To think dh is being harsh?

(68 Posts)
Daisydoomoo Sun 19-May-13 08:58:23

It was my dh's birthday on Friday, and we had a Thai takeaway that eve and I'd even bought some Thai beers to go with the meal. He had lots of cards, gifts and money so not a bad day really. He went to work as usual and met with a friend for a drink at lunch.

Anyway, he keeps talking of having a birthday weekend, where we do something in addition to the actual day. Problem is the weather is poop and weekends are spent playing catch up with jobs to do in the house.

He was most put out yesterday when I was late getting back from taking the boys swimming, as we were going to meet up with some friends for dinner at a local pub. But these plans were a late after thought that he'd made after I told him I wanted to take the boys to a new swimming pool. Which he had declined to come with us, as he wanted to mow the lawns and get the gardens straight.

Sorry, this is longer than I planned but wanted to set the picture. Now to the harsh bit, I've just completed training as a Breastfeeding peer supporter, and I volunteer at a couple of childrens centres each week supporting new mums etc. I'm also a sahm so this is important to me as I enjoy this role outside of our family life etc. Plus the training and volunteering looks good on my barren cv.

Well I received a SOS call from my sister in law's brother (my brother's wife's brother) who was a little beside himself with his hormonal, knackered girlfriend (who gave birth 6 days ago) she has had a bit of a wobble and finding bf painful etc etc.

They were worried that baby had lost weight and might have to go back into hospital if she lost anymore.

Anyway again, my dh was most put out, that I should be more concerned with my own family and he sort of relished in their new parent misery (probably after years of family gatherings hearing their fantastic holidays and the like.)

So we ended up having words, with him feeling hard done by as his birthday appears to have been a let down and he didn't like me spending my time trying to help extended family with their new baby problems.

He is selfish, right?

niceguy2 Sun 19-May-13 09:00:40



TheCutOfYourJib Sun 19-May-13 09:01:53

If your dh is 4 years old ( cos he sounds like he is) then no he's not being selfish.
If he's an adult then yes he's being very selfish.

putyourhatonsweetie Sun 19-May-13 09:01:55


putyourhatonsweetie Sun 19-May-13 09:02:23

sounds like a rather nice birthday to me.

ImperialBlether Sun 19-May-13 09:02:31

I think he sounds like a baby, tbh. A birthday weekend? Would he like a bouncy castle and pass the parcel?

Does he break his neck to make sure you celebrate your birthday for several days?

What a man child

ChasingStaplers Sun 19-May-13 09:03:08

Yes. He sounds like a big baby.

HerrenaHarridan Sun 19-May-13 09:03:36

Lots of people will say he's a grown up an birthdays don't apply.

I disagree with that viewpoint but ffs it's not like your jumping out of bed on the morning of his birthday with out even a kiss an going to drink wine while he looks after the kids.

You have celebrated his birthday already.

Problems are so much more pressing when you are a scant few days old. They just need some reassurance ffs. Breastfeeding is make or break in This period and if she wants to keep going she should be supported in that.

ThingummyBob Sun 19-May-13 09:03:36

Yes. He is selfish.

He should have made proper plans in advance if he wanted a big birthday celebration confused

Although you still might have gone to see the new mum anyway I'm sure. And you'd have been fine to do that imo.

What is he, 12? wink

CarpeVinum Sun 19-May-13 09:06:48

Honestly love it is really hard to come to any sort of conclusion without masses of detail that would make a post so long you'd start to rival me in "essay lenght posts" grin

It's your truth, there will also be his truth, and somewhere between the two will be The Truth.

I think when I am seriously off pissed with DH what helps is when I sit down and (very begrudgingly) force myself to see things from his perspective. And while I have yet to conclude "tis all my fault" I have come up with bits and bobs where I have been a bit blind to my own doings that contributed to a state of crossness.

Which makes the compromise stage much easier, cos there is less tussling over the slightly harder to defend bits and he feels "heard" to some degree.

Maybe try that and see how it goes ? Cos in this case I'm not sure outsiders making their best guess based on a one sided snippet will be as accurate as anything you can come up with yourself, cos you have all the details and the bigger picture in your pocket and ...we don't.

It sound resovlable though, from what you've said.

AThingInYourLife Sun 19-May-13 09:08:14

People who want birthday weekends are a pain in the hole.

You get a day. That's your lot.

Now fuck off expecting the world to celebrate the anniversary of your arrival in it.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Sun 19-May-13 09:08:52

Selfish knob.

Would love to know how much of a fuss he makes about your birthday!

PareyMortas Sun 19-May-13 09:09:56

His birthday sounds a by dull tbh you could have a takeaway and a couple of beers at anytime. He was probably being unreasonable about helping out the family bf crisis as a reaction to not feeling his birthday celebrations were up to much.

Daisydoomoo Sun 19-May-13 09:15:04

The take away was his choice. My parents offered to baby sit so we could go out, but he due to work commitments he couldn't get home any earlier than 8. The first mention of doing something else were made Saturday morning.

Maybe his disappointed with my balloon modelling ability, he wanted a sword instead of a doggy.......

Purple2012 Sun 19-May-13 09:17:36

I would love a takeaway pizza and a night of crap tv for my birthday. And some chocolates to eat while watching said crap tv.

He is being a prat. Fuss on birthdays is for kids, unless it's a big one for an adult.

BooCanary Sun 19-May-13 09:18:25

I'm going to go a bit against the grain as I do think it sounds like you made a unilateral decision about plans for Saturday. Wouldn't have hurt to consult with your DH.

Re. The bf support. On the face of it your dh sounds like HIBU, but I guess it depends how often things like this 'crop up'.

I don't go overboard for birthdays, but DH and I ( and the DCs) do tend to try to spend at least some of the birthday weekend doing something a bit fun and special.

PareyMortas Sun 19-May-13 09:19:48

Well he obviously feel it, your choice to dismiss his feelings.

Ilovemyself Sun 19-May-13 09:20:39

There are always 2 sides to a story.

But aside from that, if he keeps talking about a birthday weekend this is not something that has just cropped up. He has obviously been hinting for some time that he wants to do something for the weekend but nothing has been arranged. I can see why he is a bit miffed.

And as for helping out the brothers sisters aunties cousin or whoever she is, does she not have other people to support her? Before you all shoot me down for that comment, 2 of my 3 spent the first week of their lives in the Nicu and we have never been able to go straight home with ours.

If the birthday is an issue, I suggest that there are other things he is not happy with as well and this is just the point you have picked up on

diddl Sun 19-May-13 09:22:24

Yup-we can all afford takeaways & beers whenever we want.

None of us see takeaways as a treat/something to have on a special occasionhmm

Could he not have met his friends anyway/you all been late?

But he did manage to celebrate on his bday-so what's the problem?

Hope your rellie gets her bfeeding sorted out.

HollyBerryBush Sun 19-May-13 09:22:28

Reverse it - hypothetically you had a takeaway for your birthday, the promise of a weekend doing something nice and your DH rushed off to sort out his brothers car.

He'd still be a shit in the eyes of MN for letting you down and putting his extended family first. Which is exactly what you are doing.

diddl Sun 19-May-13 09:26:00

If he wanted a bday weekend-maybe he should have put definite plans in place?

Isn't that what is always being said on here?

Don't hint/say what you want/plan it yourself?

AmberLeaf Sun 19-May-13 09:26:07

Im on the fence a bit. He was at work fairly late on his birthday, so just a meal at home albeit a nice one, but I think Id have appreciated something else at the weekend too.

He may well be putting his point across in a childish way, but I think he has a point all the same.

I think CarpeVinums post was good though.

AmberLeaf Sun 19-May-13 09:26:50

Agree with Holleberrybush too, this would be seen differently if genders were reversed as ever

SavoyCabbage Sun 19-May-13 09:30:17

I'm also with Holly. He just wanted to do something nice, and it was scuppered, so he feels hard done by.

Daisydoomoo Sun 19-May-13 09:41:43

I'm not sure what I could have done differently? His work is taking over at the moment as he is on a contract. Plus he didn't want to go out as we had a long weekend in canterbury just over a week ago, and he really wanted a Thai curry at home.

When we were away he said that was to celebrate his birthday, so I didn't think he was expecting much. Like I said, I got him some pretty good gifts which he wasn't expecting, and had put a lot of thought into it.

Also, last weekend he was on a stag do, so he had said he didn't fancy going out.

HanShotFirst Sun 19-May-13 09:44:02

I can see both sides too. If a meal had been arranged out last night, and you knew about it before you went swimming, you definitely should have made more of an effort to get home in time to be ready to go out.

I take it you received the call from your sister in law's brother yesterday and have dealt with that? I think your DH was probably still smarting from the fact that you didn't seem to give a crap about getting back with plenty of time for the meal, so lashed out when this help was asked for from extended family. I think HWBU in his attitude towards upset new parents requesting help in feeding their newborn baby.

Maybe just draw a line under it all and go out for lunch today, and relax this afternoon together as a family? Then have a chat about it in a few days time, when neither of you are so annoyed. That way you can get across the fact that you will have people requesting your help for something that is important to you, and he can air his grievances around his disappointment. Hope it all works out!

AmberLeaf Sun 19-May-13 09:46:54

I suppose you could have not bailed on the [late] dinner in the pub plans? I'm assuming you didn't go? did DH go on his own?

I can see why the BF peer thing is important to you and you wanted to help, but I can also see why your DH felt dumped.

badguider Sun 19-May-13 09:48:35

I don't understand what happened in the end - did you go to the meal with friends? If he missed out to stay home alone while you went out to do your bf support then I can understand why he'd be a bit blue. And we're your friends not pissed off being stood up?
I'm not sure there's much excuse in being late back from swimming for your friends....
He is not unreasonable to be disappointed. But he is unreasonable to blame the bf support work as that was clearly a last minute sos and good for you for helping.

Very selfish indeed. Tell him to grow up

Daisydoomoo Sun 19-May-13 09:55:26

Just to clarify, he mentioned nothing yesterday morning about meeting friends. Just that he wanted to get the garden done. I said I'd take the boys swimming, did he want to come? No. Just before I left he tells me a few friends are meeting at a pub with their families at 4.30. This was at 2.

Samu2 Sun 19-May-13 09:56:20

I can see why your husband felt the way he did too.

Ilovemyself Sun 19-May-13 09:56:32

I think you have answered the question- his work is taking over as he is on contract at the moment.

He is really working hard and must be missing out on the home life, so a birthday weekend with his family would have been fantastic.

And I stand by my comment on helping out. If it was your sister I could possibly understand but you have to draw the line somewhere

scaevola Sun 19-May-13 09:56:53

Yes, he's being selfish, but if this is a one-off then I'd cut him some slack because it's his birthday and he'll be disappointed because his plans have been over-ridden. It is one day a year when it's normal to want to matter the most.

And for the longer term, you need to sort out the implications of what you taking on an "on call" role will mean for family life.

Ilovemyself Sun 19-May-13 09:59:37

Sorry, forgot to add, sounds like he has started to make rush last minute plans as you did not.

As he is working hard, he would have not have had time to organise before so I think you are struggling here to justify why you shouldn't feel,bad when you know he is right.

Daisydoomoo Sun 19-May-13 09:59:41

It was just a phonecall, I didn't go out. Our friends were meeting anyway and asked us if we wanted to join them.

Hmm. It sounds as if he was hoping for a surprise treat. I don't think it's very important to get into the rights and wrongs of it - obviously you did a nice thing by going to support your SIL's brother's wife (whew that's a mouthful). And obviously it'd be lovely if he'd had a great weekend. He sounds a bit whiny from your summary but then he would, because it's your perspective.

More important is to find out why he's bothered. Is he usually fussed about stuff like birthdays, or is he maybe feeling a bit shit for some reason? I can get stroppy when I feel down, so can my DH, I think most people do. If it were me, and it were out of character for him to be fussed about something like this, I'd take it as a sign you both need to chat about what might be bothering him.

OTOH if he expects the world to revolve around him and would always assume you're in the wrong for not making a huge fuss of his birthday/changing plans to support someone who isn't him, then he is being a bit of a pain. Difficult to know which without knowing you, really.

(That sounds as if I'm being unsympathetic towards him, and I'm not, btw. I just think it depends how he usually is with this sort of issue.)

malteserzz Sun 19-May-13 10:06:27

I would have done something that he liked as a family on his birthday weekend rather than just take the dc swimming which you can do anytime

namechangeofshame Sun 19-May-13 10:06:30

Agree with ILove he's possibly feeling like he's missing time with the family at the moment due to his work taking over, his birthday was an excuse to get some quality time in together and you then spent that time on jobs/swimming/bf support. All things that could technically be done while he is at work.

Not saying he's right and you are wrong just thats his point of view.

PuppyMonkey Sun 19-May-13 10:06:49

He just wanted to spend time with you - making the fatal error of not being organised and planning it all out in advance. Leave the bastard etc grinconfused

CarpeVinum Sun 19-May-13 10:10:34

I just think it depends how he usually is with this sort of issue

I think LRD has hit on an interesting detail there. Obviously this upset is notable enough to post, and there was no "yet again" or "I'm fed up with this sort of thing happening so often"

Is it a notable "blip" due to its isolation, or just one representation of an ongoing issue where you two keep clashing over expectations, availability and plans ?

changeforthebetter Sun 19-May-13 10:11:37

Oh FGS! He is a grown man. Surely he can wait. Sorting out a car is hardly the same as supporting a new mum with bf. I used to be a bf peer supporter (volunteer, then paid). It is a lovely thing to do and completely normal. FWIW his birthday sounds lovely - I prepared, cooked and washed up my own birthday dinner - elderly parent and small kids not really up to that.hmm

"he sort of relished in their new parent misery (probably after years of family gatherings hearing their fantastic holidays and the like.)"
That sounds rather spiteful.

CecilyP Sun 19-May-13 10:14:42

I think I will go against the grain here too. If you had made definite plans to do something on the Saturday, even if it had only been arranged that morning, then he is reasonable to have found your rushing off to provide breast-feeding support instead, disappointing. You have referred to it as an SOS, but I can't really see it in those terms and think Hollyberry's analogy with sorting out his brother's car on your birthday very apt.

Cecily, OP has explained in her most recent post "It was just a phonecall, I didn't go out." So OP's husband was getting huffy just at her spending time on the phone to someone in distress.

CecilyP Sun 19-May-13 10:24:00

Yes, I saw that after I posted. I don't think that OP is being unreasonable for providing help but I can still understand her DH being disappointed.

Ilovemyself Sun 19-May-13 10:29:10

I see the comment that call was an emergency, but if his family life if suffering because of voluntary work or helping friends something has to give. If he isn't seeing much of the family due to work pressure them he is totally justified in wanting family time especially on his birthday.

Daisydoomoo Sun 19-May-13 10:30:36

Well it's all a bit confusing. It wasn't a big birthday, we don't usually do a lot for each others birthdays. Nothing done for my birthday a couple of months back. I didn't care as no big deal.

It was a matter of him changing his mind yesterday, the dc were excited
about going swimming. He made plans too late and expected me to drop everything as it was his birthday weekend. I'd asked him in advance what he wanted to do, and he just wanted a take away.

So what did he say when you pointed out this was a bit out of the usual? Is there something going on that made him feel he especially needed a bit of a treat? I mean, I get that, sometimes you do need to lean on your partner for a bit of extra pampering, but you've got to let them know something is up! If he's not giving you any reason, I would say he is sulking like a child, TBH.

Or does he have some kind of unexpressed (no pun intended) issue with you doing the breastfeeding counselling?

Daisydoomoo Sun 19-May-13 10:39:58

LRD - I don't think he is entirely happy with me doing the voluntary work as it's unpaid. My sil's brother was in a real state with worry. My dh has a "don't care, not my problem" attitude.

Oh, nice. hmm

(Him, not you, obviously)

If you're short on money I sort of get his point but then, it is quite important work to be doing, and even if you weren't doing it his attitude isn't very nice.

Daisydoomoo Sun 19-May-13 10:43:55

He is on a £600 per day contract.

Ilovemyself Sun 19-May-13 10:52:57

It's easy to say he should have put plans in place but if work is taking over how does he have the time?

saintmerryweather Sun 19-May-13 10:53:07

i really dont u.derstand why an adult (or anyone for that matter) needs a birthday weekend. he is totally unreasonable, and helping a struggling new mum sort out breast feeding isnt the same as rushing off to fix a car at all. especially since you didnt even go, you were just on the phone!

Ilovemyself Sun 19-May-13 11:06:42

Saintmerryweather. Of course people need time like birthday weekends. If you are working hard all the time, and you do not have much family time then it is perfectly reasonable to expect a bit of down time.

And the help of others as a one off is not normally a problem but if the voluntary work has been getting in the way then I am hardly surprised he is upset.

Remember, charity begins at home and if there are problems there they need to be fixed before you run off sorting anyone else's problems

CouthyMow Sun 19-May-13 11:11:58

FGS. HE is being unreasonable.

The OP went away with him just over a week ago, and he said that was for his birthday.

The OP asked him what he wanted to do on his birthday - he said he wanted a Thai takeaway. He got the takeaway.

The OP sought out well-thought out presents, which were a surprise to her DH.

The OP made definite plans for her DC's to go swimming, which would have been a nice family day out - and invited her DH. He declined, preferring instead to mow the lawn.

As the OP was leaving the door, with DC's swimming kits in hand, expecting to go swimming, at 2pm, her DH suddenly springs on her that he would like to go out at 4.30pm to meet friends at a pub.

Who should the OP have disappointed at that point - her fully grown DH or her DC's?!

2pm - 4.30pm, allowing for travelling times and time at either end for changing, isn't much time for DC's at a brand new swimming pool.

And when she got back, a bit too late to go out, she took a phone call to support a new mum with bf - in line with her volunteer position as a bf counsellor.

Who exactly is being unreasonable, and dare I say it, childish in this scenario?!

Because I don't think it's the OP...

Her DH seems to expect the world to revolve around him, gets irritated with the OP for volunteering unpaid when he earns more money in a day than most people do in a week, is jealous of other people's holidays etc...

I don't think it is the OP at fault here. In the slightest.

CarpeVinum Sun 19-May-13 11:12:42

My dh has a "don't care, not my problem" attitude

So does my husband sometimes. But after many heated dicussions it turned put that it isn't that he doesn't give a crap about everybody else, but struggles with the intensity of my "I must fix all X sorts of problems in the world!"

I couldn't leave a "specific context" duck to limp if my life depended on it. I was not very good at arriving at a reasonable balance in terms of focsuing on putting "out of home" fires out and being truely present (in mind, body and spirit, cos I spent a lot of time in the home but utterly preoccupied with other people's stuff) with my family.

It was easy at the time to frame it as him as a selfish git, but in retrospect and some self examination it wasn't quite the one way street of "make this all abput my needs" as I had originally thought.

I still do it. But use his harummphing as a sign I am loosing perspective ...again. Becuase of the context being so consuming for me I kind of need an external,pressure for my own sake let alone my family's sake.

I doubt you are anything like as bad as I can get, but might there be a degree of preoccupation with your desire to support BF that is limiting your presence in his copany becuase even when you aren't actively doing it, you have it on your mind quite a bit ?

Sometimes when something new gets chucked into the mix there can be a period of transition where one feels like their slice of the "company" pie just got smaller and the othernhas a high degree of preoccupation due to the newness and attractivness of their venture.

CouthyMow Sun 19-May-13 11:14:28

The volunteering might be getting in the way of his schedule, but what about the OP?!

She says she does this to do something 'grown up' outside the house, and she enjoys it.

Why shouldn't the OP have her own life and her own plans too - she doesn't exist solely to please her DH, you know, the OP is a person in her own right too!

CouthyMow Sun 19-May-13 11:30:19

It just sounds to me like because the OP has found something she likes to do, and she didn't choose to disappoint her DC's by cancelling their swimming trip, he is throwing his toys out of the pram because it's not all revolving around HIM.

If work takes up so much of his time that he can't take 30 seconds to send a text in advance to make plans, then why does he have an issue with the OP volunteering?

Sounds a bit 'off' if you ask me.

All he had to do was to say, when the OP asked what he wanted to do, IN ADVANCE, was that he wanted to do X, Y or Z.

Instead he got pissed off with the OP not being a flipping mind reader and knowing, without being told (don't know where she's hiding that crystal ball it seems she needs), that he wanted to go out, when he actually told her he wanted to stay in and have a takeaway?! confused

How is THAT fair for the OP? For her DH to get pissed off with her for not knowing something that she hadn't been told, and was actually the opposite of what she had been told?

Still can't see how this is in any way the OP's fault.

Is she meant to organise him a party with jelly and ice cream, and a sodding entertainer every year like he is 4yo?!

Why the song and dance about an adults birthday? And if he WANTED a song and dance made of it, why the fuck did he tell the OP that all he wanted was a bloody takeaway?

It almost sounds like he was engineering a row, because he told the OP one thing whilst wanting another, he knew she wouldn't disappoint their DC's by changing the plans to go swimming as they left the door, he knew that with her being a bf peer supporter that there was a chance that she could be called upon to help someone, yet has used all these things to get snarky with the OP.

I'm actually quite pissed off on the OP's behalf - how could she reasonably be expected to know that he meant something different to what he said? How could she reasonably be expected to know without being told that he wanted to go out rather than stay in? How could she reasonably be expected to disappoint their DC's as they were going out of the door? How could she reasonably have ignored a phone call from a new mum in distress over bf when she is a bf peer supporter?

All of these things were reasonable. So her DH getting snarky about them is therefore unreasonable!


greenformica Sun 19-May-13 11:32:21

arrange a belated celebration day out? your relatives BF'ding needs are more important though i agree.

Ilovemyself Sun 19-May-13 11:33:10

I love the way everyone is having a go at the husband, but it appears he is working hard to provide an extremely good income for the family and spends all week with no quality family time. He is justified in wanting some family time when he gets the chance.

And I still say that there is more to this. I would love to see a post from him giving his side of the argument ( not that that will happen!)

greenformica Sun 19-May-13 11:34:50

we tend to go to a stately home or have a walk/picnic somewhere on our adult birthday weekends.

"He is justified in wanting some family time when he gets the chance."
He did get the chance for family time, going swimming with his wife and children. He chose to stay home by himself and mow the lawn.

Daisydoomoo Sun 19-May-13 13:20:47

I was just surprised how unsympathetic he was, and felt like I couldn't win either way.

I try to be supportive of his needs but I do feel like his expectations of me are different to what I'm prepared to offer.

In the past I've surprised him with a party (for his 30th) and theatre trips, meals in london etc, so maybe he expects that now?

He works really long hours so I don't mind that he doesn't do the same for me - as I have the luxury of time during the day to arrange things. Plus I benefit in that I accompany him. So why can't he support me with my voluntary role. Did he expect me to tell a family member that I can't speak on the phone right now (literally 10 mins) as it's husband's birthday weekend and he needs my undivided attention, should he wish to make a decision on how to celebrate?

changeforthebetter Sun 19-May-13 18:17:58

I remember coming back from a meeting pf bf peer supporters. it was at someone's house. we had herbal tea and buns. I had my phone on my lap the whole time. when I came back at 1130 (long winded convos about fundraising) he was livid. he came towards me, his arm raised to whack me one. DD2 14 mos at the time was wide awake. not remotely suggesting that your H is in the same lowly league pf twuntishness. but I do think PPs might have a point about him feeling threatened. bf peer support with its hoardes of MWs HVs and hormonal newly delivered mum is not exactly awash with opportunities to meet the opposite sex grin

glamstretchmarks Sun 19-May-13 18:23:56

Well I think his birthday could a have been a bit better tbh... so I think you are both BU in different ways... I would have offered to do something else with him for his birthday as he clearly wants to.

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