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Seems minor, but I have had enough of it

(71 Posts)
Nuffaluff Tue 20-Mar-18 21:59:27

I am fed up of an issue in my marriage to the point that I feel if this doesn't get sorted, I won't be able to stick it out long term. I wonder if any of you have experience of this?
Background - I'm 40, he's 41 -together for 20 years, married for 13 years. Two kids 7 and 3. We both work, him full time and me part time as a teacher.
It sounds so minor, when I write it down, but it's just that he says mean things and then denies having done so.
Tonight is a typical example.
Just got through the door at 8.45 after being at work for 13 hours with one five minute break (full day's teaching plus parents evening). DH has the ready meal in the oven. He never cooks normally.
I go up to get changed quickly and chat to DS 1 who is still awake. He gets upset about something due to a minor misunderstanding and starts acting up ( he can be quite highly strung at times).
DH tells me to come down for my dinner. I say, yes, I'm just seeing to DS, he's upset. DH tells me to leave him and come down now, or it'll burn. Said in a bossy, rude manner but I let it go and come down.
Sitting talking about minor incident with DS to DH. I say, I don't like to see him upset, that's why I wanted to sort him out. DH says, yeah all right. Said in a rude, dismissive way as if to actually mean 'please shut up you idiot'.
OK, so far so typical? Honestly not sure. I don't like this bickering, we do it too much.
The thing that really bothers me though is that when I say 'please don't speak to me like that, I don't like it', he immediately denies having said anything that I could possibly be upset about. He says this with such complete conviction and suggests that I am a crazy woman. When I repeat back to him what he has just said, he says I'm making it up!
He is level headed generally, reliable and a good partner in many ways, but he always does THIS. He seems to think I'm irrational and I really am not. I just want to be treated with respect, like he does everyone else in his life.
As I said in the title, it seems minor, but it bothers me a lot. I know it is minor compared to what a lot of women have going on, but really, I have had enough of it after 20 years.
Any advice? How can I deal with this?
Please don't tell me YABU, because I haven't put this in AIBU.

Nightmanagerfan Tue 20-Mar-18 22:05:51

I think it’s called gaslighting. Look it up

starryeyed19 Tue 20-Mar-18 22:07:51

YADNBU. He's not listening to you, subtly telling you that your feelings, your opinions, your views mean nothing and are worth nothing. And then he's making you doubt yourself.

I think you're right to be concerned.

starryeyed19 Tue 20-Mar-18 22:08:20

As far as dealing with it goes, would marriage counselling work? Do you want to stay with him?

Nuffaluff Tue 20-Mar-18 22:09:39

Yes, I know about gaslighting, but I'm not sure about that.
He is not manipulative as such. He seems to just treat me like this because he is used to speaking to me like this, iykwim? He also isn't manipulative at all in other ways. He seems to genuinely think he hasn't spoken to me in a rude or dismissive way.
Also, I said 'that is gaslighting'. He said 'you are gaslighting yourself.' Nice.

Nuffaluff Tue 20-Mar-18 22:12:53

Yes, I love him. But, I told him a while ago, calmly, that I'm going upstairs without my main dinner - we only had the starter - because I've had a really hard day and I feel upset. He's not bothered. Hasn't said anything.
He doesn't seem to care. He seems to have the attitude that I'm always overreacting and just in the wrong.
Weirdly, I'm so calm and just thinking idly about future separation.

BrutusMcDogface Tue 20-Mar-18 22:13:09

Yes it is gaslighting. It's a nasty way to behave and makes you doubt yourself. In fact, it's belittling and quite abusive.

I think a normal run of events would be: he tells you your food is ready, you say you'll be down in a min, he turns the oven off or puts it down very low to keep the food warm while you're upstairs. That's what I would have done, as would my partner.

Nuffaluff Tue 20-Mar-18 22:16:02

And another stupid minor thing that really gets to me. It seems so nothingy, but it's a similar thing.
Every single time I express an opinion about something, e.g something in the news, or some kind of discussion point, he disagrees with me. Every single time, he tells me I'm wrong and explains why.
He does this to the point that I start to think he's just disagreeing with me for the sake of it. It makes me feel that he thinks I'm stupid.
Perhaps we are just too different - not in the same place anymore.

Lilyargin Tue 20-Mar-18 22:16:12

I don’t think this is minor. Being spoken to rudely, or dismissively is offensive, it reduces you. An apology would make up for it (we can all snap at people) but denying it compounds it. Exasperating in the extreme. This would be a major issue for me.

Nuffaluff Tue 20-Mar-18 22:19:18

Yes Brutus I get what you are saying. But I think he's doing it, not because he's deliberately being abusive, but just because he's used to taking me for granted and talking down to me.
What bugs me is that he's so nice, respectful and wonderful to literally everyone else, his family, the kids, his friends, workmates.
It's just me that gets this.
He doesn't believe that he is being unreasonable in his behaviour at all. I'm not perfect either, we argue, perhaps too much, but I don't do this weird stuff that he does.
Why does he always disagree with me do you think? Is it because he doesn't respect me anymore? He used to.

MyBrilliantDisguise Tue 20-Mar-18 22:31:14

He doesn't respect you. He might say he does, but watch his actions.

You have one life, OP. You might only have a year or five or ten or twenty years left. None of us knows how long we have. It would be very sad to stay with a twat out of a sense of duty, when you could be happier without said twat.

Ohyesiam Tue 20-Mar-18 22:35:27

Record him on your phone, then he can’t deny it.

Nuffaluff Tue 20-Mar-18 22:36:46

Thing is disguise, if you met him, you'd like him. Everyone does, he's lovely. To them. Not a charmer at all, just a genuinely nice, upstanding bloke. My parents love him. No one else sees this side to him, but I guess we all see the worst bits of our partners that no one else sees.
Sometimes he's nice to me, but increasingly he's not.
I really appreciate everyone's replies, but I suppose I was hoping for a different sort of reply. One where someone's had this in their relationship and has managed to get him to stop doing it! Do your DHs ever talk to you like this, or do they always speak to you respectfully? I think I'm more respectful in the way I speak to him, even though we argue.

steppemum Tue 20-Mar-18 22:37:59

It isn't minor, because it is hurtful to you, and he isn't listening when you tell him.

I would test out your theory, by giving him an opinion, but give an opinion which he has previously expressed. That willl let you know if he is deliberately always disagreeing, or if you just have very different views on life.

Nuffaluff Tue 20-Mar-18 22:40:49

That is a brilliant idea.

MyBrilliantDisguise Tue 20-Mar-18 22:42:17

You could also test it by saying "HisFriend says XYZ..." (same as you said the other week, which he slammed) and see what he says.

But ultimately, can you live with this?

MyBrilliantDisguise Tue 20-Mar-18 22:43:13

My ex was unfaithful, so we split up, but honestly he never ever spoke to me in the way I hear on here. No way.

steppemum Tue 20-Mar-18 22:43:30

OK, let's assume he is just grumpy and not doing it on purpose.

Then I would say that he is no longer listening to what actually comes out of his mouth.

I think that in your situation you need to find a way of sitting down and talking. Tell him that you have both fallen into habits which are not great form your relationship. Explain how he talks to you, and then say - if we can't work this out, I am not staying. I need you to come to counselling, or something.

In advance of that I woud write down a series of examples of what he says. If possible record him

SeraphinaDombegh Tue 20-Mar-18 23:01:18

It sounds remarkably like he's gaslighting you. I'd definitely test him like PPs have said - it doesn't sound like he respects you much sad

Nuffaluff Tue 20-Mar-18 23:27:37

Oh dear. I’ve just tried to speak to him about it. No apology, just claimed that I misunderstood what he was saying to me.
I told him I’m sick of the rows, I don’t think it’s normal and I won’t continue to put up with it.
Or is it normal? I don’t know what goes on in other people’s relationships.
All I want is for him to show me that he cares how I feel, give me a hug, but all I get is a feeling that he dislikes me and has no respect for me.
Now he’s gone out for a walk because he’s upset with me and wants to get away from me.
I talked calmly, but he feels that I’m attacking him.
Perhaps it’s just on the way out.
I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that I’ll end up hanging around for another ten years until the kids are nearly grown up and then we’ll end up separating.

Jon66 Tue 20-Mar-18 23:37:41

Have you suggested counselling? We found it v helpful.

MyRelationshipIsWeird Tue 20-Mar-18 23:37:53

Don’t waste 10 year’s putting up with that. You sound beaten down sad

It’s really the very least you should be able to expect from your DH isn’t it, being respectful. Without that there’s no point.

I recently finished with my DP of 5 years because, although he was wonderful and loving 95% of the time, when he wasn’t he was awful. I realised that the disrespect and dismissing of my viewpoint and feelings showed such utter contempt for me that the rest of the time was a lie.

He was only able to be so loving and attentive to me as long as I reflected back to him the wonderful image he presented to the world. I was his mirror. The minute he was caught out being less than perfect - and I showed him this version of himself - he flipped into this nasty narcissistic rage.

I know it’s not easy to LTB when you have DCs together (luckily I’d already done the big LTB years ago!) as others have said, you get one life. Don’t spend it in the company of someone who makes you doubt yourself or makes you feel difficult to love. flowers

LadyLoveYourWhat Tue 20-Mar-18 23:38:40

I don't know if it's normal, but my husband and I rarely argue these days, we've been together about the same time as you (but our kids are teenagers) and we've sorted out most of the niggles. We still like each other as well as love each other. I think you deserve better.

Fishface77 Tue 20-Mar-18 23:52:17

These sly deceitful people who act the nice guy/gal in front of others but slowly ever so slowly erode your self confidence and make you doubt everything are the absolute worst.
They make you feel like your in the wrong. Like your responsible for their feelings, their behaviour.
It’s not you op it’s him.
He chooses his behaviour. Strange how he can be nice to everyone else but is so awful to you. Record him. Play it back. Get your ducks in a row.
Also like someone up thread said, repeat one of his opinions back to him and see if he argues. If he does laugh to yourself and shake your head. If he asks what your laughing at tell him and carry on laughing. People like this do not like to be mocked. Do it a few times. See how he likes his head messed with.

Nuffaluff Tue 20-Mar-18 23:53:38

I don’t think he’s a bad person. I have my bad moments as well. We row too much. Other people I know don’t seem to be like this.
I think perhaps if he was with someone else, he might have respect for them, treat them well and be happier.
I can imagine myself being happier, with some imaginary man who likes me, but it’s probably unrealistic. I don’t want to be on my own for the rest of my life.
I don’t want my kids to suffer a divorce either, but as I told him, I don’t want them to grow up thinking this is normal.
I just get the impression he doesn’t care that I feel unhappy. He seems to think I’m exaggerating my feelings (probably, to be fair, because at other times I tell him I love him).
I probably sound like a spineless fool, it’s just difficult to contemplate ending a relationship that has its good points.
Perhaps I should suggest counselling like PPs have suggested. If he doesn’t want to, then that’s a sign.
I’m still disappointed that no one else has this with their DH - it makes me think my marriage is shit!

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