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how to talk to dh(8 Posts)
I don't really know how to word this. Have NC.
My dh came home a bit drunk last night when i was in bed. I don't really like to talk to him too much when hes drunk, hes slurry and mildly annoying, repeats himself etc. Better to just let him sleep it off. Also in recent years, hes started to get a bit argumentative with me when hes drunk.
I'm sober a lot these days as we have two young dc, and i suppose i just don't like being hungover anymore. It was fun to go out drinking when i was younger, but its definitely lost its appeal. I genuinely don't begrudge him going out with friends, its usually 2-3 times a month, for post work drinks. But i now tend to do non-alcohol related things more often like cinema or takeaway at a friends house etc.
Anyway, last night, he was trying to talk to me just asking me how my evening was and i said it was ok, told him i was a bit tired so lets catch up in the morning, to which he said something in a bit of a grumpy tone and we both went to sleep. I then was woken up at 3am by him slinging a heavy leg over me, and then cocking it in the air and farting loudly! I was a bit surprised so said 'fuck. off.' and then when he said 'what' - I said, 'did you just cock your leg and fart'? He started practically shouting at me, saying how dare i speak to him like that. It was a bit intimidating (he can be quite verbally aggressive when drunk and on the defensive), so i said nothing, just lay there and held my breath. He started a little rant half to himself saying 'try fucking earning some money in this place, try paying for it'. I was really shocked and upset at this, but knew he was drunk, so just lay still until he fell back to sleep. I couldn't get back to sleep for a couple of hours just lying there burning and trying not to cry. I played it over in my mind and decided to have a
sober rational talk to him tonight after work when the kids are in bed.
For background info: we have two kids 4 and 1. I have been a sahm since the eldest was born, mostly because the cost of childcare was about the same as my take home wage, and because i was happy to be the primary carer until school age. I'm currently looking to go back to work soon-ish as my eldest is in school and i feel confident my youngest (nearly 2) will be happy in a childcare setting at least on a part time basis to start with. I am conscious that i don't want the gap in my cv to grow so big that i won't be able to get a decent job when i go back, and i feel like i need to get back into earning some money as we have had to sacrifice a bit over the past few years in term of holidays and disposable income. Although to be fair, with the cost of childcare for two children we would have been worse off had i been at work throughout that time anyway .
I've had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach all morning. The last time he was drunk and behaved in a disrespectful way towards me I called him out on it, and although he was defensive he ended up apologising. I think we need to sit down and get to the bottom of where this is coming from. This is really affecting my feelings for him as it feels like the truth is coming out when hes drunk? I feel like there are two issues:
1. His drinking. In recent years he has become more of a belligerant drunk. His relationship with alcohol doesn't feel healthy to me, but then i'm conscious that my perspective may be skewed as i don't drink much anymore, whereas i often used to be out drinking with him. I know he misses this aspect of our relationship, as i'm at home a lot more now with the kids and we tend to go out separately due to the lack of babysitting. I don't want to feel intimidated by my own husband as i know hes not violent, but the verbal aggression is scary for me. How do i make him understand this without him going on the defensive?
2. My being a sahm. He has never professed to have an issue with this, and it was always agreed that it would be for a short period of time whilst the kids were young and that i would go back to work when they hit school/pre-school age. We appeared to agree, and he has been supportive, but the aggressive language he has used when drunk a couple of times recently has made me think that he is actually hiding his true feelings on the matter. In the time i have been at home his career has taken off and become a lot more stressful (and lucrative), something i thought i was helping him with by providing a calm home environment. He does very little in the way of housework except iron his own clothes and the occasional bit of cooking/DIY. I thought it was working well, but obviously not.
I have been starting to look for a part time job recently and have decided to step this up a gear. I am keen to start earning again, but i massively resent the implication that i have been somehow freeloading off him these past few years? I've literally never worked so fucking hard in my entire life raising these kids. I worry that even when i go back to work it won't solve this issue, because i will now be earning less than him, am I always going to be playing second fiddle? This time next year will he be muttering drunkly in his sleep about how i need to earn as much as he does? Is out-earning him in the future to be the only way i get my husbands respect back?
Sorry its so long, its ended up more like a diary entry. Just looking for some opinions on how to broach the topics with him tonight. I want to be open minded and not end up in an argument, but equally i need him to hear me out and understand how i feel. I am angry with him, but realise that he may have been acting out of harboured resentment for me and our situation? We're generally quite good at communicating about stuff, its just this issue is so emotive for me i want to make sure i get it all out and i'd like to keep my marriage together if i can. This is the sort of thing that will eat away at me if i let it continue, and i don't want that to happen.
Drinking to the point of belligerence and verbal abuse is totally unacceptable. You're not over-reacting. If anything you're under-reacting.
He'll probably listen eventually, apologise and say it won't happen again. Like he has before.
It almost certainly will happen again, unless/until he faces up to his problem drinking and gets help.
I think the plan to return to work, even part-time, is a good one. It gives you more options if he won't change. Sorry.
I have the same attitude to you about drink, I can take it or leave it, don't like hangovers (more so with 2 children to take care of).
I agree with your theory, people tend to be honest under the influence. It sounds like he is resentful of you and the life you have. It's not very responsible of him to go out, get drunk and (I presume) be incapable of looking after the children the next day, that's not fair on you.
This is an issue you need to discuss, he needs to be honest and so do you. Get the kids in bed and tell him you need to talk about last night. Tell him what he said and how it's made you feel. Hopefully he'll be apologetic but also be able to talk about this resentment he has. If he doesn't, it'll happen again, you'll resent him and your marriage will disintegrate.
My XH was similar, he would go out, binge, be useless. I know now that he didn't really want a marriage and family.
I personally think thaf he goes for your weakness and vulnerable side when he turns nasty and this happens to be being SAHM. He probably isn't half as bothered by it when sober as you now worry, but he's hit you where it hurts to be nasty.
He sounds like a twat, I don't know what other word to use! It's not acceptable you need to make that clear
Thank you for the responses.
I spoke to him when he came home, I now think Myusername had it spot on. He doesn't seem to have any problem with my being at home with the kids, he was just being a bit of a nasty bastard. He knows that I've always been very independent and found it hard giving up my financial freedom to stay at home, so its an easy jibe to upset me with.
He didn't actually remember last night, I had to fill him in on the details, and he did have the grace to look a bit shamefaced. He tried to apologise quickly and kind of minimise and push it away, so i made sure i drove home to him how big of a deal it was to me and how unimpressed i was with his behaviour, not just last night but on a few occasions recently.
He didn't have much to say for himseIf, but he didn't try to argue or deny it. I think the crucial piece of the puzzle for him was when i explained that his behaviour intimidated me and made me feel scared. I told him that i was worried about the impression the children would get of him drinking as they get older and how i don't want them to ever feel intimidated by him. That hit home. He adores the kids and is a great dad, he said he would be mortified and would never behave that way to them. I asked him why he did that to me then? He said that it was the drink, and so I said if he really couldn't control it around me, then how could he do so around the kids? I told him he had a lot to think about, and he said that he would do more than think, and that he needs to make some changes. I agreed.
Ok - its not much, and i know it seems as though i've just rolled over, but this really did feel to me like i got through to him, and it is the first properly in depth conversation we've had about his anger and attitude when he's had a drink. I have no doubt there might be other issues to come, but i think if i draw my line in the sand, we might be ok.
Its not an excuse, but his dad was a very controlling man, and his mum is a bit of a doormat tbf. Shes a lovely woman, but she let her dh make all the major decisions and never really stood up to him. This is the model that my dh grew up with. He married me though, and i have always been more than happy to disagree with him .
In hindsight my fil was a bit of a man-child (been deceased now for several years), and he got his own way a lot because his wife and kids didn't want to have to oppose him. As we get older i see my dh heading down that route a lot, and i feel like i have to just keep gently reminding him that hes not some patriarch, and that he can't bully me into stuff in the same way his dad did his mum. I honestly don't think he actively intends it, but he needs someone to check him and challenge him on that aspect of his personality. Hes honestly a good man, but he has flaws like all of us, I'm going to keep working on it for now.
Something this has taught me is that i'm not scared to leave. Reflecting on this whole thing last night and today, i was surprised how calm i was when contemplating the breakdown of my marriage - if that's what it came to. It would be incredibly hard, but i know that i would do it if i had to. I wouldn't put up with a lack of respect and i'd rather leave him than be treated the way i was last night. Thats good for me to know i think, i'm drawing out my boundaries so i can know when to stick to them.
Thanks again all, sorry for the long op and equally long post! I hope i wont be back on here talking about him again anytime soon!
Well done OP.
A suggestion about line in the sand and boundaries. Think about what yours is - will you accept another drunken, verbally abusive tirade? If so, will you accept 3? Will you accept it if happens again in a year? Where is your line in the sand? Then write it down and stick to it
You've done well here, op.
Unfortunately, I think you will probably have to continue to be on his case about this sort of behaviour as he does seem to have some underlying issues with anger and lack of respect for you.
I don't want to sound negative but I would suggest trying to put some money aside if you possibly can and definitely try to get back into the job market.
Posted too soon!
You may find yourself going it alone it the not too distant future, I'm afraid.
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