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Apparently, I've been "unpleasant to be around since Christmas Day"(19 Posts)
or so DH says.
We had an average Christmas Day. He'd been working so wasn't much help but I understood and it didn't cross my mind to completing that I'd don't most of it. Had he not been working, I'd have roped him in to help a lot more, but he had, so it was fine.
MIL was particularly unpleasant to me late in her visit, then he took her home on his way to work again so he saw nothing of how I felt afterwards (exhausted and deflated after hosting a pretty good day).
Boxing Day was lovely (apart from a brief but stressful hospital visit with DD2 (16) whose asthma flared up, but with a new inhaler she was on the mend). We had a very nice 'quickie' in the morning before he went for a post-night shift sleep. We ate leftovers, built lego, watched TV, there was not a cross word and not a bad atmosphere at all! MIL's comments still prayed on my mind, I admit, but I didn't mention them or let them bother me one bit.
The comments were still bothering me on 27th so I told him about them. Backstory - both DH and I are fed up of MIL and her behaviour over many many years. We discuss it/her and are generally in agreement. I tell him how I feel without completely slagging her off (he completely slags her off).
When I told him he was totally in agreement that she was a bitch but that I should develop an 'off switch', as he has done, and not let her bother me. However, I was really upset and was crying saying I'm fed up with her treating me this way. I dropped him at the train station that afternoon for a boys night out and was pretty narky with him. I immediately texted and apologised! He came home early, we had a glass of wine together and all was well.
I can't even remember what kicked things off this morning but we were niggling at each other, MIL was brought up, by him, I might add, saying what he was going to say to her to deal with it, I was making lunch, he started ignoring me. Just a lot of nothing, really, but it built into a row.
We'd planned a walk but I decided not to go. He had offered earlier to take the kids out to give me a break, so I said
I'd take him up on the offer. Apparently the offer was given under different circumstance, i.e., before we fell out. But he stormed off, sarkily saying Merry .christmas! And that I've been unpleasant to be around since Christmas Day.
I'm sorry this is so long about something which must seem so trivial. But it's a pattern of our falling out. It's ALWAYS my fault. Ive been unreasonable, or I've said the wrong thing, or whatever he decides is the case, and he turns it round so that it ends up being a self fulfilling prophesy and I can never win. I don't mean win over him, I mean win, as in be able to sound reasonable.
I now have the afternoon to myself and I think he'll probably come home absolutely furious and I don't know how I'm going to handle it. Usually, I just try to make up, say sorry or whatever, but I'm fed up doing that. I don't want to live in to atmosphere though so I often give in.
What will I do when he comes home?
Oh god, rereading this, I've explained it horribly - lots of detail at the beginning, then tailing off to nothing.
I find it so hard to describe our fall outs. He is very good at making me seem completely unreasonable and making himself seem like the innocent party. It's infuriating and I end up behaving unreasonably in frustration.
I'm sorry I've explained this so poorly
He is very good at making me seem completely unreasonable and making himself seem like the innocent party.
Is this behaviour he's learned from his mum?
NotTheFordType I wonder. Perhaps. I'm certainly aware of behaviour he exhibits that's very much like his mum, but he genuinely finds a lot of her behaviour unacceptable. I suppose we can all be like our parents in a way
He's pushing you so that you react, then he can sit back and say "see, you're shouting at me / getting angry. You're so unreasonable. Look, you've ruined Christmas" etc.
My advice would be to ignore. Enjoy your free time and peace in whatever was you would normally (bath/read/nap). When he comes home, be your normal calm self. If he says anything inflammatory, a simple "I'm not arguing with you" then carry on doing what you're doing.
He then either needs to be worse to make it an argument, leave you alone because he needs to calm down or control himself.
Whatever happens, do not get drawn into the row. Keep your voice calm and don't get sucked into a discussion. You can do that another day, when all is calm.
Is it that you're both angry with his mother, but end up taking it out on each other?
It does sound like a stressful Christmas, tbh. And it's ok to be stressed. But communication is really important to get through it. Snippy gestures and guessing games aren't the way. Apologies shouldn't always be one way.
Handbag Thank you. That is often what I do. However, then he'll say, "You're carrying on the bad atmosphere" by ignoring him, choosing not to discuss it, etc.
The only way thinks are ok/back to normal is if I take the lead in 'making up'. He will always say things like "I sensed an atmosphere and it could only have come from you as it certainly wasn't me" or "Oh, I see y Use carrying this on, are you?" Do you know what I mean?
I don't understand why you need to discuss Mil with him, next time she says something out of order, let her know there and then, that you are pissed off over it, why allow her to get away with it, you fight with him no bother, what's stopping you giving her a piece of your mind. She has caused all this, you are letting her. Nip this in the bud, she's doing the classic birches trick, giving you the ammunition and your firing it at the wrong person. Be angry with the person your angry with, don't drag him into it. Either get him to sort her out or you do it.
So be calm and call him on it.
Have you noticed that it is always me that is at fault? That I am always the one who you think is responsible for the argument, for the atmosphere, for things being unpleasant? Do you honestly think it is always me that is the person in the wrong? Does that sound reasonable to you? I am upset and frustrated that it is always me who has to take the lead in apologising and making things right, when as an intelligent adult you must realise that it is not possible for it to always be the same person at fault all of the time.
Then carry on with what you are doing.
LeaveIt You are right. I think we get ourselves into roles over time and, as I met her when I was very young and lacking in confidence, I never stood up to her. It's my fault for not changing it, but I find it difficult. Now, she pulls the old woman card - she's frail, weak, etc. I'd be the bitch again for calling her on behaviour I've let go for many years.
Re DH, we 'talked' this afternoon and I put forward my case that I have not been unpleasant since Xmas day and I gave him THREE chances to agree and back down. But no, I am unpleasant to be around.
It's a self fulfilling prophesy- he says it which makes me become it. He's right again and I'm wrong, unpleasant and unreasonable.
Thanks all for your responses.
She is his DM - I don't know her faults but it is not easy for him to sort(having been a lifetime) , sounds to me he is annoyed at having 'to deal with her' - and is taking that out on you, you are the one saying he must fix it.
'Mil was particularly unpleasant to me' - you should have raised your voice and said 'and what the hell do you mean by that MIL?' at the time it was said. Unless she is a particularly hard nosed individual she would have been taken aback and embarrassed and unlikely to repeat.
What were his examples of you being unpleasant?
Firstly he insists that I "caused an atmosphere" on Boxing Day evening on the way to bed. (I'm embarrassed as it's so ridiculous - he always leaves a light on in the kitchen and I left the wrong one on so he went back in to 'fix' it. I was very minorly irritated but shrugged to myself and went up to bed. No problem, no atmosphere as far as I was concerned.)
Secondly I niggled at him in the car the following day as I dropped him off - I did then immediately apologised - and then I caused another atmosphere that night along the same lines as the first one.
Ok my initial reaction is that he's actually emotionally abusive but not deliberately so -he has probably learnt this behaviour.
Does he ever take the blame for anything? Or is everything always someone else's fault?
My DH is abit like this. We got together when we were young and I lacked confidence so ended up thinking there was something wrong with me. Even when, with hindsight, I was perfectly justified in my feelings.
I had a lightbulb moment at Xmas when seeing his mother blame one of the nieces for something - who's 9 - she kept saying "well it's her fault I spilt my tea". I realised that's where DH gets it from.
I could be projecting but how can you always be the one to blame? (Which is the question I now ask myself)
The EA accusation is a shocker. Don't misunderstand, it must be the way I've described it. It seems a bit severe.
His DM is the same in a way- everyone is always "horrible" to her; doctors, retail staff, bank workers, her sister, friends. In fact, she is generally horrible to them - no social graces, always thinks she's right. She's very argumentative with very strong opinions that she loves to share.
He can be a little like that - not claiming people are horrible to him as he is a genuinely nice guy and well liked but if he cuts someone up on the road, for example, it'll be their fault, not his. We've actually rowed before over him pulling out on someone by accident but he tuts and shakes his head at them!
Sorry maybe I used the wrong phrase.
But he has you apologising all the time for things.... everyone else is as fault but not him?
Some people are fine with criticising their relatives but underneath aren't too happy when others do the same.
You could calmly point out that He cut them up and not vice Versa. Or whatever it is he is in denial about.
The message might slowly sink in.
I did this with DH, he would deny being angry, I would keep pointing out that he Was raising his voice, we have had a few stand offs but he is not doing it as much these days.
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