am I ungrateful?(42 Posts)
Have namechanged for this, not sure why...maybe that tells me something in itself?
DH is generally great and would do anything for me. He always encourages me to see family and friends, always compliments me (but mostly on the way I look- he tells me I'm beautiful at least twice a day), does his fair share around the house, makes me laugh, would never call me names, always tells me how much he loves me etc etc.
But he can be a bit controlling. He doesn't appreciate that i need to do things in my own time and in my own way. He's always on at me to learn to drive, offers to pay for my provisional etc and when i say I'm not ready/interested at the moment he gets really frustrated, says i always come up with "excuses". He bought me a bike to try and get me to go cycling with him, but I don't like cycling so he moans about that "I've bought you a bike and you still won't do it". I didn't ask for a bike and don't especially want one cluttering up the garage either!!!
He also does things like insist on coming to pick me up in the car, I tell him I'm fine to get the bus but he just keeps insisting so most of the time I back down even though it means waiting much longer and makes me grumpy.
His mum is getting on and needs a lot of help but sometimes i hear him on the phone to her and realise that he speaks to her in the same way he speaks to me, a bit impatient which i know makes us both stick our heels in for the sake of it or become flustered. One time he asked me to phone nhs 24 about her medication, i said that he would be best to do it as he knows all the details but he got annoyed that i wouldn't just "do it" and do him a favour because he was busy at work. i phoned and right enough i didn't have all the details so it was a waste of time which i knew it would be but somehow refusing to do it seemed like I was refusing to do him a favour? This is quite typical.
Also this seems really petty but he never says 'please' when he asks me to make a cup of tea. He always just says "stick the kettle on will you?" He says I should know that he means please. I've asked him repeatedly to please say it, its just polite and is important to teach the kids good manners but he still won't do it and goes in the huff when I then only make tea for myself.
I feel quite smothered, i know he does stuff because he cares and he thinks that is the best/quickest/easiest way to do things but he doesn't support me in the way I want him to- by being gentle and encouraging and letting me get on with the things that concern me myself.
I am usually ok at addressing these things, like when he repeatedly calls me beautiful i say "thankyou, thats nice. I'm also clever and kind too". I try not to make him tea if he doesn't say please but usually just do it anyway because it seems so petty and I think that I probably don't say please all the time to him. When he hassles me about driving i tell him that it is my decision and I ask him why he is so insistant and he says things like "it will just make your life so much easier, you will have much more freedom" which is totally true, but for some reason its difficult to feel that my best interests are what is at the heart of it.
It just feels like a lot of effort, i fell like i need to be vigilant all the time of sticking up for my corenr, it is easy to give in and do things his way. I find it weird that I am even having to think about my corner, I really want us to be a team.
Am i being ridiculous and should i be grateful to have a man that is trying to be supportive (maybe just not in the most appropriate way for me) or is this controlling behaviour and should I be warey?
Omg I think you should thank your lucky stars (sorry but I do)
I can't remember the last time my dp called me beautiful, did his fair share round the house or told me how much he loved me.
I don't drive either and dp does hassle me on it but I think it's a mixture of him knowing it will make my life easier and his life easier. Maybe he doesn't want you to get the bus because he's worried about your safety? That's why he wants you to drive, so he doesn't have to do it.
As for the bike thing maybe he just wants you to spend some time on a hobby with him? If you really don't like it though could you not just stand your ground and maybe suggest something else you would have liked him to get that you could do together?
Dp does the 'stick the kettle on thing' too with no please but after 8 years I know when he's asking nicely and when he's barking at me.
I've never really been in a controlling relationship so I wouldn't really know if this would be seen as controlling. My dp and I both have 'eldest child syndrome' so we are both quite controlling, wanting to get our own way and come to loggerheads a lot of the time. Tbh I think you should stick up for yourself more if you're feeling smothered.
But yes, it does get irritating when they try to push you into something like driving and you just don't want to atm
Thanks Stings, I never thought about eldest child syndrome. I'm eldest and he's only so that sounds like it might be spot on!
If you don't mind me asking, how do you negotiate when you come to loggerheads?
Just going by what you've said, I don't think you have anything to be worrying about. OK, do he nags you to go bike riding or to start driving.....he doesn't say please when he asks you to stick the kettle on....
I'm not really seeing a huge problem, just maybe tiny niggles.
If he said "get the fucking kettle on you lazy <insert swear word and a few insults>", the yes, I could understand your concern.
Incidentally, my DH runs.....I hate running, tried it once and it bores the life out of me.....yet, he still asks me on the odd occasion if I want to go running with him...."erm no, I hate running"....it's no biggie is it?
Oh and I meant to add, we are really polite and respectful to each other, but we don't expect "please" everytime we ask each other a favour.
I actually think he sounds like a bit of a git.
It sounds to me like he is frustrated because he thinks if he doesn't chivvy you, you won't do stuff. Indolence can be intensely irritating - and while I'm sure you have reasons for not doing things, to him, it probably looks like you are not taking advantage of opportunities offered to you. Now I can see your point of view on this but how about next time he suggest something say 'why not' and just do it once. Then you can say you've tried. He may want you to drive in case he's hit by a bus next week and you have to cope alone.
As for not saying please, that's just rude. It is vital to demonstrate good manners and a caring manner in front of your kids. It's disrespectful to you to say 'I don't have to make an effort here, it's inherent in the fact that I live with you that I appreciate you.' So on that level, make a concerted effort to be really polite yourself and if he asks for something, pretend not to hear and ask him to repeat himself e.g. 'did you say please can you put the kettle on' (tis v important to repeat what he should have said, to imprint it on his brain - works for toddlers and men too - oh yes it does, I've done this! ).
Finally, I strongly recommend you find a few things you want to do and make a big fuss out of being enthusiastic over them and I bet the rest of the 'you should do X' disappear - plus you get to do something you'll love.
Negotiation is usually out the window and a lot of shouting is done..
Then we calm down and talk. If that doesn't work I'm usually the one for writing a letter. It gets my feelings down on paper without it descending into an argument.
I think, even though we do our fair bit of fighting, we know both of us like getting our own way. We often joke about it and we recognise we are two strong minded individuals as a couple.
But after being together this long realise there's a bit of give and take to make both of us happy. if one of us isn't happy, that would be the end of it and we do get on really well together, despite our disagreements.
Actually buying the bike would irk me too - in fact if dh wasted money like that on something I was never going to use, against my express wishes, he would get it with both barrels. Do you think that your dh is not listening to you at these times or is just pig-headedly going his own-way? There is a sense that he 'knows best' that would really piss me off.
But it's also about perspective - I've just re-read your post and what seems to be the driving force behind your complaints about dh are all linked - making phone calls, getting out on a bike, driving - could be all designed to give someone greater independence. Do you think you need to be? Do you want to learn to drive?
The reason I ask is I did learn to drive as a student but couldn't afford to buy a car until a few years later, and when we bought our first car, dh did all the driving since he needed the car for his work. So there seemed no incentive to even get behind the wheel..until dh bought me a brand new car for my birthday! Stopped me making excuses not to drive. So although irritating, are his actions motivated out of love for you?
Thanks for the replies! Really good to get lots of povs.
whomovedmychocolate good idea about the trying it once thing, i think i tend to stick my heels in when I feel like i have been pushed but if i try something I can say with certainty that it isn't for me. Like the tea idea too, don't really want to treat DH like a child but will try it! Also great advice about doing things i want to do and enthusing about them.
stings letter idea is great, i always get a bit flustered in arguments and always think of what i want to say later so this would be perfect.
heated i am sure his actions are motivated out of love but you are right, it is the 'he knows best' thing that irks me. I do want to learn how to drive but I'm nervous about it and i need to do it when i really want to and am ready for the challenge, not because someone is hounding me to do it. I think this is the key to what is bugging me. As much as I try telling him that what he is doing is not the best way to help me ( I need gentle prodding and will come round to it in my own time, him being frustrated with me just makes me not want to do it even more) he doesn't listen/understand. He is actually hindering not helping and not doing much for my confidence in actually wanting to do the thing in the first place, or in my ability to do it myself.
You sound a bit like me. Dp sooo wants me to get the driving test but he pushes me that much and doesn't understand I'm very nervous about driving.
He passed his first time (13 odd years ago). Doesn't realise now it's harder and thinks it's a breeze. I think I'd do better if I didn't have his expectations there and did my lessons/test in secret.
He does dittany, its just when he can't be arsed and he's asking me to do it. And I always say please and thankyou when he makes tea for me.
stings yes the pushing makes the nerves worse and then you have nrves, pushing and DHs frustration. If he stopped bugging me i would bloody do it in my own time!
Namechangey, just thinking about practical examples about how to respond to what irritates. How about when bringing him a cup of tea, say 'thank you' with an arched eyebrow/bit of a teasing smile as a reminder if he doesn't say it himself - he's bright enough, he'll soon get the idea!
When he tells you that you look beautiful, thank him, and return the same compliment tell him he looks handsome.
Saying and showing each other what makes each person happy in a relationship is healthy.
With him nagging you about driving, do you feel if you have lessons now it will feel like the nagging had succeeded and you'll have given in? What about learning to drive without telling him? And then, somehow surprise him with it?
Well I personally would have taken an axe to him by now. What seems to be going on here is that he has decided that he is a person and you are a pet/object, therefore you must be trained to do what he wants, and anything you say is going to be ignored and overruled because it doesn't matter. Because you don't matter. Because you are only a 'woman', not a person.
I knew there would be some controversy in this!
Thanking my lucky stars vs taking and axe to him!
We're off on holiday today so i will have a good think while we are away from the stresses and strains.
Thanks again ladies!
I think he sounds a bit manipulative/control-y
The being insistant on picking you up would bug me the most.
Re the tea thing, me and DP take it in turns. And he alwasy says please and thank you. It is just basic manners, how on earth could I expect DD to have good manners if DP was exempt from the all the rules I lay down for her? So YANBU, he should say please. Don't make his tea until he bucks up.
Re the driving etc, I know how you feel. DP very much encourage me to learn to drive, which I was very resistant of as I was a very anxious learner. He would have to chivvy me to do something about it. It did click with me in the end, and I passed my tast and now drive everywhere, but at the time it felt lik he was nagging me and going on.
DP also loathed my getting the bus/train. I think it was based on his personal loathing of public transport. I used to tell him not to bother coming out of his to pick me up, that I had got the bus/train for years, and had looked after myself perfectly well for years before I met him. I told him to stop all the knight in shining armour crap. It did
If you want my honest opinion, I think you are making a fuss about nothing. Your DH sounds nice. He's looking out for you and clearly loves you loads. There are plenty of lazy, selfish bastards out there who wouldn't shift their arses for their DWs so be grateful!!!
I disagree that you always have to say "please" when asking your DP to do something. It's all about intonation and expression when you are talking.
Oh my god! I am being gaslighted!
Bought the ebook and am reading it, it is describing exactly what goes in in our relationship!
I'm not going mad/being ungrateful etc, I knew something was up, just didn't understand the dynamics and motivations of it.
Feel so much better and am off to finish book!
Just realised that i sound like the author trying to punt her book, I'm really not, i saw the link to gaslighting on another thread on here....
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