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Patronising husband?(77 Posts)
Am I overreacting here?
We were having a chat about a few books I loved when I was younger . He then said “It saddens me that you don’t read any more”. It’s true I don’t read much fiction these days. I mainly go on my phone but I read blogs/news items/ Mumsnet/twitter/Instagram etc... so am pretty well informed and quite politically minded. I do read but not nearly as much as I used to.
I am so annoyed by that comment. He has history for being a bit patronising. I quite often have to say “I’m not your 4th child you know”, “I am a fully functioning adult you know”. Like he checks I’ve got my coat etc... sometimes when we go out. I’d say it usually comes because he likes looking after us all but this felt really bloody annoying.
I got really pissed off and probably then defensively laid into him about his lack of engagement on political issues.
Was I wrong? Needless to say he hasn’t apologised. Sorry is the hardest word here
Maybe he enjoyed the discussion with you over books and misses that. I don't think mumsnet / internet is comparable with a good book -but that's just me.
Only you know if it's a pattern of behaviour but maybe he enjoyed talking about books with you and he misses that?
You can't really compare blogs and Mumsnet to books .....well I don't think so anyway.
Both me and DH are avid readers and I'd be a little sad if he stopped.
@SueEllenMishke thanks. That’s an interesting perspective, thanks. Food for thought.
If you're regularly having to remind him you're an adult, you might need to have a proper talk with him about how you feel when he says these things. He's not picking up on the hints that it's driving you nuts, which is even more annoying, but really, he shouldn't have to pick up hints. See how he responds to a serious conversation about it. If you've overreacted, you can frame it round that. 'I'm sorry I flew off the handle, it just really upsets me when....'
Hmmm this wouldn’t bother me to be honest. He feels sad that you don’t read anymore. I think that’s an ok opinion to be honest. You can’t expect him never to have an opinion about anything you do, surely. Otherwise he’d never say anything! I don’t know. I think it’s an ok comment. Me and my DH often comment like that about things. I often say “have you got your keys” he’ll say “aren’t you taking a coat” there’s a lot worse stuff that we could be saying to each other! It sounds like you’re just irritated by him in general and maybe want to be single? He sounds alright to me. Normal. Sorry but I think you’ve been oversensitive in my opinion. Imagine if he was saying all of those things to another woman and didn’t give a shit what you did or didn’t do ever again? How would you feel? If you don’t like the sound of that then you’d best go get some help with your irritation before he decides he’s had enough
@needhandhold fair points! I am definitely quite an intolerant person. Sometimes it’s hard to get perspective on whether my irritation is warranted for I’m overreacting Thanks for your (brutally honest) reply.
He sounds considerate and like he takes an interest in you. Why does he need to apologise? By what you wrote and you snapping sound to me like you cant tolerate him and you need to apologise.
I'd be hurt if my dh snapped at me for taking an interest.
I reckon its comparable to anything the both of you might have done and one stops...like playing tennis together or some other game or sport together.
Life changes though and it's normal to stop doing some things you used to do.
I would probably be a bit irritated if it was said to me.
God I ask DP "have you got your keys?" He says "did you bring a coat?" We have these conversations daily, no one is being patronising. Is there a back story here?
@amillionwishes I suppose I never remind him about taking a hat/coat etc... as I assume he knows how to dress himself appropriately for the weather as he is an adult! The keys thing is a bit different as it’s just checking that one of you has keys.
@SandyY2K thanks. Yes although it’s been a while now and he brings it up quite a lot so it’s starting to really annoy. I think it was the “saddens” comment that made me
I would see what happens when you do the same kind of thing to him.
"Don't forget your keys." "Did you take your vitamins?" "Remember to go for a wee before we get in the car!" (OK, maybe not that one...)
Would he find it annoying? If not, all well and good, he just sees this as caring behaviour. But if he does get irritated by it, then why does he do it to you?
@Flyingf1edgelings thanks. Yes I probably did overreact. He’s mentioned it a few times and I took it as criticism veiled as concern I suppose. His mum does the same now I come to think of it!
@Bundlemuffin he has actually asked me that about a pee
OK, well, I definitely think that goes over the line into patronising!! That's not a thing you say to an adult!
Ok the pee thing would have got an "I'm not a child" from me, is it just habit from saying it to the kids?
It just struck me that over reacting is external (it's an act) but feeling irritated is internal. I think laying into him about his political issues was an over reaction, because it had nothing to do what was going on.
Whether you were irritated by his comment is a different matter. If he's doing something that irritates you, tell him. If he respects you (and it's not something like 'breathing'!) he'll make an effort to stop. If he doesn't respect you, he won't. And then you have a whole separate kettle of fish.
Thanks all! Really appreciating these replies! I know I am a bit of a grump sometimes. I am now taking pre menopause vitamins and planned to see someone about more positive thinking -CBT perhaps?
Sometimes it’s just hard to know if I’m being unreasonable or not. We’ve been together a long time so I don’t really know different.
He’s a very caring person, oldest child, lost his dad young and loves nothing more than looking after people, cooking etc.. I am lucky in many ways. I see him doing it at work too, worrying about his colleagues etc...Sometimes though I find it a bit suffocating and feel that he treats me as less than equal. Which is why I probably overreact to the little things.
It’s good to reflect on it.
I am guilty of babying my hubs sometimes: take a thicker jacket, put a hat on, take some meds when you have a cold, did you hoover behind sofa etc. It doesn't come from a bad place, just caring for him and a slight obsession with doing things right. He has the latter as well, so we do it to eachother. I think maybe lockdown has us all a bit overanalysing things/relationships.
Sounds like perhaps he is unwittingly triggering an insecurity in you?
Weirdly I've been having almost the same conversation with my DH recently too. He is also a bossy fucker (I love him very much).
It particularly annoyed me because I kind of agree but we've got into a bit of a situation where agreement is almost acknowledging his right to boss me about. I can't concentrate on reading at the moment anyway tbh.
It's the other way round here. My dh will ask me if he needs his coat/hat etc. I just say that he is more likely to know than me as he has a garden office so is likely to have been out before me.
Do you go out often without a coat and then moan because it's cold or wet and maybe wish you'd brought it along? Maybe he's fed up of that happening so asks you every time. I think it's a fine line between someone asking these things because they care about you and it becoming suffocating. Try and have a calm conversation with him about it.
It also sounds a little bit that he is missing chatting with you. Did you talk about the books you read?
Or maybe, when you were reading books you weren't having political rants and he's missing that peace
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