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I genuinely do not know why DH is so upset with me ....

85 replies

pamelat · 11/05/2011 20:30

Am I being a cold hearted cow?

I am normally quite emotional and normally feel I have a lot of empathy/compassion but have been left confused by the events of the last hour.

I need to give some context

He works in an industry with redundancies looming, he has been made redundant 5 times in 7 years. He is approaching 40 (which I think is significant) He earns a lot more than me, but less than I think he would have hoped to be earning. He doesnt enjoy work and is currently over worked and it would appear (only realised tonight) stressed about it.

I am on maternity leave, I normally work in a stable and well liked job 3 days a week. We have a baby and a toddler.

If and when he is made redundant we will be ok. My salary will cover the mortgage and he has income protection. We are lucky that we wont "need" him to work for 18 months or so.

Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary. Next week is our son's first birthday.

He had our son's birthday booked off but due to naps etc I suggested he make it a half day and also book our wedding annvirsary afternoon off.

He told me earlier this week that it wouldnt be a problem. He emailed me this afternoon to say maybe a problem due to work load, something to finish before the end of the month.

I was a bit annoyed, not massively, as 2 children and no plans is annoying (for me) and our wedding anniversary. I was a bit confused as having 2 half days is no more than having a full time off, in terms of managing work load etc .....

Now this is where I get confused!

This became an hour long row with him telling me he wished he had married someone with more compassion and empathy, that I didnt understand him and how he has basically failed at most of life (other than the children), that I was always challening him (because I didnt agree re importance of work), that it was easy for me as I had the luxury of free time (with 2 pre-school children, hardly!!) and that I had become accustomed to a life of privilege (I work too normally!!!)

Whats worse is that I was really calm and he was really upset. He left the house without telling me why or where 20 mins ago.

Mid life crisis? He said he was emotionally and physically f*** and that I didnt care.

What scares me is that I do care but that I don't get it, at all Shock

Yes, I have been blase about his work and inevitable redundancy but only because work isnt that important to me, he says this has made him feel like [email protected] as its the measure for him, rightly or wrongly, of his success.

What did I do wrong? AIBU????

OP posts:

Lady1nTheRadiator · 11/05/2011 20:33

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FabbyChic · 11/05/2011 20:35

You gave him grief when he told you he wouldnt be able to get the 2nd afternoon off.

You don't understand do you? He already booked one day off, work don't like you going in and saying oh hang on a minute can I have two half days instead, it put him in an awkward position, he doesnt want to lose his job but is worried he will.

He is a man and irrespective of you working he wants to be a man and provide for his family by working.

When he couldn't get the 2nd afternoon off you should have said no problem, it's not like it's his fault is it?


jeckadeck · 11/05/2011 20:35

without knowing your dh it sounds like he's upset about something else and this is an excuse for an argument. He is clearly under stress but it sounds like he wanted to bring something else to a head and this was the catalyst. Is there anything else you've fought about recently? any other underlying issues?


bluepaws · 11/05/2011 20:36

he is frightened about losing his job


razzlebathbone · 11/05/2011 20:36

Er, your husband is facing yet another redundancy and you don't care because it's not important to you? It's not all about you though. How could you not know that it would obviously be important to him? All those redundancies are bound to have knocked him. God knows, they would most people. I must say that I think he has a point about you lacking empathy!



squeakytoy · 11/05/2011 20:36

Being made redundant 5 times in 7 years would probably be quite demoralising.

You do sound a bit blase about things. He is probably worrying about the future. Money may not be tight now, but trust me, that can change in a matter of weeks.


shakey1500 · 11/05/2011 20:37

It seems to me that whilst you "being calm in a crisis" is ultimately a good and helpful stance in HIS world it appears that you don't care. He sounds VERY stressed and can't understand why you haven't seen it and empathised with him as much as he feels is necessary.

So yes, you are being a teeny bit U but only because of your laid back nature that doesn't match his obvious distress and feeling crap at the moment.

I'd be tempted to text/ring and assure him you ARE taking his feelings seriously but it's taken this row for you to appreciate how much he's going through.


MumblingRagDoll · 11/05/2011 20:37

He sounds very stressed...he'll be worried about his status, th future, money...some men feel identified by their work and their earning power.

The fact that you know he had hoped to be earning more tells a story....he is already dissapointed with what he has acheived so far.

Can you put some positive spin on it? Suggest that redundancy is an oportunity? Perhaps to start his own business?


BitOfFun · 11/05/2011 20:37

He can be a bit arsey, your DH, can't he? Grin

Oh dear, he does sound stressed, but it doesn't seem fair to take it out on you. I wouldn't spend too long wondering what you've done wrong- he probably just needs to go and cool off, and hopefully he'll realise he's been out of order. Try to stay calm, repeat that you do care, but you don't appreciate him dumping his stress on you- you are meant to be on the same side here, and you love him.


fivegomadindorset · 11/05/2011 20:39

I think you are.

How about from his point of view.

I have been made redundant 5 times in 7 years with another one possibly looming, wife is on maternity leave. I did have a day booked of for my DS's birthday but she changed her mind and said a half day would do but perhaps another half day fro wedding annic=versary. OK. Now I have extra work to do which really needs to be done so have cancelled aftenoons off, if I do this then hopefully they may look favourably on keeping me on. I am under a lot of pressure and my wife is annoyed at me but is very calm and doesn;t seem to care or understand as she shows nothing emotionally.


babybythesea · 11/05/2011 20:39

Clearly stuff going on in his head that needs talking through. At the very least, he needs to be up front about why he feels that way coz if you are doing something that is getting to him, and you don't know, you will keep doing it.
I would suggest having some sort of conciliatory gesture ready for when he comes home - bottle of wine chilling or something, even a packet of biscuits and the kettle boiled. Then just be honest. Sort of 'Hey, listen, I am sorry that you are so upset and that I seem to be contributing. Tell me about it.' I don't know if your DH is the sort of guy to respond to this but it may give him the opening to explain what he is thinking. Tell him you can't do things differently with no clues as to what the problem is. If he's normally reasonable, he may well be feeling sheepish anyway about the outburst.


sleepingsowell · 11/05/2011 20:40

He's fallen into the trap of thinking that being at home with kids is 'easy' and 'doing nothing' so he does need to shift his mindset on that!

But I think it looks like you ARE under-estimating the effects on him of the threat of a 6th redundancy in 7 years; that for anyone, would be major. Anyone would be starting to feel really bad about that...there must be lots of complex feelings for him invested in possible redundancy

So yes I think from what you've posted it does look as if you have lacked empathy about the possibly redundancy; just because it wouldn't spell financial disaster for you as a family does not mean it isn't a personal disaster for him (again) I think if it were me I would be doing a major apology on that score so that he feels you are more 'on his side' and not quite so blase about it.


pamelat · 11/05/2011 20:41

I'm not that bothered about him having the time off, only that he told me at the last minute.

In fact he got more annoyed at me as I said that it didnt matter too much as would just see X (a mummy friend) as he said "oh dont make plans as I might be able to swing it", arghhhh. It was just annoying, thats all.

Its not a problem work wise, his manager is away and it would be fine, other than his work load causing him stress. I feel for him in that respect but having had a year off I am out of the work pressures concept a bit, it doesnt mean my life isnt pressred in other ways. I have a first birthday cake to make tomorrow Smile

I think hes massively stressed about something but I didnt even know until this mini breakdown.

I have an OU essay to write and he was even accusatory about that, saying its ok for me with my will power etc etc. I have to do it, I dont have a choice!

fabby he'll lose his job anyway, they all will, they know there is 12 months or so in it, so I would ease off rather than up.

jeckadeck we had a row last night too. I cant even remember what about, oh it was me moaning about household chores (copius) and him telling me he'd rather I not do them than moan about that, just silly stuff

I think if there was anything bigger to tell me he would have told me in this row, it was fairly direct.

OP posts:

Effjay · 11/05/2011 20:43

I think his male pride has taken another massive dent. I do feel really sorry for him, as it is horrible being made redundant. It is an emotional as well as a financial blow and can feel like you have been dumped. I think he would probably appreciate a bit of confidence-boosting,reassurance and comforting supportive words from you, rather than the 'doesn't matter, we'll cope stance'. I'm sorry to say but I do think you don't really understand his current state of mind as it's not the most emotionally intelligent post.


HecateQueenOfTheNight · 11/05/2011 20:43

I think he's been totally clear about what the problem is. It's how he feels about work, repeated redundancies, confidence, success. He's telling you that he feels he is a failure.

How are you responding? Are you telling him he is being stupid (wrong!) are you trying to tell him he shouldn't feel like this (wrong!) are you dismissing his feelings (wrong!) are you telling him that you don't understand why he's bothered? (wrong! Grin )

You need to listen to him. He needs to know that how he feels is important to you.

You don't need to agree. You don't need to understand why work matters to him. You only need to understand that it does matter to him and that he needs you to show that you know him and you know that this is something that upsets him.

You also need to ask him what he would like from you. What is it that he feels would show that you care. What is it that he would have hoped or expected to hear from you. That will help you to understand what it is that he needs from you right now.

and maybe keep an eye in case he is becoming depressed about it and needs to see the gp.


Georgimama · 11/05/2011 20:43

I feel sorry for him tbh. He's clearly under massive stress and you being blase about it is not actually that helpful (DH and I occasionally have this problem - he is more of a panicker and I am the stoic one, but I have learned that sometimes I am too stoic and when something is going wrong what he needs is for me to sit down, listen and say "I believe in you, we will get through it together".) Stoicism can come across as dismissive.


Georgimama · 11/05/2011 20:44

Oh look - I just tried to say something and Hecate said the same thing better.

Is Hecate some sort of MN App?


harecare · 11/05/2011 20:45

It sounds as if you have already resigned yourself to the fact that he will be made redundant and worked out a plan to make sure everything is OK so you're not worried. He is upset about the impending redundancy and feels like a failure. You working everything out actually makes it worse for him as it makes you the saviour and he may feel even more of a failure as his pride needs him to be the saviour.

Can you think of a way to boost his ego? Make him feel like he is a success? Let him know how much you need him, but thanks to his clever money management if he is made redundant he'll still be OK for 18 months. Does he know you'll be OK for 18 months? If not, maybe let him work that out so he can announce it to you as if he is saving the day.

So basically YADNBU, but for harmony in the home it is you who will need to change your behaviour to him so he feels OK again.


FabbyChic · 11/05/2011 20:45

You do sound as though well you are stressed and under it so fuck him to be honest with your last post.

You have this to do, you have that to do.

You really don't care do you? I can totally see where he is coming from where you are concerned.


FabbyChic · 11/05/2011 20:46

You can only see your worries, your stresses, you cannot see his and you don't care about his either to allow him to talk about it cos all you is go on about how hard it is for you, poor you.

Poor man.


pamelat · 11/05/2011 20:46

mumbling I did that and I believe that but it made it worse. I said it would all be for the best as he hates his job anyway, and we are luck that we (not just me but we) would be ok for a while, and he has some inheritance money to set up a business if he wanted to etc etc and he said he didnt want solutions!!!

I think all my compassion has been used up with the children today. I cant help feel that he is being childish, I told him he was meladramatic.

I will try to be more understanding re the redundancy but its difficult when I think it would be the best thing to happen to him. He needs to get out of that industry, and is lucky that he has the potential opportunities to do so.

I also should have done more career wise but I dont judge myself by it, I judge myself by our children Blush

OP posts:

squeakytoy · 11/05/2011 20:46

it doesnt mean my life isnt pressred in other ways. I have a first birthday cake to make tomorrow

I hope that wasnt what you have said to him, or no wonder he stormed off!


HecateQueenOfTheNight · 11/05/2011 20:48

I assumed that was a joke, just made here, squeaky. It couldn't possibly be meant seriously. That would be insane. I think she was lightening her post a bit.


TotalChaos · 11/05/2011 20:49

agree with Hecate and Georgimama. you do come over as v unsympathetic tbh. atmosphere at his work is likely to be utterly grim. and in current economic circumstances finding a job at the same level quickly isn't guaranteed. Even if redundancy isn't going to be a huge catastrophe in the short term, if he feels it is, then try and be sympathetic to his level of upset.


Georgimama · 11/05/2011 20:51

You don't have to make a birthday cake. You could (shock horror) buy one. He does have to earn money both because your family needs it and for his own self worth.

You do actually sound like you don't care about his self esteem at all. Regardless of whether you think he needs to get out of the industry he is and whether you think redundancy would be the best thing for him, he clearly doesn't. You sound like he is just another one of your children and mother knows best.

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