Trying to find the right words to express this and am struggling to find the right place to start. Just need to get it out. See if anyone has advice.
I'm often unhappy in my marriage at the moment. And it all comes down to DH's moods. He is a good man in a lot of ways, and I love him and our family but he is also very self absorbed, and he doesn't put much effort into us, either our relationship or our family.
On top of that he is generally, to put it simply, a cranky sh*t. And it's not because of anything, or rather it's always because of something, but if it's not that it's something else. He's not depressed, he's just self absorbed and selfish. If he's not tired (even if he's had double the sleep I have), he's stressed about work, if he's not stressed about work he's annoyed because I've asked him to do something in the house (like empty the dishwasher), if I haven't asked him to do something in the house he's sulking and closing his eyes with the effort if I ask him to hold our three month old son for ten minutes while I try to eat something. Apparently holding the baby for any period of time (even five minutes) hurts his back so he simply can't do it. Despite the fact that I'm carrying him all day and I have such bad back pain at the moment I'm in tears some days and am being sent for blood tests by the Dr as my aches and pains are so severe. Even with that if I'm having a night where bub is crying and needs to be walked with for hours to be settled he wont offer to take him, wont get me a drink or offer to rub my back or generally help in any way unless I ask him, then the help comes with big sighs from the effort.
Bub has been colicky and has started teething badly... he wont go into a sling or carrier and needs to be held pretty much constantly (or he bawls his eyes out), which means there are some jobs around the house I just can't do at the moment. So I've asked DH to help me do the floors and bathrooms twice a month. It's been such a HUGE effort and whinge from him that we've had to put ourselves under financial strain to get a cleaner twice a month to do it.
He's just resigned from his well paying job and we've had to take on even more debt (he brought a lot into the relationship due to poor money choices in the past) for him to go self employed because he was so unhappy with his job. It's a big gamble for us. Every day off was spent miserable because of apparent work stress. So I said to invest in his happiness and have backed him to start his own business. But now that he's resigned his mood hasn't improved. Nothing has.
In a week there are maybe a couple of nights when he's actually happy and good to be around.
If I ask him to look at me (rather than the TV or his ipad) when we're talking he gets cranky because he can listen to me without looking at me, but if I try to do housework at 10pm when bub finally goes to sleep while he's trying to talk to me he gets grumpy.
If I say something that's important to me but not to him he doesn't even bother replying half the time. He just doesn't put in the effort, and if I ask he gets sh*tty because he "wasn't doing anything wrong".
He only does things around the house or with DS1 or 2 if I ask him. He never offers to bath them, get dinner started, lock the doors, tidy the kitchen, feed the dogs etc of his own accord. I know he works, and I try to take as much load off him as I can but I'm working pretty d*mn full time two with two young boys and I just feel like he's another child a lot of the time.
Everything just feels very one sided, and like he doesn't put in the effort.
He loves us, I know that, and when he's nice he's wonderful... but I'm feeling pretty down right now because for us, for our marriage and our family and this wonderful future we have planned, this has to get better. There has to be a bit more 'happy', a bit more thoughtfulness, a bit more feeling like someone has my back like I have theirs... and I know that this is it, more or less... that if it doesn't get better with the work stress gone (the thing he's been blaming it on) it probably wont get better. And I am so very very scared of that. Because I don't think I can live like this forever. But I really really don't want to lose my family. I just don't know what to do.
Has anyone been in a similar situation? Any suggestions??
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29-02-2012 21:28 #1
Need things to improve and scared that they wont :(
29-02-2012 22:21 #2
I have been in a similar relationship and over time it got worse. It ended when his behaviour/s culminated in some poor choices which killed our relationship. While I knew it was not about me, over the years his moods/meanness/lack of warmth drained my self esteem. My ex dh had deep set issues from his childhood and he chose never to work through them. His area of 'blame' just continually shifted and eventually it all became my fault. Funnily enough after we split he fell in a heap and is now addressing those issues with a psychologist. We will never be a family unit again, it has affected the kids but at least he may now become a whole person and a better dad.
Have a think about the 'miracle question'. If you woke up tomorrow morning and you knew a miracle had happened that changed your dh while you were sleeping, what would you notice? How would things be different? What would you notice about every member of your family? What would you feel about yourself?
I guess its important to also think how long you can live like this. While not giving him an ultimatum perhaps you can share the answers to the miracle question with him. Let him know factually you are not happy and ask him how together you can solve the problem. If he doesn't respond or want to listen, it's a pretty good indication where his priorities are and you may need to make some decisions about your future.
Big hugs to you. I'm not sure if you want to be in the same position in 2,5,10 years but if you don't take back some of your power. There is free counselling available to you and I suggest you use it when you are ready.
01-03-2012 05:41 #3
Tbh, if he doesn't commit to marriage counseling i think things will just get worse.
He sounds very selfish and childish and I think the stresses of running your own business can be 100 times worse then working for someone else.
You are working a full time job, don't ever think your entitled to less help purely because you don't leave the house.
I have more I could add but DD needs me ATM.
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01-03-2012 08:00 #4
My DP works loooong hours. And in the first four months after we had our daughter he did EVERYTHING. Cooked, cleaned, looked after me, looks after the baby when he was home. She cluster fed from about 5pm - 9pm which rendered me useless at dinner time for a few months.
Following month DP got glandular fever and still worked his butt off, but this time I had to do everything at home. We're a team and we both work hard to ensure everything is done and we still have time for each other. I wouldn't be able to stay with someone who didn't think it was their job or showed not interest in parenting their own child.
Don't feel like its just YOUR job to looks after the baby, you are right in expecting some help.
I would expect marriage counseling at a minimum and if he didn't agree I'd simply leave (even as a trial) Relationships need nurturing from both sides, and parenting should be between both of you, not one.
Good luck. I hope that he wakes up from this fog that may cost him his family.
01-03-2012 10:01 #5
Have you ever sat down with him without kids or distractions and told him how you feel?
If you have and he's done nothing to change/improve, then maybe marriage counseling might work if he would go?
To be honest, it sounds like he takes you for granted, is a fairly ordinary father (I say that as he doesn't sound at all active in your childrens lives) and not much of a husband either. So I think he needs to ask himself what he is bringing to the relationship apart from the grumps and more work for you.
I agree with a PP. If he is not willing to work on his issues and make more effort, then maybe you need to make some decisions on how you want to live and how long you are willing to put up with it for.
01-03-2012 10:57 #6
01-03-2012 11:14 #7
Feel for you OP. As it stands, this relationship is toxic and NEEDS to change. No ifs, no buts, no maybe's. Your wants aren't needless or silly or asking too much - you have every right to do so.
So, he's not going to do anythng, is he! You're running around doing everything whilst he becomes self employed at great risk, d!cks around on his iPad and, in general, acts like a complete jerk off. NOT ON! Hell no!
So what are you going to do about it? YOU need to take control of this relationship right now. He needs to communicate, listen and be willing to try. It's all very well that he might have issues etc, but guess what? This CAN'T come at the expense of yourself. So, counseling is probably going to be necessary for the two of you and if he can't or won't commit to that, you're choices become very slim.
Leaving is scary hard. Hell, I know better than most how hard. But he is taking you for granted. A lot of guys are like this - they've got you and they think they can treat you any old way. Give him the wake up call he needs. But if he STILL won't make the necessaty changes, make it permanent. You may love him, but he's poisoning you slowly, and it will erupt into something much much worse than this if the changes don't happen.
Good luck OP. I wish you all the happiness in the world!
01-03-2012 13:20 #8
When we were younger I had similar problems with my DP. He was very self-absorbed and usually only thought about himself. He often wouldn't bother responding to things or make an effort at conversation or look at me (a lot of these are actually family traits I since discovered). He was certainly struggling with some demons back then but I just couldn't live like that.
When he was around his friends it was like he was a totally different person (the man I fell in love with) simply because he made a minor effort to appear interested, make conversation, smile etc.
I had to confront him several times about his behaviour. We broke up a few times because I didn't want to be in a relationship like that. I think it simply didn't occur to him that you still have to make an effort to make conversation, even pretend to be interested in the other person, as you would with friends. That it actually takes work to stay engaged with each other. I wasn't prepared to put up with being treated so cold.
Luckily he is much improved now. I occasionally have to remind him to please look at me and respond when I'm talking about something, and sometimes he slips back into that "no effort-cold towards me" kinda feeling but I think he genuinely isn't aware of it. And when I point it out he really makes an effort these days and is much more pleasant to live with. I realise this would all sound a bit pathetic to outsiders but I suspect the OP has a similar situation.
With regards to not helping with baby/around the house, my hubby has always been good with that (Even when being cold towards me) so I'm not sure what advice to give there.
If I were you - I would explain that you can't go on living like this, you need more from a partner, more help, more affection, more warmth, more consideration. Consider showing him your post - it is very good explanation of how you're feeling. Point out to him that if things don't improve - you need to consider whether to stay or not. He likely has no idea you're feeling this way.
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01-03-2012 13:29 #9
Try reading "Why does he do that?" or "Should I stay or should I go" Lundy Bancroft, and see if any of it resonates...
I was in a very similar sounding relationship, he is now my ex, and my life and my childrens lives have improved in leaps and bounds.
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01-03-2012 14:10 #10
Thank you so much for your replies.
I think what frustrates me the most is that he is absolutely capable of being the husband I need him to be. Today for the first time in ages he made lunch for DS and I while I was getting the baby to sleep, offered me a drink, tidied up a bit, told me he loves me lots of times, made a point of being nicer and more affectionate (I'm pretty sure because he's trying to get me in the mood... Usually when that effort happens :/). So I know he can, it's just lack of effort. And it's cutting me to pieces thinking that we could end up losing our family just because he won't try.
I have talked to him about it a lot of times. Sometimes he apologizes profusely and assures me it'll change when he's working for himself, other times (the majority) he gets sh!tty and either walks off or tells me everythings fine, it's all in my head and there's clearly no making me happy. In those cases he usually apologises later.
So to be honest I'm scared of telling him just how much it's getting to me in case he just takes it as an attack and ends it. You know that saying "the opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference"? I guess I'm scared of finding out that he really doesn't care enough to try no matter what.
You know it's funny, I love my husband but I could ultimately live without him - especially the way things are right now - but the thought of losing my kids if he went for 50/50 would just kill me. Tears are ********* down my face just thinking about it. Just like the thought of maybe not getting to have more babies (which I dearly want) is impossibly painful.
I know it's that that's stopping me from pushing harder for things to change. Which is ironic really because i know that if things don't change that's the way they're heading anyway.
He starts his own business in under three weeks. He won't be at the job he blames all his stress on and then I guess we'll see. If I can I'll wait until he's doing it before I push for counselling. Just in case things do improve, and if they haven't then he won't have that excuse to hide behind.
I just wish he could be the man he was when we met. The one who passionately cared, was interested and involved, not perpetually grumpy and distracted!
Crossing everything that the new job does bring change :/
ETA: I should clarify that my comment re custody if we broke up referred only to the 50/50 model and that if we were to ever break up I'd be very supportive with him seeing them frequently and having as healthy relationship as they could. Wasn't referring to keeping them from him. Just in case it sounded that way!
Last edited by CluckySC; 01-03-2012 at 15:01.
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