Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
I'm finding something very upsetting(15 Posts)
This is the first time I post in relationships. I've been with my fiancé for nearly 7 years and we have a 17 mo son together. He's a great father and partner, he is very honest, kind, hard working, loyal, great lover, hands on dad, he's funny and very supportive. My family love him. I've been very happy pretty much throughout our relationship. But lately there's something that is really pissing me off and I don't know if I'm overreacting or it is serious enough. Basically, very often when I'm saying/asking him something he could easily get distracted on our son/his phone/whatever else halfway through my speech and by the time I finish saying whatever I was saying he's all distracted and wouldn't answer back. Then if I repeat the question he'd answer normally. We had a huge raw over it last night. He is saying he isn't doing it deliberately and he's just too tired or gets distracted with our son because they are all over each other once he gets home. He doesn't get to spend much time with him at all as he works long hours and Saturdays too so I understand whatever time he gets is super precious to him. Yet when he doesn't answer immediately it sometimes feels like he's ignoring. It's making me absolutely furious. I don't know if that is to do with me being extremely tired as I have no help during the day and our son doesn't sleep well at all. My partner helps at nights a lot, every night he's up with us, but often I have to be up as well regardless as our son is still breastfed and asks for it sometimes at night. So I get that he might be tired too. But I don't know if I'm right or wrong here. All opinions welcome. Thank you!
It can be infuriating that feeling you're being ignored. It can also sometimes be a case also that you've been starved of adult company during the day and are craving some sort of meaningful interaction when an adult walks through the door whereas he's been engaged at work and isn't so in need of it.
Apparently it's a common problem (I know I experienced it when I had two young children - my DH would come home from work and I would start talking after being on my own all day and sometimes he would actually walk out of the room while I was mid sentence. Not the best feeling in the world!
Now I'm older, busier and kids are teenagers and so quite independent it's not so much of a problem. However the advice is before you start to ask the question to say something like "I've got something I need to ask you/ talk to you about/ discuss with you - is now a good time?" - Seems a bit over the top but I tended to follow this advice and it does seem to make a difference. Another tactic I used was I would actually stop talking when it looked like my DH wasn't listening or became distracted -
i would actually stop talking mid sentence, fall into silence and get on with something else and wait until I got their full attention back again. Sometime he would say "Why have you stopped talking" and I would say "because it's quite obvious you aren't listening/ are distracted and so I'll wait until you've finished and then we can carry on"
I certainly wouldn't keep talking if it's clear he isn't listening.
Onemorecup, thank you so much for your reply. I'll take your advice and will not continue talking when I can see he gets distracted. Do you think I should start acting the same way to give him the taste of his own medicine? Also, we are not talking now after last night which was absolutely horrendous (big argument!). Should I expect an apology? Should I apologise myself? (Was me who started up this huge fight after he didn't answer my question). Not sure how to act now. I'd like to make up, I'm not the person to dwell on things, yet that will make him even more confident in him being in the right!
And yes it's definitely common. My best friend said her husband acts exactly the same way. And yes I'm absolutely starved of adult company during the day. Not easy is it
Well id evaluate how, when and where i was saying things if its like a really long and important point then wait for your dc's bedtime. Also keepmit short and sweet like if its a question can you make it more concise.
BUT id also say to dh if im talking to you please domt fiddle with your phone its really fucking rude. He also needs to show some manners. I manage proper manners and can hold a semi decent conversation with an adult. And im.a single parent to
A 2 year old, with very little help and dd doesnt see her df atm because he is abusive. So im sure your dh can manage whilst playing with his son.
I am going to come at this as i have been on both sides:
When i used to work full time w a long commute it used to drive me mad when the minute i step foot in the door the people at home just sort of "attack" me with words. I used to be screaming "GIVE ME A MINUTE" internally. Could it be he needs to just decompress before chatting.
Now i am at home with 2 kids, i have noticed that when my dh arrives i have a sort of verbal diarrhoea - i can actually hear myself whittering on and on and on and on but i cant seem to stop it . Is there any chance you do this?
I agree it is rude to not pay attention when your partner is speaking. But I think it's resolvable and you should try to resolve things calmly and end the row.
It's annoying when people don't listen to you. But it sounds like you are over reacting a little when you say that you are absolutely furious and have had a massive row about it. It's not that big a deal! I agree with stopping talking when it happens, but don't start doing the same thing to him, that would be childish.
* i am going to come at this both ways
Sorry for typos.
My dh is like this. It used to really annoying me and then I switched off from our relationship.
Do you think I should start acting the same way to give him the taste of his own medicine?
No, I really wouldn't do that - it just ramps everything up and creates more arguments. Also, he can accuse you of doing the same thing.
we are not talking now after last night which was absolutely horrendous (big argument!). Should I expect an apology? Should I apologise myself?
I would try and talk about the subject itself - if it was me I would say "look, I'm really sorry we fought but I just want to explain why it's such an issue for me. I'm on my own all day with the children and I just want a bit of interaction or there's things I want to ask you/ discuss with you and I totally get that you've been at work all day and want to spend time the DC and, you may not realise you're doing it but it just seems that you get distracted and then I feel hurt" or something like that....
Not sure how to act now. I'd like to make up, I'm not the person to dwell on things, yet that will make him even more confident in him being in the right!
Try to see it not as one person being right and one wrong - if you apologise in the way I suggested ie: not by saying "I'm sorry I shouldn't have said what I did " but instead; "I'm sorry we fought" that doesn't suggest he was right and you were wrong just that you're sorry it happened.
Do you think he may feel he's being talked at?
Maybe he really is just exhausted or is distracted by your son. I don't see why that's something so difficult for you to understand?
I sometimes hear what my dh is saying but I'm so tired to reply or engage in a conversation that i just don't say anything. I'm also focused on my DS who is active and need to watch him that I do 'zone' out. Can't you understand that it's very, very possible.
My other half does this too. It also really infuriates me. It's like he can't be arsed to engage with me. It really upsets me as my way of destressing generally is to chat about things that have happened and perhaps share a laugh about stuff. No advice, but just to say you're not alone.
Thank you very much to everyone for some very useful thoughts.
Yes, I do think that I might chat a bit too much because I've got a lot to say about what has happened during the day but he never seemed to be annoyed by it. He never mentioned that he might need a bit of silence after work but now I can clearly see that this might be the case.
I also realised that acting in the same way is not going to take us anywhere.
He called me this afternoon from work, didn't apologise but spoke normally and didn't mentioned last night. When he came in he kissed me and hugged me and called me silly. I decided to leave it to that this time, obviously he's not mad at me and maybe it's best to close the subject for a while. Interestingly, tonight he hasn't done it at all (I mean ignoring what I say).
Appleofmyeye, I do understand perfectly that he's not doing it deliberately, he said it many times, but I can't see how is it an excuse at all. It doesn't make it less rude or hurtful. So what pissed me off the most was the fact I asked him to change that repeatedly and still no result. I totally get that he's not ignoring me on purpose, he's very loving and wouldn't do it, but that somehow doesn't make it any less upsetting.
However the replies I got really make me see I might be overreacting. So if he doesn't change I'll probably just stop nagging him about it and accept the way he is. I definitely wouldn't want to 'switch off' from our relationship as I'm absolutely happy otherwise.
Pat, sorry I saw your post after I've posted my own. Yes, you described it exactly right. It absolutely infuriates me too. And my way of relaxing is the same, chat about stuff and have a good laugh. Apparently sometimes he's up for it and sometimes not. Oh well!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.