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Husband makes snarky comments about me, not sure if I want son to grow up like that....

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

My husband is always making jokes about how I am lazy, or how I never do anything, or do things wrong or not in order of importance.  It's making me fall less and and less in love with him, and I'm wondering if I want my son to grow up seeing his mother treated that way.

When I tell my husband to stop.  He acts like he doesn't know he is doing it, and turns the tables telling me I am making things up and he never meant that etc.  It makes me feel all scrambled and so embarassed.  This has been going on for about 2 years now, and just tonight I made the comment that I was sad DS is now sleeping in his crib for naps like a big boy...and not on me anymore. He said "good...now you can get stuff done" as in I don't get anything done.  It hurt so badly...and all he said was that I was making it up and he didn't mean that.  I would believe it if he didn't constantly drill into me how much he works and how I don't etc.

I'm hurting...and not sure what to do.

Has anyone else been through a manipulative spouse...and what is my next step?  Do I try to force him into counseling?  I'm not sure he would go?

 

post #2 of 28

hugs.. sad hugs.. 

 

It really hurts when you are blinking and trying to find your best friend, under stress and trying to give constant love. Your son is a little guy, still a baby in my eyes and some men have this picture in their head. It is so hard. Of course you do not want your son to grow up like this. There is a lot you can do about it and sometimes that is enough to overwhelm you again. Where is your time best spent? How does love come out in the end? How can I get him to love with out forcing it? It is such a hard time. Huge hugs. 

 

You need to pray. 

 

These comments are really harsh and joking or not. I get what is happening. Whatever is happening when he says that....stop... look at him, pull his hand up to your heart and say, "Best friend, husband, that really hurts my feelings..." Stop... next time ADD.. "and sometimes I want to tell you everything I need to do, have been doing, but really I just want to be happy in the moment and since this is kind of same old, same old, why point it out. I want to be grateful to be here working and loving my family. Our son is so small, things have changed so much. Please support me while I love our family, home and all, but "DS" needs me so much right now." 

 

And next time (time #3) say the first part again. 

 

Remember that praying (to love or any God) and doing your best is what is going to happen. After my big changes at 4 years old and two, I know how much work the SAHM life, and workout mom, healthy dinner balance is. I **love** my job. But he will never see it until he does your job too.... seriously. All I can tell you is to keep clutter down, get him into a routine for helping you some but lightly at first (and verbally, no list) and keep working out. I have a feeling the emotions are going to get harder (workout helps vibes and happiness flow in the brain) and mama, it really helps to look as hot as possible! So keep that up, it is more than power, it is one of the last traces of pre-kid and kind of a sign on your heart that you are still there, his best friend, and he needs to keep acting like he did on that first date too. No matter what changes that bond is very helpful and powerful. 

 

Hugs, 

Leslie

post #3 of 28
hug.gif

It sounds like you guys need some help for sure. SAH can be really hard when your partner isnt supportive. Maybe this year for his vacation time he can stay at home with you and see what your day to day life is like.
post #4 of 28

I am so sorry you are having to deal with this.  I have been in a very unhappy marriage (1st time around), and it's awful.

 

If you choose to go to counseling, expect him to be unsupportive.  IME, men are often really threatened by it.  I would recommend you go alone, to start with, if you can.  And shop around...I've said this a lot on MDC, but remember that therapists are your employees, to be fired if there isn't a respectful connection that feels right to you.  Believe me, I've BTDT.

 

If you love your husband and want to try to improve the relationship, pick a neutral time to tell him how much he means to you.  If he's a good father, tell him how much that means to you.  And let him know how hurtful his words are to you.  Those three things would be a start.

 

Good luck, mama.  Your son looks so beautiful in your avatar.  He is lucky to have a mom who is willing to at least try to work on the marriage.  He will learn how to be a man from his dad, and the best influence over how that will come about is you.

post #5 of 28

A manipulative spouse is usually a sign of being an abuser..he is being emotionally abusive. Will your son turn out like him? Possibly. You need to decide if you want to save your marriage or save your son. Good luck!

post #6 of 28

   Hi, I've been through that a little bit. It has helped me to realize that my husband really is wrong to say things like that. He learned it from his family, I suppose. I don't let it hurt me as much or make me mad. Plus, I think he has mellowed over the nine years we've been married. I hope the trend continues. 

   As a new mom of one or two kids, I did let the children dictate what I got done a little too much. Now I have four kids with one due in November, so I am seeing where it is possible to get more done. I used to sit on the couch nursing and reading for hours. Now I sit down for a total of about one-two hours all day. I guess you get more disciplined when you have to be, and you encourage the little toddlers to play on their own.

   As a mom, some days we have less energy than other days. There are things that I would like to get done but can't because of the children and my energy limitations.  What I have found is to prioritize the things that are important to him while staying organized so my house has some order to it. For example, food is a big priority and also intimate time with him. It could be that your husband needs more of that "together" time, and he's just giving you a hard time on other issues rather than come out and say what the real problem is.

   I would like to find someone to watch my children for me for a few hours a week so I can focus on some things in the house. Maybe you could do that? 

   If you are really trying your best, and not just sitting down all day, your husband shouldn't keep discouraging you. My hubby tends to think that reverse psychology works, but not with me. Like I said at the beginning, they are wrong for saying hurtful comments. We can recognize that and know we are doing our best (if that's the case). Sometimes I sleep a little too long or don't do things right away when I should, and then I am guilty of being lazy.  So, we all have our weaknesses we need to work against.

   I know sometimes my husband doesn't treat me very nicely in front of the children and sometimes they don't treat me well, probably as a result. I try to prioritize/anticipate their needs nevertheless to help the family run smoothly. God sees if we are treated wrongly and notes our sacrifice. I do warn my children, however, that they better not plan on treating their spouse badly, or I'll tell the person ahead of time they don't want to marry into our family! 

  Good luck. Do your best and try to work things out with your husband.

post #7 of 28


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tremama View Post

A manipulative spouse is usually a sign of being an abuser..he is being emotionally abusive. Will your son turn out like him? Possibly. You need to decide if you want to save your marriage or save your son. Good luck!



Is it so black and white? It is really hard.. I mean.. my DH is an amazing guy, friend, man, lover, dad, etc.. and he has totally gotten frustrated with how much there is to do in life. He did do it. I had to go into cancer therapy for 10 days alone and he came to visit after a week and went on, and on, and on, and on, and said so many times during it " I am so freaking sorry for ever asking you to do squat on top of what you normally do, OMG!!!" And it showed me.. he just can't see this.. it is so hard to see. It changed everything. I don't think my DH is abusive at all! abusive is a big word... 

 

I have had all the little talks, chats, moments, deals, issues, melt-downs, everything before that! *He did* always say he was sorry and it got better for a little while. I just think sometimes I wish I had not gone down that road. It is #@$% exhausting and so draining. I probably wouldn't have believed that working out would have helped but I think it really does! And taking the time for myself too. And clearing the crap out of my house.. but the power, good emotions, calmness and patience I have now comes a lot from me becoming stronger when I feel sad. 

 

When I think of how much losing my soul mate hurts, I shake inside and my kids not having a father.. it just seems so hurtful. There are so many reasons to save a marriage... sooooooo many.. Abusive is some hard core stuff. 

 

It does take a lot of proud moments to be clear (as in not yelling or crying) and I have found those to be the very best times I have gotten through. I have even said in a whisper "Could you be a better role model right now please?" 

 

The mama tiger madness? Maybe... but... you might want to mama tiger on paper and watch him read it. 

 

Therapy is a great answer! I have tried that too! I was also not thrilled with my people. I have found working out to be the most "chi" thing to do. I light candles and pray and stare at the light in pray sometimes.. I love to wait for the words and thoughts to come clear and write too. 

 

ETA:

 

Oh yeah, and it turns out, after all the little talks and chats that I now want to take back is because pointing out flaws about a person and giving them so much information on how it hurts and how hard it is kind of metaphorically paints the room a really off color.. and I have always really known what I wanted deep inside  (deep love) and we are very much that and I have many other reasons too, but I also have a FT dad (recently) with me helping me homeschooling and we are close.. but... I just wish I had opened up what I wanted like a choice of doors.. and just went straight through to deeper feelings (first post) and deeper understanding of how love and totally not forgetting lust with our love works.. caring for it too. And opened that door.. instead of therapy, talking (x100), and those few awful fights.. I so wish I had just talked to him with a deeper love with simple, poignant words.. just my humble words. 

 

OP, if you try thinking of some deep love kind of words to say to him, immediately, or something, sitting on his lap, something to talk straight to his heart.. sigh, and it does fail... there are a lot of things you can do... I would skip therapy as first go and maybe write a log of it and a some notes about your feelings, and write all the visions you have for living without him, etc, etc, all you feel. I have never needed to log, but sometimes logs really help people see how overtime what kind of person they are.. and be sure to write him a chapter size about how you are feeling.. Maybe if he drinks, get out a bottle of wine, get your son and you ready to go.. leave... go to the mall and hand him this on your way out. 


Edited by greenacresmama - 10/5/11 at 8:35pm
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenacresmama View Post

 

Is it so black and white?

 

Yes, it is so black and white. It's called gaslighting and is abusive. Belittling someone and then telling them that they never said that, and trying to make the other person feel crazy is abuse. It's not about him not appreciating how much work she does do, it's about him insulting her and then trying to tell her that she's crazy and that he never said that.

 

OP - Look up the term gaslighting, because this is what he's doing to you.

post #9 of 28

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/power-in-relationships/200905/are-you-being-gaslighted

 

WOW! I am totally wrong! My DH has not denied so terribly! So sorry! I heard the comments but didn't really understand the denial.. sometimes people hide, but totally going overboard IS really bad.

 

OP, maybe you could print this out for him?  

post #10 of 28
OP, what is it you are supposed to be getting done instead of parenting his son? I'm honestly curious what he thinks takes precedence over a small child who has needs.

Can he make you a list?
Is the list unreasonable?

Regardless of all that... the put downs must stop. Your son will grow to treat you like dirt because his father does. While this is okay in some cultures and even encouraged ... it is not the American standard norm. In fact, women will have more power in the next fifty years or so.. they have the college degrees and the corporate jobs. You may be handicapping your son for life by not having chosen a better father for him. Please don't be afraid to make changes for you and your son.
post #11 of 28

OP I want to know about that list and how bad those feelings are within you.. really... I wonder if you are down already. I remembered a relationship that I define as "monster" and he had a manic depressive problem and told me he wanted to be on a spiritual journey with me and asked me for help. I stupidly moved out of state with him for his job and I was in between apartments because of a roommate moving out. He was so awful, like... anyway.. it was horrible.. it took me from Sept-Feb total and I ran away in the middle of the night and left everything, went on a greyhound to a friends and never looked back. 

 

You got to get ready. I would start hiding some cash and paying yourself for childcare. And totally start getting emtionally stronger and totally tune him out. But... is it that bad? It was 12 years ago that monster was totally undeserving of me and it makes me shutter. My DH is nothing like him but has moments of not being grateful. I misread this situation.

post #12 of 28

Yes, counseling or a marriage encounter through yoru church. To work on communication skills. He sounds quite rude and tactless.

post #13 of 28

I think everyone makes insensitive comments sometimes... the problem is in the denial. DH was out of town last week and while we were on the phone he mentioned that one of his relatives might stay with us when she's in town. I said "Okay, that sounds good to me." and his reply was that he wasn't asking me, she'd be invited whether I liked it or not. I was like "Excuse me? Was it really necessary to speak to me like that, especially when I've agreed it's a nice idea anyway?" and he immediately apologized. Like any couple,we've had it out over things and usually come to an agreement, but there have been times where both he and I have put our foot down on an issue and the other had to put up & shut up. I don't know if there's anyway you can get your DH to take responsibility for having made the comment, but if he'll do that it'd be the start to him seeing what effect those comments have on you. In the meantime, I wouldn't try to justify how busy I am or how I spend my time to him. If he calls you lazy, you can reply with "It's unfortunate you feel that way." There's no point in going to any extra effort around the house until he changes his attitude, no matter how much you do, he won't see it.

post #14 of 28

Journeymom posted this on another thread: "A message to women from a man: You are not crazy"

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1330284/a-message-to-women-from-a-man-you-are-not-crazy/0_50

 

What your husband is doing could, depending on the context, be considered emotional abuse. No, you do not want your child growing up thiking this is OK. The question is whether he'll do therapy with you. I don't see him changing without some major work.

post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your advice everyone.  There are so so many pluses to my husband...but ugly words coming out of someone's mouth to me...well, it just makes them ugly too. So when DH says those ugly words, I just have a hard time being attracted to him as a lover, friend, husband...whatever.

We did have a sit-down tonite...and the hard thing to admit is: He honestly thinks that I should be able to take care of every single thing around the house, yet parent the way he and I both want to. We like to be very interactive with Aiden, and do the best we can...but maybe staying at home isn't the best option.

I am thinking of putting Aiden into daycare 2x a week in order to have 2 days off and work some extra hours (I work from home), and get some BIG cleaning projects done like floor mopping, window washing, stripping down all the bedding etc.  Things that are hard to get through with Aiden at my heels. 

Here is the difficult part...he brags to all his friends that he "lets" me stay at home and that kind of makes him seem like a "big man" to them because he can afford to let me stay home.  He kind of is in a way almost "caveman-ish" about it...bragging to his friends that I cook, clean, take care of Aiden...and he goes off to work.  So when we are around people, it's a source of pride...but then I think when we are alone the negativity comes out.  Could he be jealous of me?

During our talk I can't say that a TON of the issues were resolved...but I did discover some of the things he feels are being neglected. It's I think frustrating to him that I always have a lot of little things going on....but I never really get a chance to do a BIG bunch of stuff.  So I've talked with him about weekends, and if he could take care of Aiden for 5 hours straight both on Saturdays and Sundays.  And that could be my big cleaning and doing stuff time.

I did print out something off the internet...a list of what it is to be manipulative and abusive emotionally by using things like the silent treatment etc...and I think it surprised him I was feeling that way and that my feelings WERE valid.  I did also ask him what was more than Aiden...and he said that he didn't want Aiden growing up in a home that wasn't available for friends to come over, or that he couldn't be proud of.  And I do understand that.  So we are at least TRYING to compromise...but the therapist idea was brought up....and as for now it's a no-way jose on his part! LOL  Shocker there huh??

post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 

You made me smile with this post!  You are right...it is unfortunate that he feels that way, and I think I'm going to use that! :)  I honestly DREAM of him apologizing like your husband does...I can honestly tell you, with all my heart, I don't ever remember my husband saying the words "I'm sorry".  Never.  I used to nag him until he said it...but it's not the same.  For him to just pop out and say it on his own would be earth-shattering!  I just wish all my worth weren't put into mopping floors. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mummoth View Post

I think everyone makes insensitive comments sometimes... the problem is in the denial. DH was out of town last week and while we were on the phone he mentioned that one of his relatives might stay with us when she's in town. I said "Okay, that sounds good to me." and his reply was that he wasn't asking me, she'd be invited whether I liked it or not. I was like "Excuse me? Was it really necessary to speak to me like that, especially when I've agreed it's a nice idea anyway?" and he immediately apologized. Like any couple,we've had it out over things and usually come to an agreement, but there have been times where both he and I have put our foot down on an issue and the other had to put up & shut up. I don't know if there's anyway you can get your DH to take responsibility for having made the comment, but if he'll do that it'd be the start to him seeing what effect those comments have on you. In the meantime, I wouldn't try to justify how busy I am or how I spend my time to him. If he calls you lazy, you can reply with "It's unfortunate you feel that way." There's no point in going to any extra effort around the house until he changes his attitude, no matter how much you do, he won't see it.



 

post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks caedenmomma....I really do hope that trying to work hard at our marriage, getting advice from everywhere I can possible and trying to make it work can help Aiden and not hurt him.  He's totally worth it, and you are right...DH has no intentions of EVER going to counseling.  I'm planning on this weekend having a nice picnic at a park with just the three of us and telling DH how much he means to me and how important it is to work on things.  Tonight we had a good talk...not a fix-all, it's gonna take time.  I may have to accept some things he does...but if I can understand him more and why he does it and why he thinks the way he does maybe it will help.  Wish me luck! LOL

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by caedenmomma View Post

I am so sorry you are having to deal with this.  I have been in a very unhappy marriage (1st time around), and it's awful.

 

If you choose to go to counseling, expect him to be unsupportive.  IME, men are often really threatened by it.  I would recommend you go alone, to start with, if you can.  And shop around...I've said this a lot on MDC, but remember that therapists are your employees, to be fired if there isn't a respectful connection that feels right to you.  Believe me, I've BTDT.

 

If you love your husband and want to try to improve the relationship, pick a neutral time to tell him how much he means to you.  If he's a good father, tell him how much that means to you.  And let him know how hurtful his words are to you.  Those three things would be a start.

 

Good luck, mama.  Your son looks so beautiful in your avatar.  He is lucky to have a mom who is willing to at least try to work on the marriage.  He will learn how to be a man from his dad, and the best influence over how that will come about is you.



 

post #18 of 28

 

Quote:
I may have to accept some things he does...but if I can understand him more and why he does it and why he thinks the way he does maybe it will help.  Wish me luck!

 

 

Yes, understanding him and his motivation will help you.  Be brave and open your eyes wide so you can see clearly.  I wish you all the best luck.

post #19 of 28

 

Quote:
When I tell my husband to stop He acts like he doesn't know he is doing it, and turns the tables telling me I am making things up and he never meant that etc.  It makes me feel all scrambled and so embarassed.

 

You said you may have to accept some things he does, and that simply does not sit well with me. angry.gif

 

But one result of 'accepting' what he does is that you can acknowledge it, look at it clearly, and then calmly respond.  Your perception of him is changing, you are seeing who he really is. You need to counter his crazy-making comments every time.  Calmly, courageously.

 

He does not respect you.  If you can accept this, believe it, then you can better choose what to do.   

post #20 of 28

I remember these "jokes"  from an old emotional abuser. Now that I am old I cannot stand sarcasm and people "joking around" with me when they are trying to tell me something but too passive aggressive to actually say it.

 

My usual responses are, said with a completely calm straight face:

 

-What exactly are you trying to say to me?

-Please explain what you mean by "repeat joke" because I don't understand.

-I should explain that I don't respond very well to sarcasm and jokes with it comes to serious issues like this. Can you rephrase your statement so I can better understand?

 

Also check out Non-Violent Communication so you can better comprehend the type of interaction you should be receiving from your partner. Undermining you like this is just cruel.

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