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DP acting like he has PMT - advice?

(31 Posts)
LissyGlitter Tue 29-Sep-09 19:08:59

My DP is really starting to do my head in. Most of the time he is lovely, but then for no apparent reason he will snap. Just as an example, today our little DD had an injection, so I rang him in my break from uni to see if she was ok or having any reactions or anything. The conversation went like this:

Him: "What?"
Me: "hiya love, just ringing to check if everything is fine before I..."
Him: (interrupting) "I'm busy. Go away."

And then he hung up! With a normal person I would think it was he actually was incredibly busy, but he does stuff like this all the time, slamming doors if I ask him a simple question such as if he has anything planned for tea or should I make something, or tutting and muttering under his breath if I have a brew and leave the cup next to me until I next happen to be standing up (I'm 33 weeks pregnant, so standing up is a bit of an undertaking!) It's bizzarre. Like I say, he is mostly lovely, apart from these little outbursts of acting like a teenager.

What is the best way of dealing with this, should I always confront him (but that would make him defensive and turn it into an argument in front of DD) or ignore it and hope that if I don't react he will learn not to do it.

He's 34, btw, not 4...

scattyspice Tue 29-Sep-09 19:10:32

Ask him if he's ok.

PrettyCandles Tue 29-Sep-09 19:12:36

Perhaps he's super-sensitive, and thinks you're implying that he can't take care of you/dd/the house as well as you could?

Has he always been like this, or was there a time when it began? Could it be that he is anxious about something?

chocolatedays Tue 29-Sep-09 19:15:48

Sounds like is is very tired and stressed out. How old is your dd?

LissyGlitter Tue 29-Sep-09 19:15:50

He has always had phases of acting like this, but previously they have coincided with him starting to drink too much as well (generally if he starts hanging round with another group of friends or such) but this time he is hardly drinking in case I go into labour. He is out of work at the moment, so quite stressed about that, but wouldn't that make him weird all the time instead of just at random moments?

LissyGlitter Tue 29-Sep-09 19:16:16

DD is 2.5.

chocolatedays Tue 29-Sep-09 19:19:15

Yep - sounds like stress - I can make you , sleepless, angry, irritable, self doubt, short tempered etc etc.

Does he like to excercise? It is a very good way to deal with stress. Can you give him some time out to go for a run / go to the gym?

PrettyCandles Tue 29-Sep-09 19:19:26

Not at all. Think how you manage to hold it together, then suddenly ping! and then manage to get yourself together again.

scattyspice Tue 29-Sep-09 19:21:14

I'd say he is struggling to hide the stress he feels about parenting a toddler/being unemployed/iminent arrival of 2nd child. Mostly he hides it well but anxiety will always out.

chocolatedays Tue 29-Sep-09 19:22:01

2.5 yrs can be soo tough - does she want mummy all the time... and not overly happy about daddy? It can knock the self confidence - especially if not feeling on top of the world

mathanxiety Tue 29-Sep-09 19:23:48

My ex H used to behave like this with me. I was a SAHM and one day, on the phone from work, (he called me, mind you), he snapped loudly and angrily after we had talked about the question he had for me, and I had made some remark that wasn't entirely and completely to the point, that he didn't have time for this conversation. Apparently, everyone in the office overheard, and he got chewed out by the secretaries and his colleagues, everyone. That was the only time he ever expressed any remorse for this kind of treatment.

This kind of snapping is a very clear communication of deep hostility towards you. So is the door-slamming and the muttering under his breath. It sets up a barrier between the two of you, makes you think twice before talking to him, removes the easy verbal intimacy you presumably once enjoyed, and is, in fact, very controlling, at a very basic level. Not to mention scary, for you and also your DD if she witnesses it, no matter how young she is. It is verbal abuse. He will never learn not to do it without being confronted, and may even learn to escalate his behaviour. I would go for counseling, just you, to learn more about this and the effect it will have, or may even be having, on you, and try to figure a way to tell him it is unacceptable. Counseling will also help you sort out what you want from the relationship and if this is realistic in the circumstances.

LissyGlitter Tue 29-Sep-09 19:23:58

He's not really the exercising type...he does walk a lot, but I worry if I send him out for a walk he will end up in the pub if he is in a mood to start with, and he is doing so well keeping his drinking under control.

He can be quite "manly" in an old fashioned way with emotions, his brother died quite recently, and whenever he felt like crying he would just bottle it up and mutter about being a man and being English and all that.

(He is usually a guardian reading, almost communist, yet incredibly liberal type)

LissyGlitter Tue 29-Sep-09 19:27:12

I have confronted him the couple of times he has been unfair to DD because of his mood, btw. He is in no doubt that I will not accept that.

mathanxiety Tue 29-Sep-09 19:27:59

LissyGlitter, presumably you are under some stress too; you are pg and soon to give birth, you have a toddler and an unemployed husband, you have classes at the uni or you work there(?), yet I'm sure you don't treat others the way you are being treated. Is the H like this with everyone or just you?

chocolatedays Tue 29-Sep-09 19:29:57

So...
He has worries about not working
His dp is due soon and he won't want to burden her
He has another kid on the way
He is struggling to deal with drink
He is trying to get his head around the grief of loosing his brother
He is looking after a 2.5yr old - and all that entails.

He's snappy, knackered and stressed. Poor bloke.

Does he have a mate who he could walk with who he trusts will not take him for a drink?

LissyGlitter Tue 29-Sep-09 19:38:27

Aye, I do feel sorry for him, but he won't let me help him!

He does tend to be snappy with everyone, he doesn't have very many people in his life at the moment, we have just moved across the country, so the only people he knows round here are his family really.

If he was me, I would want a night of bubble baths and chocolate and then maybe support to get out and make friends, but how can i give him the equivlent without just sending him to the pub?

groundhogs Tue 29-Sep-09 22:58:15

Certainly sounds like he has a lot on his plate. Hope you can find a way to help him.

BTW, both my DH and my Step-F are exactly like that, and they don't have the good cause to do so. so look on the bright side, if you can, one day it'll get better...

Me and my mum will just keep hiding and scowling to ourselves in the kitchen... LOL

chocolatedays Wed 30-Sep-09 08:43:42

Sorry for not responding last night, though I was thinking of you. Could your dd be babysat for a couple of hours by a family member so you and he can go for a walk? If so, just walk - keep conversation light and enjoy the views - let him raise any issues when he is ready. If you don't discuss anything it will still help reduce his stress levels.

ABetaDad Wed 30-Sep-09 09:22:10

LissyGlitter - so to add to the list that chocoltaedays gave he is also without friends and living in a new place. The bloke is sinking fast.

I suggest he makes a plan to get out of the house and just do some voluntary charity work and excercise. It will give him a new perspective on things and give him a chance to make new friends too. I do it as I am SAHD/WAHD and would go for weeks without talking to anyone (except DW) or leaving the house if I didn't. we are also living n a new place and have few friends here.

Doing something for someone else, and meeting people at the charity I work for and shoving some weights around at the gym is a big help.

PrettyCandles Wed 30-Sep-09 13:33:01

Maybe it would help him to hear from you - in your own words, of course - something along the lines of "I love you. I trust you. You are a wonderful dad."

It's certainly a difficult time for both of you. But you at least have Mumsnet to offload upon. I think it's tougher for men to offload.

Perhaps also he feels deeply undervalued, sees himself as unemployed because he does't have a paid job - no matter that child-rearing is one of the most important jobs there are.

What could he do that would please him and make him feel big? Does he have a skill that he could offer to a charity?

Even though he's not an exercising type, would entering a competition - a half-marathon, perhaps - be an objective that could inspire him?

LissyGlitter Wed 30-Sep-09 21:31:03

He is very into doing quizzes, so I try to encourage him to enter some (eg mastermind was a success for him a couple of years back) and we went to a poetry reading the other night, where he wrote a poem as we were sitting there and read it at the end, and got one of the best applauses of the night. He is such a clever and amazing man, he just gives up too easily.

LissyGlitter Thu 01-Oct-09 00:08:14

so I had an awful night last night, hardly slept, so I had a lie in this morning. Got woken up by DP ranting and raving, saying that if I didn't move my suitcase (containing clothes that don't fit me due to the pregnancy) from the corner of the bedroom, he was taking DD and leaving me. This was while I was finally dozing after a night of feeling ill and crying with nausea and contractions.

I got back to sleep, and got woken up again by him bringing me a brew and being all sweetness and light.

Tonight, we were relaxing in the living room, DP drinking a glass of red wine and me checking my email. He noticed I was reading one of those updates from the boots pregnancy club and called me every name under the sun for being so disgustingly gullible as to ask them to spill their shit into my inbox.

Then he started going on again about how I am filthy and sluttish for having clothes piled up everywhere in the bedroom (It is actually one open suitcase, which I sort through and then he dumps more of my clothes in) and how he is going to leave if I carry on my disgusting habits.

I said sorry, and that I would sort it out tomorrow. He stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind him, and I can now hear him throwing stuff about in the bedroom.

Before he saw the boots email, we were having a lovely night, chatting about our friends and my uni course, and watching comedy on youtube.

LissyGlitter Thu 01-Oct-09 00:19:47

What can I do when he blows up like that? I try and keep a level tone of voice and ask him to please not shout at me, and he will then shout that he isn't shouting...

He is so lovely the vast majority of the time, but I am sick of dealing with tantrums from a fully grown man.

He was crying earlier about his brother, we had a cuddle and a chat, and then he blows up again. There is hardly any warning.

LissyGlitter Thu 01-Oct-09 00:34:39

Looks like I will have to sleep on the settee tonight, I can hardly go and lie down next to him if he is in that kind of mood, I'd be too scared to turn over in bed.

I know it's not his fault, he is having a hard time, but how can i help him if he is constantly attacking me?

Plus I was really disappointed that he went to the pub tonight without telling me (one of his old tricks) and only admitted it when he told me why he was upset (he had met one of his brothers friends). I don't mind him going to the pub AT ALL, it's just when he says he is nipping to the corner shop then doesn't come home till closing time, stinking of booze. Especially since I am so near giving birth, and having a particularly bad day, I would like to have at least a quick text to let me know where he is. I don't think that is asking too much really.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Thu 01-Oct-09 06:40:21

God his behaviour over the email and suitcase was awful! I was going to say my DH gets ManPMT and can be a snappy, annoying bastard sometimes. But that about the email - that's really controlling. It's your email! Why is it his business? That's quite worrying IMO. And waking you up to rant at you when he knew you weren't sleeping well is unforgivable.
I'm sorry but there is no excuse for this behaviour. Stress and grief might be a reason behind it in which case the responsible person needs to take steps to deal with their emotions so that they do not react like that with loved ones. They are not an excuse though.
The pub thing is also unacceptable. My DH goes to the pub more than I would like but he doesn't do that. One of my best friends is separating from her DH of 8 years and that is exactly one of the issues that has worn her down over the years and proved a catalyst to the split so it's a big problem.

I think you should try keeping a diary for a few days and when he's calm show it to him. What happened and how it made you feel. See if you can get him to see the pattern and how it has impacted on you.

My DH was pretty hard to live with during ramadan and we had a big chat because it had affected me quite a lot - I was waiting for the next explosion IYSWIM and it made me very tense and also irritable with him. I had to make him see his part in that, ie I was being snappy because he had conditioned me to feel defensive and tense over the last month, maybe your DH needs a lesson in how his behaviour affects you because you are probably reacting to it before it has even happened as well.

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