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DH doesn't know when to stop during arguments

(9 Posts)
Joannat1980 Sat 25-Apr-20 15:44:01

We've been together 15 years, married for 8 and have a one year old. Whenever we argue he doesn't know when to stop. For example, since having DD I've had chronic back and pelvis pain that I can't shift (am seeing the right people to get it sorted) It really gets me down and I'm a bit limited in what I can do physically just now. DH suggested last night perhaps it was all psychosomatic which upset me enormously as he sees how I struggle. It was late at night and he apologised and fell asleep. Today he came and had a chat and I was telling him how hurtful comments like that are and how difficult I find things and got quite overwhelmed by it all, he pulls out of the bag how I make him feel thick and how things I say make him feel like shit at times. He'd never bring these things up normally despite me asking until he's in a situation where he feels he needs to be defensive. No matter how upset I am he just feels the need to put one last dig in. We had lunch all together and I tried to explain this to him a bit, calmly and he stormed off as I was 'putting him down in front of the baby'. I appreciate her being there (playing with toys) wasn't ideal. The coldness that comes from him in these situations is so unlike his normal self and he just doesn't care how upset it makes me. This used to happen on a monthly basis but hasnt for ages so perhaps more affecting.
Am I just making a big deal over nothing? It doesn't feel like itsad

OP’s posts: |
rvby Sat 25-Apr-20 15:51:31

He has poor relationship skills, probably also has no idea how to regulate his own negative emotions. Lots of people are like this and often they have a deep belief that other people are responsible for taking care of their emotions. Including never arguing with them, never being upset by something they've said, etc. Etc.

It's not uncommon but he won't learn what he needs to unless he puts quite a lot of work in. And if he believes you should just shut up so that he is always comfortable, then hes not going to put the work in, most likely. He will just see you as the problem.

He needs counselling. Folk will come on here saying hes abusive so dont get joint counseling, but from what you've put here, I'd say couples counselling might work, it might get him into the room at least.

Would he be open to that? If not, you're probably screwed tbh.

Joannat1980 Sat 25-Apr-20 16:05:27

Thanks for such a quick reply @rvby. We've had marriage counselling before for this reason and he's very open to more, either himself or together which is positive. Our communication is definitely better after this help as it hasn't happened anyway near as frequently. He accepts fully it's his issue and feels awful about it. Doesn't stop it happening again though, albeit not as often. This is practically the only issue we have in our marriage but I've tried so hard with him and am still sat here sad and upset wondering if it's worth trying again.

OP’s posts: |
rvby Sat 25-Apr-20 16:09:31

I see. Its encouraging he has tried to resolve it before.

Do you have a code word for these situations? E.g. when he starts doing it, you can say COVENTRY or something and he knows hes just done the same thing and maybe he has a chance, early on, to nip his habit in the bud?

How often did this used to happen, and how often now? Trying to get an idea of the scale of it.

Are there times that you do manage to tell him xyz without him going off on one?

PicsInRed Sat 25-Apr-20 19:22:07

He knows when to stop. He's choosing not to.

Joannat1980 Sat 25-Apr-20 20:26:04

It used to happen every 4-6 weeks, it's happened three times in the last 16 months (since DD was born). Usually he says something that upsets me and it escalates from there. I grew up in a very troubled home where arguments happened all the time and DH's was the opposite and I think we both struggle with boundaries and what's 'normal'. It's as if something turns in him and he'll say anything to be right rather than just accepting, apologising and moving on. I'm bloody sick of it. I would have asked him to leave today if we weren't in lockdown.

OP’s posts: |
compassunreliable Sat 25-Apr-20 20:40:04

He accepts fully it's his issue and feels awful about it.

He can't feel that awful if he's still doing it.

Cherrysoup Sat 25-Apr-20 20:49:02

He accepts fully it's his issue and feels awful about it.

No, he rather obviously doesn’t, he keeps doing it and doesn’t stop himself. Emotionally immature and thinks it’s ok to upset you by repeatedly doing this because he knows it really does.

He can't feel that awful if he's still doing it.

Exactly.

EvenMoreFuriousVexation Sun 26-Apr-20 10:08:21

I think with lockdown giving us all extra stress, it can be easy to slip back into old patterns of behaviour - because they are familiar and comfortable, even though logically we know they are negative.

I think with everything that's going on, plus his receptiveness to more counselling, it's worth giving you both a chance to do some more work on your communication styles.

Perhaps your previous counsellor is offering Skype or WhatsApp sessions at the moment?

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