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Husband mood swings

(83 Posts)
TipsyFairy Mon 20-Mar-17 01:31:08

Hi everyone. I'll try and condense this to make it easier to read so please understand if I miss things out.

My husband and I have been married for 10 years and we have 2 children. For most of the time he's loving, works very hard for us and is very generous.

However, he is also very moody and snappy often and sometimes he shuts down completely. Yesterday for example ... my 7 year old son is very very disorganised, has selective hearing and yesterday he did a minor thing wrong and I got cross (a culmination of me being irritated about his absent mindedness) I wasn't shouting or anything but my reaction was, I admit, disproportionate. At this point my husband started to get angry too and was saying "yes yes DS, you're completely retarded. You're an idiot" etc and it went on until my son started to cry. I asked him not to call him that and so he said OK he'd call him an RI instead, meaning retarded idiot. We had to go out and we got in the car and it continued. I snapped and said please stop saying that to him and he then said that to be honest it was me he was annoyed with because I was too cross with DS over this minor thing. I asked why he felt the need to upset DS more and why he hadn't just taken me to one side and say that I was being too heavy handed. He said because he felt it would make me stop (??) and I wouldn't have listened anyway (I think that's unfair - I always take any criticism from him in, listen properly and try to change, especially if it involves the children).

Anyway, he basically ignored me for the rest of the day after he had his outburst in the car, I usually retreat to the utility room when he's in one of these moods and I did most of the outstanding ironing. From time to time I was crying (I know it sounds pathetic but I can't describe how bad it feels when he shuts me out over a minor disagreement) and he came in for something and saw me. He asked why the hell I was crying and I said that when he's like this I feel crushed. At this he burst out laughing a d said scathingly, "crushed! I'd split my sides laughing" and he walked out chuckling. He carried on the silent treatment and we went to bed on bad terms. It continued for the rest of today, Sunday, and in the afternoon he asked what I wanted for tea. I've been dieting recently and really fancied some KFC, so I said KFC please. He walked off wordlessly but we home cook most of the time and he really loves having a take away normally.

Later on he asked my son what he wanted and when he got a reply I heard him say "Hmm maybe I'll make some pasta". I knew this was my 'punishment' so I ignored it and got up to make pasta (to appear unconcerned about the KFC). At this point my daughter (9) said aw can't we have KFC and I said no, daddy would like something home cooked. He then realised his chance of KFC was slipping away and tried to back pedal saying he didn't really mind, but I pushed on with the pasta, knowing that my not coming into the room to ask why we weren't having that would ruin his attempt to upset me. I made the pasta and the 3 of them ate it, with him getting irritable about tiny details. He said "for fucks sake" at least twice under his breath and did these incredibly deep sighs that he does when he's in one of these moods. It's such a deep sigh that even when I'm in another room it turns my heart to hear it.

We eventually went to bed and he said "sleep well" then turned over to sleep. So now I'm in bed typing this in turmoil, while he sleeps deeply.

This is one example. Most of the time he's caring and tells me he loves me several times a day with hugs and kisses but these huge silences happen from time to time (the last one was last weekend, but before that a while ago) although he often (daily) snaps at me for not much, even when things are nice. He's quite stressed with work (we run our own business) and I'll ask a simple question and get a really sharp retort. He has tried to address this though and I now say something like, "Wait, why are you replying like that?" and he'll usually rephrase it to sound less harsh.

It's hard to describe, but I feel totally abandoned during these phases. It's so hard to cope with. In a day or so he'll be poking me and saying something like "don't be moody" and "cmon, love meeee". I always give in because I want things to be nice and if I try to post mortem it too much, it'll lead to a huge silence like this weekend. So I have to just leave it.

But I'm tired of walking on eggshells. I probably start most days that hes home with a lump in my throat because of something he's snapped at me over. An example is that last weekend he did the usual pokey jokey make up thing and I tried to deal with what had happened. So I said that I wanted to be friendly very much but I didn't want him to trivialise what he'd put me through all weekend. He tried a bit more and repeated the trivialise thing to which he suddenly turned from his smiling self, said "prick" and stalked away from me. This prolonged the silent treatment even more, so normally I just accept the attempt to 'make up' but I'm left feeling like crap inside.

It's just that I can never be cross with him for more than a few seconds or it'll turn into something much more, like this weekend. But he feels able to be cross with me whenever he feels like it.

There's no question of an affair and that's certain, I promise you.

He often acknowledges that hes stressy and says he'll change but he never does.

I just feel like walking out and never returning.

I don't know what to do. I'm writing this now because I can't sleep and meanwhile he's sleeping deeply next to me sad

So sorry for the long post and thank you to anyone who read it all!

highinthesky Mon 20-Mar-17 01:37:59

He's not going to change, OP.

You have to decide whether you are prepared to live with this situation. Only you know the answer to this.

TipsyFairy Mon 20-Mar-17 01:46:54

No, I think you're right, he's probably not.

DonaldStott Mon 20-Mar-17 01:52:41

I cannot believe he call his own child a retarded idiot.

Words hurt and stick with you.

Your poor son. I would be so angry. In fact, the way he treats you, I would be thinking about leaving. Imagine the emotional damage he is doing to you all.

TipsyFairy Mon 20-Mar-17 01:58:07

Thank you. I am angry but his son really loves him a LOT. He'd be devastated if I took him away from his father. I was really shocked when he said that to him, and repeatedly but it was apparently because he was cross with me because he felt that I was being too heavy handed. I was only telling my little boy to 'wake up' a bit because he really is absent minded when it comes to boring stuff like homework etc. I certainly wasn't calling him a retarded idiot sad

Eminado Mon 20-Mar-17 02:00:58

I am so sorry I couldnt get past the treatment of your poor son 😱.

TipsyFairy Mon 20-Mar-17 02:08:27

Eminado, if he read your comment he would say you're being dramatic.

And he'd blame me as well. He says everything is 50/50 and when I say it's not he just dismisses me by saying that he wishes he could be as perfect as me.

Yet when I ask him for all the things I do wrong (I genuinely want to know) he says he'll keep a list and give it to me.

DonaldStott Mon 20-Mar-17 02:08:55

So he was punishing you by being abusive to his 7yo son?

I'm sure you realise how fucked up that is.

Maybe you have got used to his low level abuse, and now it is escalating.

God, I really feel for you OP.

TipsyFairy Mon 20-Mar-17 02:13:11

Yes he was Donald.

You're right about the low level acceptance though. You're just being snapped at so you just accept that he's stressed or whatever.

I finally made a post to see what people thought. I feel like it's abusive but as you say, I do wonder if I'm overreacting because when he's going through his 'nice' phase, he's really amazing. sigh It's so depressing.

Thank you for the replies.

redstep Mon 20-Mar-17 02:33:52

OP I have something similar going with my partner - it only started quite recently (maybe a month or two) - before he was never really chatty but always pleasant and respectful.

I'm not sure if I can offer much in terms of advice but just that my heart goes out to you and that I know how you're feeling!

My DH is now almost permanently in some mood (and if I ask why he gives the most trivial and obviously BS explanation ex. "I'm tired") it has exasperated me and I've started to fantasise about leaving him or at least of not being in his vicinity for an extended period of time.

You feel like walking on eggshells and as if they set all the rules. I believe such behaviour shows diminished respect and some deeper issue/problem that he's too cowardly to disclose. If you're a nice person who doesn't like to get into butt-hurt passive aggressive/completely unproductive moods yourself than you're prone to become a receiving party to such treatment. PARTICULARLY if you always seek to alleviate any issues and don't feel strong enough to reciprocate the unkindness.

What I found worked with some success was to get back at my DH even harder - okay so he's all quiet and replying to me unkindly or even ignoring what I'm saying altogether. Then I start acting the same, when he eventually comes around I don't accept him with open arms but prolong the crappy treatment. It feels so mean and pointless but this is exactly how they are treating us, too.

Isn't it just the worse when they get like that and choose to stay in your vicinity (and by that I mean - choose to stay in my house.) It's like they are purposely inflicting punishment on you. Ever since DH became like that I've been considering asking him to move out.

TipsyFairy Mon 20-Mar-17 02:34:39

I'm going to try to sleep now, but if anyone else replies, I'll definitely check back in the morning. Thank you.

TipsyFairy Mon 20-Mar-17 02:40:58

Sorry Redstep, my sleep announcement cross posted with yours.

Yes! Everything you say is right!! I'm so sorry for you going through this. It's extremely hard to deal with isn't it? You have to keep thinking up strategies to cope to prevent yourself from going crazy and also to try to retain some sort of dignity in the situation. But the thing is I don't want to have to cope etc, I just want a loving relationship where I'm not dreading the big freeze coming on during the 'nice' periods.

And the constant snapping even during the 'nice' times.

It's demoralising. I really feel for you so much sad

Eminado Mon 20-Mar-17 02:49:28

Tipsy he might think I am dramatic but I wouldnt care because I am 100% sure that I do not want my DC spoken to like that. It wouldn't be a debate for me.

You sound a bit ground down? I mean - me (or you?) being dramatoc is neither here or there when he is being such a clear cut dick, is it?

I hope you get better advice. I was just hoping to point out that speaking to a child like that is (to me) not a maybe / 50-50 / could be situation - it's a 100%, definite, pure dick move.

DonaldStott Mon 20-Mar-17 02:57:38

Im sure you have read many threads on here about women in abusive relationships. You are in the cycle OP.

Treating you like shite, then leaves you wondering if it is something you have done. Confusing you so you walk on eggshells trying not toto upset him, then he is nice to you do. For a bit, until something happens again which he disapproves of, then triggers the repeat cycle. Please please take sone time to think.

DonaldStott Mon 20-Mar-17 02:58:50

Sorry abt typo's - combo of fat fingers and shit phone blush

redstep Mon 20-Mar-17 03:06:01

@TipsyFairy no worries - it is very late and I will be happy if at least one of us manages to get some sleep! My DH got a bit drunk today which caused him to loosen up the crap mood. I thought it'd be a good opportunity to have some fun intimate time. We did, he didn't even come (too drunk apparently) I wanted a chat after to iron out some issues but much like your partner he turned around and dozed off. On top of that he started snoring. It would have been funny if it wasn't so bloody tragic. 

It is very very hard to deal with such behaviour, especially if you're really in love with them (I've became a bit detached and cynical lately.) I have sadly come across this treatment in more than one relationship in my life and concluded it's due to some of my deeply rooted people pleasing tendencies.

Having to think up strategies to survive the freeze and behave with a semblance of composure and dignity throughout it is quite a feat. I honestly find such freezes a very unloving behaviour (would you ever purposely put him through something like that and for no good reason?) and I guess that's what makes them so bad - even amongst all the kindness they do for us (my DH like yours can be lovely, generous and kind) it just feels cold and callous and makes me doubt all the kindness.

It's a form of controlling behaviour when they recognise you'd do anything to avoid the freeze or that you're easily disturbed by them "snapping." I would have been packing but we have a very young DS and no family locally to offer any assurance or relief.

Please keep posting and if nothing else I hope you'd be able to find some support here OP xxx

redstep Mon 20-Mar-17 03:22:01

@TipsyFairy just one more thing - mumsnet posters often are very black and white in their responses with the most common suggestion to leave the offending partner, however I think it's worth to try and have a detached / "helicopter" view on the situation before taking any drastic steps. I'd be trying that myself for now.

I read somewhere that men can get like that out of some deep rooted issues, often bedroom disfunction which I reckon might be the problem in my relationship (that's a bloody long story for another evening basically DH expects me to initiate all the time which completely turns me off) - so I decided for the sake of DS to explore this, try to initiate more and see how things develop.

Another thing I read is that they feel powerless and out of control hence the anger. Not sure how to help the poor chaps with that but maybe have a think if there is anything he feels out of control of, maybe work or social life - it doesn't even have to have much to do with you they just tend to use women in their lives as emotional punching bags.

flymo79 Mon 20-Mar-17 05:40:19

Ladies - agree that responders can be 'black and white' about this but if you are displaying (as you say) 'people pleasing tendencies' then a manipulative, moody, self-serving, abusive, rude bastard can and will take advantage of that. Without a clear sign that said freezing behaviour is manipulative and TOTALLY unacceptable, nothing will change and you (and kids) will suffer. Despite the fact that young ones dote on their dad his role modelling is absolutely appalling and this horrible frosty argumentative behaviour is corrosive and teaching your kids terrible things about adult relationships. I don't doubt that there's something underlying it, but I would strongly advise against trying to do more to help the feckless arseholes out/ fix the problem. Partners do not get the right to use disrespectful language just because they're in a bit of a funk. Don't stand for it!

TipsyFairy Mon 20-Mar-17 06:18:00

OK I'm awake now. I'm going to reply to each person individually, thanks for the replies.

Eminado I agree with you completely, I thought it seemed very much like a dick move. My reference to dramatic wasn't directed at you at all, I just meant that if I told him you'd said that, I can almost hear his response "Oh how dramatic". I've had it said to me before if I've tried to say that his behaviour is really hurtful. But I do fully agree with you and appreciate your advice and the time you've taken to read and reply to me, it's very helpful.

TipsyFairy Mon 20-Mar-17 06:26:09

@Donald - it's shocking to see it written down like that, no-one likes to think they're in an abusive relationship, especially since there are really good times. But I think you lose perspective when it's happening all the time and I even wonder if it really is all my fault. I ask what I do to provoke such behaviour (because I'm obviously human, I'm certainly not perfect) but every time we go through this I do ask for the things I do that make him so willing to treat me like this and I just never get anything. Just the vague threat that he'll 'make a list' as these things happen and get back to me and I never do get my lis. When I read it how you've written it, it does describe the situation exactly, which shocks me sad

Shayelle Mon 20-Mar-17 06:35:56

You sound so nice TipsyFairy. No wise wordsas such other than to wcho the ithers, hes an arse, hes cruel, and hes never going to change. You deserve better. flowers

Shayelle Mon 20-Mar-17 06:36:21

*echo the others..... sorry for typos.

Enough101 Mon 20-Mar-17 06:36:37

He only said it was your fault to get him out of having called your child a RI. I have tolerated countless silent treatments from my H and I know what they can to do a person. You feel like thr shit on his shoe and I have cried those humiliated tears many times. I had to get out in the end. You have your own threshold of what you can tolerate and no-one should judge if you stay. All I will say is that they do not change. Every time they do it it chips away at you a little bit more, until you get to a point of thinking you somehow deserve it. You don't. No-one deserves that treatment. You wait until they are ready to go back to normal and you are actually grateful when they do. I cannot tell you the number of weekends I have lost to this behaviour. Feeling sick the next morning wondering whether he is going to speak to me today. And when they do speak, there's no apology for the way you have been treated, no discussion. You are just glad they are speaking, but really inside you are not, you are resentful. So you bury that resentment and walk on eggshells trying to avoid doing anything you can to prevent it from happening again. You second guess what his reaction will be before you say or do anything, but you never get it right because this whole thing is so unpredictable. But it does happen again and then you feel shocked... You thought you had it covers, but you forgot about this one other thing that has set him off. You cry your tears of humiliation, he mocks you for crying, you feel like the shit on his shoe, he talks again and you are grateful, but you are resentful. Its a cycle...if this is you cycle, its called emotional abuse. Take care.

Cricrichan Mon 20-Mar-17 06:36:48

Hi lovely. It's very scary that he's using your 7 year old to put a point across to you. It says a lot about him and it's not good. I'm guessing that it's because you're showing some pluck and wanted to discuss and not trivialise it last time so he's using a new tactic to make you tow the line - your child.

It doesn't sound good op. You're on eggshells even through the good times so they may as well be bad times. Now that he's started using your child, you'll be doubly so.

Dh is a bit like this , when we've had a fight and aren't talking to each other, his behaviour towards the kids changes - he either starts giving them lots of sweets, taking them out etc or becomes super strict with them, shouting at them over the most trivial thing. It's really disgusting how they can't keep it separate so the kids are unaffected.

ChampagneCommunist Mon 20-Mar-17 06:44:57

This is me too. Crushed is the right word

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