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Screaming row with partner...what next?

(11 Posts)
redjacket70 Tue 16-Feb-21 06:59:54

My partner and I live with our two young children, we both work from home and then obviously are currently homeschooling in lockdown. We had an argument and my partner was verbally nasty to me - I now feel frightened, but I don’t think I’ve experienced domestic violence but don’t know what to do next.

I was really stressed yesterday as I had a big deadline at work, we take it on turns to work. This generally has been working on and we’ve been a good team - although we have been very tired and haven’t been spending much time together, even though we’re on the same house. I’d looked after the kids while he worked and then when it was my turn after 3 minutes DD came and started asking me to help her with putting a cartoon on the iPad she wanted to watch. I did that and then went to see what my partner was doing. He was exercising in another room and had obviously sent her away so she could do that. DS was watching tv. I went down to say I was stressed and could he help out more but once I saw him exercising I didn’t bother - he’s very serious about his exercise and is normally in the gym regularly but hasn’t done anything this month.

I went back to work, but another few minutes later I heard both children bickering over the iPad in the next room and calling me. I lost my temper and took it off them, shouting something like ‘I’m F* sick of this”. Then went downstairs and shouted at my partner, that I couldn’t cope. He escalated things by telling me to ‘f* off, I’m done with you, get out of my sight, f* you etc’. I was shocked, we’ve both sometimes come to the end of our tether during the last year, but nothing where it’s gotten personal or as nasty as that. I calm down quickly, went and apologised to the children and told them it wasn’t their fault and I was upset about something else and then left the house for a couple of hours.

I don’t want to lose my temper with my children, but I also never want to be spoken to like that ever again or them to hear him talk to me like that. I don’t feel scared of physical violence from my partner, and I can see that I provoked the argument. But also I know that he has a temper and that’s why I didn’t tell him to stop exercising when it was his turn to have the kids. I don’t know how to have a conversation with him about this that beyond me approaching him to apologise and then him (possibly) apologising and just carrying on as normal. Have namechanged for this post.

OP’s posts: |
LemonsAndOranges73 Tue 16-Feb-21 08:06:01

It's the stress of the current situation. I've spent ages getting annoyed with my DH because he isn't pulling his weight with the homeschooling and housework. I teach online lessons and occasionally they appear because their dad has disappeared off to the shed and they want to ask me something. Much as I hate the lack of inequality you need to relax about how he manages things when you're working, but also have a discussion about how he should at least be keeping an eye on them so that you can work without interruption. He has to see that's totally reasonable. I'm sure you'll be fine together by this evening. Good luck, it is a really tough time.

CatherineOfAragonsPomegranate Tue 16-Feb-21 08:21:01

I would never accept being spoken to like that. You have to address it or you're giving permission for him to do it again. Life isn't going back to normal anytime soon so there will be other moments of volatility.

You have to make it known that you felt demeaned, disrespected, and underminded in front of the children and even felt afraid. Raise the issue at time when he is calm and relaxed and do it in as non-accusatory a way as possible.

I have had a similar situation in the past, and II made it clear that it was unacceptable and he never uttered the phrase he used again. Men test boundaries sometimes and it's vital you catch it early and put it straight then. Not years later.

gutful Tue 16-Feb-21 08:25:45

Well you both lost your temper here.

But you lost it because your frustration at him not holding up his end of the bargain was like an internal pressure cooker & the kids bickering was your snapping point.

It is telling that you know he has a temper & that’s why you felt unwilling to ask him to look after the kids & exercise later.

Had you calmly asked him to do this, what would his reaction have been?

He snapped but it was personal & nasty.

Lockdown is obviously hard on everyone but at the end of the day you had made an agreement & he hadn’t held up his end of the bargain.

If you honestly feel that even if you had told him calmly to get off the treadmill & handle the children would have gotten a temper filled response anyway then you have problems here.

Why is his time more valuable than yours?

When is your free time to practice your hobbies?

redjacket70 Tue 16-Feb-21 08:50:06

Thank you for your responses, I think they are really fair. We’ve both checked out a bit, have been homeschooling almost 3 months now but generally there is really good give and take in terms of time to ourselves eg taking turns to do bedtimes so we each get evenings off during the week and understanding that kids do interrupt at times. I know that I do tend to tiptoe around him when he’s in a bad mood, there have been other things in the past but this is the first time it’s been directed at me and the first time I’ve felt nervous coming into my own house. So that’s issue one. The second issue is my shouting at the kids, which I need to address. The third issue is me not taking care of myself like not exercising and taking on too much at work - which is the number one cause of friction with the kids, and totally my fault. We haven’t spoken since yesterday morning, and I’m dreading the conversation.

OP’s posts: |
CatherineOfAragonsPomegranate Tue 16-Feb-21 09:09:55

You shouldn't feel you have to tip-toe around his moods or feel nervous coming into your own house.

On the face of it you both just lost your tempers, but there's more to it, an extra edge of insecurity about his temper and potential to blow up and you need to respect and listen to your intuition.

There's a thread of intimidation in your account. If you felt it enough to post here then there's a problem. Essentially he intimidates you at times and this blow up was a more overt example and left you questioning and even a bit afraid.

Unfortunately too many people tell women to ignore their instincts when things are developing until they have really got worse. Don't do that. Try and have a conversation, if it goes badly, leave it and try again later, if he refuses to hear your concerns, then I think you have to start questioning if his moods and temper is a bigger problem than you realise or maybe want to live with.

OutingMyself Tue 16-Feb-21 09:12:33

But you started it with the swearing and then shouting at him. I don't see the difference?

Babdoc Tue 16-Feb-21 09:18:06

OP, if you avoid broaching things with him for fear of his temper, if you feel nervous coming home to your own house, if you are walking on eggshells trying not to provoke him, if you feel intimidated to any degree at all - that is emotional abuse. I think you already know that.
The important thing is - what are you going to do about it? Is this how you want the rest of your life to be? Is this what you want to model to your DD as a normal relationship? Would you be happy if she chooses a partner who behaves like this? Or if your DS grows up to treat his wife like this?

HoppingPavlova Tue 16-Feb-21 09:26:44

So you yelled and were verbally nasty to your children. Then yelled at your DH who was verbally nasty to you.

You never want to be spoken to like that again and you don’t want your kids to hear you be spoken to like that. I’m guessing your kids may never want to be spoken to like that again either. Luckily they are too young to hammer the keys the keys on Mumsnet. Maybe your DH doesn’t want the kids to hear him being yelled at either and was part of his reaction, mail be, maybe not I have no idea. Doesn’t sound as though you are the only victim in this situation, the whole household seem to be victims in various ways.

BigFatLiar Tue 16-Feb-21 09:49:05

Tough times for many.

You went to tell your husband that he needed to look after the kids but didn't bother as he was busy.

You shouted at the kids and then went and shouted at him. He reacted and your upset. You'd rather he just suck up the shouting and anger and not say anything.

Talk to him tell him its all getting to you. Sounds like you all need a little change and some less stressful time together. First you both need to realise that the stress is causing problems and needs addressing.

Thisisworsethananticpated Tue 16-Feb-21 09:59:28

Op is also agree to take a step back and do some thinking

This is a totally stressful situation
And you know if this is stress , or signs of something worse

One thing that’s helped me is reading about non violent resistance

It’s a technique to deploy when things are getting heated to avoid confrontation

First premise is self care , so do that exercise , stretching , hair mask
Also to strike when the iron is cold

So to avoid having any discussions when angry , but have the conversation when you have calmed
Down

It’s really helped me , worth a read as you are in a pressure cooker

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