Post # 1
I need some advice. Earlier today I was nagging my husband about silly household things because I was feeling unappreciated (in the moment). He became more and more distant and reserved, which made me feel worse and worse (and I nagged him more and more). Then he snapped ‘leave me alone!’ and started to go upstairs. Without thinking, I made a sarcastic comment along the lines of ‘right, that’s exactly what I need’. Then he completely exploded, and rushed downstairs towards me repeatedly yelling ‘F you’ at the top of his lungs (he was yelling other things too, but I can’t remember what). I was sitting on the couch, and just closed my eyes, put my fingers in my ears and kept repeating ‘stop, stop’. After 5 or 10 seconds he did.
He blames me for ‘pushing his buttons’. I understand that my nagging brought this about. I have (I think) identified the feelings underlying my behavior, and plan on apologizing and making a stronger effort to stop nagging him. I also plan on talking with him about things he can say or ask when I am nagging him that will help me to stop (such as ‘I feel like you’re nagging me right now and it’s rally upsetting me’, or ‘Are you feeling stressed right now? What’s making you act this way?’).
I’m just having a really difficult time processing his language. He has blown up before, normally when I’m repeating sentences trying to explain myself or nagging him about something. This has only happened 3 or 4 times in the past 7 years. It’s always just been him yelling and/or crying, and once he moved his hands forcefully on either side of me but didn’t actually touch me. He’s never cursed at me like this, and I have never been scared of him before. I felt like if I looked at him or moved he could actually hit me, although this is probably just me overreacting.
I’ve been married for almost one year, and we’ve been together for 7. I should also say that overall our relationship is wonderful–he is my best friend. He doesn’t insult or belittle me in other ways.
Am I overreacting? It would be really helpful to get some other opinions about this.
Thanks in advance.
Post # 3
@eccarpen: I know a lot of people are going to say leave because that is unacceptable. Personally I would get away for a few days, think about the relationship and if he wasn’t prepared to go to counselling to deal with the issues and his anger, I would walk away… In the end only you can decide and everyone has moments where they snap but his snapping was relatively extreme…
Post # 4
I don’t think it’s acceptable for anyone to speak to their significant other that way under any circumstance. That being said, I don’t think people should be stunned or shocked when their significant other just can’t take nagging/hounding/micromanaging/whatever anymore. I’ve been more than guilty of snapping when I’ve just had enough of people, and if someone plugged their ears and chanted at me, that’d just set me off even more. My rationale would be, you get to nag me incessently, but when I’ve had enough and respond, you just shut down and chant for me to stop? That would send me over the moon. If my husband acted that way, I’d not be a happy camper.
Granted, if he was nagging me incessently, that would mean that we were both in the wrong. People have their limits, and people need to learn to better communicate. Nagging solves nothing. Snapping, screaming and hurling insults solves nothing. Both you and your husband are wrong here. It sounds to me like neither of you really know how to communicate your wants/needs properly (It really doesn’t matter how long two people have been together.)
Are you overreacting? Well, that’s sticky. I think both of you are overreacting, but I don’t think this is necessarily a red flag and a one way ticket to Divorceville.
Post # 5
Thanks for your comments.
BToR: I am definitiely giving it some time to cool down, and so is he. He did apologize briefly, but doesn’t seem to think that his behavior was that extreme given the circumstances.
Hyperventilate: I appreciate your balanced view, but I feel I should clarify that I wasn’t really ‘chanting’ at him–I was saying the word ‘stop’ once every few seconds. I wasn’t doing this to annoy him, I was scared and really just wanted him to stop and didn’t know what else to do. I know that I am partly to blame because I did nag him a lot, and I am working on that and will continue to work on it with him.
We have argued before, and are pretty darn good at talking through things afterwards and compormising and supporting one another. But like I said before, I’ve never been scared like this, and it’s really shaken me up. I’m in unfamiliar territory.
Post # 6
@eccarpen: Given he was highly annoyed at the time he won’t see it as extreme. You have to remember, that he didn’t experience the fear aspect, so to him he just snapped and yelled. Give yourselves time to cool off and then talk about it properly. Maybe have a chalkboard set up where you can both write stuff up that needs doing and it gets wiped off when its done. That way he can be reminded without you having to nag…
Post # 7
I say give it a few days and have a chat about how each of you can work on your behavior to avoid that in the future. If it’s something that becomes a more regular occurrence I suggest counseling. Good luck! I’m sure tons of people will tell you to leave but honestly blow ups can happen. It’s not automatically an indication something is terribly wrong beyond repair. That is assuming you feel safe and happy in the relationship.
Post # 8
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
It sounds like you two need to work on communicating.
You say you were nagging him. Is that because he was shirking his chores? Do you have an agreed-upon system for chores?
If you can figure out systems that work for both of you, YOU won’t nag and HE won’t lose his patience.
You also need to set down some ground rules about “nagging.” If he’s not doing things he said he would do, you need to have an acceptable way to remind him that he doesn’t consider “nagging.” Ask him how he’d like to be reminded, b/c frankly, he set himself up in this situation (I assume), by not doing things he was supposed to do.
And then you need to set some boundaries about language that’s acceptable when he’s angry. I will never be okay with my FI telling me to Fuck off, personally. That one is off the table. But people get angry, so he needs some language “outlets.”
Good luck, OP!!!
Post # 9
@eccarpen: I have an FI with a temper, and very rarely he yells or says something hurtful- maybe once or twice a year- he’s never sworn at me though…
I take a very hard stance against it. I stay very calm and leave the room when he yells, period. I tell him he needs to get a grip and to find me once he stops being so mad. If I had anything to apologize for, I certainly do, but I really get onto him and don’t take his behavior. Because I don’t put up with it, it’s gotten better because he realizes it does nothing for him. FTR, I’ve cried before too haha but in general I try to handle it calmly and don’t give him a big reaction. He always comes to me eventually to apologize.
anyway, I would be very upset if he said F you to me. You may need to see if he will go to some anger management. At the very least, try to take a hard stance against it. Tell him you’re sorry you nagged but that his behavior is unacceptable and next time you will leave to stay at a froend’s house and come back when he can be rational.
Post # 10
Unfortunately, the way your DH reacted to you is not that uncommon. That’s great you realize that you play a large part in why your man reacts the way he does to you. Whether it’s a man or woman, NOBODY likes being nagged at and talked down to, so that’s something you need to stop immediately if you don’t want your DH to continue to blow up at you.
It sounds like you yourself have some stuff going on inside that’s causing you to react to your DH by nagging at him and baiting him into arguments — when you take a parting shot at someone with a passive-aggressive statement as they leave the room that you know would piss them off, that’s baiting. For your own sanity and being able to take control over the part you play in this toxic dynamic, I’d highly recommend you see someone you can trust to sort out your emotions in a healthy manner.
Overall, it looks like you and your DH need to learn healthier ways of communicating when you are upset. In the interim, the best tip to deal with an angry accusatory man is to lovingly disengage when he’s yelling at you. The moment he gets in your face and starts to go off, just tell him in a calm (and loving if you can) voice that you don’t want to be yelled at and that you want to talk to him when he’s not angry and just walk away. Let him blow off some steam all by himself, without you there to attack he should be able to calm down quicker.
Post # 11
@eccarpen: I want a partner, not a parent. If my husband nagged me like my mother would, I’d tell him to fuck off, too. We swear a lot in our daily lives and I don’t see “fuck” as the end of the world. It’s all semantics.
You relentlessly wouldn’t stop bugging him, even when he tried to leave the situation. He felt cornered and reacted. I think you both need to work on communicating effectively with each other. I don’t see swearing as worse than nagging, especially when you mutter under your breath when he leaves and cover your ears when he speaks. Really? My 4 year old nephew does that. It’s not very mature.
Post # 12
It’s hard to give advice without hearing his side of the story, but I will say this. It almost sounds like your husband had a build up and then he snapped. He is likely the the type that holds things in and then when it comes out, it’s not pretty. Having said that, IT DOES NOT MEAN that he is abusive. He may have anger issues, but there are many people who do. Nobody likes to feel like they are being nagged, it is not a good feeling.
1. Perhaps you both need to go somewhere to neutural territory and sit down and set up a plan for who is responsible for what around the house. It is not our job to nag other adults, if he is responsible for something and it doesnt get done, then that’s his issue, learn not to sweat the small stuff.
2. It is easy to push each other’s buttons, but that is not cool, you have to learn when to back off and walk away.
3. It’s best for either of you not to address anything when you are angry because the other party is not listening, they are only trying to fitgure out how to get their point across.
3. I think you are right to deal with what was going on within in you, those underying feelings you desribed, we can’t control what another person does, we can only contorl what we do and often it is by changing out behavior and the way in which we deal with and respond to things that others will change their behaivor in accordance.
4. Marital counseling can be a good thing, if both parties are willing.
5. Recommended book- http://www.amazon.com/The-Love-Languages-Secret-Lasts/dp/0802473156
This may help you.
Good luck to you.
Post # 14
Hyperventilate and @MrsPanda99: Exactly this! I love when I come to a thread, scroll the comments, and someone has already said precisely what I wanted to:)
OP, was your husband right to say things that hurt you? No. But, honestly, your behavior sounds really annoying and I think you’re going overboard with playing the victim here. You are both in the wrong, let things blow over for a few days and then have a discussion where you two *mutually* figure out how to communicate going forward.
Post # 15
Sounds like you were being a bully. He said leave him alone and you retorted with a smart ass comment. Then, you couldn’t deal with his reaction. You both have issues to address.
Post # 16
Some men also honestly don’t realize harsh language and raised voices can be frightening. My husband’s father disciplined him in that way, and he played football, so he was very used to men cursing and yelling when they are upset, and it doesn’t even faze him. He seemed legitimately shocked and surprised when I explained that I get very uncomfortable/scared around that behavior, because it doesn’t make him uncomfortable/scared at all. Now when he gets upset, he only sounds/acts mildly annoyed, rather than like the angry football coach.
If your husband’s behavior made you scared of him, I would tell him that–I do not think his intention is to frighten you, and hopefully that alone will make him instantly change his behavior. Good husbands do not want to frighten their wives!