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Old 08-20-2005, 06:55 AM   #1
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How can I stay calm when he is moody??????

Recently I had a terrible argument with my husband. I try not to fight with him, I see this as a waste of time. I'd rather sit with him and calmly talk about the issues we have. My first husband would argue with me all the time and we didn't get anywhere, now I understand that if you enter the argument you lose. You both lose.

The question is...How do I not enter the argument? How do I shut my mouth and let him be moody and wait until he calms down and is able to have a normal discussion with me.

It is hard to ignore his sullen behaviour, it eats away at me, until I lose control. It was so frustrating during our last fight, that I found myself beating my fists against his chest, tears pouring down my face, crying out, "Why are you doing this to me? Why can't we talk about this?"

I lost control, and made the whole thing much worse than it should have been. He says he wants to be left alone, won't eat any food I prepare for him, talks to me in a low voice, so I can hardly hear what he is saying, and is completely shut off.

If you have any advice, please help, I regret what I did and don't want to do it again.

 
Old 08-20-2005, 07:09 AM   #2
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Re: How can I stay calm when he is moody??????

Do you have small children? Some extra money?

If you don't have small children I would suggest that you NOT stay there while he gives you the silent treatment. That is just as cruel as any argument.
Go shopping. To a friends or family member. Hell, stay overnight in a motel and tell him that when he feels like talking to give you a call.

He's gaining some sort of enjoyment out of your reaction when he does this to you.
What I'm suggesting is that you find a way to deprive him of that reaction.

Make any sense? You can't change him, but you CAN change YOU. And if you change you, then he can't do the same thing and get the same response...

 
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Old 08-20-2005, 07:22 AM   #3
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Re: How can I stay calm when he is moody??????

I think Ruth's advice makes a lot of sense. I can so relate to you because my ex-bf was/is like that. The silent treatment is the most cruel and unusual punishment, 100 times worse than a heated argument, at least to me. Seems like a lot of women feel this way. If he knows you cannot stand when he shuts you out, then I think he does it on purpose to "punish" you. Like Ruth said, if you're not there to be "punished," I think he'll get over his pouting a lot faster. If you can't get out of his presence for a few hours, then I would suggest doing something that takes your mind off of it (I know easier said than done) like some kind of an activity or even watching an interesting movie. You have to show him it doesn't phaze you when he does this, so as not to reinforce his behavior. When he gets such an emotional reaction out of you, that's reinforcing his belief that his strategy is working very effectively. Then he can pout even more because now that you've "lost it," he has even more "reason" to continue ignoring you. Grrrr, I hate when people do this. It borders on abuse to me.

 
Old 08-20-2005, 07:46 AM   #4
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Re: How can I stay calm when he is moody??????

Dear SophiaM and Ruth6:11, thank you so much for your advice and thoughts.

I've stopped short of calling it abuse because I can't think that I've entered another abusive marriage. My husband is a good man. Treats me like a princess most of the time. I always think of our marriage as a balancing act: you have the good times and you balance it out with the bad times. Mostly it is excellent, once in a new moon (literally) we have these dreadful moments when I wonder, "what am I doing here?"

We have a one year old, so it isn't appropriate for me to stay away for the night. But I think I can get in to a good movie. It's clear that I haven't been coping, and I have to change the way I react to the moodiness. I worry about this continuing and affecting our child. How will she react to these moods?

The sad thing is that I find it hard to bounce back, it feels like each time there is an argument, my love for him changes. I don't feel like I can trust him with my love, and as a result, withdraw just a little bit more.

Why is it that the people we love the most can hurt us the most?

I have to talk with him about this one. This is important.

Thank you for helping me work through this

 
Old 08-20-2005, 07:59 AM   #5
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Re: How can I stay calm when he is moody??????

I'm not sure that talking to him about it will do anything positive at this point.
It helps US out to discuss it - but not usually the guy.

I would suggest marriage counseling at this point but I kind of doubt he'd go - and you would need to go without him.
There are certainly concerns about raising a daughter with a father who withdraws and is distant. They tend to either find men like their fathers, or they end up endlessly seeking to gain men's attention.
Perhaps counseling (even just for you) wouldn't be a bad idea. They may have some better ideas as changes you can make that would ultimately affect his actions.

I'm still trying to think of a way to get you out of the house for a time when he is being this way... To at least break the hold he THINKS he has on your emotions...

 
Old 08-20-2005, 08:19 AM   #6
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Re: How can I stay calm when he is moody??????

Dear Ruth6:11, the reason I can't leave the house is because by the time the argument comes to a head, it is always night time. Sometimes during these arguments, we end up going to bed angry, feelings unresolved. Separate beds, not healthy!

We resolve it in the morning, he apologises for his part, I apologise for mine and we move on.

The reason I struggle with this is because it can last for a day. I can't leave for the day, what about our daughter? My family live on the other side of the country and I don't like to involve friends in personal matters like this.

I believe that he would go to a counsellor. He does try to do the right thing, sometimes he loses sight of what is important. His apology always includes words along these lines.

I wish I was able to say something to him during these moods that will snap him out of it, make him realise how he is affecting me and how he could affect our child in the future.

Once I asked him if he thought he sufferred from depression. For some strange reason he reacted positively to that question, and we were able to move forward and avoid the drama of a fully blown argument.

We are committed to this marriage, and we both made an oath to stay together through good and bad times. He reaffirms this often, and I do respect him for that.

 
Old 08-20-2005, 08:36 AM   #7
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Re: How can I stay calm when he is moody??????

Wondering... do you know if his parents had this style of arguing? It may be a pattern he has learned - and just needs the tools to unlearn...
Counseling would be a great place to start for communication tools from a 3rd party..
I'll be back here later, have to work a few hours!!
Take care,

 
Old 08-20-2005, 08:48 AM   #8
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Re: How can I stay calm when he is moody??????

Dear Ruth6:11,

Yes, there has been a lot of unlearning in that area. You have hit the nail on the head.

I am not sure about moodiness coming from the parents though. I do feel safe talking with him about this. I believe he will appreciate the chance to explore possible reasons behind the behaviour.

This is a good one, thanks!

You have to work, I have to sleep.

I feel heaps better now. Much more positive about handling the situation next time it comes around.

Thank you xx

 
Old 08-20-2005, 12:08 PM   #9
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Re: How can I stay calm when he is moody??????

Wait a minute, you guys are jumping in and calling HIM abusive, yet she is the one who pounded on his chest during a fight? What would we all be saying had he been the one to pound on her????

I see the problem here differently. Maybe the husband needs time to cool off and think before just yelling and screaming. Most men don't think as fast as women do and they need a processing time before they are ready to talk things out. But if 2ndtime can't stop herself from jumping right in, them maybe that is why he clams up. The silent treatment is no fun, but maybe he can't get a word in edgewise!!!

AND, you have a one year old daughter? I sincerely hope she did not witness you hitting on her father. What message would that send her out into the world with?

If he is up to counceling then by all means make an appointment and go, so that you can BOTH learn to open up the lines of communication. You said you are withdrawing, so now you are both playing the silent treatment game!

 
Old 08-20-2005, 01:22 PM   #10
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Re: How can I stay calm when he is moody??????

I agree with Ibeshell!!! If someone HIT me I may have a hard time talking to them too.

I love how everyone jumps into these one sided arguments and automatically assumes the MAN is the one who needs rehabilitating.

I think 2ndtimearound is spuing a bunch of stuff that she THINKS everyone wants to hear ("I'd rather sit with him and calmly talk", "I understand that if you enter the argument you lose"), when deep down she KNOWS she screwed up and is paying the price for it because her husband won't talk her. And everyone, up to this point, has only served to justify her behavior.

Last edited by Kali; 08-20-2005 at 01:33 PM.

 
Old 08-20-2005, 05:20 PM   #11
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Re: How can I stay calm when he is moody??????

Dear Kali and Ibeeshell,

It is hard for you to know me and this complex situation just by reading the sentences I have typed. I knew that there would be people who read the pounding chest section and immediately cry out for the fella. That was the first time, and last time I ever lay a finger on my husband and our baby was asleep.

I'm not going to defend myself and I know that it was wrong to touch him, that's why I'm asking for constructive ideas to help me leave him alone, so he can think about things. I pounded on his chest after 5 hours of the silent treatment, trying to get him to understand that he was having an impact on me.

During an argument, you have no idea how little I actually say. A still tongue is golden. You should know that I do not say what people think I should say. I learn from previous mistakes and move on.

So may I ask you to please respect the fact that I am being truthful in my account, and not saying things that I want you to read. I believe in what I feel, I've been married before, and I know what is right and wrong. Sometimes, I get stuck.

Thank you for your ideas however, it's good to see what other people think. I hope to raise a person who is proud of her parents and I'm trying hard to work towards that.

 
Old 08-21-2005, 08:16 AM   #12
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Re: How can I stay calm when he is moody??????

Most people give advice out of their own experience or someone they know. There can be the classic male/female perspective issues. I'm glad you've had enough life experience to recognize that here.

I really think that counseling with a third party would be a better bet than trying to talk to him - which leads to an argument - which leads to the silent treatment... heavy sigh...

Assuming that he'll know you are serious when you ask him to go are you prepared to go by yourself??
And just cause I AM female, there is an outside chance that your body is still dealing with the horomone/(read body's chemicals) changes due to childbirth. If that enters into it it won't fix his silent treatment of you, but your reaction to it may be easier to control in time.
Counseling is still a great idea no matter what because there are definitely areas that you two could work on in communication. Which you already know!!
:angel;

 
Old 08-21-2005, 08:23 AM   #13
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Re: How can I stay calm when he is moody??????

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ndtimearound
It is hard for you to know me and this complex situation just by reading the sentences I have typed.
Exactly. We don't know the situation, which is why I find it so.... odd, that people would think "oh poor you, he's ignoring you". I'll tell you one thing, if my husband laid a hand on me, it would be a cold day in July before I ever talked to him again. And that's not because I would want to punish him, it would be because our entire relationship changed in that instant... for the worse.

I'm sorry if I don't think it's any different when a woman hits a man. You still PHYSICALLY accosted your husband. No other words in your original post stood out as clear as those. And then to wonder why he is ignoring you is even odder!!

And I also don't think you just one day go from having a "silent tounge" to beating on your husband. MUCH, MUCH more leads up to that instant. I know, I've been in an abusive realtionship.

I think you need to think about anger management as part of your counseling. Including your husband in that would be a good idea, but you need to deal with the issues that cause you to lash out physically. And as Ruth mentioned, hormones can take control after a baby. Have you been evaluated for postpartum depression? I think asking your doctor about that might also be wise. You don't want to lash out at your daughter in a moment of frustration.

Erin

Last edited by Kali; 08-21-2005 at 08:32 AM.

 
Old 08-21-2005, 08:51 AM   #14
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Re: How can I stay calm when he is moody??????

Yes, but what came first, the chicken or the egg?? Does the husband usually retreat into the silent mode every time they're trying to have a discussion about something, and then she got so frustrated in this particular instance that she lashed out physically, or does she always lash out physically, which causes him to ignore her for prolonged periods of time? From what the poster wrote, the first scenario seems to be more accurate. It looks like this beating on his chest behavior was a result of extreme frustration with his refusal to talk to her, which perhaps doesn't make it "right," but still. It's not like she routinely "abuses" her husband and beats him over the head with a frying pan every time they argue. Personally, it would drive me crazy if someone always resorted to the silent treatment, so coupled with all the stress she must be experiencing as a mother of a one-year-old, I can at least understand why she is upset about the situation.

I do agree that they might need some kind of outside help to suggest better ways of resolving conflicts. I don't know how often this happens, but if it's a regular occurence, I think the silent treatment can erode a marriage.

 
Old 08-21-2005, 10:56 AM   #15
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Re: How can I stay calm when he is moody??????

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ndtimearound
The question is...How do I not enter the argument? How do I shut my mouth and let him be moody and wait until he calms down and is able to have a normal discussion with me.
I guess this is the statement I am not quite understanding. If he is giving you the sullen, silent treatment, then how exactly does he need to "calm down"? I think of someone needing to calm down as being in a rage, like storming thru the house or resorting to violence...... Instead he is simply not talking to you, which is childish, but seems to be his coping skills.

My hub used to leave the house, when he was younger. Just go for a drive. He needed that time to think about it. I would get more upset, because I wanted to talk it out right then and there!! I am a redhead with the temper and all! BUT I learned that I also needed that cooling time too. So we didn't say silly things, didn't drag needless crap into the already heated subject. So he would go for a drive and I would clean something!!! When he came back, we would be able to spat it out equally! Done, over with, all forgiven. He still does this once in awhile, but not as much, because we have a secure relationship and are pretty much in tune with one another.

Good analogy, Sophia!!!

Last edited by ibeeshell; 08-21-2005 at 10:57 AM.

 
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