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Husband corrected me in front of stepson

Dandy1027's picture

My husband and I have not been getting along lately and tension has been high. My 13 year old stepson and I have a great relationship and spend a lot of time alone hanging out while his dad is at work. He had ADD and in conversations often interrupts and tries to finish my sentences. It gets brought up and he apologizes and we move on. Last night at dinner he did it again and I frustrated said go ahead finish my sentence you already know the answer (and there was some sarcasm in my voice.) He apologized and we dropped it. A minute later my husband in front of him tells me that he doesn't think he was trying to dominate the conversation, he was only trying to engage and I was taking my frustration out on him.

My issue is not that he had that opinion but rather that he brought it up in front of his son. I felt undermined and disrespected by my husband. I told him in private that I would like him to talk to me about that stuff in private. He didn't agree and said that he wanted his son to know he was sticking up for him. His son and I have a perfectly healthy relationship and I don't feel there was any need for this. I'm still pretty hurt and upset. Has anyone had similar issues? Am I overreacting by feeling this way?

SacrificialLamb's picture

I don't think your SS should have interrupted you. I don't think you should have responded with sarcasm in your voice. And I don't think your DH should have corrected you in front of his son so he could demonstrate he was sticking up for him. He needs to be teaching his son manners, and he just gave him permission to interrupt you in the future.

So you all could have done better, but I think you know that.

Does your DH want your SS to see you as an authority figure or someone he can trample on? Because if the answer is authority figure, he telling your SS that he doesn't need to respect you by correcting you in front of him. You are also not the sacrificial lamb to be used to show SS how important he is to his dad (something I have a lot of experience with... Sad Sad )

You didn't mention why else you and DH aren't getting along and why tensions are high. Maybe counseling would help?

ETA: Don't know if you posted in a good forum where your post will get a lot of views and comments....

ChiefGrownup's picture

Follow his lead. Next time dad issues a punishment or gets cross with the boy, negate him. Then you tell dh, all innocence and eyelashes, "I wanted to show him that I would stick up for him, too. I'm doing what you asked, right?"

Yes, I'm getting very cynical about these dads. More often than not you just have to clobber them over the head.

SacrificialLamb's picture

You're just now getting cynical?? Blum 3 Blum 3

But I love your idea to stick it right back at him.

ChiefGrownup's picture

Good point! I'm a bit late!

I'm the gal who locked up the dishes. It "only" took me THREE YEARS to finally realize it was the only way I'd be able to reduce the Matterhorn of dirty ones that perpetually loomed in my kitchen. Since skids can't be asked to help out let alone do their own dishes, doncha know.

ChiefGrownup's picture

I'm not usually, either. In fact, never. But steplife is a place you fall into through a rabbit hole. Up is down here.

If she plays it all innocence and eyelashes, it won't seem like tit for tat to him.

Their marriage is already in trouble - if she doesn't get this "paint my wife as a villain I must protect pwecious from" under control, the whole thing will fall apart anyway.

Soooooo....all's fair in love and war, right? He made it war -- she's trying to turn it back into love!

SacrificialLamb's picture

I had a boss who was an expert at making people feel really uncomfortable when he was interrupted. He simply stopped talking and looked right back at you. It worked.

moeilijk's picture

I don't think it's necessary to hide feelings or challenges from kids.

So I guess, if I were you and my DH said to me, in front of his kid, that I had taken my frustration out on his kid because his kid wasn't behaving so badly anyway, in my ideal world where I never lose my cool, I would have said:

"DH, SS interrupted and that is rude. Sometimes I remind him and it's no big deal, and sometimes reminding SS about interrupting is a bigger deal. It's ok to have a bad day, to feel frustrated or irritated, and it's ok if other people know how you feel. So now you and SS know that I'm frustrated, and that if you behave rudely, like interrupting me, I'm not as easy-going about it as usual. But that's ok, because it's ok to be feeling frustrated.

I also think it's really too bad that you feel like you need to tell SS interrupting is ok just because I was more frustrated than usual when correcting him. SS is growing up into a fine young man who can say whatever he needs to say whenever he needs to. When SS isn't happy with me, I hope he talks to me about it, because I care about my relationship with him. It's pretty silly for you to talk about how I feel to SS, or about how SS feels to me, when obviously SS and I can talk to each other!

I will be eating all the ice cream for dessert. You guys can go out in the backyard and eat dirt."

ChiefGrownup's picture

You know, this is actually wonderful. Too bad extremely few of us would think of it in the moment. But it's great and maybe some of us can master it even a little bit. Fingers crossed. Glad you posted.

moeilijk's picture

I think I'd be feeling hurt, angry, and powerless... and that's because of the DH chastising me on behalf of someone else. It's such a manipulative thing to do, so that's what I would be trying to address with that.

I'd like to leave the conversation knowing that SS 'overheard' that I like him just the way he is, that it's ok to feel bad sometimes, and that the way to handle relationships is to talk to the other person in the relationship with you!

Otherwise, DH has just been using SS as a pawn in his campaign to make me look/feel bad, and my relationship with SS would suffer.

ChiefGrownup's picture

Yes, it was a thing of beauty. It even threw subtle shade at dad for apparently trying to convince the boy that sm doesn't like him. Not really an aimed dart, but the subtle shade is a nice side effect. Dad tries to make sm the villain? Oh, that bounces right off her and sticks to dad! Glorious!

Although I am going to try to learn the lesson here, I'm actually not usually suffering this particular step-vice. When we first got married it was dh himself who brought it up that we should always support each other in front of the children and speak later in private. He has stuck to that. But your approach can be adapted to many situations, I'm sure, and I'm gonna try to try it. <-- (not a typo, pretty sure I'll mangle it but it will be a sincere effort)

I4gotit83's picture

I'm sorry this happened to you, I must say it feels better knowing I'm not the only one.... I have literally begged my boyfriend to stop doing that shit. We have gotten in countless fights over it and I've left over it too... stupid enough to always come back after his broken promises to never do it again.....

bd-sm's picture

I think if I copped
"sorry SS, SM is taking her frustrations out on you, you've done nothing wrong by interrupting" I'd come back with
"sorry your dad doesn't think interrupting is rude, SS - and sorry that he's just undermined me in front of you. That's really bad parenting, and I hope you'll do better when you have kids of your own".

What's good enough for the goose is good enough for the gander.

ChiefGrownup's picture