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How do I stop responding to DH's childishness without becoming my mother?

(5 Posts)
Dontwantobemumtohusband Fri 12-Jun-09 10:20:18

Twice in 3 days, I have responded to DH exactly as my mother did to me and my sisters when we were having an argument: well, then, go and do what you like!!

Dh wanted a fish tank which we cannot afford. We have had to apply for benefits to keep head above water. I have been supporting family for 5 months on benefits and my small income. Now he has a little bit of money, i assumed he would put it in the joint pot, but instead he wanted to spend a couple of hundred pounds on a fish tank.

After arguing about it for about an hour I said that he shoudl just go and buy the bloody thing then. Not constructive, not helpful and obviously not what I want. My mother would repond like that if we pestered her enough and I hated it because it seemed like she did not care what we did. Yet that is exactly what I do. (DH said the next day that he realises fish tank is not a good idea and will not be getting one yet)

We had a similar argument today: i asked for X amount for joint account, Dh replied he needs the money for his creditors, I said we need at least part of it for rent and food. he said blah blah blah , i said well keep the lot then.

Not constructive, not helpful and again not what I want for my family.

DH has been behaving like a child a lot recently and I have been responding like a tired, jaded mother.

How the f*ck do i break this pathetic cycle????

DH is quick to argue at the moment and I a fed up with having to shut up and keep the peace.

OptimistS Fri 12-Jun-09 12:35:26

I think a lot of people do what you do to be honest. It's basically a short way of saying "I can't make you do the right thing and I'm not going to waste any more of my breath trying to get you to see my point of view. Do what you want. I won't argue or stop you but I reserve the right to think you're a selfish idiot".

On occasion I remember my mother doing it to me too and it was way more effective than her trying to reason with me. It always left me feeling horrible and really selfish.

I'm no expert in human relationships. Is it manipulative? Possibly. Is there an alternative? Probably. But I'm going to be watching this post with interest to see what they are...

You can't MAKE someone change their mind. All you can do is present the opposing viewpoint as you see it and then discuss and compromise, let it drop and hope for the best, or decide it's a deal breaker and leave. You DH sounds like he comes round eventually, so I'd pretty much continue what you're doing in the sense that you'll discuss it for so long and then decide you've had enough. However, instead of "becoming your mother", try saying "you know how I feel about it, I've said my peace, let's talk about it again later when we've had chance to calm down."

Hope that helps. smile

Dontwantobemumtohusband Fri 12-Jun-09 17:18:31

Yes! it certainly does, thanks, OptimistS. That is a great help.

StayingZen Fri 12-Jun-09 17:20:57

Don't say anything you don't mean. If you don't want him to buy the fishtank, then don't say "just go and buy the bloody thing then". That's giving him permission to do it. Say "I don't think you should buy the fishtank" and repeat calmly until he falls asleep - or goes and buys it anyway ...

Dontwantobemumtohusband Fri 12-Jun-09 20:14:44

StayingZen, that is exactly where i fall down. i lose the will to continue and just give in.

but a mantra like you suggest is a Good Idea. thanks

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