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Feeling DH is domineering. Can't face it.

(118 Posts)
Earlgrey19 Fri 06-Mar-20 18:52:03

Going to Relate with DH, but so far it's putting me more intensely in touch of feelings of resentment, and I'm feeling like I can't stand him to be around, though he's not doing anything hugely wrong. In many ways he's a decent human being and good Dad.

I think the worst aspect for me is that I find DH domineering, even though none of the instances are terrible, and they arise out of rigidity rather than a desire for power for the sake of it. I'll give some examples:
when he gets tired at night he wants to go to bed that second, and I have to jump into action to get to bed too. He doesn't want me to come to bed any later, because he says he can't get to sleep knowing that I'm going to come in (as this will disturb/wake) him. If I take the time to wash my face, put my clothes away etc. (he is very quick and leaves his clothes on the floor), he can get agitated and cross with me. It's stressful. So he gets to decide. I feel that a lot of our life is lived like this, with me having to accommodate to his way of doing things, and his views, or else deal with his stress/anxiety/agitation. He cannot tolerate difference of opinion. Another example: he has decided that during the peak of the corona epidemic in the UK we should self-isolate for 3-6 weeks even if healthy, to avoid being ill during the time when the health system is most overburdened. This may have some logic to it, but my point is that this is what he has decided, and it would have quite a big impact on us all. I'm not working at the moment, so I can't refuse on the grounds of work, so perhaps he thinks I should just go along with any plan he thinks is best. I'm just so often feeling, 'what about my point of view?' !!! If it differs from his, he won't accept it. I'm not a passive or timid person (though I do find conflict stressful) and I do speak up, but the Relate sessions so far have made me realise the extent of how awful I'm finding this aspect of our relationship. In the last session he was talking about a past row, and telling me 'Your intention was x, and you were feeling x' when the counsellor suddenly stopped him and said, 'you can't tell her what her feelings and intentions are, you need to rephrase that'. I thought, my God, yes! he does this a lot! At the moment I'm feeling like I want to leave so I have the freedom to make my own choices, feel my own feelings and have my points of view without them being squashed if they disagree with his. But I'm financially dependent, and it's going to take me a while to get my ducks in a row, maybe a year. Plus I feel terrible for the kids, like I'm being selfish, when he hasn't done anything awful, and they have good relationships with him. In a bit of a dilemma.

OP’s posts: |
pinkyredrose Fri 06-Mar-20 18:55:21

He's done plenty awful. He's a total cunt and you're living your life trying not to set him off. Has he always been like this? It doesn't have to be like this you know, you can divorce him and live in a relaxed home.

NotStayingIn Fri 06-Mar-20 19:01:16

I just wouldn’t do the things you are doing. If my DP was such a dick about when we go to bed he could make alternative arrangements and find somewhere else to sleep.

Why on earth are you pandering to this type of bullshit. I would tell him I’m happy to make sure I’m in bed by x time (11pm for me personally) but if you want to go to bed before that, that’s fine but you can’t expect me to go at the same time.

Christ you’re not a child, letting someone tell you when to go to bed is a joke. I hope at the same time you can find a way to leave if that’s what you want to do.

KidCaneGoat Fri 06-Mar-20 19:04:59

What was his reaction to the counsellor saying that?

Windmillwhirl Fri 06-Mar-20 19:08:37

He's a controlling bully. It doesn't sound like he has any intention of altering his behaviour. You'd be dd much happier living your life without that level of anxiety and walking on eggshells.

GreenTulips Fri 06-Mar-20 19:10:21

I wouldn’t put up with it.

Once you agree to one thing - like going to bed he’ll introduce something else and something else

He sounds bloody nightmare

Windmillwhirl Fri 06-Mar-20 19:10:43


probablysue Fri 06-Mar-20 19:17:18

Blimey! I couldn’t put up with this! I go to bed when I wish! Just tell him no. I think a lot of this is for you to just say no and for him to have to lump it. So he wants to self isolate. Tough. You don’t. Just do what you want and laugh at him when he throws a tantrum. He’ll have to learn to accommodate you. I can’t imagine many women putting up with this!

Mayhapitis Fri 06-Mar-20 19:33:09

Wtf? Of course he can't tell you when to go to bed or not to take your make up off. Tell him to stop being absurd, you're an adult and you'll go to bed when you like.

GlassOfProsecco Fri 06-Mar-20 19:41:55

That's awful; you're on eggshells pandering to his controlling crap.

Are you able to assert yourself or does he just trample all over you?

12345kbm Fri 06-Mar-20 19:52:19

I'm glad counselling is helping you to see that this situation is untenable OP.

If he can't sleep because he knows you're coming to bed then he needs to find strategies to mitigate like an eye mask, ear plugs etc He doesn't get to tell you what you can and cannot do.

He certainly doesn't get to tell you to 'self isolate' for six weeks.

He's not your dad OP and he doesn't have a right to dictate to you what you can think or feel, never mind what you can do. If he has stress and anxiety then he needs to find ways of mitigating those.

Can you contact your local CABx in order to find out what will happen financially should you separate?

Cambionome Fri 06-Mar-20 19:54:31

I honestly couldn't stand that - he is an overbearing bully. He doesn't get to force his decisions and opinions on you all the time!

RainbowFlowers Fri 06-Mar-20 20:06:17

Could he be autistic?

AnneElliott Fri 06-Mar-20 20:11:03

Stop pandering to him. It's his issue to sort about the going to sleep thing. He needs to use strategies to sort himself out, but make it your problem.
What if you want to watch a specific programme on TV or something?

user1423578854468 Fri 06-Mar-20 20:15:45

they arise out of rigidity rather than a desire for power

How did you form that conclusion? For instance, when he's telling you what you're thinking, what made you conclude that's about rigidity not power?

TheSmelliestHouse Fri 06-Mar-20 20:21:25

What if you tell him that you want to make your own decisions and have your own opinions. And see how he takes it.

Perhaps you can start to live life how you want to, and see whether he can deal with it or if he'll just be a cock.

Starting by going to bed when you want.

FinallyHere Fri 06-Mar-20 20:25:59

* he can get agitated and cross with me.*

I am very sorry to read your post.

As a stranger on the internet, I have a piece of advice for you which had stood me in good stead throughout my life.

Do not get into bed with anyone who treats you in the way you have described.

It sounds as if the relate sessions are being very helpful to you. Good to see just how bad his behaviour actually is.

dustibooks Fri 06-Mar-20 20:28:01

Could he be autistic?
Makes no difference whether he is or he isn't. His behaviour is intolerable, and the OP has had enough of it.

Earlgrey19 Fri 06-Mar-20 20:28:21

Thanks, yes I do assert myself a lot but basically this can mean quite a few arguments . Re. the bedtime thing, I’m choosing to sleep in a separate room now so I can feel relaxed and go to bed when I want. He says I’m controlling about sleep because when we were sleeping together I’ve complained about how he gets up a few times each night to go to the loo (and I then I often couldn’t get back to sleep)... Even so, I don’t think it’s quite the same.

Yeah, the self-isolation thing (when not actually ill) he’ll argue is for the good of the family. But I’m reminding myself I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. Which sounds so basic, but I think somehow I’ve been worn down, partly because he’s so good at arguing in an intelligent forceful way. I’m intelligent too, but less forceful.
Today he was on the radio talking about his field, and instead of making me feel warm and proud the sound of his voice made me feel stressed and resentful, and I turned it off.

OP’s posts: |
Earlgrey19 Fri 06-Mar-20 20:31:33

dustibooks: Yes, I think so, and my mum is a psychologist and thinks he has autistic traits. Not sufficient to meet a diagnosis, though, he has pretty good social skills. Not that he’d ever consider looking into autism — he has been very upset when I’ve mentioned that.
There’s a lot of rigidity. I really don’t think it can change.

OP’s posts: |
Earlgrey19 Fri 06-Mar-20 20:33:03

Oops, meant to address last message re autism to RainbowFlowers.

OP’s posts: |
SophieSong Fri 06-Mar-20 20:34:31

How old are your children?

GlassOfProsecco Fri 06-Mar-20 20:37:07

I bet your mum will have a really good take on him if she's a psychologist

Toria70 Fri 06-Mar-20 20:45:51

You don't have to justify why you are feeling unhappy flowers

Thing is, it won't ever improve if you constantly give in to him. No one made him "The Boss" of your home and family - it should be an equal role shared between you. When your voice isn't heard, you become angry, resentful and you stop wanting to try.

It's good that the Relate counsellor is pointing things out to him though. Maybe you need to build on that, and when he tries to dictate, don't argue with him, just say "sorry but that doesn't suit me" and walk away. My DH is naturally dominating, and it's exhausting at times.

Earlgrey19 Fri 06-Mar-20 20:46:04

SophieSong: DC are 5 & 2. I’m finishing some professional accreditation and then can look for jobs. Heartbroken at thought of DC not being with me for part of the week, though, if we separate and we have shared custody...

OP’s posts: |

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