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How To Handle Insults By Spouse In Public?

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by snehalJoshi, Apr 29, 2021.

  1. snehalJoshi

    snehalJoshi Silver IL'ite

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    My DH has always been less aware of what to say and how to behave in public. May be because I have seen my father-in-law who has a similar nature. My father-in-law does not hesitate to bad-mouth his wife or son or anyone else.
    Anyway, I can't take more insults especially in public. At home, my DH doesn't think even twice bad-mouthing me. I tried many things to deal with it but failed. But in public, I just cant take it.
    What should be my best course of action. I spoke to him and explained him to not say such things in front of others to me.
    He calls me 'Shameless' for asking him where is the football that kids were playing with. He said loudly 'I gave it to you. you're so shameless that you're asking me back.' We had our friends around us and other unknown families in the playground and they all clearly heard, it was awkward.
    I explained him and he said it won't happen again but a similar incident happened 2 days later in front of another family friend.

    After these incidents my DH acts like as if nothing happened. In spite of me confronting, he doesn't feel guilty or sorry.
    How should I make him stop insulting me especially in public?
     
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  2. KashmirFlower

    KashmirFlower IL Hall of Fame

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    As his father also doing it is very deeply ingrained in your H, not talking to wife with respect.
    He needs to consciously put efforts to change this behavior, counseling helps, but is he or his parents willing to change?
     
    amulya2020 likes this.
  3. chanchitra

    chanchitra Gold IL'ite

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    He is just taking you for granted. Because you are putting up with it.
    If talks have failed , ask him what example is he showing for your kids.
     
    amulya2020 likes this.
  4. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    Next time, just tell him politely but firmly right on the spot: Please don’t speak to me like that. Then walk away.
    He is bullying you. Most bullies are actually cowards. If you confront them they will back down.
     
  5. AppuMom

    AppuMom Gold IL'ite

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    You need to talk to him and give him final warning.Tell him next time if he is doing the same ,you are going to REACT in the same way.My H was same and it went on for 10 yrs.
    Finally I told him Shut his bloody mouth and talk or ask things in a civilized way to get a response from me.That was the end .
     
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  6. DDream

    DDream Platinum IL'ite

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    OP,
    You teach him how to treat you. So far he has not faced any consequences. Its controlling and abusive behavior.

    In public, you cant create a scene, still tell him you cant accept this behavior and its abusive. Walk away. If you have car drive away.

    In home, give him warning like, I can't accept this behavior and if you repeat I will call you the same. Tell him this is final warning. Its important to use a calm or neutral tone. Never give warning in angry mode.

    So next time when he do the same, give it back. Ask him to shut his mouth or copy what he said. He will never expect that. Its like lowering to his level. But some times same medicine works. You have tried other ways. He thinks its ok but he learn only when he get it back.

    Like @AppuMom said, my friend suffered verbal abuse for years. She warned him many times, but he continued. But finally she gave it back. That was the end. She tried all the calm options like walking away, asking him to stop talking like that , discussing pattern, silence for a few days or whatever things you can think of before this step.

    If he is physicaly abusive, be careful.
    I wont suggest anyone to continue in abusive relationship. But try this last option and see how it goes.

    Never listen or obey or accept or respond things when he use improper language, you have to tell him unless he talks or treats you in respectable manner, you wont respond to him. If he want anything he has to ask in a good way. You are with him for these many years, so might have observed a pattern. So analyse if there anything that trigger him. Whatever may be the reason he has no right to abuse you.
    Remember your kids are watching, they may think its ok to accept abuse . So take bold steps
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2021
    amulya2020, SCA, joylokhi and 3 others like this.
  7. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    He seems to agree that it should not happen again. But it happens. Let this be the definition of the problem you have to address. Don't be distracted by side things like he doesn't express guilt or regret.

    Next, do not separate the "at home" and "in public" parts of this problem. In fact, at home, you have more options to point out his habit as there are less people around.

    Instead of confronting him or giving ultimatums that are essentially meaningless, try to come up with an approach that will make him aware of just how often he does it. Think how you can calmly and unemotionally mark each time he is verbally abusive, and walk away or end that conversation. After that, let there be a significant time duration in which you are quiet. Let that silence rather than your words be the echo of his insult. A simple "don't talk to me like that" delivered calmly and then you walk away, no matter how important the conversation.

    You can do that in public too. In a regular voice, tell him "don't talk to me like that" and move away. Retain your dignity. That is what your kids and other people will see. You gave a quiet response and moved away.

    The reason you should not react angrily or emotionally is that if you do so, that serves as the "consequence" and he will consider his act as sufficiently punished by your tirade. In his mind, your angry words will cancel out his insulting words.

    The above will either fix the issue, lessen it or at least make his behavior and your dignified response harder for others to miss.

    If you have been married long enough and he is fine with it, a simpler arrangement would be that you keep a running score of how many times he does it. Whenever he talks like that, you pause and then say a number. 5 or 6 or 7 ... Once a week or two, that counter can be reset.

    Another option is that you note down all instances of his insulting you and bring them up at one shot. Human memory is a funny thing, so be sure to note down sufficient details of each instance. Such as: football in the park April 15th, looking for ball, K's mom and N's dad were nearby too. Maybe if you show him a bunch of such instances, it will register better in his mind.
     
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  8. AppuMom

    AppuMom Gold IL'ite

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    Trust me..I was so gentle,civil,calm with him all those years and nothing worked..Finally using the same tone as his solved the problem...
     
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  9. GregoriaBoul

    GregoriaBoul Silver IL'ite

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    You shouldn't. He should not do this to you in public or not.
     
  10. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    That is true. If we remain patient and calm the other person can think he is getting away with it, so why stop. But, question: if using the same tone as him or reacting in the same way makes the situation worse or leads to a louder, longer argument, then what to do?

    My question is genuine as you have tried this method successfully, not asking it to prove something.
     

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