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Thread: Tips for stopping cycle of fighting?

  1. #11
    Platinum Member Lambert's Avatar
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    Congratulations to you for sticking to therapy and improving yourself! its hard, but necessary for everyone to constantly work on ourselves. it never stops.

    Your husband sounds like he is not ready for change or growth. Cause the truth is we can either hold on to our same old ways, getting the same old results or grow.

    unfortunately, he has to decide that for himself and do the actual work. You've taken on a lot of responsibility to fix things and I wonder where is his effort in this?

    I am a calm conflict person. I can express myself fairly well and will I generally walk away from a person with a crazy temper. I just donít and won't let someone unleash on me over unfolded laundry or some other mundane task.

    I've learned over the years, that a person committed to being aggressive as a fighting style it doesn't matter if it's c warranted or not. That is how they learned to deal b with conflict, emotions etc and it has worked for them in the past. That's c why they do it. When we learn something works we stick with it... that didn't mean it's right.

    A lot of what you wrote would be deal breakers for me. But that is something you have to think about for yourself.

    I think you need to learn how to drive. That's important for anyone to know how to do. It is your key to independence.

    Secondly, I would try to find a way to tell your hubs he needs to put some work in both, the household and the marriage. He's not your father. Lording over you, he's your husband, what should be an equal.

    He wants to be in this marriage, but does he see you as equals?

    if you can't talk to him about this and come to a compromise and plan together, why are you in this marriage?

    He can fix himself and control his temper. if he can't stick with a therapist, continues to make more excuses and blame you, you have to decide. Is that is good enough for you and your daughter?

    Remember you're teaching her what love is, what marriage is, how a woman should be treated... you must be a strong woman to raise a strong woman.

  2. #12
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Only focus on this and stop jumping through hoops. You see, he know it works to push you like that. So, although counter-intuitive, do much less, not more. Do not reward verbal abuse, nagging or bossing around.
    Originally Posted by leseine7
    A better colleague at work. A better mother. A better person

  3. #13
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    If your husband refuses to cooperate with you, lower your standards. Don't have a house that looks straight out of Pinterest. Do the bare minimum as opposed to having a spotless house. And, go with the flow. If something was forgotten, then you'll have to go back to the grocery store or let him do it since he takes care of errands. With repeated, unnecessary trips, eventually he'll realize that both of you need to update grocery lists as you run out of things.

    It's a good idea to see a therapist and find out how the therapist can help you and your marriage.

    I'm a neat and clean freak. My husband helps but I don't nag him to do everything. There are times when it's easier for me to tackle certain tasks while he does what he's good at such as home repairs, home maintenance, car repairs, car maintenance, mowing the lawn, tending to the flower gardens, always making sure both cars have a full tank of gas, always making sure both cars are cleaned, construction, plumbing, electrical, anything mechanical, computerized, etc.

    My husband is not a great cook so I cook while he plucks herbs, washes produce, cleans up during cooking prep and cleans up again post-dinner. Or, while I declutter, clean and organize, he sells what I don't want. We work in unison based upon our strengths.

    I like to make things. I'm creative with quilting, calligraphy, knitting, embroidery and artistic pursuits. He loves to fix things so we save a ton of money because we never have to hire contractors. He's very handy and has handyman skills.

    I'm a mother of two sons. I say: Spend more time with your baby girl. She will grow up fast. One day, you will look back and ask yourself why you were so obsessed with maintaining a fastidious cleaning regimen instead of sitting on the floor playing with your daughter, reading to her, taking her on a swing ride, taking a walk with her in a stroller or having enjoyable family outings instead? Her babyhood and childhood are fleeting moments. Within a blink of an eye, she will be all grown up and you'll regret you didn't spend more down time with her when you had your chance. The dust can wait. Spend more quality time with your daughter and ditch the fighting because fighting is a waste of your time and energy.

    As for your husband, have him redirect his ire by spending more time with his daughter and you. Have a picnic, go for a bike ride with a baby bike seat and learn to appreciate these priceless days. Stop quibbling and fighting because it's exhausting.

    Find joy in life. Look at the big picture and what's important. When your daughter is grown, you'll have too much time on your hands for house work, meal planning and the like. Concentrate on what's important which is your precious family life. Change the way you think and you'll become a much happier, secure person.

    Also, have a heart-to-heart talk with your husband while your daughter is asleep for a long time. Tell him that you need to be treated with respect including respectful way of speaking. Tell him that if he wants to remain in this marriage, he needs to treat you with respect, kindness, consideration and softness. Tell him it's team work all the way. Tell him that you don't want to fight and it's time to be selfless in order to keep the peace.

    And, being a better person isn't about who does the most chores on time. It's about learning to let it go even if the dishes pile up once in a while. Your daughter will always remember quality time spent with you and her father and she couldn't care less about dirty dishes.

    Set your priorities straight. Family first.

  4. #14
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Going to be harsh and blunt here. If you want to stop the fighting, the answer you don't want to hear is leave. Since you don't want to/aren't ready yet, here is what you can do:

    1) Stop catering to him and his foo issues. You can't fix him and you are absolutely correct - you (or anyone really) can never please him. He is an abusive sob and he will always find reasons to be unhappy with anything you do because whatever you or anyone does, he will always move targets. His goal is actually to be in control and his version of control over others is to always be displeased with whatever is being done.

    2) Boundaries. Firm, hard boundaries. Trying to live up to his mother....OP...how dare he ever compare you to his mother and ....equally unhealthy on your part to look up to what sounds like a disordered psycho control freak. STOP. Figure out what YOU want, what YOU are willing to do and NOT do (emphasis added on what NOT do) and also give him chores to do and stick to it. I can pretty much guarantee you he'll have a raging tantrum and if that doesn't make you cave in, he'll get passive aggressive. Maintaining boundaries and enforcing them is going to be exhausting and will feel like you live in an active war zone, but if you want to get on top of the fighting, you will have to persevere until he yields. It will be hard, it will be exhausting for you since you are a giving person who wants to please, but you will have to unlearn that and get tough and stay tough forever if you want this marriage to work. Basically, you'll need to put on the proverbial pants and take charge and be unrelenting in enforcing boundaries.

    3) Grey rock - google the term. Whatever bs, guilt tripping, blame shifting nonsense he tries to throw your way - you don't react. He screams that you are a terrible mother, your response is a calm and cold "sorry you feel that way" and nothing else. No emotion, no reaction, just turning it all around on him. If that's how he feels, that's on him, not you. Sounds simple in theory, but very very hard in practice not to defend yourself when under attack, especially volatile, absurd, and unreasonable attack.

    4) Accept that he is a walking personality disorder and that they don't get better. There is no cure and his tears and promises are crocodile tears. What you see is what you get and unless you become proficient in the above boundaries and grey rock.....things will never get better for you, but they will get worse. The therapist he rejected told him what he doesn't want to hear. Sure, he might find another one who is willing to be softer, just be quiet and listen and take his fees and bs him, but again and with emphasis, there is no cure for a personality disorder even when the disordered wants relief. Overall, though, they are manipulative enough to simply get away with it and live quite comfortably being who they are. Which leads to my final point....

    5) If you want the fighting to stop and want him to actually respected you (right now he doesn't....see raging fits), he has to fear you on some level. He has to fear that you will bring on the consequences to his behavior which will lead him to lose something he actually cares about - be it money, social status, access to child, etc. You want peace, you will need to figure out what it is and leverage it.

    Now....do you really want to live in this madness for another 20, 40, 50 years? Is this really acceptable to you? Do you want your child to grow up like this? Sometimes leaving isn't the worst thing you can do....staying is.

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  6. #15
    Platinum Member boltnrun's Avatar
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    I endorse what Dancing Fool wrote, 110%.

    I'd just like to add a bit...he does it because he likes it. And that's why he won't stop. He enjoys seeing you cower, rush to obey him, perhaps beg, plead and declare your love for him. It gives him a woody to see you like that. It makes him feel like a big powerful stud. So, why would he want to give that up?

    The only solution, as DF wrote, is to stop giving him the big woody. Stop reacting the way he's gotten to expect you to. It will take a while and probably a lot of tantrums (as DF wrote) but if you can get through however long that lasts you MIGHT be able to build a new dynamic where he isn't the boss.

    Personally I wouldn't be up for it, marriage and child or not. I wouldn't want to expose my child to that kind of life.

  7. #16
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I don't support divorce unless it's absolutely necessary so I can understand your stance and not having reached that point yet. I also don't think you're at that point in your marriage but the level of passive aggressiveness and negativity coming from your partner needs to stop. It did cross my mind that he may be overly critical of you because he is insecure. Insecure individuals are usually not ever content with their space or with others. I dealt with a lot of insecurity in my marriage and wasn't able to sustain the level of negativity coming from my partner. I think you have to think twice about your own mental health as well as that of your partner's.

    In the working it out stages you'll look for answers like his upbringing for why he is the way he is. It's rationalization on your part for your feelings of inadequacy and unease. Be careful that this doesn't reach levels of emotional and psychological abuse. He agreed to getting help so work together on finding counselling or therapist services. If you're both tight on a budget there are professionals that work on a sliding scale too or may be 100% subsidized. How easy or realistic or convenient is it for both of you to book an appointment and find childcare for your daughter? Commit to doing this together. Not all couples have that luxury or where two people are open or committed to working through their issues with a third party.

    I personally think your husband himself feels inadequate. People who are stable and confident in themselves don't behave in nitpicky or condescending ways. He wouldn't be constantly finding fault with you if he feels secure as a father or husband. For your marriage, try and uncover what those issues are with help from a qualified professional or open up the discussion more. This has to be 50/50 and he has to be willing to commit to acknowledging his feelings or this pattern won't stop.

    I think half the battle is already won (so to speak) when YOU realize that this is unhealthy. You are that other 50% so don't stand for it and if your gut instincts are telling you something is imbalanced or off in your marriage, pay attention and don't let it slide. Be very careful as the years can add on and this can snowball. Hope you both are able to work through this together.

  8. #17
    Platinum Member LaHermes's Avatar
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    I also endorse DancingFool 110%

    "Now....do you really want to live in this madness for another 20, 40, 50 years? Is this really acceptable to you? Do you want your child to grow up like this? Sometimes leaving isn't the worst thing you can do....staying is."

    And Bolt 110%

    "He enjoys seeing you cower, rush to obey him, perhaps beg, plead and declare your love for him. It gives him a woody to see you like that. It makes him feel like a big powerful stud. So, why would he want to give that up?
    "



    He doesn't wish to seek help for his issues and fell out with the first doctor he consulted (probably didn't much like the mirror that was held up to him!).

    And what Lambert said:

    " Is that is good enough for you and your daughter?

    "Remember you're teaching her what love is, what marriage is, how a woman should be treated... you must be a strong woman to raise a strong woman."

  9. #18
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by leseine7
    The cycle is that he'll "joke" almost every day about how "Oh, Mom forgot to do that again..." or "why did you move that there? What are you thinking?" The jokes are confusing to me mixed with genuine arguments around how little I do for the home and marriage. Then I won't react positively to the "joke," and he will get angry and roll his eyes and sigh that I don't understand his humour.
    This really does not look good, unfortunately. Mean spirited jokes, rolling of eyes--all signs of contempt. I don't know if you can fix contempt.

  10. #19
    Platinum Member LaHermes's Avatar
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    Yes. Contempt. The worst of the Four Horsemen (see Gottman).

  11. #20
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    My ex husband was like this.... read "ex", not current... and that's one of the reasons he is my ex.

    I know how scary it is to think of living your life without him in it... You may think you need him but you don't... I encourage you to visualize yourself being successful with or without him, and make a plan for how you might function no matter what happens... because even though you spend all your time being codependent with him, that's no guarantee that the relationship will last forever.

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