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Really fed up with DH - mid life crisis type post - long

(355 Posts)
BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 19:08:38

So, DH has a long history of being a bit of a grumpy old sod at home more often than not when it suits him, and lying in bed at every opportunity (at the weekend it's usually more or less all morning, plus at least a 2 hour nap in the afternoons, plus slipping upstairs for a bit more of a lie down at regular intervals whenever I am not looking). I have pointed out he is doing less and less with us as a family, that we have become a very stereotypically gendered household in some respects, and that he might be depressed but he replies:

1. No he isn't, He is just tired.
2. He works hard and commutes to London (NB I also have a full time job and commute to London, he replies his commute is half an hour longer each way and I get to work from home sometimes).
3. He needs more sleep than me.
4. He does some of the washing and cooks once a week or so.
5. He earns more than me which makes his job more important to propping up the lifestyle of the family.
6. Two weekends out of three in term time he takes the older two to the local station on a Saturday morning to get the train to school (20 minutes there and back, then he goes back to bed).

(I have posted on here in the past about the rampant hypochondria linked to the lie downs, but luckily that has now diminished to more or less tolerable proportions since encouraged by MN I told him to man up and that there was nothing wrong with him, although he did strut about in front of our Christmas day guests with a thermometer thingy in his ear at one stage, so the hypochondria has obv not gone completely).

Now he lost his dad a couple of weeks ago, and the funeral was yesterday. I have been doing all the necessary propping up and wifely support that you would expect and which is only right. However his reaction to this is like an extreme version of his normal-lying-in-bed-complaining-all-the-time-not-doing-much-with-the-family. When his mum died a few years back it was also extreme. I think it's probably not an exaggeration to say that he copped out of family life for an entire year on that occasion (I remember speaking to relatives about it for advice at the time, I was so exhausted and fed up). I had five, repeat five bereavements of my own during the same period, including one of my closest, dearest relatives, but they were more or less ignored because he was so wrapped up in himself and his own grief.

I am really worried I am facing another year or so of doing all the heavy lifting for the family emotionally and domestically while he disappears into his psychological defence cave. I am not sure I have anything left to give. Over the last year or so I have felt suffocated by his moods and needs for lie downs, absolutely suffocated, and imprisoned in the house while we wait for him to wake up/get up/get dressed/get washed and join in. It's like we are all perpetually in limbo, and when we do get out, he's such a wet weekend it's no fun any more. I struggle to do the whole thing on my own as my mobility isn't the best.

He never volunteers to take the kids to the park, play with them or anything - if I don't nag him or do it myself the 3YO would basically spend all weekend indoors more or less entertaining himself, and the older ones would just sit in their rooms. He does however run around in a complete frenzy on a Sunday evening at 9pm in an attempt to find their PE kits and get them to complete their homework, at which time we are all completely frazzled frankly.

When he is at home, DH disappears off regularly and if he's not in bed, after half an hour or so he will appear and say things like 'well, I've tidied the kids's rooms/tidied our rooms/put everything away' very proudly, when the reality is that this is a 5 minute job stretched out to 30 as I have already usually spent the morning on domestic tasks, and he is actually multi tasking in the most inefficient way possible - dabbling about doing a bit of a job here, a bit of a job there, never quite finishing anything, criticising the way I organise the house. If he runs out of these pointless domestic tasks to occupy himself, that's when he goes off to lie in bed for a bit, rather than do something with the kids.

I have tried playing his lying in bed game as well, to see what happens, but basically the kids just end up rather neglected and start fighting, and he gets even grumpier.

I am really exhausted with all this. It is not what I got married for, tbh. I have just snapped at him and told him to 'see a fucking counsellor FFS' blush and while I apologised straight afterwards, he has now driven off in a sulk to get away from the house. I am not getting what I need emotionally from this marriage at the moment, at all.

Oh dear, what on earth do other people do in this situation?

Katisha Sun 14-Apr-13 21:24:59

But grief takes more than a couple of weeks, as you know. Don't underestimate him losing both his parents.

BoffinMum Sun 14-Apr-13 17:15:47

Well, let's see if he can keep it up wink

DrGarnettsEasterMixture Sun 14-Apr-13 08:49:39

Wow, that sounds lovely! Really glad DH has been to the doctor, and got that just opting out of family life isn't ok.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend (and I'm jealous of the Rigby and Peller box-I love their stuff!) You sound so much happier, which is great smile

Small note of caution-don't let DH think that grand gestures make up for equally grand crapness, ie the occasional weekend away, however lovely, doesn't 'buy' him the right to be rubbish the rest of the time!

BoffinMum Sun 14-Apr-13 08:26:05

Or that should probably say 'were going'.

BoffinMum Sun 14-Apr-13 08:25:33

As you ask, I am currently Mnetting in a posh hotel in a four poster bed having been given a box full of Rigby and Peller, and wined and dined all weekend. gringringrin

Prior to this, DH went to the doctor and was advised about CBT and also given some mild medication to help temporarily with sleep issues. This is helping him a lot.

He has clearly taken the point that lying in bed indefinitely is not a) healthy, or b) an option. Also that I cannot single handedly provide all support mechanisms for him should he decide to do so.

I am feeling a lot happier about things and very glad I made a fuss about the way things are going.

DrGarnettsEasterMixture Fri 12-Apr-13 15:02:04

How are you, Boffinmum? Hope you have some nice plans for the weekend, and that you get a bit of a break smile

JulieCarp Mon 08-Apr-13 20:00:30

I dont actually mean war grin- just the toing and froing approach of him conceding /you gaining - I dont think provides a long term solution with such ingrained behaviours .

JulieCarp Mon 08-Apr-13 19:47:10

One thing that continues to jump out at me is the general his way/my way attitudes to things.
He has made some concessions and hopefully will as you say have had a wake up call but if this is to be a longterm change then I still think couples counselling would be the way forward - DH and I are like chalkncheese but we have a teamwork approach to things and I tend to notice this in happy couples . The tug of war approach can be exhausting .
Good luck

AnyFucker Mon 08-Apr-13 17:19:51

"Selfish wankstains" can be forced to change their behaviour if you refuse to tolerate it, and quit making excuses for it. There is quite a lot of excuse-making on this thread, and not all of it only from respondents.

This what I say on many threads. Not necessarily "LTB" although I don't think I am too unusual in thinking that if someone is selfish to the point of being abusive and have no wish to change even though they know they are hurting someone, then the only useful thing to do is leave or make them leave.

Dozer Mon 08-Apr-13 17:09:09

Oops, good wishes!

Dozer Mon 08-Apr-13 17:08:17

[Grin] at LTB stormtroopers!

Although really it should be LTB jedi, as we are not on the dark side.....

Food wishes boffin.

AuldAlliance Mon 08-Apr-13 14:57:07

Glad things seem more positive, Boff. Hang in there, hold on to your principles and I hope you two can work it out.

(AF, I think the expression "selfish wankstain" may have made it seem like you were suggesting LTB... wink)

Boffin I really hope it all works out for you.

Everyone always says people can't change. Well IME marriages can change - mine did (long story) and it's what saved it.

If anyone was going to say it, AF, it would have been you grin grin

AnyFucker Mon 08-Apr-13 12:16:16

Has anybody actually said LTB ? confused

GreatUncleEddie Mon 08-Apr-13 12:01:45

Oh I'm glad to hear that boffin. Stick to your guns, don't slide back into the habits he has pushed you into. (No stormtrooping from me)

onefewernow Mon 08-Apr-13 11:40:38

I'm glad he is getting counselling, but the wrong kind of sole counselling can be very validating for poor behaviour too, so take care.

onefewernow Mon 08-Apr-13 11:39:09

Tee hee Boff. I never left mine, but I will be forever grateful to those who suggested I should!

Make sure he keeps it up. You have been married long enough to know quite well about the two week spurts of effort they tend to favour!

MavisGrind Mon 08-Apr-13 09:15:03

Just caught up Boff, glad to hear you've had The Big Chat and wishing it all works out for you both. You know where we are if you need AF us though! wink

BoffinMum Mon 08-Apr-13 08:16:32

Going well at beginning of Day 2.
Stand down the LTB storm troopers. wink

AuldAlliance Sun 07-Apr-13 22:25:56

Have sent you a small novella-length e-mail, Boff.

Thinking of you. xxx

pollypandemonium Sun 07-Apr-13 21:46:53

I can understand the counselling thing - not everyone likes counselling - I don't think he needs it anyway. It was an excuse to wallow and be a slob. I'm still not convinced he has shifted his thinking on a deeper level (ie men don't do housework and women shouldn't complain about anything), it does sound to me as though this is an unbelievably sudden change.

I will watch this space - don't think you can sneak off without an update.

Badvoc Sun 07-Apr-13 21:35:21

Agree with AF, but wishing for the best x

Snazzynewyear Sun 07-Apr-13 21:33:39

Really hope this is a turning point for you. Good luck!

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 07-Apr-13 21:28:58

Fingers and toes crossed.

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