Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

was what I said really so awful?

(193 Posts)
StillStuck Wed 16-Jan-13 10:02:08

back story - DH used to go away a lot with work, used to be for a whole week every other week and then his job changed and it was one week a month, and then it changed again over the summer and he stopped going away at all.

I posted about this a while ago (under another, different name change) as I was really struggling with my negative feelings about him being around all the time. I was happy with the balance of him being away one week in four, I enjoyed my time just me and DS and didn't really miss DH to be honest.

When DH told me about how his job would changing I really struggled with the negative emotions I felt about him being around all the time. I had a feeling of being 'trapped' if that makes sense, I missed knowing there would weeks booked in when he would be going away.

It hasn't helped over the past 6 months since his job changed that DH has barely been out or done anything. Two nights out with friends and one day trip, that's it. The rest of the time he is always around. I work three days a week and on my days off with DS DH will almost invariably come home at lunch time as well and be home by 4. We live in a tiny tiny house so there is no where for me to go to get some space, I can't call a friend without him commenting on what i'm talking about (and i have to talk over the noise of him watching tv). I have taken to going for a run/ swim every night and then having a long soak in the bath, just to carve out some space for myself.

I have eventually summoned up the courage and tried to talk to DH about this, about how I miss the balance our life used to have. I tried to explain that I was happy when he was away and then also enjoyed it when he was around. But he has taken it really badly and won't accept that I do still want to be with him I just want us to have some balance again. I am also a bit cross that he is upset with me for admitting to liking the weeks when he was away as much as I liked the weeks when he was around. I think he thinks I should have been sat around weeping and counting down the minutes until he came back. (meanwhile these trips away for him were basically to do something most people would pay to go on holiday and do, and the evenings involve going out drinking and partying).

I do think I still want to be with DH. He can be negative to me at times and I have struggled with that and I think that is why I like having a break from him sometimes too but fundamentally things are ok I think. I just want to get a balance back, I don't think its healthy to have so little time apart, and I miss having time just me and DS. Over the winter it feels like I've only really had a few hours a week, and I feel like I haven't really been a 'mother' especially as DH has a bit of tendency to need to prove he 'knows better' than me when it comes to parenting. The gaps when he was away gave me a chance to feel confident in what I was doing as a parent I guess.

AngryTrees Wed 16-Jan-13 10:59:03

He doesn't sound very nice, StillStuck sad He's undermining you and making you feel uncomfortable about how you behave around your son and paranoid about talking to your friends and family...do you think he'd prefer it if you saw them less?

StillStuck Wed 16-Jan-13 11:00:14

I have to go get some work done, but I will be back later, thank you for all the comments, they are helping me think.

Sugarice Wed 16-Jan-13 11:00:21

He criticises your family and friends which has resulted in you not seeing as much of them? That is bad, you know that don't you.

He sounds hard work, I'm sorry to say.

I'd start building up those friendships again and ignore his shitty comments. You might need them in the future.

AbigailAdams Wed 16-Jan-13 11:06:46

StillStuck - you final paragraph of your OP is very telling. And what you have said since doesn't lead me to believe that your 'D'H is particularly nice to you. Mocking you? Lying to you? Seeing parenting as a competition? Critical of friends? No wonder you want time apart. A number of red flags there.

There is nothing wrong with your self-esteem btw. Nothing that telling your DH to fuck off wouldn't cure anyway!

MarilynValentine Wed 16-Jan-13 11:09:51

From what you've said I think it's only natural that you enjoyed him being away. You shouldn't ever have to feel self-conscious in your own home with your own family.

He sounds undermining. Anyone would need space from being made to feel pushed out/a lesser parent. And his criticisms of your family and friends are a red flag.

Talk to him, about everything. If he cannot hear you or respect your feelings then that will be very significant.

TheFallenNinja Wed 16-Jan-13 11:10:33

Yeah. It may be the truth but none the less pretty stone cold.

In his place I think I would be fast forwarding this in my head, and I would take this as the beginning of the end, I would take some convincing that it was anything else.

AbigailAdams Wed 16-Jan-13 11:14:40

StillStuck - have you told him that you don't like being mocked and feel self-concious? Not that you sould have to as he shouldn't be doing it, but I wondered how he responded.

Firsttimer7259 Wed 16-Jan-13 11:18:13

From such a distance it is harsh to immediately say its all over and I dont think it necessarily is FWIW.

But it does sound like you need to talk to each other and it sounds like he needs to work out whats bothering him and stop getting in your space. He shouldnt be butting into your telephone conversations etc (its rude) or meddling in over your parenting. You can talk about your friends with each other when thats helpful and as parents discuss and agree parenting approaches but he's interfering with you in a way that sounds like something else is up with him

AbigailAdams Wed 16-Jan-13 11:23:04

Who is saying it is all over? It really depends on how he reacts to StillStuck raising the points she is unhappy about with him.

babyhammock Wed 16-Jan-13 11:32:21

Well he sounds draining and undermining and not that nice tbh and I'm not surprised at all that you feel you need a break from him. That competitive parent thing would really make me not want him around too.

I take it you've tried talking to him about how he makes you feel when he is around in terms of feeling undermined etc..... but I can imagine how that went and I expect he was dismissive and turned it back on you....by the sounds of him sad.

Not sure what to suggest but I can see exactly where you're coming from. Hugs x

StillStuck Wed 16-Jan-13 11:34:19

Firsttimer yes I hope that. I don't want to give up without trying to find a new way of living that works for us.

In relation to your second paragraph yes I wonder that, I wonder if something is up with him. I wonder if its to do with the changes at his work that means he feels frustrated too and feels the need to prove himself by being the 'best' parent in relation to DS. (fwiw I am not at all competitive myself, but his attempts at competition e.g. lying about who has seen something happen first, make me sad). the worst incident of him 'needing' to be right being when ds had hurt himself in an awkward fall at nursery, I took him straight to GP as I was sure something wasn't right with his leg, gp said give him paracetamol and if not right within an hour go straight to a&e, (DH was at the appointment too). when the hour was up DS was still clearly not right, I said right lets go (I had backed back), cue a massive argument DH accusing both me and the GP of being wrong/ overrreacting. I didn't have my car at the time so was dependent on DH driving us there and in the end the only way I could persuade him to drive us to A&e was to say that otherwise I was calling a taxi. poor DS had to listen to all of this while in pain. got to a&e, traige nurse said he would need to see paed consultant and there was a bit of a wait, lots more arguing from DH about whether we really needed to wait to be seen. In the end I had a quiet word with the triage nurse who said very clearly that we needed to stay and that to tell DH to 'man up'. he quietened down at this and sort of apologised when we were heading home (DS in plaster sad) but I am still really quite upset months later that my poor boy had to listen to all of this while clutching his little broken leg sad

StillStuck Wed 16-Jan-13 11:35:40

yes, have tried to explain how I feel about negative comments etc, but he doesn't get why it would affect me / denies having every said them

StillStuck Wed 16-Jan-13 11:36:46

(sorry bad typing' backed back should say 'packed bag'! as in bag of stuff for ds!)

AbigailAdams Wed 16-Jan-13 11:40:14

Oh StillStuck, this isn't good at all. Really it isn't. He isn't being a good parent, he isn't putting your DS first, he doesn't trust you either. I am not feeling hopeful that he would respond to you asking him not to mock you and undermine you, favourably.

Dahlen Wed 16-Jan-13 11:40:19

Feeling awkward talking to your friends or family when your DH is around, and seeing less of them because he's there, is a really big red flag. I have one or two complicated relationships with people who are, quite frankly, car crashes. Even I cringe when they're around. But as a grown woman I reserve the right to see and talk to whomsoever I please. Criticising and mocking your parenting is also really nasty behaviour. It's one thing to disagree on approach and try to find some mutual agreement, but non-constructive criticism, and particuarly the mocking, makes him a bit of a bully and an arse.

I suspect one of the reasons you're struggling with him being around so much is because you know you're going to be forced to confront the problems in your relationship. I wish you luck.

Sugarice Wed 16-Jan-13 11:43:07

Oh dear Still, he argued with a GP and at the hospital because he thought he was right and everyone else was wrong.

Dis he ever give a reason for his unacceptable behaviour?

StillStuck Wed 16-Jan-13 11:45:04

i think he just found it all mightily inconvenient timing sugarice as he was hungry hmm . he thought it could all wait till the morning.
he didn't argue with the GP or the nurses, just with me for listening to them.

Sugarice Wed 16-Jan-13 11:48:32

The last thing he should have been thinking about was food, idiot man.

When our ds3 broke his wrist and we zoomed off to A+E hunger was the last thing on our minds!

Sorry Still he sounds like a tosser, no wonder you preferred him being away.

Are you likely to be in your rented house for much longer?

Allinonebucket Wed 16-Jan-13 11:50:06

Hmm, I was going to reply and say that I had a similar period of readjustment when DH stopped working shifts which had meant I had two weeks a month to myself in the evenings. It was hard to get used to losing all that me-time.

But, I think you have deeper problems, your DH doesn't sound like he is very nice to you. sad

AbigailAdams Wed 16-Jan-13 11:52:09

"but he doesn't get why it would affect me / denies having every said them". You know that isn't right, don't you. He should be worried that he has hurt you.

"i think he just found it all mightily inconvenient timing sugarice as he was hungry" All about him, isn't it?
"he didn't argue with the GP or the nurses, just with me for listening to them"
Yet more disrespect to you.

Can I ask, what you are getting out of the relationship at the moment? I am struggling to find a positive in any of your posts about him.

MarilynValentine Wed 16-Jan-13 11:53:56

Jesus, just read about your DH needing to be right and being obstructive when your poor little boy had a broken leg angry

Definitely try counselling but if you get nowhere then please take the time to imagine a future without this man in your life as a partner.

What Allinone said. I started reading thinking, yes, I know how you feel, I enjoy time and space without DH, but having read you other comments I can understand it is more than that.

StillStuck Wed 16-Jan-13 11:57:53

yeah Abigail thats it, he puts his needs first. another example is that I travel abroad lot with DS (e.g. so DS can see DH for a few days when he is working away). I find it easier travelling with just DS than I do if DH is there too. With just DS I put his needs first in terms of when I get to airport, what we do at airport etc, when DH comes too it somehow feels much more complicated because dh's needs seem to dictate things somehow.

yeah I know sugarice, I would stay all night without food or sleep if it meant ds got what he needed. Indeed, when ds was a much smaller baby I did stay up all night with him in a&e without food or sleep. (never been soooo pleased as when we got to the ward and the nurse got me some toast!)

Chandon Wed 16-Jan-13 12:03:36

It almost sounds as f you would be happiest if he was almost never tehre, as you do not like him? Do you think that is fair of me to say?

Is there any love and humour between you? Affection? Laughs?

LoopsInHoops Wed 16-Jan-13 12:03:47

Umm.. yes, I do think it was really so awful. What a horrible thing to hear!

Seriously, you are apart all day, I think wanting more specific 'alone time' is a bit odd for a healthy relationship, but then your later posts indicate that perhaps you don't see this as a healthy relationship. The fact that you see less of your friends and family because of DH (rather than because that's the way things happen when you get married, have kids etc.) is not a good sign, as I'm sure you are aware.

The self-conscious thing - it's hard to say whether that's him being genuinely domineering and critical or you being paranoid. I suspect a bit of both? It can't be a happy feeling, but I think Relate (although I haven't had great experience with them tbh.) or some kind of couples counselling is a far more positive step than telling him you liked it when he was away every month.

Can you imagine how that made him feel? Imagine him saying it to you - he is a parent too and probably would love to spend just as much time with DS as you do - why on earth you would want 'alone time' with DS when you already work part time and therefore see him more than DH will, I'm sure, come across as odd and unsettling.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now