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Advice pls - how do you talk to a partner that wont listen ...

(12 Posts)
Kaz101 Fri 11-Sep-09 11:51:28

Sorry, this might ramble a bit and be long. I dont come on Mumsnet that often, but have been reading a lot of the threads the last few days ... esp. the one re narcissistic personalities (think my OH may have some traits). I think there's a great bunch of ladies on here and I've seen some good advice so I'm hoping someone may be able to help me.

Myself and my partner of 15 years have always had trouble communicating ... not all his fault but if ever he has a problem with me he will "sulk" as I see it ... he just generally has an unhappy face and wont talk to me for days, until the day he decides he's all happy with me again and he'll suddenly start talking as though nothing has happened! Last year things came to a head - we decided we would tell each other if anything was wrong in future and he said he realised how his sulking and black moods must be awful for me (and himself). For the past year I have tried to be very supportive, taken his views on board, he has been better too and I thought all was fine ... after a row about nothing on Sun when I then said can we sit down and work this out I got the usual reply of - "All we do is talk and nothing changes, you're a f**** idiot, you need to sort yourself out you do, you've got serious problems ... I cant be bothered any more" ... We havent talked about any problems for 16 months so I cant see how all we ever do is talk ...

We have two children and I'm now seriously thinking of leaving as I think we get past problems but they just turn up again! I'm also shocked that as I've tried my best for the past year or so it seems its not good enough. I really dont want to leave - I do love him and he has many good points. But, back to my post title ... how do I tell him this ... I feel that I will never be able to do enough, he will never be truly happy. He either physically gets up and walks away whenever I want to talk or will just start shouting over me... This isnt just a problem with me by the way - his ex used to write letters to him throughout their relationship as he wouldnt talk. Help please!

SheWillBeLoved Fri 11-Sep-09 12:12:48

Relate maybe? He obviously finds it easier to walk away rather than talk things through. Maybe in a controlled environment and with someone objective present, he can learn to talk about his feelings without getting hot under the collar and shouting over you?

You must have the patience of a saint to put up with sulking like that for days on end and for 15 years!

Kaz101 Fri 11-Sep-09 12:54:54

Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately have mentioned counselling before and he wont do it/doesnt believe in it ...

SheWillBeLoved Fri 11-Sep-09 13:03:22



Have just re-read your OP again.

"after a row about nothing on Sun when I then said can we sit down and work this out I got the usual reply of - "All we do is talk and nothing changes, you're a f** idiot, you need to sort yourself out you do, you've got serious problems ... I cant be bothered any more" - That sounds awful. I actually cringed when I read "You're a fucking idiot".

Where's the respect for you and your relationship? Being able to communicate is fundamental to having a healthy relationship, and his unwillingness to be able to do this doesn't show any respect/real commitment to your marriage working.

I do hope you pointed out that he is in fact the one who has serious problems and needs to sort himself out.

Hope someone can come along with more useful advice!

SheWillBeLoved Fri 11-Sep-09 13:04:11

* relationship working, not marriage!

Kaz101 Fri 11-Sep-09 13:22:56

Hi Shewillbeloved

Thanks again. There is a pattern to this and I've often wondered if he's a bit manic depressive (or now I'm thinking narcissist from reading other posts)as he's either all happy and will chat away to me or will be in one of his "black moods". He hates work at the mo and they're all "f**** idiots" too, so perhaps he lumps me in with them! I really have examined my behaviour and I'n not perfect by any means but he always seems able to make me appear the bad party. Yes, I do think he has a problem, but I know if I said that the reply would be "how f**** dare you" and I've tried over the years to communicate but I'm usually told I'm overreacting or if he's so terrible why dont I leave him alone!

Kaz101 Fri 11-Sep-09 13:29:09

Sorry Shewillbeloved, but I'm on a roll now ...

If I said "being able to communicate is fundamental" etc etc as in your post (which obviously, I agree with), he would twist it to say, just because I dont do that doesnt mean I'm not committed, if I dont think the same as you it doesnt mean I'm wrong ..." - just an example to show you he has an answer to everything...

SheWillBeLoved Fri 11-Sep-09 13:35:39

God, he sounds impossible. I'd be tempted to do just what he said and leave him alone. Tell him normal services will resume once he has learned to control his temper and communication skills.

Can completely relate to always making you appear to be the bad party, I have lost count of rows I had with exDP when something was his fault...and he would go on and on and I'd end up apologising. hmm

HoneySocks Fri 11-Sep-09 22:00:47

I would really read 'why does he do that' by lundy bancroft, its got a lot about this sort of behaviour.

mathanxiety Sat 12-Sep-09 00:11:17

I would read the great links that have been posted on the Narcissistic thread, especially recent ones from Gettingagrip.

Kaz101 Sat 12-Sep-09 14:31:04

Thanks, its hard when you really try and you're still in the wrong ... I have been reading the narcissistic thread and there were some things there that struck a cord ... I will read again as I really need to find a way to express what I feel without being dismissed/shouted at/him physically leaving the room!

Kaz101 Sat 12-Sep-09 15:13:43

just ordered "Why does he do that" ...

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