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Attempts to talk always end like this!

(94 Posts)
brightnearly Sun 16-Oct-16 11:54:31

It's happened so many times before, and it happened again this morning:

I did something DH didn't like (in this case, being a little alarmed and apologetic that our letters are on my writing desk - they don't belong there, and the desk was a mess) - he berated me ('It's not necessary to react like this, all I said was that I'm going to sort out the letters, and you shoot up immediately and get all alarmed etc) - I tried to explain myself ('I felt really bad about the messy desk and the fact the letters weren't in the right place") - I'm being told I'm unreasonable.

Then I try to explain that if every reaction of mine needs to be the 'right' one, and correspond to his intentions (and not my perception of the situation), life is difficult for me (and it is, I feel at least as if I'm forever being told of for reacting in the wrong way). I didn't mean any harm by my reaction, at all.

Then he sighs and declares that I don't understand him, that this conversation is going nowhere, that we are just not on the same page, we just don't get on, and that's that. That I wasn't listening to him at all and not taking in his point of view. I then said that I was very interested in his point of view and would like to understand it - but he just dismissed me, saying no, I wasn't!
When I asked him where he wanted to go from here, he said 'that is my decision'.

I cannot say how sad, frustrated, dismayed and horrified I feel; and I wanted to ask: Does anyone have an idea of how to get someone to have a full conversation with you? Any techniques on how to ease someone into taking in another's point of view? In 8 years of marriage I cannot recall a single conversation where my point of view was taken into account properly.
Quite often, attempts at conversations end even more dramatically, with him shouting at me and hiding in the bathroom.

FlapsTie Sun 16-Oct-16 11:58:14

Why were you alarmed that the letters were on the desk? Is that your issue or his? Were you anticipating him being cross about the mess?

brightnearly Sun 16-Oct-16 12:01:18

I don't know - I was just sorry that things were not in their usual order!

ImperialBlether Sun 16-Oct-16 12:04:07

He sounds really horrible. What's the point of living with someone where you can't have a normal conversation with them?

sarahnova69 Sun 16-Oct-16 12:04:21

Does anyone have an idea of how to get someone to have a full conversation with you? Any techniques on how to ease someone into taking in another's point of view?

if they don't want to have a full conversation and take on your point of view, I'm afraid there is no technique in the world that will get someone to do so.

You said it yourself: in 8 years he hasn't ever treated your viewpoint with respect.

You aren't a person to him. He doesn't value your view or your feelings. That's on him - and you can't 'make' him care.

What's keeping you in this relationship?

DelphiniumBlue Sun 16-Oct-16 12:06:38

It sounds as if you are scared of him. if I have understood your post correctly, you were 'alarmed' that you had left papers in the wrong place, and you reacted in a frightened way to him. He didn't like this, and responded by saying effectively that you just need to accept him telling you off, and then you'd have nothing to be scared of. Sometimes he is so scary you have to lock yourself in another room.
Have I got that right?
I'm wondering if he's been violent to you.

keepingonrunning Sun 16-Oct-16 12:06:52

Would you clarify who ends up in the bathroom - you or him? (last line)

brightnearly Sun 16-Oct-16 12:08:45

What's keeping me is the fact that we have 2 young children, a shared mortgage and I'm currently on a course and looking for employment (and even once I strike lucky, I won't take much home considering childcare costs).

Also - it's hard to get my head round the fact that he doesn't think of me as a person.

brightnearly Sun 16-Oct-16 12:09:05

He hides in the bathroom and refuses any further communication.

keepingonrunning Sun 16-Oct-16 12:10:50

You feel like you are always walking on eggshells
Frequently given a ticking off

He doesn't see you as an equal partner. He sees himself as superior, the one who is always in the right and you're the one who needs to be taught the correct response - according to him.

Hallmarks of emotional abuse I'm sorry to say. There is no cure for arrogance flowers

keepingonrunning Sun 16-Oct-16 12:12:19

Ok. Stonewalling is another emotional abuser's tactic - refusing to engage and work together towards a solution. Instead he is controlling whether he will deign to speak with/to you or not.

SaggyNaggy Sun 16-Oct-16 12:12:24

I did something DH didn't like

Is he your father? Boss? Dom?
If I did something my GF "didn't like" tough shit. I'm an adult, I can pretty much do what I like.

What he's doing here is training you.
He's trying to get you to think:
"I better not say that / do that because he won't like it and then there'll be an atmosphere. Better I don't say it or do it so as to avoid the atmosphere."
This way he Gert's you to do everything he wants and how he wants but you think you've chosen it. Iyswim?
How often to you choose to keep quiet "for an easier life"
How often domyou decide not to do someing in case he doesn't like it?
How many eggshells do you walk on?

brightnearly Sun 16-Oct-16 12:12:35

Can I do anything to put up boundaries until I've got my chickens in a row?

Do you think it's worthwhile writing him a letter (mostly to get stuff off my chest!!) - or do you think that would backfire when someone is emotionally abusive?

pseudonymph Sun 16-Oct-16 12:14:35

bright could you also clarify, were you alarmed about the letters being on your writing desk because you thought he would be angry about it, or because you couldn't cope with the letters being in the wrong place?

Costacoffeeplease Sun 16-Oct-16 12:17:24

If he's been doing this for 8 years, why do you think it will change?

He sounds extremely unpleasant, not listening to your point of view and discussing things like an adult

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 16-Oct-16 12:17:36

What did you learn about relationships when growing up?.

You are being abused by this individual and have likely been abused throughout your whole marriage particularly after the first child was born.

He sees you as a non person and that is why he does not listen to you. He does not want to hear your point of view at all because only his matters.

In answer to your question you cannot and after 8 years of being with him you will not ever succeed with him either. Such men really do not change. Do not put yourself and in turn your children through potentially another 8 years plus of the same.

You need to leave him because he will eventually destroy you (and your children) from the inside out. Your children likely heard all this being played out as well even if they did not directly see it. Sound after all travels. Where were they?.

Re your comment:-
"What's keeping me is the fact that we have 2 young children, a shared mortgage and I'm currently on a course and looking for employment"

It is precisely for them that you should now seek legal advice and start divorce proceedings. They cannot afford to grow up in such an environment thinking that this is how people should be treated in relationships. Is this the legacy you really want to leave them, besides which they are not going to say "thanks mum" to you for staying. You do not want them thinking that you put this person before them either.

You are married and your legal position is a good one. Womens Aid can also help you here on 0808 2000 247

keepingonrunning Sun 16-Oct-16 12:17:37

He doesn't seem to care that you are feeling very anxious (and frightened?) and he isn't taking steps to make you feel better. Those are not the actions of someone who emotionally connects and empathises with you - the person he committed to loving and being kind towards.

brightnearly Sun 16-Oct-16 12:18:02

I was worried about his reaction re the letters - I am definitely not a neat freak and prone to messy desks!

Branleuse Sun 16-Oct-16 12:19:35

He sounds like a pain in the arse, and is probably quite right that you dont get on, but not for the want of you trying

brightnearly Sun 16-Oct-16 12:19:57

Yes, the children have witnessed quite a few unpleasant conversations - and also seen my properly in tears. I don't cry any more, because I know now that it's really not me!

It's do I tackle this situation best?

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 16-Oct-16 12:20:45

He would have started on you anyway regardless of these letters; he is always looking for ways to undermine you in some fashion. This is all part of the abuser's script and he is following that to the letter.

Your children are learning about relationships from you as their parents; just what are they learning here?.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 16-Oct-16 12:22:45

"Yes, the children have witnessed quite a few unpleasant conversations - and also seen my properly in tears. I don't cry any more, because I know now that it's really not me!

It's do I tackle this situation best?"

You start divorce proceedings against him. There is no other option.

You have basically shut yourself down in the face of his onslaught of abuse; you are likely to be deeply traumatised by him. Men like him can and do take years to recover from and your own recovery will only start once he is fully away from you all. He needs an injunction served against him to keep him away from you.

Naicehamshop Sun 16-Oct-16 12:23:16

This is not a healthy way to live op.

Writing him a letter may be a good idea to help you to sort things out in your own mind - whether he will take any notice is another matter though!

Good luck.

brightnearly Sun 16-Oct-16 12:25:45

We also recently had a conversation/argument in the car; he had spontaneously agreed to pick me and one DC up from somewhere, which meant him doing a detour of sorts.

He had trouble finding us, lots of brief phone conversations were involved which was annoying, and when he finally arrived, he was visibly miffed.
When I asked him if he was ok, he said yes - and when I probed further he got very angry, telling me how difficult it had been to find us.

And then - - when I said that I was sorry I had asked him to pick us up and caused him so much grief - he exploded again and told me that he had been looking for some empathy here, that I said the wrong thing and that I always make everything about myself.

Then - when I said what he wanted me to say - he accused my of being so fake, and threatened to drive all of us home, instead of where we were supposed to go (meeting up with friends).

pseudonymph Sun 16-Oct-16 12:27:36

Ah okay - in that case, you are walking on eggshells and he is being abusive.

My guess would be there isn't a way you could get him to listen to you - he doesn't want / isn't equipped to think of you as a real person with needs and opinions.

One small thing that might help with the boundaries is just to be absolutely clear in your own head that the problem is with him not you. So when he is dismissive don't think 'I've done something wrong - I need to fix it' but 'gosh he is behaving unreasonably again'.

I would be looking to get out though, if I were you.

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