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How long do I put up with this?

(43 Posts)
mikado1 Tue 01-Nov-16 08:17:44

I have posted here before about my dh and since the last post He has begun counselling and is in it for the longhaul. Background is regular low moods, quick to anger and is easily stressed. He seems to have a really low tolerance for mess in particular which to me is par for the course wuth two young dc. Our house btw is small so playroom can look like bombsite but equally a ten min blitz has it perfect so I don't stress. Anyway despite the counselling and a big effort wrt anger, I am finding the low moods v wearing and while I want to support him as it's obviously a mh issue I need to have my own limits also. I don't know if I am being tolerant or intolerant so would appreciate some outside perspective . It is now almost two years since I told him the anger was unacceptable and he needed to get it sorted and he agreed it was a problem.

In the last week he has returned from work to find dinner almost ready whilst I'm on floor with two dc, trying to keep baby happy on lap while reading to 4yo and he walks past us to sigh and bluster over kitchen cupboard before reorganizing it. Another day I have prepped veg, only for it to be rechopped wordlessly-not small enough, and he then started sighing and swearing under his breath about the cutlery drawer (I had emptied the dw at speed before play school drop and hadn't sat down since getting home). The following morning I was up at 5 (baby didn't go back after 5am feed) and had both dc downstairs till 10am and he comes down tidying books and toys from floor-four/five books, one train set out. He sighs and stomps at night if he's up to give so other, I get up a few times also, and it's just a general cloud over me and I assume the dc... he is off today so I was up from 6-7 with dc and now he's 'on' but within minutes it was all cranky voices-ds was going through Halloween haul-and his mood is of course passed on. Minutes later it's sweetness and light and he's great with dc 90% of time and had really mutually adoring relationships with both but it is so wearing to hear the sighs and irritability every day (certainly in the last week, every day). So is this normal with young dc? I am cheery by nature despite interrupted sleep for last 15m but I know it's not as easy to 'get on with it' with stress/anxiety issues. He is great around house as you might have guessed but for me it's ott and not our current priority - he would like the house in permanent state of spotkessness. Wwyd? how long do I hold out for real improvement? We have xerovsex life which he resents I know but I find his behaviour v unattractive tbh. We have no nearby family support.

HughLauriesStubble Tue 01-Nov-16 08:23:18

The re-chopping the veg and muttering and stomping about small mess seems very passive aggressive and controlling. Is he controlling in any other aspect? Is he addressing it in counselling?

mikado1 Tue 01-Nov-16 08:28:21

Extremely passive aggressive which I call him on but he finds it almost impossible to say how he feels. I am assuming it's all being addressed, unsurprisingly he doesn't talk about it. I really feel for him going to the sessions as I know he hates having to speak, looks like the weight of the world on his shoulders and same on return.. I know he sees the counselling as something he's doing for me/dc. I would say his instinct might be to be controlling alright.

HughLauriesStubble Tue 01-Nov-16 08:32:16

The thing is, if he finds it hard to say how he feels then he might not recognise that his behaviour is controlling and therefore may not be addressing it in counselling. How long has he been going? Have you seen any improvement at all in his behaviour or attitude? Would he be willing to bring you along for a session I wonder?

mikado1 Tue 01-Nov-16 08:41:19

I can see him making a big effort remaining calm with dc instead of reacting to minor issues but no mood improvement.. I was imagining he might discuss difficulties during the week say, and counsellor would delve into it.. I might suggest that about me going. I know he will hate me pointing out 'the things he does wrong' because he feels he's making a big effort and he is great at home.

mikado1 Tue 01-Nov-16 08:43:03

He's going about two months. His father is v controlling though v nice.

Tootsiepops Tue 01-Nov-16 08:44:22

If he's great 90% of the time, then he's doing better than I am as a parent..

mikado1 Tue 01-Nov-16 08:49:36

But when the 10% is really 'cloud over whole stuff' footsie it's hard. Do you have similar issues? What kills me is, he leaves before 8am and I am Currie at home wuth dc and he gets home after 5, dc in bed by 7 and in that short time, the mood is there to effect us a. I find that hard after the day at home with both and looking forward to adult company and sometimes I feel like, don't bother coming home, silence at dinner table etc

mikado1 Tue 01-Nov-16 08:51:24

tootsie! Sorry! Maybe I have over estimated with 90% now I read back the examples..

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 01-Nov-16 08:54:01


re your comment:-
"His father is v controlling though v nice".

Controlling behaviour is abusive behaviour. His father can put on a nice act for a while in front of you or the outside world then will revert to type so no he is not nice at all. It seems that your own DH has learnt how to act the same towards you from his family of origin; this is what all his blustering is all about. Also he has learnt that this works for him. Counselling will not work here for him.

Its also confusing as well for your DC to see him being nice with them then behave horribly and passive aggressive towards you. Do you end up pandering to his moods or just as bad trying to preempt an eruption from him?.

If you enter counselling do not do so with him present. You need to be able to talk and he will not let you have a voice. Infact he will probably blame you instead, such men like your DH really do not apologise nor accept any responsibility for their actions.

What do you get out of this relationship with your DH now?.

What did you learn about relationships when growing up?

mikado1 Tue 01-Nov-16 09:11:06

Attila thanks for your reply. I agree with you 're his dad and what he's learned growing up, although he is v low self esteem and introverted compared to patriarchal father. His dad is 'v nice' because why wouldn't he, we're not effecting his control just visiting I know he is v much in charge in his house iykwim. I don't pander at all, I completely ignore the sighing or say 'Is everything ok?', to which he replies 'yes, fine'-of course. I sometimes speak to him about it afterwards but am almost at the stage of not bothering , there is such a distance between us now. My own parents are wonderful as a couple, my father particularly gentle and sensitive and they were supportive and nonpunitive parents growing up...what did I learn?!

What do you think of hughlaurie's comment that he may not realize he's controlling and could be helped? He certainly doesn't control me. I think I would get a word in but you're right that he sees a lot as my fault-if I pick him up on something he will come back with slight towards him is can't seem to respond to my issue iykwim.

mikado1 Tue 01-Nov-16 09:16:20

Im not sure what you me a by he's learned it works ? His father's controlling is more to do with e.g. being extremely particular 're what goes in what bin, whether the heat goes on etc not really towards others although I know mil v much marches to his drum though they seem a v happy and loving couple.

HuskyLover1 Tue 01-Nov-16 09:21:05

We have zero sex life which he resents

I suspect that this ^^ is a huge part of the problem, and a reason for his irritability. But you are in a vicious cycle, because his moodiness is (understandably) putting you off him.

I know though, that if I had a zero sex life, I would probably display the same behaviours. Not good, I know. (I am female).

HughLauriesStubble Tue 01-Nov-16 09:23:03

I genuinely think that he may not recognise his behaviour as controlling. He may just see it as 'this is the way things should be' without accepting that there is more than one way of doing things. Especially if the behaviour has been learnt from his own cotrolling father.

Of course not recognising it doesn't excuse him, but I think that at least if he was made aware that he was being controlling, it would give him the opportunity to make a change and do something about it.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 01-Nov-16 09:23:53

Hi Mikado,

re your comment:-
"What do you think of hughlaurie's comment that he may not realize he's controlling and could be helped? He certainly doesn't control me. I think I would get a word in but you're right that he sees a lot as my fault-if I pick him up on something he will come back with slight towards him is can't seem to respond to my issue iykwim."

So your man grew up being dominated completely by his own controlling father; its left your H a lot of damaging stuff which cannot be readily undone.

He knows what he is doing here; my guess as well is that he is all sweetness and nice to those in the outside world too. He does not have to hit you to hurt you; abuse is all about having power and control. And you are being controlled by him in your home, your children are also seeing this too. They get confused by what is happening; they see him being affectionate towards them but they then see you as their mother get ignored or otherwise shouted at.

Whose idea was it re counselling?.

I would read "Why does he do that?" written by Lundy Bancroft.

Unless your DH can and will accept full responsibility for his part in how the relationship has got to this sorry state (and he will not ever do that preferring to blame you instead) counselling for him will be a non starter and he could well manipulate the counsellor. Such men are also pretty resistant when it comes to counselling and he will likely need years of therapy in any event. His dad has not changed and nor will your H.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 01-Nov-16 09:27:55


Your DH likely sees nothing wrong at all with his behaviour; after all his dad has done the same and his mother has stayed with him for her own reasons.

Re this comme

"His father's controlling is more to do with e.g. being extremely particular 're what goes in what bin, whether the heat goes on etc not really towards others although I know mil v much marches to his drum though they seem a v happy and loving couple".

Appearances can be deceptive; do you really think they are deep down a happy and loving couple?. You have no idea what goes on behind closed doors. Look at how his parents have also moulded your DH into the person he now is; he has learnt a lot of damaging lessons from these two people.

mikado1 Tue 01-Nov-16 09:33:05

husky you're right on that.

attila he does apologise and I thinkbtgis has increased actually since counselling. His first reaction though is to defend/attack. To the outside world he is serious, quiet sometimes sullen , though always polite.

It's ds1 he shouted at most , not me sad

Counselling was at my insistence really.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 01-Nov-16 09:38:47

I hope you intervened strongly when your DS was shouted at; he is but a child.

Your DH is likely simply repeating what was done to him by his own dad. Familial dysfunction has a nasty habit of going down the generations; do not let your children be so affected.

I do not think he wants to accept that your lack of sex life is down to his behaviours towards you all. If he cannot or will not accept any responsibility for his own actions here where does that leave you?. Do not also do your bit here to show your children that a loveless marriage is their norm too. Is this really what you want to teach your children about relationships?.

Where do you see yourself in a year's time?.

I doubt if counselling will work out longer term particularly as he has seemingly only gone there at your insistence.

mikado1 Tue 01-Nov-16 13:06:12

Yes I did say something and he apologises to ds for shouting and tells him he shouldn't do that. Your question 'where do I see myself in a year?' Is quite frightening really because I am not prepared to hang on that long and yet I can't imagine these behaviours will have gone.. he thinks I don't want sex as a 'punishment ' -despite my contradicting this.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 01-Nov-16 13:13:54

What I meant by that question re a year was would you see yourself as still being with him in a year's time. Men like yours do not change; his father has not fundamentally altered either. This is deeply ingrained within his own psyche.

MemyselfandI123 Tue 01-Nov-16 13:17:42

You've made allowances enough, take control of your home and tell him you won't tolerate his moods and if they continue you're family will end up split in the medium to long term, if he starts his muttering about mess or tries to redo something you've done , call him out on it there and then. Don't pander to him.

OldBootNewBoots Tue 01-Nov-16 13:22:27

i wonder whether the therapy is really working or if anti-depressants would be better. It sounds like my DH, it's not a punishment not to want to sleep with someone you feel is always telling you off, i know exactly what you mean about the cloud, waiting for them to over-react to something, which in turn makes me on edge and snappier than normal. My 2p is that whatever treatment he's getting it's not really working.

mikado1 Tue 01-Nov-16 13:24:13

Yes attila understood the question completely, that's what was frightening. Tbf don't think the father's ever been expected to change, mil goes along with his ways..

Thanks memyself I don't think I pander to him at all, I ask him as I said if there's something wrong and I spoke to him following annoyance at a few toys saying he will find life with two dc v hard if he's going to ve that stressed and he agreed but said he can't turn off his stressed it makes him. Pils house immaculate, his relationship with them, not so much.

mikado1 Tue 01-Nov-16 13:26:59

Thanks oldboots, it's more PA even than telling off which at least would air the annoyances! Hmm, you think after two months shouldn't be so bad? Appreciate advice because this is what I'm unsure of, how long do I realistically give it? My ds1 would be devastated to say the least but I can't even think of that.

OneTiredMummmyyy Tue 01-Nov-16 13:37:36

I'm following this with interest as I am in a similar situation.

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