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dh turning into 50s nightmare

(16 Posts)
badi Thu 03-Sep-09 13:41:49

This should probably be in the aibu section but anyway..moved in the new year to central europe cos (d?)h was offered dream job. i gave up my job (i was breadwinner and working PT following birth of ds) and followed him over, on understanding would study for MBA and learn language, no rush for job. dh frequently criticises my housekeeping 'skills' - not exactly martha stewart but i clean the house,cook dinner, do shopping, look after ds and study for mba. last night it kicked off because there was a small amount of dust on the bathroom ledge - culminating in being told i was an 'f-ing bitch' (in front of ds) and 'don't know what you do all day'. he also says i don't clean the floor properly and don't buy 'sensible' food (ie prepackaged jars). i would understand it if i did absolutely no housework but that's not the case. dh and his mum have more than a touch of ocd and i have always thought that was their issue (ie i'm not going to go the extra mile to accommodate their neuroses). 1) is it normal for husbands to comment/criticise about how you run the household? and 2) is this control freakery something to worry about or should i bite my tongue and get on with it..sorry for long post

SerendipitousHarlot Thu 03-Sep-09 13:44:21

<should i bite my tongue and get on with it>

Erm.... no! I wouldn't be spoken to like that under any circumstances. How dare he?

midnightexpress Thu 03-Sep-09 13:47:23

What you need to do is get him to look after ds while you go off to work for a while. DP has been much more understanding since he's beenthe primary carer (he was always pretty good anyway, but some people haven't got a clue what is involved in looking after small children).

Anyway, leaving that aside, calling you an f-ing bitch in front of your child is completely unacceptable, adn I thinkt hat you should make that very clear to him. Not.On.At.All.

How much cleaning etc does he do around the house? You perhaps need to work out an 'arrangement', if he's so keen to have everything sparkly, or he can pay for a cleaner.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 03-Sep-09 13:50:37


Think actually the relationships section of this site is the right one for your post.
There is no justification for your H's behaviuours towards you. Has your H always been difficult, have these types of behaviours towards you worsened over time?.

Your H may or may not be OCD but I think his behaviour towards you is abusive and particularly so if this has been happening for some time now. He has likely also learnt such patterns from his own parents. Often as well such abusive behaviours escalate. This is not a good environment at all for your son to be brought up in because he is learning from both of you about relationships.

No it is not normal for H's to comment how you run the household.

This control freakery is indeed something for you to be very concerned over.

badi Thu 03-Sep-09 13:59:29

Thanks for replies. We have words before about how he speaks to me (i am certainly no angel but try to avoid swearing at him, particularly in front of ds) and he has got better (until last night). since i became a sahm he seems to have lost all respect for me and it is sapping my confidence. he is acually great with ds and looked after him all w/e (but still managed to get in a dig that he was up until midnight 'cleaning out the cupboards'!!). interestingly a couple of our mutual friends have said that now he's got what he always wanted - ie he's the big breadwinner and i'm at home - although he always says how keen he is for me to have a career etc. unfortunately my former job is particularly bad for mothers - lots of long hours/travel etc and i really don't want to work FT anyway.

what worries me is the lack of respect - obviously we all have little quirks which irritate our dps - but since we've moved he's become increasingly bossy and critical from everything to how/when i do the weekly shop to how i spend my 'allowance' (i'm given a monthly allowance and am supposedly free to spend this on what i like). i know lots of women would love to able to stay at home but it's really not for me and made worse by the barrage of criticism.angry

dollius Thu 03-Sep-09 15:07:06

It's not normal at all for your husband to criticise you like this. If he wants the cupboards cleaned out then he can do it himself. You are looking after a child as well as studying - you should be splitting the housework between you.

And you don't get an "allowance". The money he earns is family money - for both of you to decide how to spend and what on.

You have uprooted yourself so he can do the job he wants. He should be grateful to you.

Katisha Thu 03-Sep-09 15:08:32

Sadly some men seem to equate not bringing in any money with being the lesser partner.

Try and nip it in the bud. Point out to him that you not earning does not mean you are not deserving of respect. He may just need it spelled out to him.

NicknameTaken Thu 03-Sep-09 15:32:02

This would worry me.

Is it possible that he's not getting on as well as he hoped at the new job and is taking out his feelings of inadequacy on you?

Whether or not this is the case, you can't go on like this. I think you have to lay down some ground rules about being rreated with respect (easier said than done!) and if it's not happening, you definitely have grounds for walking out and coming home.

MrsFlittersnoop Thu 03-Sep-09 15:41:17

How would your DH feel if you marched into his office, criticised the way he was handling his work projects, and berated him for being a rubbish breadwinner who doesn't earn enough to provide for his family because he's a crap employee, IN FRONT OF HIS COLLEAGUES?

That's exactly what he's done to you by belittling your housekeeping and criticising you in front of the children.

Try presenting the above scenario to him in an email and send it to him at work, where he can read it while he's in "work mode".

HTH. My DH pulls this stunt sometimes. I never EVER let him get away with it angry.

Katisha Thu 03-Sep-09 15:44:34

I would also try to think of a different way of referring to your "allowance". Makes it sound like grudgingly given pocket money or something.
It's surely all part of your family money and both of you are adults.

Miggsie Thu 03-Sep-09 18:09:02

This sounds like a power thing...he got you over there and you have no income and he is acting like you are practically a servant.

I had a boss like this, he was utterly controlling and we found out from his wife that when he went home he would stand over her while she loaded the dishwasher and shout if she put something in the "wrong" place.

I quickly moved jobs to get away from him, (but his wife is still with him), but he was a real power freak and had no respect for women at all.

Were you this horrible to him when you earned the money? I bet not, yet he thinks it's ok for him to do it.

You do need to talk to him, but if he basically has high power needs and is a controlling personality he won't even think he has to change, he will think it is your fault.

Don't put up with it, it in NOT normal or acceptable.
He may also be affected by the attitudes of the men he works with???

badi Fri 04-Sep-09 13:04:58

Thanks for all messages. Yes, definitely got worse since I gave up work, although I am definitely a lot more arsey too. Weirdly, I enjoyed working! Have had concerns prevously re. his controlling tendencies -- eg was having a drink with work colleages, was merry (3 small glasses wine plus food) but not drunk when he turned up with some mates and then left because i was apparently 'really drunk and making a fool of myself'. I have been really drunk and foolish many times in my youth but certainly wasn't on that occasion. Goes mental if I don't pick up my phone immediately. When we go skiing, doesn't like to ski with me even for 1 afternoon because i am 'too slow'. Tells me off about spending £ even when I was the sole breadwinner and was out of my own bank account and (unlike him) I had no debts other than mortgage and had pension, savings etc. (in contrast he has student loan debts mainly). Following 'dustgate' he actually recleaned the bathroom which I had just cleaned!! Sorry about the long rant. Do people change?

Katisha Fri 04-Sep-09 13:35:59

He probably won't fundamentally change but you may be able to rein him in and get him to see that his behaviour upsets you and implies lack of respect for you.

Or you may get a barrage of stuff about how his way of doing stuff is logical and correct and only he knows how to do it - even cleaning the bathroom.

I think you need to talk to him and explain how this is all making you feel - ie unhappy to the point of thinking about leaving. At this point he may go all wounded and self-pitying, or he may get angry. Either way you have to tell him to stop and say - no this is not about apportioning blame or fault - it's about behaving like two equal adults and I don't want any histrionics from you while I am trying to talk about this. Please listen calmly while I say all this. (Another idea would be to put it in writing for him.)

And then see how that goes down. He may start to see that he is letting his behaviour get out of hand. Or he may not get it at all. If it's the former he will improve for a bit until he gets tired or stressed or lazy, and you will constantly have to stick up for yourself - it's wearing but it may save the marriage.

But if it's the latter then you may have to consider how much longer you want to live on eggshells, constantly being In The Wrong.

Basically you need to find out how far gone this all is.

noddyholder Fri 04-Sep-09 13:42:30

Would you come home and leave him to get on with it?If you enjoyed work you should still be doing it!He sounds a nightmare and unless he recognises his control issues and decides to do something about them of his own accord you are stuck with it!You can change yourslf though.You are not his cook and cleaner you are his wife

SerenityX Sat 12-Sep-09 23:44:06

What is normal is relative. You need to ask him what he expects. We are all different. I don't have OCD but the house is clean, always. That's just normal here. My friend has a choas house - that is normal for her.

Being the sole breadwinner is stressful and for some one who wanted you to have a career he is probably feeling the responsibility of having to be the one to support the family unit.

Don't throw it in his face. Instead talk to him about how you can balance your responsiblities. The language and style is unacceptable. You both need to agree on your rules and how you live. This becomes your 'contract' if you like.

badi Sat 12-Sep-09 23:58:19

Thanks, much better here. Think he had been getting stressed about having lots of new responsibility and both letting things get on top of us. I know it's stressful being sole breadwinner -think it's a case of 'careful what you wish for' - i wanted to get off the corporate treadmill and he wanted to have a big career and it's been a shock to the system when it actually happened but onwards and upwards. Thanks for all the advice.

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