To think DH's lie is a symptom of a bigger issue in our marriage?

(34 Posts)
TheArtistFormerlyKnownAs Sat 23-Apr-16 01:51:01

My lovely DH and I have been together 15 years. In the last 4 years we've had 2 DCs, cared for and lost close relatives, managed difficult family issues, career challenges, and my own health problems. Through all that our marriage has remained strong. DH is so good to me and our DCs and we still adore each other.

Last year we moved quite far away from our family/friends so DH could accept a great new job. He is now working and traveling a lot more than before, and with my health issues it hard to handle everything at home myself. We are trying to set up some paid support but so far it hasn't really worked out. Also, for various (legitimate, unforeseeable) reasons, my DH really dislikes his job. Unfortunately he is committed to it for a period of time, and right now he probably couldn't find anything better anyway. But if he stays for 2+ years he should have much better options, and in the meantime we are building creating our savings. He's also been really struggling with not having time to exercise or be outside. I've encouraged him to run or work out at lunch but he usually can't get away.

At home I've taken over a lot of tasks that used to be his and it's mostly fine, but I sometimes feel like he doesn't even make an effort anymore. He used to be wonderfully helpful, especially since e my health stuff happened, but now he lets the kids eat all over the furniture, stuffs the rubbish bin to overflowing, and will literally step over a basket of clean laundry that I've left for him to carry upstairs. I try not to complain because I know he is working so hard, but I have mentioned one or two things that feel really important.

I also really try not to pressure him about his hours. If I know in advance that he will be home late it's not so bad, but he has a habit of texting me "leaving in 10 min" and then 40 minutes later, when he should be almost home, texting again to say "leaving now." I know it's easy to get delayed but I do get frustrated with that. At times I've wondered if he's lied about hitting traffic on the way home but he's never lied to me about anything before so it didn't seem likely.

Earlier today DH texted me that he was leaving in 5 min and would be home a bit earlier than usual. My kids were actually playing very nicely at the time so I was fiddling with my iPhone, trying to fix why it wasn't syncing correctly. When I got my DH's text it occurred to me that I could use "find my iPhone" to locate him. To my surprise, he was not at the office but instead at the gym. He called me a few minutes to discuss dinner and totally kept up the ruse that he was in the car coming from work. Right after that, I saw that he turned off "find my iPhone" on his phone and his iPad. He came home in the best mood I've seen in months.

After the kids went to bed I confronted him. He can't really say why he did it except that he felt guilty taking the time for himself. He swears he's never done it before. I don't know whether to believe that, although I still don't think he's doing anything more nefarious than get a workout in or maybe grab a pint. Still, I am incredibly upset that he felt he had to lie. I knew we were both feeling the pressure but I didn't think it was coming from each other. We've been through so much these past few years and it's never come to this. Oddly I also kind of feel cheated out of knowing that he had a good afternoon, because it would have made me happy to know that. He is very apologetic but also says I'm overreacting. I don't know what to think.

Sorry this is so long. Thanks for reading.

TurtleEclipseofTheHeart Sat 23-Apr-16 02:02:58

I would be upset too. But I think if you have a lovely relationship and everything is a bit tough and pressured he probably is telling the truth and just did a silly thing lying about it. I guess you need to look at how you can both build in some down time for relaxing and exercising. And I think he needs to make it up to you with a small thoughtful gesture!

GraysAnalogy Sat 23-Apr-16 02:03:36

Ah dude.

You're vindicated feeling like this. He's been to work and it seems like he's using this time to spend to himself when he could be at home helping you out. He's just using it as a time to wind down before he gets home, a sort of chill out time between work and home responsibilities which is understandable, but the problem is the lying though. Do you think you would have had a problem with him doing this had he told you beforehand? Or do you think because you feel he isn't doing enough at home that you wouldn't be happy?

It's understandable that if he works a lot he wants to have some time to himself, especially with you saying he hasn't got the time. But he shouldn't have lied - I'd question why he felt the need to.

In relation to you getting help at home, why hasn't this worked out if you don't mind me asking? It sounds like you both really could do with this

EverySongbirdSays Sat 23-Apr-16 02:30:04

"He came home in the best mood"

They say exercise helps depression

If he thought he was leaving his job and home for A GREAT NEW JOB which has turned out to be not what he'd hoped, chances are he is depressed about that and that's manifesting by phoning in the boring duties he'd previously have been on point with.

YANBU and YABU it's good it's been nipped in the bud. I don't think it's a symptom of a marital problem more that DH himself is struggling.

GraysAnalogy Sat 23-Apr-16 02:31:20

I agree with every in that depression could be playing a part here.

iMatter Sat 23-Apr-16 03:24:16

Agree with the comments about depression. Your dh is clearly struggling.

I really wouldn't overthink the lie. He's torn between being there for you like he used to be and his own mental health.

Can you agree with him that for 2 or 3 nights a week he tries to get away from work on time and he goes to the gym on his way home.

I know it's harder for you but it might just help him escape from this bad place he's in and in the long run that benefits you all.

TerrorAustralis Sat 23-Apr-16 04:15:08

I would be upset about the lying. I hate lying.

I would try to talk to him about why he felt the need to lie. From the sounds of what you said you wouldn't mind if he goes to the gym, and it also sounds like you would all probably benefit if he was going regularly.

Make sure he knows you want him to go because it's good for him, and that is good for all of you. And that his honesty is important.

curren Sat 23-Apr-16 05:36:25

The lie would bother me.

But, as pp said, I would be wondering why he felt he should lie. I would also be wondering why I felt the need to do I keep check where he was.

Dh has find my iPhone and it hasn't occurred to me to use it.

You obviously felt something was off.

It sounds, to me, like you are both feeling the pressure. We all act a little selfishly sometimes. Especially when we are under pressure.

I wouldn't be too harsh or ltb. But it would bother me. I hope you can sort it out.

OTheHugeManatee Sat 23-Apr-16 05:41:27

The lie would bother me. But if he's lying because he feels guilty about taking time for himself, is that something to look at? Do you and DH have equal leisure time?

If he's hating his job and working long hours it might be in the interests of your relationship to support him making time for the gym regularly so he doesn't feel he has to make it a guilty secret.

HermioneJeanGranger Sat 23-Apr-16 06:41:20

The lie would bother me too, but why does he feel that he can't pop to the gym on the way home? If he'd asked, would you have been annoyed, maybe?

I think you both need to talk and agree days that he goes to the gym - it obviously helps him. But, if he has the energy to work out, then he needs to use some of that energy to help you at home and give you a break. It has to go both ways.

thanks - it sounds tough on both of you. Hang in there!

ToastyFingers Sat 23-Apr-16 06:47:58

I'm going against the grain here but this would piss me off a little bit.

You're not exactly having fun entertaining the kids and doing all the household stuff while he's working long hours, but that's fineas he's working to benefit the whole family.

Except he's not if he's sneaking off to do fun stuff while pretending to be working, while you continue to pick up the slack at home, despite health issues.

I'd bet it's not the first time he's done it either, or if it was, it would have been the first of many if you hadn't caught him out.

Dellarobia Sat 23-Apr-16 06:49:57

Would you have been cross if you'd known he'd been to the gym?

I have to say that spending most of your waking hours doing a job you hate and knowing you have to carry on doing it for the next couple of years is absolutely miserable. I have a lot of sympathy for your DH. Of course he shouldn't have lied though.

Smellyrose Sat 23-Apr-16 06:51:21

It sounds like he's feeling guilty about spending time on himself when he feels like he should be at home helping you, but you really don't mind and would just like to know that he's doing something for himself.

Tell him that, then leave it. I really don't feel the lie is a big deal.

MrsTardybigge Sat 23-Apr-16 07:14:46

Don't worry, I don't think there's anything fundamentally wrong here. When my DCs were small my DH (who had a very demanding job and worked long hours) realised that he was becoming depressed by the relentlessness of life and needed an escape. He was a model DH in nearly all respects but after a particularly stressful few months we realised that we both needed time to ourselves sometimes. His outlet was exercise, mine was friends. He had really missed that time to exercise and once he had the green light to get back into it, he was transformed. In fact we all were a bit. I think he takes it a bit bloody far sometimes, but I mind less now as the DCs are older and not so intensive. Although he hasn't looked for 'permission' and lied about it initially (not ideal), take the hint and agree that BOTH of you need some time to yourselves.

PeppaIsMyHero Sat 23-Apr-16 07:18:59

I think time to yourself - however brief it is - is so important in a relationship. He shouldn't have lied, but why did he feel he had to? Are you managing to talk to each other honestly about how your lives are?

Is there a way you can happily support him having time to go to the gym or the pub and he happily support you doing something similar (or just sleeping?!)?

I sometimes throw DH out to the pub on his own with a copy of 'Motorcycle News' (or something like that) just so he has a break because he sometimes tries to do all things for all people. He always comes back a bit chipper having struck up a conversation with randoms and enjoyed himself for an hour. It has a good impact on us as a couple. This summer he's taking a long w/e away with some old friends and I've just been away to visit my sister. We juggle it, but we really value the time we spend together as a result.

BeauGlacons Sat 23-Apr-16 07:22:25

If he's,working very long hours I don't see why taking over most of his jobs is an issue unless you are very ill.

Duckdeamon Sat 23-Apr-16 07:30:08

He was wrong to lie, of course, and it's unclear whether he's done it before or how often. That would worry me a lot.

He does sound depressed and you could encourage him to address that, eg through any counselling services that work schemes provide. or NHS or paid-for BACP-registered talking therapies. Exercise is also really good of course, but he will need to make time for that and you should have opportunities for leisure time too.

He intends to leave the job in a couple of years anyway, and if your plan is to relocate again why not change plans and do so sooner?

If he does stay he has many options, eg to work fewer hours, set boundaries, eg only working late on certain days, raise unreasonable workloads with management.

If he is going to struggle long term, and not take positive steps improve his health and wellbeing, to the detriment of family life and your relationship, this is a huge relationship issue IMO. In your shoes if this continues I would also return to WoH if health allowed, eg to alter the dynamic of financial dependency on his current job (eg "I can't work fewer hours, we need this money"etc) and encourage him to take a more active role in family life again.

EarthboundMisfit Sat 23-Apr-16 07:30:49

Having children, moving and a new job (both for him and for you with your expanded role at home) are all massive stressors, especially as they have all come at once. I think working on you both having some time for yourselves might help.

topcat2014 Sat 23-Apr-16 07:31:12

It's a bit vile feeling like life is one whole treadmill. Sometimes I feel pressure when driving home. I text when I leave, but then traffic kicks in - and I walk through the door to burnt tea! Probably having driven a bit more quickly than I wanted to.

Everyone needs to feel they have a little autonomy, and perhaps, unwittingly, you have both managed to engineer that out of DPs life.

100% practicality and organisation would kill any passion in my life.

I don't really see that as much of a lie - and the snooping counteracts it in my view.

IceMaiden73 Sat 23-Apr-16 07:44:21

It sounds like his job has got him down and he is actually depressed. This would fit with him not caring about the house, etc

Have you tried talking to him one evening about once the children are in bed?

How long is he tied into the job for? Is there no way out before then?

Duckdeamon Sat 23-Apr-16 07:50:55

Perhaps he doesn't wish to seek a new job for a couple of years, eg because leaving a job after a short time could look odd on his CV or a few years in this one would build certain skills/experience he wants, look good, or whatever. Staying in the job (or not) is a choice.

OP was only snooping because her H was behaving suspiciously.

topcat2014 Sat 23-Apr-16 08:05:27

"caring about the house" is an interesting one. I am not depressed - but I genuinely have no interest in my house or it's decor - it just bores me.

I like to see the house clean and tidy, but wallpaper / kitchens, I am just 'meh'

lavenderhoney Sat 23-Apr-16 08:25:16

If you're only going to be there 2 years I can see why he's not worried about a house. Are you renting? What happened to where you used to life, your home? You've almost done an expat move tbh. No nearby friends family support, everything is different and he is working long hours.

Two years isn't so so very long and it's a usual amount of time to stay, also he might move internally. He should always start quietly looking. The mistake you all made was upping sticks before he'd done his probation period.

Get some home help, get a baby sitter even if you're home still? More money comes with its problems, like more hours and still needing downtime. If he's earning more money then you get to have paid help if he can't do it. Otherwise it's a waste of a gym membershipsmile

diddl Sat 23-Apr-16 08:37:12

When he has said in the past that he is leaving in 5 & then texts 40mins later that he is just leaving, have you said anything/been annoyed?

If so, that might be why he said nothing about the gym.

Tell him not to feel bad & that you're happy for him, especially if it's good for him!

He's in a job that he doesn't like & although looking after the house can be tedious, you can generally do as much/little as you want, when you want & go to the loo/have a break when you want.

If there's stuff that you really need him to do around the house, just tell him!

I often ask my husband to carry stuff about for me.

I can do it, but it's a lot easier for him, so it just make sense iyswim.

ImperialBlether Sat 23-Apr-16 09:03:48

How did he come to have his kit with him if it was his first time?

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