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How to deal with sulking partner

(114 Posts)
Saltedhero Tue 19-Jan-21 11:20:44

Feeling very sad,partner and I have been together 11years living together for 5. Always had bit of a feisty Relationship (no violence) due to us both being headstrong and liking our own way etc etc.

I've struggled with depression &anxiety most of my life but have had counselling, meds, support to help.
90% of the time my other half is lovely, caring, supportive, loves my two daughters 15,12, from previous relationship, financially stable, practical and we jog along just fine.

He can be very opinionated and suffers from stress due to a high pressured Job.

However, if I do something impulsive or make a bad choice or decision that he doesn't agree with, he can blow up, leads to a huge argument and then the sulking starts. Could be a day or can be 3 days, he will ignore me, shut down and it's very uncomfortable to live with. I have tried numerous times to deal with this.
I've tried to coax him out out of it, either by laughter, nice meal, give him space, or as a last result stay out of his way and just carry on, whilst feeling in knots inside and terribly upset. To cut a long story short this has been a pattern for years, it did get better for a while, but since lockdown it's happening again.

This last time he's taken himself off to his parent's 2 weeks ago after a argument and a period of sulking!

We are talking a bit via email but just don't know where this leaves us for the future, there's only so much I can keep from my girl's they aren't stupid. I love him, but am seriously asking myself can a couple move forward from this to a healthy happy Relationship with emotional closeness and better communication?? I just am so tired of all this childish sulking in a man of 51. Any advice I'd love to hear please Xxx

OP’s posts: |
celticmissey Tue 19-Jan-21 11:37:47

The real answer is that he is not going to change I'm afraid. He is an emotional bully and acting like a child. He has constantly undermined your confidence to a level where you do all the running trying to placate him.

He is an adult and he needs to act like one. He cannot communicate properly and his stressful job is no excuse for ignoring you for days on end.

Ask yourself how you feel with him not living in the house. Do you feel more at ease? Are you missing him? Is he making the effort to email you or are you doing all the contacting?

Your girls are not stupid they know exactly what is going on. You need to remember that this is not a healthy relationship if he refuses to speak to you for days on end.

You either give him an ultimatim and tell him he either communicates like a grown up and changes and if he doesn't you are ending it or you use the opportunity of ending it now whilst he is out of the house.

Your mental health is really important and you should prioritise this about any idiot who thinks that sulking and not speaking to you is acceptable. I have been there with a partner of 51 - he never changed despite several chances and I ended it - I am much happier now and so is my dd who said the atmosphere was so much better it is just us.

Good luck with your decision, take the steering wheel now and stay strong.

Guiltypleasures001 Tue 19-Jan-21 11:42:17

Hi op

Instead of hiding it from your dd
How about asking them what they think

It might be quite eye opening

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 19-Jan-21 11:43:58

What do you get out of this relationship now?

What did you learn about relationships when you were growing up?. Did your dad treat your mum like you are now?.

Abuse is not about communication or a perceived lack of, its about power and control. This man wants absolute over you and in turn your children. He takes off as and when he feels like it or feels he is not getting his own way. His sulking towards you is an example of emotional abuse. He does this because he can and this also works for him (he has you further tied up in knots). What you've also tried to date has not worked and will never work; the worst thing you could do here is actually take him back again. Break the cycle you are in and reclaim your life without him and his associated emotional abuse of you and in turn your girls.

Show your daughters better and more positive lessons about relationships than the ones they have absorbed to date; show them that the only acceptable level of abuse in a relationship is none. They will thank you for doing so; this is no relationship model to be at all showing them. This is a shite model of a relationship and one I sincerely hope they will not copy. Without him in your day to day life too you may well find that you will not need anti depressants either; I would think that he is the root cause of your ongoing anxiety and depression.

With him currently at his parents (he should stay there) I would urge you to contact Womens Aid and get their help and support.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 19-Jan-21 11:46:04

And your girls are far more aware of all this than you perhaps give them credit for. They perhaps wonder of you why you are with him at all; they can and do pick up on all the vibes here. Stop putting this man before them and equally your own self.

Saltedhero Tue 19-Jan-21 11:46:05

Thank you Celticmissy, he won't come to our home to talk face to face because of the covid rules and he's obviously bubbled with his parent's and brother. It's so frustrating as I don't want to throw away 11year's but he just can't see how damaging this sulking can be to our family.

It makes me tread on eggshells as I don't know if I'll spark him off. Then when he's ready to forgive after I've felt punished I'm not to forthcoming.

OP’s posts: |
AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 19-Jan-21 11:50:30

Re this part of your comment:-

It's so frustrating as I don't want to throw away 11year's

This train of thought is really the sunken costs fallacy and it basically causes good people like you to keep on making poor relationship decisions. This is a bad investment and it will never come good for you.

This man knows exactly what he is doing here to you and he does not give a monkeys. All he cares about is his own self and getting his needs met at your overall expense.

What you're also describing here is the nice/nasty cycle of abuse and that is a continuous one. Treading on eggshells is to my mind code for living in fear; you and in turn your girls deserve a life free of his abuses of you all. The only acceptable level of abuse in a relationship is none and this relationship is or at the very least should be well and truly over.

Saltedhero Tue 19-Jan-21 11:51:38

Thanks for replying
My daughters love him, and have a very good relationship with him and I've somehow managed to hide a lot of the behavior
So this makes it harder as I don't want my girls to suffer a family break up

OP’s posts: |
RandomMess Tue 19-Jan-21 11:54:40

I dealt with it in the very early days that he either told me what was we wrong and he resolved it like adults or get lost. We were young and I was his first relationship so had some growing up to do (and quick).

If he sulked I completely ignore him. He stopped sulking.

Listen to Atilla you deserve so much better!

Santaiscovidfree Tue 19-Jan-21 11:55:41

An oversized teen? How attractive.. Show your dd's how high your bar is and they will follow suit. Would you want such a man for them??

Saltedhero Tue 19-Jan-21 11:58:06

Thank you, my parents had a wonderful marriage, extremely close my mum sadly passed away two yrs ago, and I could of really do need with her right now.

OP’s posts: |
VettiyaIruken Tue 19-Jan-21 11:58:25

The relationship you accept is the one your daughters will use as their template. 🤷‍♀️

Sulkers are manipulative twats

Saltedhero Tue 19-Jan-21 12:00:20

I have a younger brother who's never liked him and said he's controlling and always has to be right.

OP’s posts: |
Wanderlusto Tue 19-Jan-21 12:01:20

I think it's more important that you show your daughters that a woman should not put up with a man emotionally manipulating her. You wpuldnt be breaking up the family anyway, he did that by treating you shaudily.

And he does know how it makes you feel op. That's WHY he does it. And that's why you have to get rid. He is not immature, he is emotionally stunted. And that shit never changes.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 19-Jan-21 12:02:45

You really get nothing out of this relationship with him do you. That is probably why you have not answered that particular question.

What did you learn about relationships when you were growing up?.

Did you meet this particular individual when you were at a low point in your life?. Some abusive men like single mothers and actively target them. You were targeted by this individual and I have no doubt about that at all. They see them as being so desperate for any male company that they would put up with any old shit. Men like describe hate women, ALL of them.

You have not managed to hide all of this from your DDs and they likely know more about his abuses of you than you care to admit to them or to your own self.

Better to be from a so called broken home than to remain in one. He has actually done you a huge service by going back to his parents in any case. He should stay there and not return. He broke this family up anyway by his abusive actions towards you and in turn your DDs.

He is their stepfather and absolutely not a good role model to them. Children as well like to see their mother happy; they have seen you deeply unhappy as a result of his behaviours towards you.

Ohalrightthen Tue 19-Jan-21 12:02:51

Saltedhero

Thanks for replying
My daughters love him, and have a very good relationship with him and I've somehow managed to hide a lot of the behavior
So this makes it harder as I don't want my girls to suffer a family break up

OP, if you have to hide his behaviour from your children, he is not well-behaved enough to be around them.

Don't look at it as them "suffering a family break up" - you're teaching them the importance of self respect in a relationship, how to stand up for yourself, and when to bail on a man who is less than you deserve. Those are vital skills for women.

Santaiscovidfree Tue 19-Jan-21 12:04:46

So really your dd's don't know him? .. They know the version you are allowing them to see.... You do them and yourself a huge disservice allowing him to be around you all.

PinkyParrot Tue 19-Jan-21 12:05:00

I've somehow managed to hide a lot of the behavior

So hiding, living a pretence is ok - surely that is enough to cause anxiety and depression - it would in me.

I would have a VERY honest talk with your DDs, not in a way that makes them think they must help or save you but in a way that is honest and you admit your and his failings. They are probably well aware of issues.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 19-Jan-21 12:06:04

I am so sorry to read about your mother's passing away but I would think she would absolutely not want you nor her granddaughters to be on the receiving end of being abused.

Your younger brother was correct and indeed has the measure of this man who targeted you. Abuse like you describe also is truly insidious in its onset and its only when he got his feet well under your table further ramped up the power and control against you.

Wanderlusto Tue 19-Jan-21 12:07:06

Sounds like your brother has his number! Listen to him!

He is definately controlling.

No marriage should feel like you are walking on egg shells.

Take this time he is gone to get your affairs in order. See a solicitor about divorce ect (and selling the house if it's in joint names?). His absence is a gift.

And defo chat with your daughters.

RandomMess Tue 19-Jan-21 12:07:40

Listen to your brother!!!

Saltedhero Tue 19-Jan-21 12:08:58

I always said I never wanted to become one of those women that wasn't treated properly, I now find myself in this very situation.

I'm not easy to live with, have ups and downs with my mental health, he has been very supportive of that. So when he acts like this, I'm actually questioning my own sanity & asking myself what did I do so badly.

I appreciate all your responses and anyone else that's lived in a similar situation with a sulking partner.xxx

OP’s posts: |
Amdone123 Tue 19-Jan-21 12:14:30

What irritates me most about men like this,is I bet if he didn't agree with one of his colleagues or boss, he wouldn't refuse to speak to them. Because in short, he is a bully. When he says Jump, you ask how high.

You are tired of it. You are young enough to meet someone else if you so desire.

If this last year has taught us anything, it's that life is too short. And its definitely too short to live with a prick.

Wanderlusto Tue 19-Jan-21 12:15:01

I tell myself these days that I'm always happy to risk my heart in love but that no man is ever, ever worth my sanity.

If you start to feel like they are driving you bonkers, it's time to start running!

TeapotCollection Tue 19-Jan-21 12:19:27

I’d dare to bet that if you ditched him your mental health would almost instantly improve. Living on eggshells is just no way to live at all

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