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Mimicking Daddy

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My dh grew up in a very disfunctional household. He does not handle frustration well and is very easily frustrated and when he is frustrated, he is disrespectful of me. This has always upset me and I have brough it up time and time again to no avail. But it used to happen infrequently enough that it was easier to overlook. : Lately, for whatever reason (and none of them truly having to do with me), dh has been frustated with me at some point everyday and has been quite inappropriate in his behavior towards me in front of ds. (Visibly impatient, snappy, etc) Tonight we had some friends over and ds wanted more space on the couch and his friend wasn't quite understanding what ds was communicating and then, out of ds's mouth, in exacty the tone (the tone which says, you're such an idiot) I'd heard earlier in the week from dh, pops, a disgusted and exasperated, "jeeze". For all awful feelings that come when dh treats me this way, this was like a knife in my heart.
I tried to talk to dh about it, for as much as he can be impulsive and self absorbed, he does wish to teach ds a better way to be. But, I am not hopeful, as I've tried for years now to let dh know that this is an unaccepatable way to communicate.
This is so important and I feel like it is out of my hands since ds sees dh as his rolemodel. I guess I am here seeking advice on 1) ways to help dh get it and 2) any possible ways to help guide ds away from this behavior even if dh cannot.
I should add that ds and dh adore eachother and dh devotes tireless hours playing with ds and has this amazing ability to intuitively understand what he needs (as I do). But why can he then be so awful to me?
post #2 of 4
Dalai. I've dealed with stuff like this before, and it is really hard. Sometimes people don't realize what they are doing or how they are sounding, or even how often they are like that. I would seriously consider counseling. I know it seems drastic, but it is not good for your self-image or your sons image of his mother and other women. Your son will eventually forget it if dh stops the behavior, and constant reminders of how it is not nice to say stuff like that, and that we need to show respect for all people.

It got so bad for me in my family that I ended up leaving the kids' dad for 4 months. My daughter got mad at me one day and called me a "stupid b*cth" and that was that. I packed up the essentials went to my mom's house and then made my own life. The kids' dad wised up and came down here and has been loving and respectful ever since, and words like that have not come out of his mouth since.

Sometimes it takes drastic measures for people to see what they are doing to the people they love. Best wishes to you, and let me know how it goes. PM me if you want, I have been through this kind of stuff and WORSE and have lived to tell about it.
post #3 of 4
dalai'ma, Sounds like our DH's were separated at birth. Same exact problem here, to a "T".

Honestly, I've found the only thing that helps is consistently reminding him, and also to not let it get me mad. When I react in like kind to him, it escalates beyond fast. But if I do that countto10&breathe before opening my mouth, I can respond gently ... kind of like gentle discipline for my DH : ... and it help him to realize his response reflexes are screwed up.

Often he'll get frustrated with my, well, frustration with his frustration. He'll say that's the way he is, can't change. But for all the dysfunction of his childhood, and the downright nastiness of his surroundings growing up, I deeply believe he just has to learn proper responses because he was never taught them.

Practice, practice, practice. For the DH and for the DW.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the !
ITA about the counseling, but the problem is that DH has to really see that it is a problem for counseling to do any good and at this point, he does not realize how he sounds nor how often he sounds this way.

I also totally agree about it sometimes taking drastic measures to promt change. And I am so willing to take them if need be b/c ds is much too precious to be taught such garbage.

The notion of practice is a good reminder for me too. One problem is that the impatient and snappy comment is very often dh's parting shot, which leaves me telling ds, "Daddy made a mistake, it's not nice to talk to mama like this. Be kind to mama", but I need a much better way to articulate all that to a 2 yo. And it's still only damage control.

This morning dh brought it up and said that he does understand how important it is and does not want to teach ds this behavior. Okay, that's step 1 (and we've ben here before, but at least it's not denial which is where we used to be : ). Now for step 2, realizing when he is doing it and 3, not doing it anymore.
Thanks again for the support and advice.
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