.
That's no excuse for how he spoke to you though. Does he usually speak to you like this?
If my DH had to complete an assignement, I'd be creeping round. You sound like you were trying to start an argument by telling him he was stressed. Just go and get blackout, works a treat for my DH on shifts. Choose a time and sit with your DH to discuss issues. Calling you names is childish and nasty, he's not 12, he needs to be more accepting that you will-quite naturally-want to discuss your baby.
He shouldn't have called you names but you were being quite annoying
He is being grumpy. You were also completely wrong to try and start a technical discussion 3 hours before he had a college assignment deadline.
I'm sorry but, you both sound very hard work. I think he shouldn't have said what he did but, it sounds like you went out of your way to choose the worst possible time to kick off.
Wrong to call you names, but I felt quite stressed reading that. I would have just let him be, your need to communicate could have been shelved for a while.
He was very rude.
But it does sound as if you were like a dog with a bone and should have just left him to it once you saw how busy he was. Phoning him to continue the discussion - why?? Did you call him to work?
I think you are both in the wrong.
His behaviour was very rude and what he said was completely unacceptable. However, his suggestion about putting the baby to bed later seems a reasonable idea. At 5 months I would not get too stressed about fixed routines - and I say that as a routine lover!
As he had a deadline last night it would have been wise not to continue with the questioning you were being annoying - although that does not excuse the way he spoke to you.
I think at a neutral time (no deadlines and not near baby's bedtime) you need to tell him how upset you were and move on from there - but I have a feeling you like to analyse everything to the nth degree so you will need to compromise too.
He was doing an assignment and wanted peace to finish it and your blithering about curtains. You would have got a curt "fuck off and leave me until I'm finished" from me the first time you disturbed me, what you were on about was not at all important and didn't need to be discussed there and then.
I don't understand why you would want to go over what happened again this morning, you spoke last night and it's done with - move on and stop with all the questions, there is no need.
P.s. Baby might be grizzly at night because they are teething. I don't think light affects their sleep at 5 months.
I got frustrated reading that myself. You kept going back when he was busy, you should have just left him and the whole conversation. Then you brought it all up again to dissect this morning when it didn't need discussing any further.
The name calling you refer to at the end of the op is out of order but until that bit I thought your behaviour was irritating and unnecessary. Sometimes when you are in a couple you just have to leave things or pick your moments.
Sorry but I agree with the majority here, you knew he was indeed under pressure but decided to discuss sodding curtains, then he tried to help by suggesting other ideas about the bedtime routine you didn't like it. I can understand why he was so annoyed the next day. He shouldn't have called you names but I can understand why he was so frustrated with you.
Light totally affects ds1's sleep at 5 months. He has always needed a dark room to sleep. DS2 doesn't. Get one if the travel black out blinds and give it a try.
I think you are probably both in the wrong. Try calpol maybe? (Baby not dp)
It is difficult to judge this really.
My DH went through a very stressful time with post graduate exams. I probably would have made dinner and left his for him to heat up when he wanted it.
I wouldn't have had a conversation about anything else while he was chasing a deadline - however, I do take on board the fact that your DH had left things till the last minute.
WRT the window/light situation I suggest you order some black "blind in a box" from Amazon. Easy to cut and fit, they are very cheap and last for years. Just do it and don't involve DH.
Maybe consider some couples counselling once he has finished all his exams.
The length and way you write indicates to me someone who is hard work due to boredom.Name calling is mean but I would lie if I said DH and I had never called each other a name. When my DH has a deadline and he has them constantly I just leave him alone. Appalling timing on your part.
I agree with the majority too in that I can totally see why he snapped in the midst of his studying. It wasn't the time for chit chat or to make s point about your difficulties communicating.
However, his sneering while you were crying was really nasty and not on at all.
I agree with you that you need to work on your communication skills together but if you are going to try to convince him that discussing your disagreements the next day is the way to go then you need to have absolutely cooled off yourself too.
Anger is never a helpful emotion and those "we need to talk about how we dealt with this" conversations need to come from a place of willing to laugh and conciliate and "I do love you really you old sod" rather than "I'm still mad and want you to grovel".
So I think you both need guidance from a joint counselling scenario here.
He shouldn't have called you names. But you don't seem to want to let this go. He must feel hounded.
Can you try to put it to one side for a couple of days, let things settle. Then when you've got some quiet time at the weekend suggest you chat about how you communicate with each other, to avoid upsetting arguments. Don't bring up this argument in particular (let it go).
If my DH tried to talk to me about curtains 3 hours from an assignment deadline I'd have snapped too. Perhaps not the best timing, that aside he shouldn't call you names.
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.