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DH is a old fashioned male chauvanistic pig...but he is also kind, caring and a good father. How do I deal with this?

(54 Posts)
oneplusone Tue 22-Sep-09 17:37:15

DH is generally a kind, caring, easygoing, reasonable kinda guy. He has had a lot to deal with due to me trying to sort myself out after a lot of buried and forgotten memories of childhood abuse were triggered for me after having my DC's. We are through the worst of it now and have somehow managed to stay together despite the nightmare that has been our lives over the last few years.

So he is a decent man at heart. BUT he has some extremely old fashioned and chauvanistic views which really bother me. Eg. If I get a bit aggressive during an argument he thinks it's not feminine. I do have anger management issues due to my childhood but even so, i all i ever do is sometimes shout a bit at him and fight my corner. He seems to think women are always all sweetness and light and never get angry and if they do it's not feminine.

The other thing that he said that has really annoyed me is that i mentioned a while ago that i would love to have my own room in the house, a bit like his office. We don't have the space anyway so i know it would never happen, but i think he is so lucky to have a really lovely office at the top of our house where he can go and read, watch tv, work, in peace and quiet, away from the DC's. I'm a SAHM so don't need an office as such, but i would in an idea world, love to have my own little room, where i could read and just get away from everyone for a while, get some peace and quite to do what i want. And he thinks again, that is not feminine! As if for some reason women don't need time and space for themselves.

I know where he gets his views from, his parents are very traditional, dad does NOTHING around the house, mum does it all etc. But DH is, I thought intelligent enough to realise he and I are not living in the 1950's, that times have changed and moved on and whilst I am not a career woman, i am happy mostly to be a fulll time SAHM, nor am i a 50's style housewife.

Am I the only one to be married to a relic from the 1950's, who at the same time works in developing the latest IT solutions for a living?

GypsyMoth Tue 22-Sep-09 17:42:31

sorry,not quite sure what you want?a room for just you is out of the equation you say,so no point going over that.

so you want him to change his views??

JustAnotherManicMummy Tue 22-Sep-09 17:50:33

oneplusone he doesn't sound like a chauvanistic pig to me. He just sounds like a man. And they are very literal.

You mention the idea of a room of your own. Women tend to make sympathetic noises and say yes that sounds nice wistfully, noing it will never happen. Man thinks, well that's not practical and what do you need one for?

And it's not feminine to shout. But are you bothered about him thinking, in the heat of an argument that you are not feminine? Blimey as soon as you have children it is an effort to be human nevermind feminine!

He is a man and he sounds a good one most of the time. They all have their flaws and he doesn't sound too bad.

However, if he was insisting you ask for permission to go out, dictated what you wore/ate/socialised with or belittled you then I would be giving you a different opinion.

As mum surely the WHOLE house, except his office counts as your domain? Or maybe it's just me??! (DH doesn't have a study, no room).

JustAnotherManicMummy Tue 22-Sep-09 17:51:27

noing?? knowing!

Nancy66 Tue 22-Sep-09 17:52:01

I don't like aggressive people either - nothing to do with sexism.

Why can't you share the office?

AnyFucker Tue 22-Sep-09 17:53:08

why don't you share the "office" ?

I presume one of you is downstairs to watch the dc's

so when you feel the need, just say "see you in a couple of hours" and take your laptop/book/glass of wine etc up there

as for the rest of it, if you have been together for a while, I am not sure why you feel hard-done-by now

I presume you have put up with his condescending attitude so far and reinforced constantly the fact that he feels he is the most important one in the household?

so, I would say continue to put up with it

or accept that if you try and change him, your relationship is going to get rocky

you decide

overmydeadbody Tue 22-Sep-09 17:59:55

he doesn't sound like a chauvewnistic pig, if he was he would have said "you have your own room, it's called the kitchen" or something.

And it isn't feminine to shout, but he shouldn't expect you to always put feminine appearances above true raw emotions.

In what other ways is he chauvenistic?

oneplusone Tue 22-Sep-09 18:00:54

Tiffany, I do want him to change his views. Even if i can't have a room of my own, just wanting one isn't somehow exclusive to men i think. I think he sees it as men need a cave but women don't and so if I say i do, then it's not a feminine thing to want iyswim?

Justanother, the whole house is my domain as you say, but i feel i have nowhere to go to escape from everyone. Sometimes i just feel i need some time to myself to read or whatever and there is nowhere to go where i am not followed by the DC's or even DH sometimes. Whereas DH's office is a no go zone for the rest of the family which i don't mind, but i want a similar space of my own.

He thinks I don't know how to approach him to talk about something that's bothering me, in a feminine manner. I agree I find it hard to talk about something i feel emotional about in a logical and rational and calm manner, i do get emotional and irrational i suppose. I think it is partly to do with my childhood, nobody discussed their feelings, we never communicated really apart from by arguing so i suppose DH may have a point.

But i don't think an inability to communicate means i'm not feminine, it just means it's a skill i didn't learn whilst growing up, it could happen to anyone, male or female. But DH choses to see it as me lacking in some feminine skill that he thinks all women have but i just don't agree with that.

overmydeadbody Tue 22-Sep-09 18:01:11

by all means share the office, what's to stop you using it as a retreat and queit place as much as him?

overmydeadbody Tue 22-Sep-09 18:02:49

he needs to accept you for who you are, including how you communicate.

AnyFucker Tue 22-Sep-09 18:06:19

or retreat to your bedroom and put a sign on the door

and mean it

GypsyMoth Tue 22-Sep-09 18:06:30

how old are your dc?

they can stay downstairs with dh if you want a break surely,if too young to stay by themselves. they need to grow up respecting everyone's own space,so really you should be able to go to your bedroom without everyone following.

i'm on my own with 5 dc and the older ones will entertain the younger for an hour or so whilst i go have a lie down,read etc...

i don't think you can expect to change anyone's views....your dh is a person too. you can't change someone

JustAnotherManicMummy Tue 22-Sep-09 18:13:19

I expect he's not that good at expresing himself either and has used "feminine", when perhaps he means, "calm" or "reasonable".

I agree about the space thing. I always seem to go to bed an hour after DH and DS so I have some time on my own.

I also tell DH to leave me be for an hour or so and take DS out just the two of them, once in a while.

Could you take over your bedroom? Perhaps buy a nice comfy chair to sit in like this and some nice feminine bedlinen? And a bolt for the door. Instant space of your own. At least whilst he's in his cave.

JustAnotherManicMummy Tue 22-Sep-09 18:15:12

x-post with AnyFucker

BlingLoving Tue 22-Sep-09 18:23:34

I don't think the fact that he doesn't htink you would like/need your own room is old fashioned - if anything, in the past it would have been considered completely normal for the woman of the house to have a ladies sitting room or morning room or something similar (assuming you're appropriately wealthy etc). smile

Telling you it's not feminine to shout is hilarious (although I can see how frustrating it must be). I'd be tempted to retort, "well, it's not very chivalrous of you to refuse to take my desires into account or to do anything that might put me out slightly."

junglist1 Tue 22-Sep-09 18:23:40

I can shout and still be feminine. Or are women supposed to just keep their gobs shut? Is shouting a masculine thing then?

JustAnotherManicMummy Tue 22-Sep-09 18:32:01

I think agression is generally considered a masculine trait (effects of testosterone and all that) and shouting is agressive... but I don't think any one has suggested the OP or anyother woman should keep their mouth shut.

I think if you lose your temper (characterised by shouting/crying etc) then you undermine your point. And I am not a shouter, I'm a blubber and it drives me mad because it compromises me.

junglist1 Tue 22-Sep-09 18:38:33

But some people do think women deserve punishment for shouting, based on the fact that they are female and therefore inferior. Not us on here, but those views are out there, so I say sod the stereotypes and reclaim shouting! This isn't worded properly at all, dammit.

SolidGoldBrass Tue 22-Sep-09 18:38:59

The only way to respond to accusations of being unfeminine is to say 'Don't make remarks like that, it makes people think you have issues about the size of your cock.'
Or fart at him. Because men who want women to be 'feminine' mean they don't want women to be human beings.
Ok, so your H is otherwise a nice human being (you say) so perhaps a better approach for you would be to say calmly that you find his sexism insulting, and that you are a human being whose wishes matter just as much as his, and now, dear, how are we going to work out a suitable compromise on [the issue]. For instance, could his office become 'either parent's peace and quiet zone'? Or could you have a Do Not Disturb sign for your bedroom door and an understanding that when you hang that up, the kids are his responsibility for an hour or so?

pinkthechaffinch Tue 22-Sep-09 18:57:59

I'd recommend reading 'A room of one's own' by Virginia Woolf. (if you haven't already). The more things change, the more they stay the same.

oneplusone Tue 22-Sep-09 19:03:41

Re the shouting, perhaps it is not feminine. But then does that mean it is acceptable for him to shout and be agressive when he is angry? Because he does shout and get aggressive when he's angry (not violently).

I agree shouting is not ideal, but it is not ideal by either of us, not just by me which is what DH seems to think.

I think he has some very stereotypical, old fashioned views on women. His mum probably fits the stereotype and he only has a brother, so no experience of a woman like me who grew up in the 70's and 80's.

SGB, as usual you are the voice of reason! The Do Not Disturb Sign for the bedroom door is a fab idea, am going to make one as soon as. And I will also use your line "'Don't make remarks like that, it makes people think you have issues about the size of your cock.'"

dittany Tue 22-Sep-09 19:06:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnyFucker Tue 22-Sep-09 19:08:53

oi, I said put a sign on the bedroom door first !!!

< shouts loudly in very unfeminine way >

diddl Tue 22-Sep-09 19:12:54

Put a dress on next time you shout!!

dittany Tue 22-Sep-09 19:14:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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