To leave DH because of this?

(42 Posts)
SodaFountain Sat 03-Aug-13 06:56:09

DH and I have 3 young DC (2,5 & 7) and have just bought a house we are renovating. He works very long hours and I am really struggling this Summer holiday with DC and also managing the renovation.

I called DH in tears the day before yesterday telling him I couldn't cope and just felt like I didn't want to be alive anymore as the stress is making me ill and a nervous wreck. He was fairly sympathetic.

Last night DD was in tears as my mother gave her a book about monsters to read, she was shaking and terrified. DH was really horrible to her and turned the light off which I pulled him up on (I remember feeling the way DD did as a child after wathcing scary things). He said if I could parent properly I wouldn't have the problems I do and that I'm not an effective mother and I should listen to him & it's my own fault they behave the way they do.

I actually think I'm a good parent, just frazzled, he says millions of people do the job I'm doing and don;t complain and that he would love to be at home with the DC.

I'm sick of him throwing back things I tell him when I'm upset back in my face when we row, I feel like I can't trust him as whenever I do show him a 'weakness' he will bring it up and use it against me at a later date.

Would I be UR to consider leaving him over this?

I would tell him to book a week off work as you are going for a well earned rest in a spa/at friends/with family far far away and he can juggle the kids and renovations o. His own

solveproblem Sat 03-Aug-13 07:01:24

That is awful behaviour from his side. To be honest though I have found myself in a similar situation and couldn't cope at home with the boys when DH told me how everyone else was coping and it was just me. And that I should be lucky I got to stay at home with them.

I got myself a job. Yes, childcare is expensive but I needed it for my mental health. Is this something you would consider?

SodaFountain Sat 03-Aug-13 07:04:35

My youngest starts nursery in January, I can cope when it's just him it's during the holidays with all three of them. I am planning to go back to work part-time in January, I can't wait.

Spottypurse Sat 03-Aug-13 07:05:06

How much do you think it would cost to get someone in to manage the renovation? Someone like a professional project manager?

3 young kids is hard work. Does he know how much childcare would cost?

I'd go out today and tomorrow and leave him to it. See how frazzled he is by the end of it.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 03-Aug-13 07:05:39

You can't talk openly to him because he uses things you say as a weapon against you,

If this is routine for you then as you clearly don't want to live like that yet he is the only one who can change it the answer is probably yes.

NaturalBaby Sat 03-Aug-13 07:05:52

You are not doing a 'job'. He gets paid for his job, gets annual leave and sick pay from his job, approval, recognition and rewards for his job. You get none of that for spending 24/7 doing your 'job'.

Has your relationship only been like this since the renovation started or has he always been so dismissive of your issues?

SodaFountain Sat 03-Aug-13 07:09:16

He's always been dismissive of my issues, it's caused problems in the past. He is also dismissive of DC's issues.

SodaFountain Sat 03-Aug-13 07:10:37

I don't know how I would leave him, I don't think I could afford to pay a mortgage and pay for childcare too.

cuggles Sat 03-Aug-13 07:23:38

Soda...since your concerns about leaving him are practical and financial rather than that you love him, I would suggest it seems you want to leave him. I am not suggesting LTB as people seem to love to do on here as your concerns are very real but simply saying maybe start really thinking about what you want the future to look like and how you can get to it. Also though, dont make any big decisions or doing anything rash when you are exhausted...makes you view hings very differently. I totally agree with the abive suggestions...timeout for you, childcare alone for him is needed asap! Chin up...this too shall pass!

cuggles Sat 03-Aug-13 07:26:35

Excuse the typos and rereading it 'chin up' sounds abit 'get a grip' ish iyswim and i dont mean that i mean...keep smiling, you can get through this...or something similar and positive..i am rambling now, sorry!

Jinty64 Sat 03-Aug-13 07:37:04

If you are feeling as if you are unable to cope and that you "don't want to be alive anymore" then you may be depressed. I think you should make an appointment with your GP in the first instant and speak to someone who can offer you some help.

Is there a play scheme or holiday club that the older dc's could go to even for part of the day a couple of days a week or a friends teenager who would play with them for a few hours.

You may well be happier without your dh but this is probably not the moment to make the move. I would seek some help first.


NaturalBaby Sat 03-Aug-13 07:42:02

I know a family that have just been through a big renovation. The house is stunning, they moved out while it was being done, moved back in then split up. The house is up for sale and they have to continue living there because they can't afford to live separately till the house is sold.

Would your DH listen and have a proper conversation about realistic options if you sat him down and laid out the facts? i.e if things continue as they are with him not facing up to the reality of the situation you are in, then your relationship and the renovation are going nowhere.

MrsPercyPig Sat 03-Aug-13 07:49:56

Do you love him? Do you want to be married to him? Is he a good father?

MrsPercyPig Sat 03-Aug-13 07:51:20

Just to add I do think if you love him and he loves you, if you can get through this time in your lives (kids being s young etc) life will get easier.

EuphemiaLennox Sat 03-Aug-13 07:55:51

I think you should:

Find some time and space over this weekend to tell your DH exactly how you feel, that you're depressed and struggling and that given the constant pressures you have with no respite you think this is understandable.

Tell him the fact he refuses to acknowledge this, be supportive and worst of all throws it in your face to hurt you is totally unacceptable and not something you can continue to tolerate.

Tell him that unless things between you can change you feel the marriage is unlikely to last, and you have considered leaving.

Tell him that he needs to organise a week off work during this holidays in which he will have sole care of the kids and renovate the house. You will use this time to recuperate. Preferably you should leave for a whole week, this will really put the wind up him.

Then you need to tell him what you actually need him to do, practically, spell it out. Often men react with anger to a women's emotions as they don't know what we actually want them to do and they feel helpless and then annoyed.

So, what would help? Maybe write him a list!

1) get home from work in time for tea or bedtime and take over from there?
2) at the weekend get up early with the kids and allow you a lie in?
3) postpone delay some renovation work? Accept none will be done during school hols?
4) listen and empathise about the difficulties with the children without EVER throwing it in your face later. Understand small childen are stressful for everyone.

If he reacts badly to all this and attacks you verbally for raising it, then yes you'll need to leave as your marriage will just continue as it is forever.

If you find yourself in exactly the same situation despite giving him a red flag warning in6mths or a year then you'll probably have to leave.

Long term this will be no way to live.
But short term, with young children, marriages can go through stress, and recover.

SodaFountain Sat 03-Aug-13 08:03:03

Thank you for all the fantastic advice, I will sit down and talk to him later on today smile

EuphemiaLennox Sat 03-Aug-13 08:03:28

Actually I think maybe a rethink on the while renovation may be necessary.

Seriously what's the point in driving yourself into depression, ruining your marriage and probably distressing the kids along the way, for a nice house??

Can you rethink the whole schedule? Agree that nothing will be done by you while the children are small so it will be slower work, only by him or contractors?

Or sell the thing, buy a new build and relax and enjoy family life?

Seriously I live in a lovely old Victorian house and dislike 'wimpy homes' but I'd choose the mediocre house over family happiness any day.

My house is nice but not that important.

daisychain01 Sat 03-Aug-13 08:10:50

Soda, please think carefully before splitting up, as it sounds as if it is more you and your DHs circumstances that need to be sorted out, rather than being about the marriage itself. What you describe sounds like a recipe for two very exhausted people (long hours, 3 young children, home renovations).

Relationship counselling would be a worthwhile avenue to explore. Why not tell DH you would like (both of you) to improve and work on your communication, so that when things get too much you both know how to handle things, to cope with the overload of stress and come away from these situations in a loving way so you both see things from the other's point of view. Also you can work together so you dont say stuff in anger and DH doesnt throw stuff back at you next time you have a row

Sometimes sheer exhaustion does awful things, so you both need coping strategies, to enable you to support each other. As you know marriage is all about rough with the smooth and what you really need is to get through this rough patch so you can eventually enjoy that beautiful home you are doing up, rather than having a For Sale board up. I nearly cried when I read that other post, it seemed so sad for a marriage to crumble when the goal you are working towards gets lost and the stress and hurt take over. Also your 3 children need you together as a family, if you can just see through this tough time and it will make you more resilient for the future. I hope what I say chimes, and doesnt sound judgmental. Xx

Euphemia Sat 03-Aug-13 08:28:38

I couldn't be with a man who dismissed my feelings so readily. I've been with DH for 19 years and he's never behaved like that towards me.

Your DH has no respect for you. He needs to buck up his ideas.

lollilou Sat 03-Aug-13 08:38:12

I think EuphemiaLennoxs reply at 07:55:51 is perfect.

SodaFountain Sat 03-Aug-13 19:27:53

Hello, well he apologised at lunch time, said he was a bit tipsy and just felt helpless and that I should listen to him more hmm.. I know he i under a lot of pressure from home and work, and I am under a lot of pressure from home and home.... Anyway we had a long talk and have made it up. This is our first house and we cannot afford to rent anymore, renovation is nearly done to it's only a few more weeks to endure, I think we can do it. Will talk to him again tonight about using things against me in a row, I really don't like this, dirty tactics which have no place in a marriage.

Does anyone else's partner do this?

EuphemiaLennox Sat 03-Aug-13 20:16:34

Hello soda, was just deadheading the roses and thinking of you!

It's good that's he's apologised and admitted what he did and why it was wrong. That is. A really good start.

It's major read flag time when they continue to insist that they did nothing wrong and either yourr imagining it or it was your fault.

Do keep talking. Try to find ways to keep talking about it that don't make him feel attacked but that get your thoughts and feelings heard and validated.

A good way of doing this is to own your own feelings, so for example instead of saying 'you make me feel like a failure when you say xyz.'

Say: 'I feel like a failure when you say xyz.'

I know it sounds like a small difference but it makes a huge differnce to what the listener hears and how they react. In the first example they hear 'it's my fault again I need to put up a defence and attack'

Second example they hear 'she needs reassurance that's not what I meant.'

Also tell him that you need reassurance. I know it sounds obvious but to many men it's not. They can't think what to do and think reassurance is pointless if they can't change anything. Honestly they do.

Bottom line, don't let it go, it sounds like he wants to be better, help him to do it by telling him what to do. Nicelygrin.

Good luck.

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Sat 03-Aug-13 20:27:38

Do talk to him, love. It's good he apologized but, to be honest, it sounds like a rather half-hearted apology to me.

I know this is going back to before you spoke to him, but I was reading other posters saying you should focus on stopping the renovation, saying was a nice house worth it - while I agree of course that this may be a concern, I think it actually matters a lot that when you're in a stressful situation, he hasn't really stepped up. It doesn't so much matter what the situation is - if he can't see you are handling too much now, will he ever realize that?

I'd say - work out really calmly what the biggest issues are. It sounds as if it's that you are feeling overwhelmed, very, very busy and tired, and you don't feel supported. Ideally, what would you like him to do differently?

If it were me, I'd put this by saying I understand it this may well be a communication error, and he obviously has worries too - that way you can blame 'communication' and hopefully get somewhere.

But if he doesn't acknowledge how hard pushed you are, I do think he is being an arse as you sound right at the end of your tether.

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Sat 03-Aug-13 20:28:39

Btw I totally agree with euphemia. Her way around makes it clear that it doesn't matter if he meant to make you feel x, y and z - it's simply the case that you do, and as a couple you need to sort it out.

EuphemiaLennox Sat 03-Aug-13 20:31:43

Tell him to start a thread on MN saying 'we have 3 young children and we are renovating a house, I work long hours, my wife says she's struggling but Ive told her loads of people do it and she needs to buck up' AIBU?

And see what the mothers of GB say to himgrin.

AlfalfaMum Sat 03-Aug-13 21:30:59

We had building work for 6 months last year, it was incredibly stressful and exhausting, being at home with three kids, trying to feed us all healthy meals without a kitchen etcetera. I was this close to a breakdown.
I recall DH saying it "wasn't that bad" and me reading him the riot act. It wasn't that bad for him, going off to work everyday, eating proper meals in the canteen, whilst I was trying to entertain kids all day without the run of my house/garden in shite weather.
He didn't dare say it twice.

My friend did their Reno with a baby and preschooler, they lived in a caravan in the drive and he worked all hours while she had to manage. She said it nearly ended her marriage, it was so stressful and she is the most organized person I know. Finally done and moved in and they decided they will never ever do that again.

WMittens Sat 03-Aug-13 21:59:29

He works very long hours

You say that, but your post suggests you're stressed and he's not, or you're more stressed than he is. Do you assume he has it easier?

telling him I couldn't cope and just felt like I didn't want to be alive anymore

If you're serious, get help.

If you're using that for attention, that's unreasonable and manipulative.

DizzyZebra Sat 03-Aug-13 22:22:05

You can't live like this long term. My mum is 50 odd and on anti depressants because of living like that.

I was married to someone who had attributes in common with your dh.
Note the was.

niceguy2 Sun 04-Aug-13 07:29:47

You've three young kids and a home to renovate.

sounds to me that the odd falling out is perfectly normal. It would be odd if you didn't.

As for leaving him, on its own it would have been a stupid reason to leave.

Being a single parent is not an easy job. much harder with three young kids.

Trigglesx Sun 04-Aug-13 09:20:07

As for leaving him, on its own it would have been a stupid reason to leave.Being a single parent is not an easy job. much harder with three young kids.

Not a helpful thing to say at all. Being a parent is not an easy job. Much harder with a DH that's being disrespectful, dismissive, and is not supportive.

Tee2072 Sun 04-Aug-13 09:37:42

What a horrible thing to say niceguy. Why is it whenever I see your name I know I'm going to cringe?

NaturalBaby Mon 05-Aug-13 08:51:48

You are both under a lot of pressure - make sure you point out to him that your marriage is your joint responsibility and you have to put in time and effort into every relationship, not just sit back and take it for granted or expect one person (you) to sort it all out.

RedHelenB Mon 05-Aug-13 08:58:37

Well would you get a job & have him do what you're doing? might be a solution if he wants to stay at homewith them & you feel stressed by it.

niceguy2 Tue 06-Aug-13 05:21:04

Which part was horrible of me to say?

To point out that the occasional falling out is normal in a marriage and they're both under a lot of stress?

Or to point out that being a single parent is tough and not necessarily the answer to OP's problem either?

Which do you think is untrue and would I be less horrible to say 'dump the bastard' automatically?

amothersplaceisinthewrong Tue 06-Aug-13 05:31:44

Dump the renovations, keep the husband. Why anyone with three young kids takes on a major house project has always been beyond me.

StickyFloor Tue 06-Aug-13 05:45:04

We went through 6 months of renovations last year. We had a month camped in a couple of rooms with no kitchen facilities and then moved out and into another house. The stress on me was enormous, and I remember overhearing dh on the phone to his sister early on saying that actually the whole business was pretty easy! He genuinely had absolutely no idea what was going on as he left each morning at 7.30am and came home at 8pm and played with the kids briefly just as he always has done. He had no concept what I was dealing with while he was at work.

He is also another one who feels that I am lucky to be a SAHM while he has to go to work each day.

On both the renovations and the general SAHM life I have to occasionally sit him down and remind him of a few facts, and explain when the pressure is mounting and I feel like I am going under.

There have been many times when I have felt that if he says one more thing then I will LTB but that is not really the answer as we love each other. He can be ignorant and insensitive and genuinely has no idea what my life is like sometimes and so I have to tell him. Like some posters have suggested, I have at times had to spell out what I need from him eg I want you to get up in the night for dd so I can have a break, I need you to take dcs out at the weekend so I can have some time to myself etc etc.

BTW our renovations were not something we chose to do - we had a home disaster that needed fixing - I cannot imagine why anyone would voluntarily put themselves through that with young children. I have never been so stressed in my life.

Cerisier Tue 06-Aug-13 05:58:13

We took on a house project with two young children and both working full time and that was bad enough.

You only have a few weeks of renovations left so you just have to bat on and finish. DH should be sharing the load with you once he is home so you both have the same amount of free time. If he is doing renovations then you will have to do other stuff. I used to do the clearing up afterwards, that was the deal.

It will gradually get easier but these few years with very small DCs are relentless and exhausting. It does pass but seems to go on for ever at the time.

The dirty tactics is just low. I have been very disappointed when this sort of thing has happened (only once). If it happens again, time for a rethink.

jessieagain Tue 06-Aug-13 07:06:14

Being a single mother wouldn't make things easier.

If the present stresses are the only problem in your marriage don't do anything drastic like ending it. If you still love each other and get on generally, it would be silly to end it in a period of increased stress like renovations during summer holidays.

Organise some time away by yourself and go on a cheap holiday or just stay with friends/family for a few days. He can take some time off work. He would probably appreciate a change and chance to see the dc more and you will get a break. Also he will most likely be more appreciative of your efforts when you return.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Tue 06-Aug-13 07:54:18

Out of interest OP, what would happen if you left him in sole charge of the kids while you went away for a week? Would you feel confident/able to do this?

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