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It turns out Dh is a massive bastard

(216 Posts)
PaddingtonStation Wed 01-Apr-20 20:38:51

Dh normally works away Monday-Friday and comes home at weekends. As it’s the end of the world he’s working from home atm though.

We’ve been together a decade, 2 dc. Marriage a bit boring but nothing in any way abusive. If anything our problems are caused by him being too much of a pushover and never sticking up for himself.

When we first got together and I met a few of his work mates they all just kept saying how different he was when he was around me, that they’d never seen him relaxed or joking, that he was considered a bit of a dragon at work. I never really thought too much about it, he works in a pretty cut throat industry (investment banking) and is quite senior. I just passed it off as him having to develop a harder shell at work so he doesn’t get shit on.

He never talks about work much when he’s at home, just says that he prefers to keep work and real life separate, that he doesn’t want to spend his family time talking or thinking about work. I’ve always considered this to be a good thing as I’ve got so many friends who just can’t switch off from work.

Since lockdown he’s set up an office in the spare room. Most of his work is being done on the phone or Zoom and he’s locked in there from about 8-8. He comes out to go for a run at lunch time but won’t acknowledge dc or me, just puts headphones in and runs out the door. The rest of the time I’m pretty much trying to keep the kids at the bottom of the garden as all that’s coming out of his office is the sound of him shouting and swearing at people on the phone.

He’s normally lovely. Well, annoying and doesn’t take the bins out but certainly not sweary and aggressive. The only time I’ve ever heard him swear in the time we’ve been together was when a duck once flew into his face. On the odd occasion I swear he’s visibly winced so I try not to in front of him as I thought he really disapproved of it.

I’m genuinely in shock and don’t know how to feel about it. I had no idea at all that he was like this. I told him I was pretty shocked after I heard him on the first day he was here. He just said that it’s hugely stressful times as no one knows what to expect and he’s trying to ensure they’ve all got jobs to go back to. Which is understandable, I guess. But the way he sounds like he’s speaking to people is just so condescending and aggressive I just can’t seem to match it to the man that I’m married to.

goldpartyhat Wed 01-Apr-20 20:43:44

If he's not accepting how bad he sounds, would he react badly to you if you taped a conversation just to show him how he sounds? It's not a nice thing to do but if he's in denial about his language etc, might be worth considering. To be honest he does sound as though he has a lot on his plate and if people's jobs do depend on him working 12 hours, then maybe you just have to accept it? Swearing has to stop though around his children, surely he will understand that?

Therollockingrogue Wed 01-Apr-20 20:44:14

Well, unfortunately , 10 years is nothing when it comes to someone letting their true colours show.
It often takes far longer, especially when there are kids, full time jobs and so on.
His job is probably unbelievably stressful right now though too, everyone massively pressured.
But now you’ve seen it, you’ll probably start to realise how this is creeping into your life too. It’ll take a while, but you can’t unsee it unfortunately.

helpmeout6 Wed 01-Apr-20 20:54:01

DO NOT RECORD THE PHONE CALLS!!! That could be illegal and I don't think that would go down well.

People are different at work, cut throat industry, it would be naive to think he doesn't swear in a profession like that - you simply can't survive.
Think of him like an actor, at work he is acting and he's good at it, it's what is necessary. At home he's off duty and gets to be his real self.

Absolutepowercorrupts Wed 01-Apr-20 20:58:12

The stock market has fallen by 25/35% , that's a massive drop. It's the biggest drop since Black Friday in 1987, he'll be looking after £ millions of other people's money. I expect he's under massive pressure. He'll have clients screaming at him because they've maybe lost hundreds of thousands of pounds.
As he's Senior it's going to be a very stressful time. It's actually quite common for men in his position to be Lions at work and pussycats at home.
Tell him to cut the swearing out when your children are around though.

mathanxiety Wed 01-Apr-20 21:02:13

Very true that you can't unsee what you're seeing now.

You knew he was a 'dragon' way back when you first met his colleagues, so his language and tone are nothing to do with the current stressful situation. They are inbuilt and consistent and long-standing traits. He is trying to justify his approach by donning his superhero cape and tights and telling you he is saving people's jobs.

You need to tell him to stop bullshitting you, that this is how he always behaves at work, that his own colleagues told you this about him years ago.

Tell him that while he is working, he is also at home, in your home and your children's home, and you are not going to put up with the language, the horrible and audible treatment of other people or the rudeness to you and the children.

He is to speak pleasantly to you all when he comes out if the spare room. He is to keep the volume of his voice at a level where no-one can heR him outside the spare room.

Crack the whip. This is important. Your children will be traumatised by this otherwise.

Looking forward, he is heading for a heart attack or stroke if he keeps up the dysfunctional approach to dealing with his work.

For now, insist on your rules about behaviour, language and volume in your home. When this virus runs its course, sit him down for a serious conversation about increasing the value of his life insurance policy, given the damage he is doing to himself. That level of aggression all day every day is going to kill him.

Ask him to see a therapist about his problem and to find a way to change his mental game.

mathanxiety Wed 01-Apr-20 21:05:02

Believe me, I once worked with a lawyer like this. Fell dead from a heart attack at 59.

PaddingtonStation Wed 01-Apr-20 21:07:50

Bloody hell I can’t record him on the phone, he could lose his job!

I know it’s ridiculously stressful right now, I’m just amazed I had absolutely no clue he was like this at work. I know it would never spill over into family life (apart from kids hearing him swearing!) but I can’t believe just how different he is. I can understand getting stressed and losing your temper, I’ve done that enough. But even if he’s normally working at 10% of the stress level he seems to be now I don’t understand how he’s still functioning.

PaddingtonStation Wed 01-Apr-20 21:09:37

mathanxiety that’s what’s concerning me. He either putting on an act at work and pretending to be big and mean when he’s actually really chilled, or he’s stressed to high heaven and pretending to be totally unbothered outside of work. Either way it can’t be healthy at all:

Hopoindown31 Wed 01-Apr-20 21:15:30

I agree with cracking the whip about him shouting and swearing around the kids. Maybe it might make him be less of a dick, but you did marry an investment banker so I suspect not.

SchadenfreudePersonified Wed 01-Apr-20 21:19:01

The only time I’ve ever heard him swear in the time we’ve been together was when a duck once flew into his face.

I'm sorry - but I just had to laugh at this.

grin grin grin

SubjectMatterExpert Wed 01-Apr-20 21:19:09

The only time I’ve ever heard him swear in the time we’ve been together was when a duck once flew into his face

Sorry, but 🤣😂🤣😂

SubjectMatterExpert Wed 01-Apr-20 21:19:44

Oh haha @SchadenfreudePersonified xposted!!

ShesGotBetteDavisEyes Wed 01-Apr-20 21:20:56

The only time I’ve ever heard him swear in the time we’ve been together was when a duck once flew into his face

Well that would make anyone swear!

SchadenfreudePersonified Wed 01-Apr-20 21:21:22


grin grin grin

Mummy0ftwo12 Wed 01-Apr-20 21:22:35

How would you feel OP if you or one of your children was working for him as a junior member of staff?

Haworthia Wed 01-Apr-20 21:25:27

The scary thing is, what if the work him is the real him, and his mild mannered home demeanour is all an act?

I have to say, I find it kind of disturbing that he winces at the suggestion of you swearing, and yet is an abusive foul mouthed bastard to his colleagues. That kind of compartmentalisation is EXTREME.

CKoRn Wed 01-Apr-20 21:25:39

It's important to remember that these are exceptional times we're going through. And I'm not just talking about covid-19, but it's affect on the financial sector right now.

Investment banking? Yeah, I'm not surprised your husband is feeling the heat, if he's swearing a lot it's probably for a good reason.

frumpety Wed 01-Apr-20 21:26:52

Some people put a work persona on like a jumper ! It doesn't mean it is the 'real' them.
He is right , this is an incredibly difficult time and the industry he is in isn't known for being a bunch of shrinking violets is it ? He is also probably aware that statutory redundancy is worth four fifths of f*ck all in the UK. I worked out DH would get less than a quarter of his annual salary after 30 years service.
I suppose you could paint a massive 'Be kind' poster and sneak it into the spare room in the dead of night ? Or write swear words on post it notes and distribute them liberally around the house so he gets the point about how his loud swearing voice carries ?

Bakedbrie Wed 01-Apr-20 21:26:56

I really don’t think now is the best time to be giving your DH any developmental feedback based on your eaves-dropped observations. The world is upside down and he’s probably worried that you might not have a roof over your heads very soon! Rightly or wrongly he’s obviously succeeded doing what he’s doing in a cut throat environment for a very long time ...without your interjections. I do think however that its wrong that you feel you’ve got to hang around with the kids at the end of the garden - that’s not sustainable during this lockdown period and he needs to reign back the language etc in your home.

peachgreen Wed 01-Apr-20 21:27:50

Aren't most senior investment bankers like this though? I work in a "fluffy" discipline but have worked in very cutthroat industries, including investment banking, and the vast majority of senior people I have worked with are total sharks. Charming, funny, engaging, charismatic - and then complete and total arsehole bastard cunts when things don't go their way. I'm not saying it's right but it's not unusual.

NotNowPlzz Wed 01-Apr-20 21:28:40

How he behaves at work is nothing to do with you.

Frouby Wed 01-Apr-20 21:29:37

My dh is a pussycat at home generally. But runs multi million pound construction sites. You have to be able to hold your own to do that, and usually that means being a bit of a dick swinger. I imagine investment banking has even more phallic sizzlers going on.

Just keep the dcs out of hearing if it will upset them. Am pretty sure with an investment bankers salary and bonus you have a big enough house to do that in. Plenty of folks are 5 people to a 1 bed flat and being surprised by their significant others being at home 24/7 and the problems that causes.

SugarSugarShimmy Wed 01-Apr-20 21:30:09

The only time I’ve ever heard him swear in the time we’ve been together was when a duck once flew into his face

Is he called Fabio

Craftycorvid Wed 01-Apr-20 21:30:21

At a time like this we are being forced into confrontation with the people our partners are in other parts of their lives, and it can be very uncomfortable, as you have found. You don’t recognise the person you are hearing shouting and swearing, and you don’t like him. The other part of this is that he’s shutting you out in going off for a run, headphones in, and I’m wondering if there is any point during the day when you do actually get to connect with one another as partners? Do you ensure you have a meal together in the evening, for example? Is there somewhere he could work where the children wouldn’t have to overhear him? I think, for now, trying to negotiate a few boundaries - if you can- might help. If this is his ‘work personality’ that’s something to address when we are all back to normal life. For now, remind him he doesn’t usually do his work with children nearby. Also, you are losing the person he is at home. Obviously no one can say exercise is unimportant, but could you agree together time - when the children are in bed, maybe? If you can talk openly, could you then explore with him how he feels about his job and how he is generally? That might be a way to understand what’s going on from his perspective, plus hopefully he’ll feel less threatened. For such a marked disparity between behaviours, it sounds like either he’s unhappy at work and/or the work culture is such that this is considered normal. It certainly doesn’t sound remotely healthy, and you will probably need more than one conversation once life goes back to normal.

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