Advanced search

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.

Am I abusive?

(49 Posts)
getmeoutnow Thu 12-Oct-17 22:16:41

Is it likely that I’m abusive if I worry about being abusive?

Brahms3rdracket Thu 12-Oct-17 22:19:33

Can you elaborate?

getmeoutnow Thu 12-Oct-17 22:26:04

I’ve been told by DH that I’m abusive and I worry that i am.
But is ‘worrying’ that I’m abusive a typical trait of someone who is?
Surely I would be so arrogant and narcissistic to not have an empathetic bone in my body to worry about being abusive.
Or is that in itself an arrogant viewpoint and a sign that I have abusive traits.

headinhands Thu 12-Oct-17 22:29:39

Can you name some ways he thinks you've been abusive. Without doing so no one here could garner a reasonable guess.

getmeoutnow Thu 12-Oct-17 22:34:25

That I shout and go nuts if I hear something I don’t like. That I’m verbally aggressive. That I’m a fantasist that makes stuff up.
The main problem is that I shout during a disagreement.

IfyouseeRitaMoreno Thu 12-Oct-17 22:35:54

And what does he do during a disagreement?

Offred Thu 12-Oct-17 22:36:45

Yes, it is true that abusive people often don’t worry about being abusive because abuse is usually based on feelings of entitlement.

It is also true that often abusers will accuse their victims of being abusive (projection) as part of the abuse.

These are generalisations though.

What kind of thing is happening?

PurpleDaisies Thu 12-Oct-17 22:39:20

I don't think anyone can say based on the information you've given. Some abusers do feel guilt so that doesn't automatically mean you're not behaving badly.

What's actually going on for your dh to have told you you're abusive?

getmeoutnow Thu 12-Oct-17 22:39:52

I’m finding that I do shout. I believe it’s because I can’t get over how he behaves/what he says. I become very frustrated that he can’t see what he’s saying is harsh/hurtful/inappropriate.
Some stuff is worse than others but my reaction seems to becoming a habit.

Casmama Thu 12-Oct-17 22:40:36

Why do you think your DH would say you are abusive if you aren't?

Casmama Thu 12-Oct-17 22:43:17

Sorry cross posts. Could you elaborate on you dh's behaviour?

BigFatTent Thu 12-Oct-17 22:49:06

I can't speak for you but I shouted in response to the abuse I was on the receiving end of. It was impossible not to because of the frustration I felt. I tried to reason. That didn't work. My experience of my abuser was that he projected his hateful and irrational behaviour on to me.

Offred Thu 12-Oct-17 22:51:29

Ok so broadly in abusive relationships the relationship is based on there being one person who holds power over the other person.

The actual characteristics of who does what are relevant in terms of how toxic the environment is but the abusive partner is the one who is the one who is getting something out of the toxic interactions (objectively not relatively as many abusers will say things like ‘you are controlling/needy/abusive’).

Many abused partners may find that they mirror the abuser’s abusive behaviour at some point but the power will still remain with the abuser.

You follow the power to find the abuser.

Pidlan Thu 12-Oct-17 22:52:13

TBH if you're really shouting aggressively, that's probably something you need to address. I have always felt intimidated when shouted at, and no one should feel intimidated in a relationship.

getmeoutnow Thu 12-Oct-17 22:52:21

I find that during arguments he will say something insulting in a round about way. I suppose passive aggressive.
I will then directly confront him on this and he will deny saying it.
For example;
Him: this chicken tastes quite bitter and dry.
Me: you don’t like the chicken.
Him: that’s not what I said. I did not say I don’t like the chicken.
Me: but that’s pretty much what you’re saying.
Him: I have never said that you’re assuming and jumping to conclusions. You are a complete fantasist I have not said that.

This is an exaggerated example but then I end up twice as frustrated 1) for being insulted 2) for him denying the insult and 3) for being called a liar/fantasist.
I then start shout at the injustice?!

Offred Thu 12-Oct-17 22:59:55

it’s still hard to get a good picture of what is going on TBH.

Your part in the example above is quite confrontational but his is quite rude and PA.

Have your interactions always been like this?

Has he always been rude and you always been shouty?

getmeoutnow Thu 12-Oct-17 23:09:26

No they haven’t always been like this. But progressively, overtime we find ourselves here.

What would you suggest I do to cut out the shoutiness?

I find that the focus of the disagreement is overlooked because of how I have reacted.

At the time of the argument I feel so certain that I’m being unfairly treated. I realise that afterwards I come off looking way worse than what I was initially upset about.

Offred Thu 12-Oct-17 23:13:32

It depends on why it is happening TBH.

You could try, for example, explaining ‘when you said x I felt as though you were criticising y. It hurt my feelings.’

Offred Thu 12-Oct-17 23:14:17

But this won’t help if his intention is to hurt your feelings this won’t help.

Wherearemymarbles Thu 12-Oct-17 23:20:45

Man: this chicken is a bit dty and tastless
Woman: well its from the butcher guess its not a great chicken

= normal interaction

Man: this chicken is a bit dry and tastless
Woman: how fucking dare you, i spent hours cooking it, the least thing you could do is say is nice you inconsiderate fucking cunt. Why do i fucking bother

= abusive

getmeoutnow Thu 12-Oct-17 23:21:33

Yeah I suspect this is the problem.
I’m on MN worrying that I’m abusive and wondering how to correct my behaviour.
He’s seething downstairs at what an idiot I am and how in the right he always is.
I managed a fortnight of not reacting to his rudeness, abruptness and impatience but tonight I have cracked.

Thanks for the insight on abusive relationships though, I fear we are too toxic as a couple to work and for starters he doesn’t seem to be self aware to want to adjust his behaviour.

MsGameandWatching Thu 12-Oct-17 23:21:57

Can you give some more examples? Your OP and subsequent posts remind me of this situation with my ex H:-

On a train. I peel a satsuma for dd and put the peel on the table while I break it in to segments and give them to her, I didn't want to put the fruit on the table as I couldn't be sure it was clean. He shoots a disgusted look, that he makes sure I see, at the peel, that had been on the table for approx 5-10 seconds, huffs, snatches it up and storms off down the train to put it in the bin. When he returns I ask what's wrong. He says "I just think it's dirty and disgusting when rubbish is left on the table". So he is calling me dirty and disgusting but when I call him on it he says he didn't, just that he doesn't like it when people do that. Row ensues.

Is this what you mean? Or am I projecting? This happened a lot in my marriage and in the end I was so hyper sensitive to his veiled criticism that I would explode at the slightest thing, then he told I am belligerent and over sensitive.

pp2017 Thu 12-Oct-17 23:23:06

*For example;
Him: this chicken tastes quite bitter and dry.
Me: you don’t like the chicken.
Him: that’s not what I said. I did not say I don’t like the chicken.
Me: but that’s pretty much what you’re saying.
Him: I have never said that you’re assuming and jumping to conclusions. You are a complete fantasist I have not said that.*

My first thought when I read this was that he was scared to tell you outright that he just didn’t like the chicken 😳

I wouldn’t go so far as to say you’re abusive as to me that’s a pretty strong term, but maybe for whatever reason (stress, frustration, tiredness, other outside factors?) you’ve lapsed into a tendency of over reacting or having a short fuse?

It could be a viscous circle that’s developed over time: started with he’s done something to irritate you, you were having a stressful day and overreacted, he then starts being passive aggressive, you get more frustrated and shouty?

GoldenFleck Thu 12-Oct-17 23:26:21

Maybe the chicken was bitter and dry so was a true observation. Does it matter anyway? I bet he still ate it.

In my house the chicken comment would have gone as follows:

Chicken is bitter and dry
Ooo I cooked it the same way I normally do. I don't know why. Is it inedible?
Nah <eats in anyway/leaves it and we move on to new conversation>

Maybe you are too sensitive or tuned into getting his approval so hate any form of criticism. Try and remember what's important and don't sweat the unimportant stuff.

SheRaaarghPrincessOfPower Thu 12-Oct-17 23:28:25

He sounds passive aggressive.

Try to just not react to anything he says. Comment about the chicken. Hmm-mm? Comment about nothing, yep. See how he reacts.
Not suggesting you live like this, but just go calm (grey rock) on him, and see how he reacts. That'll tell you what's happening

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: