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How do I get him to stop using our circumstances as a weapon? and why doesn't he want to spend any time with me?

(63 Posts)
bearwithbearwithbearwith Fri 25-Jan-13 09:37:12

Hi everyone, I am a couple of weeks away from having my first baby. My partner goes to work and I stay at home. I would say that on average every day he spends around 5 minutes WITH me. He gets home and says hello and we have a little chat about anything interesting that has happened that day and then that is it. I won't see him / spend time with him for the rest of the night. I also know that this weekend he won't spend any time with me.

If I bring up that he doesn't spend any time with me - or anything that upsets me actually - his response is that he goes to work all day. He uses this as almost a weapon. He does whatever he wants every single day and night and weekend - if I say but I want you to do this or I want us to do this or can you sit with me and talk? I GO TO WORK ALL DAY! If I go in one room he will go into another room. I go to bed very early and he doesn't come to bed till very very very late. So it's not like he doesn't get time for himself. If I ask him to do something with me on Sat or Sun he will say THIS IS MY ONLY DAY OFF A WEEK! (Which implies that I am another JOB he has to do).

If I start to 'nag' (this how I feel I am seen) he will say he goes to work and is stressed. For the record his job is not stressful - it is a really nice job - we both know this.

The bottom line is I feel I have to nag him to spend time with me - I feel SO lonely. I look forward to him coming home because I have spent the whole day alone watching TV - I then spend the evening watching TV and feel so bored and so lonely. I also can't handle this guilt that he keeps putting on me that he works and I do nothing. I am praying for the baby to come today so I will actually have some attention and something to do.

How can I stop him from making me feel so guilty about him working and WHY doesn't he want to spend any time with me? When we met he wanted, desperately, to spend 24 hours a day with me.

AlienReflux Mon 28-Jan-13 05:40:54

hope you're ok OP

justaboutchilledout Fri 25-Jan-13 19:30:13

Just wanted to flag up that the internet stuff doesn't sound innocent. I don't mean he is having an affair, but that this sort of stuff IS addictive. Is he addicted?

DoubleYew Fri 25-Jan-13 18:54:47

OP, this sounds exactly like my husband, the jobs thing, moving, internet, walking me to work, sep food etc - it's all very very familiar. We are now getting divorced as he became abusive.

You are cooking a fully grown baby inside you - that is pretty important work, no? I felt so ashamed that my husband didn't want to spend time with me and would claim I was nagging him by trying to chat or do things together. He was also so excited about a baby, you know until it just turned out to be a lot of hard work.

Please tonight find out about your local breastfeeding support group, they are used to (and usually encourage) very pregnant women to come along and start meeting people. You need to build a support network for yourself as things may be tough in the future. SOrry if that sounds very doom and gloom but if it does get bad, splitting will feel like a huge weight has been lifted from your shoulders.

FairPhyllis Fri 25-Jan-13 18:34:48

This man doesn't seem to understand how to have a relationship with another person, and quite possibly doesn't really like women or respect them at all - he seems to see you as a nagging mother - that thing about having a 'mental pot' sounds like something a teenager would do.

Don't bother writing him a letter - ask him to move out. I know you will say that you don't want to be coping alone with the baby, but you're basically alone now as it is. And then at least he wouldn't be around and ignoring you and making you unhappy.

If he really does want the relationship to work and to be a good parent, asking him to move out will focus his mind about your needs and wellbeing. And if he doesn't you are better off knowing that now.

Helltotheno Fri 25-Jan-13 16:56:57

OP when I said hopeless, I didn't mean you were a hopeless person, just that you came across as feeling a bit hopeless about things, which maybe you do right now. I think some things will definitely change for the better when the baby arrives.

It's hard to comment about your DH. The only thing I would say is now that you have time, try and work out how you want your lives to be and what your reasonable expectations of him are. If you get the sense he's not on board with you and the baby, that's something you don't have to put up with. I'm not in favour of people staying with the same person for years trying to change them, I just don't think it works. This baby is his responsibility too so he should be stepping up all by himself really shouldn't he..

ShephardsDelight Fri 25-Jan-13 16:46:32

I second what other posters have said, if you are such a chore can you imagine his opinions of a baby?

I would leave him the next time he says that, he won't be much of a father if that's his attitude.

So sorry you're going through this OP.

I have SPD too and I'm 30 weeks pregnant so I empathise with the waiting around feeling and not being able to get out much,
Thing is my hubby knows this and realises I need him more than ever , something has caused your OH to disengage from you whether it be stress, or worrying about the new baby etc.
You need to talk properly and tell him you are slightly hurt he doesn't enjoy time with you,
Does he financially abuse you? Only asking as perhaps he has developed a shitty attitude towards you as a result of him considering himself the " breadwinner" and feels resentful perhaps?

BerylStreep Fri 25-Jan-13 15:35:33

OP, I was thinking about you earlier. The thing is, lots of people work ft and are capable of sustaining meaningful relationships and making their loved ones feel just that, loved.

If he thinks it's hard work working ft, then having to speak to you for 5 mins, he has one hell of a shock coming once the baby arrives.

I don't like the idea that he is setting the scene for how it will be - 'I work all day, so therefore you do 100% 24/7 childcare & housework.' I'd be setting some ground rules pronto about weekend night feeds, weekend lie ins, and naps for you as soon as he gets home from work.

BuiltForComfort Fri 25-Jan-13 14:59:54

Maybe a slightly childish idea but - can you change the password for your Internet connection? Not to be an arse but because if he can't connect to the Internet he can't get immersed in games etc straight off. it may break the cycle and enable you to get into his space for half an hour. You can always be up front and say you've changed it because you need to talk to him properly and you can't get through to him otherwise (it does sound as though he may be becoming addicted to online stuff). You could even change the name of the Internet connection to "DP I need you to keep me company please" or some other message (though the neighbours will see it too!). Or you could just not tell him ...

Re dinner, can you not eat together even if not same food? Or sit and have a drink and snack with him while he eats?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 25-Jan-13 13:06:42

I don't think you're hopeless or helpless. This is the time... and I remember how 'beached whale' I felt two weeks before DS arrived.... when you particularly need a partner to be exuding love, confidence and reassurance. Fussing about and making you comfortable... not demanding me-time and chatting to online gamers <eye-roll>

But I also think you are on a hiding to nothing if you expect him to suddenly flip a switch when the wunderkind arrives and behave any differently. That's why I think you have to make a big noise now, pull a few dirty tricks and get him a little worried... stop taking you for granted.

bearwithbearwithbearwith Fri 25-Jan-13 12:59:16

Thanks everyone.
For those saying I sound hopeless and helpless - I don't think I am. And I certainly have never been in the past. But pregnancy and hormones and moving away etc. can make anyone pretty low. i am not putting pressure on him to be 'everything' in my life - all I want from him is longer than 5 minutes in the evening and perhaps a lunch at the weekend or something.

I have researched groups and made on line friends but not been able to / at this stage / to make that step to get out and meet people because of the way I am feeling - very different to how i once was/ hormonal/ insecure.

I know that I need to make big changes with my life in regards friends - but I am days away from giving birth and I will do this when i actually have a baby.

tomatoplantproject Fri 25-Jan-13 12:41:33

You poor love. SPD is horrid but it will go as soon as your baby is out and your h is being an idiot.

It's going to get tough when the baby comes and you're going to need his support - dh is my number 1 cheerleader and helps out when he's at home and it's still hard looking after a littlie (dd is 11 weeks). You need to have a serious talk with him and tell him it's not just the grand gestures but the time and support in the evenings you need too. You should prepare him that having a newborn is hard and that he will have to pull his weight ti get you all through the first few weeks. You should also be prepared that looking after a newbie means you may not have the opportunity to see your h in the evenings. Dh and I are thick as thieves but have only just started to get our time back with each other - and we work hard to create that time.

It sounds like you need to start making some local friends for company during the day. Have you looked into your local Nct and other things you might do? Having a new baby seems to have opened up a whole new world of new people in the same situation, I'm saying this because we're in a new area and was nervous not knowing anyone. I have managed to set up one thing each day (eg baby massage, Nct, baby cinema, coffee with one of the baby massage girls, walk with Nct people) and it really helps. Could you do the same??

Good luck - you're about to enter into a really magical time!!

DoodleNoo Fri 25-Jan-13 12:13:58

If you're of a mind to make new friends, you have possibly the best opportunity to do so since you started high school / university - right now, or at least as soon as you can get out again. Research the local NCT, bumps & babes groups, baby massage, new mums groups etc etc and soon you'll know hosts of people in your new town, all with a common point of interest. You just have to be prepared to get yourself out there and be a bit pushy about inviting people out / over (that will of course give your partner something else to resent, that you're sitting around drinking coffee all day while he's at work wink ) That will give you the support network you need.

Your partner is probably a bit depressed - he may hate his job, feel overworked with no way out - and like you, wondering how all this happened in such a short space of time. Getting cross with his inadequacies will not help, It'll just make him feel worse. He doesn't sound like the kind of guy who would talks to counselling though! He may need to work through this on his own.

You are an intelligent lady and can clearly see that big decisions made now, under a haze of hormones are not going to be your best ones!

Hang in there.... And keep your fingers crossed xx

CorruptWalnut Fri 25-Jan-13 12:09:52

I'm just going to play a bit of devil's advocate here, not to offend or to "blame" anyone, just to try and put another perspective out there.

If I read it right in your OP, you've known each other a long time but haven't actually been in a full committed relationship for long. The pregnancy wasn't planned but wasn't then unwanted by either of you. You were in a successful career and he was unemployed. He worked really hard to secure employment to help support the baby.

The whole thing of relationship, pregnancy, employment and role reversal of you at home and him at work has been 9 months. It looks pretty overwhelming on paper (for everyone involved) and maybe he just isn't coping well with all the responsibility he feels he's got. His coping mechanism could be to withdraw.

He could also be really scared about the impending birth. Fear of the unknown and fear of fatherhood.

Yes he could just be being a bit of an arse, but I wanted to try and look at the whole situation from something closer to his (possible) perspective.

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Fri 25-Jan-13 11:56:59

At a minimum I would use the time pre baby to research groups you can go to post birth - stuff at your local children's centre, breastfeeding groups etc. I knew no one with a baby locally when I had mine due to moving areas so had to make a concerted effort to get out and meet others. By the end of my ML I had made some good close friends without whom I would have been very lonely at home with a baby.

This is not right and not fair on you.

My DH works and I am SAHM. Yes he works full time and is tired (he works outside in a very physical job), but when he gets in he plays with the kids, helps me bath them and put them to bed. Then we eat together, watch something together, have conversations, bath together etc. He likes computer games, but since we swapped roles (he was SAHD for dd1) he has reduced his gaming time so that we spend more time together.

What does he think it is going to be like when the baby arrives? Does he intend to carry on as he is now? Does he think that now he has got you pregnant that is it, he doesn't have to bother anymore as you won't leave him if he doesn't put into your relationship?

Numberlock, making sandwiches and walking to work aren't necessarily controlling, it could be caring. My DH used to make my sandwiches when I was working before and after we had kids and would often walk me to the bus stop in the morning or meet me off the bus, it was nice to have that little extra time together.

The point is op if that is how he used to be then why the sudden change? If need be get angry, cry, get him to take notice. Calmly discussing doesn't seem to be working.

dequoisagitil Fri 25-Jan-13 11:45:17

You absolutely must build yourself a social network of your own. One thing might be to see if there are meets of Mumsnetters near you (or other parenting websites). Book groups, bitch n stitch, anything like that. You may be feeling pretty ropey but you need company too. You must break your isolation.

If he's a normal guy, it's suffocating to be the sole source of interaction to your partner. If he's abusive, this is how he wants you. Either way it's hugely unhealthy.

I also think you should plan on returning to work as soon as is viable, as obviously this man will be rubbish to you as a sahm.

Helltotheno Fri 25-Jan-13 11:42:50

OP you also need to start building a life for yourself. Nobody's partner should be everything to them, it's too much of a reponsibility for them and not good for you. I know you're pregnant but you come across a bit helpless and hopeless to be honest. What have you done about getting out into the community and seeing what's out there for you?

Did you just leave your job fully when you got pregnant? Why didn't you stay in the job and just go on maternity leave?

I'm not saying there's no fault on your DP's side, it's just I feel a lot of neediness, passivity and dependence from you in your posts.

bearwithbearwithbearwith Fri 25-Jan-13 11:38:55

Thanks DoodleNoo - I got what I wanted - I got it out on here and vented. I am going to write him a letter about it as already this morning he has sent me a message apologising for how he has been - ironically. I have always been of the mind set that if you are not happy LEAVE - and I have always done this. But now we have a baby on the way and I understand myself well enough that I can make bad situations much much worse and react too quickly.

Numberlock - I sort of get what you are saying in that i am probably being far too needy and it would do me good. It just hurts to ignore him when I love him so much and am so excited to see him at the end of the day (pathetic as it sounds). ps. I literally don't have a friend here yet i could invite round and mum miles away. I do wonder how he would react if i just went out - but where would I go...

This isn't going to get any better. This is a man who's excited by the idea of a baby (Look, everyone! My dick works! Look at me, I'm the MAN!') but in his head, all the domestic work is women's work.

Numberlock Fri 25-Jan-13 11:20:20

Well your current strategy isn't working so, given that you're not ready to leave at the current time, I'd try a different track and totally disengage from him. Stop asking him what's wrong, what he wants for dinner, will he spend some time with you. Ignore him and do your own thing. Invite a friend round for the evening, go and visit your mum, go to the cinema.

He will either wonder what's going on or not notice any difference...

DoodleNoo Fri 25-Jan-13 11:18:44

I'm amazed how many people are brazenly telling you that he's a shit and you should leave. Would they, if they were actually in your position? Maybe you should, and maybe you will in the end - but you need to give him a few of months at least in my opinion. It might be a really tough and miserable time for you, but it might not - and in any case, you'll get through it....

(I sometimes post stuff on here looking for support and end up feeling that I have had myself emotionally strip-searched by other posters trying to be helpful! I now try to have a no personal posts rule - and when responding to others I think of Thumper's mum in the film Bambi: if you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all )

bearwithbearwithbearwith Fri 25-Jan-13 11:11:50

Trifle - I ask him what he would like for dinner but says he will decide once home then ends up doing his own. I have had lots of issues with what i can and cant eat due to sickness in pregnancy and so we just end up wanting different dinners.
Anyfucker - no I will never give up my career - but I can't work with a new baby.
Numberlock - It was helpful rather than controlling. I had terrible morning sickness so he would make me things to help - and I thought he felt bad that i was working and he wasnt so was trying to do his bit. Long story abt why we moved - a new start and for work in a nutshell. I was a contract worker - finished a contract so will receive Maternity Allowance as always work for different companies so don't qual for maternity leave.

Kiwiinkits Fri 25-Jan-13 11:07:02

Lovely post DoodleNoo

bearwithbearwithbearwith Fri 25-Jan-13 11:05:10

Doodle - thanks so much. Does feel a bit better to hear dont leave than just leave - which is terrifying. Your dad sounds identical to my dad.
I know deep down he is a good man (my partner). He does do things for me that really when i tell other people they say my goodness how lovely or how kind. BUT his constant use of 'I work all day' and not spending any time with me is driving me mad. I feel completely alone and unconnected from him.
I think Cogito is right in that he is behaving like a single man at the moment and like i am not here at all. Maybe I wouldnt notice so much if i was working and busy - but when you spend all day alone you look forward to him coming home so much - and then you get nothing and go to bed - it's soul destroying.

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