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.
Really unhappy..please tell me whether this is normal and acceptable?(46 Posts)
Okay I've name changed and ended up setting up a new account (didn't realise you could name change without doing that) sorry this post is so long. I've tried to provide as much info as possible to set the scene.
I am sitting here in tears and really need somebody to talk to. Can I please ask for a bit of hand holding and gentle advice...?
I've been married to DH for 22 years. We have 2 boys aged 21 and 14. We have had our ups and downs. We've been through a few bad patches but always have managed to work things out.
DH is caring, funny, unselfish, loving and can't do enough for me. Friends who have known us through the years playfully say that I've got him wrapped around my little finger. Because generally he can't do enough for me. I would also consider myself to be the same with him. There have been times that he has said that he feels lucky as I am so understanding and he has described me as his best friend. As I would him.
Three years ago, he demonstrated the love he has for me as I made a very big decision effecting the family which involved him making a huge sacrifice. I cannot reveal anymore info as the situation is quite unique and it would reveal my identify. I just wanted it out there that regardless I know how deep he loves me. People have told me that they are jealous about my husband being so loving.
We have always kind of bickered. He tends to have a dry sometimes sarcastic sense of humour and for many years I have found it difficult as there have been times that I have taken offence when I have thought he has been joking. My weakness,which I acknowledge, is that I can be very sensitive.
Lately, we just seem to not be able to be in the same room together. The bickering seems to have morphed into full on disagreements about anything and everything. He can be moody at times (as I can be) but has a tendency to storm off when we are having a disagreement and I am talking. His moodiness and storming off reminds me of one of the boys..not a 44 grown man! I am a "let's sit down and sort this out" kind of person and hate ending or beginning the day on an argument. He sometimes agrees to sort things out but the last couple of disagreements, he has said " you always have to have the last word on everything" Generally, he will apologise to me for snapping but sometimes he doesn't and things just eventually generally return to normal.
He has said some hurtful things which he has later apologised for. Things like "you are dragging me down" and "not everyone can be as perfect as you" he seems to say something along the lines about I feel the need to point score which I have no idea what he means by that.
If I ask him "what the hell is wrong with you!" And his reply is always "you!" So then I will say.. "Well if I'm that bad, why are you with me!"
Last weekend we had the worst argument we have had in the years we have been together. He said some really hurtful things involving the fact he thinks I am a complete nag at the boys and I am the cause of all the friction in the house. (DS2 is testing a few boundaries at 14yrs and I have been on his back a bit involving hygiene and homework) But My god that comment hurt and so I retaliated. He stormed off and didn't come home until Sunday night. I took Monday off work to try and sort things out. We made up but things are still not right. I feel that I am treading on eggshells and the slightest thing I say will result in an argument. So I've just held my tongue. I'm completely emotionally worn out by all this and I am starting to panic about the state of my marriage. I'm hoping it's just a phase and things will go back to normal but how long the hell do I handle this?
This morning he has arranged to go away for the weekend with his male friend, his son and our DS2 on a boys activity weekend. Last night we went to bed on bad terms again over something and nothing. I feel like he takes me the wrong way and he says the same about me. This morning he woke up all happy as he was looking forward to the weekend ahead. He was messing around with the dog and singing and I could hear him whistling in the kitchen. I came downstairs half asleep and commented that it was the happiest I had seen him for a long time. He looked shocked and asked me why I said that.So I just said (and I was careful at the tone in my voice) that lately he has been miserable and moody and feel likeI'm treading around on eggshells. He took it as a criticism instead of an observation and said "oh for gods sake don't start just as I am leaving to go away.. Thanks a lot." I tried to explain to him that all I was doing was making an observation and that he did ask. I told him that he just doesn't see it. He replied that he thinks that the issue is with me and he is just responding to me and my tone.
I just don't know what to do. What if he is right and maybe I have been the cause of the arguments? What if it's actually me that's been speaking to him like a piece of shit instead of the other way around?Short of pressing record on my phone next time a disagreement erupts how do I deal with this?
Is it normal to bicker and fall out whilst still being in a happy marriage?
I have the weekend to myself (DS1 is away for the weekend as well) and no one to turn to. I had made plans to see a friend tonight but she's cancelled so I am sitting here feeling drained, alone and sorry for myself. Ive just spent the last half hour crying and staring at the wall I just feel like curling up in my duvet with the dog.
Then go back to bed and curl up with the dog.
Perhaps some time apart is what you really need.
Hmm maybe don't comment on everything. Maybe just say good morning especially as things have been tense.
Agree sounds like you need a break from each other
From.what you say (and that's all we can go on obviously) it does sound like you were being critical again this morning.
If you reframed the 'because you've been so moody' bit into a 'it's just lovely to see you relaxed, reminds me how much I live you' type thing maybe?
But listen to what he saying. Work out if there may be some truth in it. Change your wording if you think it's appropriate and see if he changes in response. Positive energy. Give it time. It does sound as if you both have far too much together to throw away.
"lately you've been miserable and moody and feel like I'm treading around on eggshells" may be an observation but its a very critical observation. And "what the hell is wrong with you" is not the same as "let's sit down and sort all this out".
It sounds as though you both need to learn how to communicate with respect.
I'm sorry but you were pleased when you saw him happy but felt the need to criticise and bring up the negative from the last few weeks. I can see why he felt got at and his good mood changed, because mine would have too. How much nicer it would have been if you told him, how much you loved seeing him like that.
You DS is 14 now too, so old enough to sort his own personal hygiene and homework, take a step back and let him take responsibility for himself. He will learn soon enough when he's in detention for not doing it and his friends won't sit next to him because of the smell. Sometimes being told to do something will automatically cause a defense and rebellion.
Yes that was the bit that stuck out to me. You could have said, it's nice to
See you happy and relaxed (leave out for a change.)
You seem to have got into an awful cycle of bickering and scoring points off each other and tbh I recognise this as exh and I got to this stage and I'm afraid we didn't recover. It was borne out of resentment of each other ie thinking the other had it easier. We just couldn't see each other's point of view in the end.
You have a lot of good things to say about your husband so there is plenty to work with, if you both want to of course.
Yeah, I'm inclined to agree about this morning, I'm afraid.
He was in a good mood and you well and truly burst his bubble by basically reminding him that he's been a miserable bastard lately. What was the purpose of it?
Even saying it was the happiest you'd seen him in a long time was tbh, very leading. A more neutral thing to say was "you seem happy this morning!"
Then he hopefully would have responded about the weekend and how good it was going to be. And you could have said you hope he has a brilliant time (and left it at that despite the temptation to add "cos you've been so miserable and moody and I've been walking on eggshells").
And maybe you both would have parted without bitterness, genuinely wishing each other well.
It sounds like low level misunderstanding/conflict on a loop. I would find a decent couples therapist and book yourselves in so you can get it resolved in a healthy manner.
Maybe the brief time apart will do you the world of good, but please don't sit in churning things over and feeling sad, nothing good will come off it. Get out in the fresh air with the dog, it will clear your head and you'll probably gain a different perspective on things.
This can happen. It's easy to get into a sniping loop, try to be more patient and mindful of how you say things and hopefully he will follow your lead and do the same. If still no better then try and have a heart to heart and then consider couples counselling.
Thanks for the replies.. And for putting the comment I made this morning into perspective. I agree I should have worded it differently.
I guess I just so want things to go back to how they were. I just wanted to point out to him how he has come across lately.. Not to hurt him or piss him off even further but to just make him realise how he is being and take some responsibility for his moodiness and snapping.
Regarding DS2, his teachers have told us that he needs a rocket up his backside regarding homework. He's handing it in to avoid detention but the quality and quantity is shocking. He is quite clever but not meeting his targets. He can be lazy and tries to get away with doing as little as possible. We have both been worried about the standard of his work slipping at such a critical time.
hey Random mess ......not nicking my name I hope?
Anyway OP.....I believe as kids get older it is a real flashpoint for marriages.
Maybe try some counseling? Do you have any fun just for you or things you enjoy away fron the family?
mmm further thoughts moodiness and snapping can be linked to depression and you say you want things to go back to how they were. Is this possible?
I don't get why you are both worried or stressed re ds2 but then he calls you a nag. Do you discuss concerns for ds2 together? Also, how much friction is this issue causing, is it zapping both your patience levels?
I'm no expert on relationships (understatement, trust me!) but the sniping sounds in a loop and something needs to change. Is couples counselling an option? Or have you heard of love languages? I found that book really helpful in learning a lot about myself and the other people in my life. You can google it to get the idea of the basic premise. Re ds2 though, it must be hard living with parents fighting all the time, could his acting out be a reflection of that? Totally not saying that to accuse, I just have a ds the same age and I know he's quite sensitive to conflict, and it comes out in different ways. Hope the time apart this weekend does you all a bit of good too.
I think firstly, 22 years together is a tremendous achievement, especially as you married at a young age.
I can totally see why he reacted the way he did this morning, it must have felt like a dig to him. Do you burst his bubble without meaning to frequently?
I think the time apart will do you the world of good. This just sounds to me like a case of familiarity beeeding contempt rather than anything more sinister. Maybe arrange a night out together, dress up & remember why you fell in love with each other
randomer I think you'll find I was here first...
Hope you can work through this op, it's horrible how little thing can cause such damage and distance between a couple.
Maybe he is tired of you being over sensitive and critical and feels HE is the one walking on eggshells. Sometimes people (he in this case) get to a crisis point where they've just had enough. Some time a part is probably a good thing. You sound over analytical, over sensitive and over critical tbh.
When you say " He stormed off and didn't come home until Sunday night" - when did he actually storm off and did he let you know where he was during that time?
I agree you are over analysing. What you said this morning will have seemed to be bringing back recent events to the fore. I know you didn't mean it like this and "what is wrong with you" is really bad communication. I have a tendency to be a bit like this with dh. I think some of it comes down to different communication styles. I like stuff in black and white so I know where things are and I understand everything. Dh is a lot more laid back. I am learning you can't define and anticipate everything. Mine stems from a very critical childhood with emotional abuse, where I was constantly trying to interpret the unknown and unknowable for fear of criticism.
Not sure how telling someone they have been miserable & moody can possibly be an 'observation' not a criticism?? And your post say "you just wanted to point out how he's been" does sound at best somewhat poorly timed or at worst deliberately having a go just because he was happy and absolutely the definition of "point scoring" and quite a passive aggressive comment made just because he was happy & looking forward to something that didn't involve you? Do you think you often do that? It could tie in with the "you're always bringing me down" remark.
However, very rarely when a relationship goes wrong is it down to one person so rather than beating yourself up about it, go and get some help. Do you think couples councilling might help?
It sounds as if the kindness and appreciation has disappeared from your relationship.You could choose to wait for him to start reversing the cycle but if you want this to be better than you make changes first.
Your comments do seem harsh. "what the hell is wrong with you" is very unpleasant and I think you deserved his retort.Not sure if you actually wanted him open up to you but you couldn't expect him to respond positively to that.
Have you been taking him for granted? Have you allowed your communication with him to be at a less respectful level than you would with colleagues or friends? Try to think positively and lovingly about him over the weekend and maybe send a text that tells him you appreciate him.
You might find John Gottman relationship info useful (lots on YouTube) plus consider reading The Chimp Paradox as it may help to understand and respond better to your sensitivity.
Maybe you should shut up more often and not nag over everything?
Divorce him if you are truly fatigued?
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.