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Husband's always right

(52 Posts)
Mom3 Mon 21-Aug-23 23:57:10

My DH is 80 years old. We've been married over fifty years. More and more, he can get very nasty towards me. He can go on and on about different topics and if I finally try to say something, he'll say I am butting in and not letting him speak. This is often after he has gone on for fifteen minutes or longer non-stop. If I point out how he has spoken to me, he says I'm starting a fight.
Does anyone else have to cope with something like this?

greenlady102 Thu 24-Aug-23 13:12:14


His behavior has gotten more exaggerated during the pandemic but he's always been like this to some degree. In many ways, he's great but he now won't tolerate any criticism. Our adult children know what he's like and he won't take any reasonable comments from them. I'm grateful that our daughter lives nearby and she understands how I feel. I think it is the beginning of dementia but he won't ask a doctor about it.

If he won't then there are ways for you to get help. Go to your doctor and talk about your stresses and wellbeing, adding that you think that this new behaviour from your husband is causing it. It won't be the first time that your GP will have heard this. Your surgery might also have dementia advice services or you could contact the alzheimers disease society for advice

crazygranny Thu 24-Aug-23 13:21:33

How often does this happen and does it happen when other people are around? If it's something controlled when only you are present you need a strategy to save your sanity. If it's something he can't control he needs help - whatever the cause of his outbursts.

Zuzu Thu 24-Aug-23 13:57:14

I agree with CrazyGranny, if it's controlled, then he's choosing to be this way, which is different from age-onset dementia--even if he's always had this tendency. My DH had back surgery and a stroke while in recovery. He'd been a smoker, something he'd promised he'd stopped, but had been sneaking around continuing. (I traveled for my job, so it was easy for him.) Nonetheless, after he came home from rehab, I caught him smoking on the back porch, literally the day he was back home. I thought about it overnight, the next morning, I told him, that if he wanted to continue, I was taking him off my insurance, putting him on Medicare (we're in the US), and getting him settled in a nursing home. I would always love him and help him the best I could, but I would not be an enabler. It was a longer talk than just that, he'd always been a dear, but enough was enough. I wish you well. Life can be so hard.

Glenfinnan Thu 24-Aug-23 14:24:34

I agree with MercuryQueen …. Record him on your mobile phone… it may shock him!

ExaltedWombat Thu 24-Aug-23 14:32:01

He's 80. For him, the world's gone mad. Nothing is like it used to be. This happens when you're 80. It's God's kindly way of making us not want to live forever!

You could probably get someone to hang a 'diagnosis' on him. But I suspect your choices would be the same either way - put up with him or put him away.

ExDancer Thu 24-Aug-23 14:37:33

Are there other symptoms?
I ask because my husband age 84 is similar, and also always 'right'. If I want a wall painted blue he'll want red, if I make chips he'll want mash. If I say the sky's blue he'd insist its pink and if I contradict he'll say something really nasty and cruel, then stop speaking.
I think its their age, when we were first married the husband was always right. He did no housework yet got to make all the decisions, and wives were expected to fit in with it.
By pontificating at length on subjects that interest him and insisting you listen to the end, he's trying to control you in the ways that he did when you first married. But things have changed.
You have my sympathy, although I have no clues as to an answer. The drawer-tidying idea sounds a good one.
I've decided I love my husband but I don't like him.

greenlady102 Thu 24-Aug-23 14:59:58


He's 80. For him, the world's gone mad. Nothing is like it used to be. This happens when you're 80. It's God's kindly way of making us not want to live forever!

You could probably get someone to hang a 'diagnosis' on him. But I suspect your choices would be the same either way - put up with him or put him away.

you can't "put someone away" unless they lack capacity to make their own choices. With a diagnosis comes help and support.

deedeedum Thu 24-Aug-23 15:00:37

It's a form of "gas lighting" and you will never win. So just walk away, lock yourself in the loo, weed the garden. Don't feed his ego.

Gundy Thu 24-Aug-23 15:34:20

I’m sorry you have to listening to this all day, everyday. If he’s suddenly like this it’s an indicator that something is not right medically. It may get worse. I’m not a Dr or trying to diagnose but drastic changes need to be looked into.

madeleine45 Thu 24-Aug-23 15:36:31

is it possible to make a recording of a couple of these rants? Firstly he may not be totally aware of how long he goes on and about what, so may make him realize what he is like. Also you can play it to children or later if needed to a doctor, so that they can understand exactly what it is like. It would also give y ou a base point to compare if it is getting worse or better etc.

Seajaye Thu 24-Aug-23 16:24:53

I used to leave the room if husband got too opinionated to deal with my own frustration at being cut off mid sentence. I'd busy myself with tasks and not return to the same room until husband had forgotten what topic he was airing his opinion. However sometimes he followed me from room to room vocalising his views, non stop, until I discovered the loo was a good room to which I could retreat. ( I left reading material in there in readiness) Eventually I left the house for good. That put a complete stop to it but I suffered from anxiety for a long while as late divorce not easy route. But the sense of freedom helped me.

queenofsaanich69 Thu 24-Aug-23 16:26:16

Very sorry you are having this problem,buy him a really nice book to write in and a fancy new pen & say he should write his life story as people would love it,hopefully that will shut him up——-in the mean time watch Pam Ayer’s poem about husband’s who are always right,it will give you light relief.Also can you talk to his Dr sounds like he has Dementia which can change peoples character.

Seajaye Thu 24-Aug-23 16:27:12

P.s you could also Google how to cease being enabler. I found a number of short articles that quite helpful in changing my response.

Fernhillnana Thu 24-Aug-23 16:57:25

Hmmm my husband talks for England and I barely get a word in. He talks over me when I try to contribute. I very pointedly stay silent and then he usually catches on…not sure if that’s any help. Good luck.

naughtynanny Thu 24-Aug-23 17:05:06

This is horrible for you when you should be rubbing along nicely and being companionable.

Honestly, I'd just walk away, pick up some washing, something for the outside bin, something urgent to take upstairs.
Just don't give him airtime.
Yes, he will complain that you are ignoring him, and not listening, but try, try try to let it go over your head.

Hum a tune, zone out, anything for your sanity, and peace of mind. Yes, it does sound like the beginnings of dementia, see his Doctor, they must come across situations like this all the time. Remember you are your own person, not an extension of him, you deserve to enjoy these years, but you have to do things that are sometimes at odds with being kind etc. xx

Visgir1 Thu 24-Aug-23 17:25:44

Get him looked at he sounds like he has Dementia.
Don't put up with this for your own sake.

suelld Thu 24-Aug-23 18:11:04

I had exactly that for years with my Ex… I divorced him (not just for that) but it continued for the 8 years it took me to finally get as free as possible with 2 joint sons! He would always write, no emailing for him, and I would write a reply - he would return my letter - ‘marking’ it like a school essay, with comments and criticisms of grammar etc! - at one point fed up of all this I wrote something like “ well I’m sure I was at fault in many ways but is there nothing that you would take responsibility for doing wrongly - the reply - NO I’m RIGHT!

HeavenLeigh Thu 24-Aug-23 18:22:26

Straight away I wondered if it was start of dementia

tictacnana Thu 24-Aug-23 20:18:56

I did have this problem. My late partner held forth on any subject for hours. Mostly, these rants were racist, misogynistic and cruel. He loved the sound of his own voice, couldn’t be interrupted or reasoned with and his arguments got more and more ridiculous as he went on and on and on. I just made sure that I was mentally occupied on something else and occasionally nodded or looked thoughtful. Eventually, he would run out of steam and , exhausted, go for a nap or retire completely. It was like banging your head on a wall …. Great when it stopped.

JPB123 Thu 24-Aug-23 20:26:08

So sorry that you’re feeling like this due to the ranting.Does he do it in front of other people? If not ,then point this out to him.You don’t deserve to be treated like this .A good idea would be for you to chat things over with a family friend or the GP.
Does he have a male friend you could chat to?

Bluedaisy Fri 25-Aug-23 10:23:57

My DH is like that to the point one day out of the blue he actually hit me because I didn’t want to listen to him (he’s never touched me before in all our 44 years of marriage!). Funny enough it was during Covid. I managed to get a Doctors appointment and told them what happened and the Doctor arranged an MRI saying it was for the sharp head pain he gets occasionally, anyway long story short he’s been diagnosed with Vascular Dementia. It didn’t occur to me it was the start of Dementia as he was only 71 at the time. He now knows and understands if he touches me again I won’t hesitate to call the police and when he starts to babble on without drawing breath I suddenly ‘need the loo’ or I am able to tune out now. My first suggestion is going to the Doctor on your own and explain how you feel, mine was very good.

pascal30 Fri 25-Aug-23 11:22:10

some people don't realise just how boring they are when they drone on and on.. I can remember a friend's husband staying with me for a night, all evening he just didn't stop talking in a very teacherish way. My head was literally throbbing but I had to be polite..
I really feel for you and would agree with other grans that you remove yourself from the room and speak to your GP.. it's very exhausting and demoralising to have to live like.this..
I really hope you find a resolution

Grannie06 Fri 25-Aug-23 11:45:26

Yes I have one like that aged 78 coming on 98. Never goes out or has any hobbies but likes the sound of his own voice

Bella23 Fri 25-Aug-23 12:05:22

I think you should have at least a talk with your GP over the phone,explain what is happening and you do not want your DH to know you instigated the appraisal which it sounds as if he needs.
Some men have always been the dominant one in a marriage it happened to my uncle. He got more and more controlling until his wife told the family. He was told that if he threatened her again she would walk out and phone the police. It calmed him for a while but it was the first sign of dementia.

joannapiano Fri 25-Aug-23 14:18:33

I married Mr Right. First name “Always”.
He likes to mark my mistakes in the crossword in red pen.