Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
dh and i barely talking, probably my fault....(62 Posts)
I am feeling really sad and angry at the same time... I'm hoping posting about it might be cathartic or at the very least help give me some perspective.
Dh and I have for the past week or so barely talked, and had no physical contact at all which is totally out of character. Things have been difficult for a while, I'm going through a very tough time with my mum (which I had a thread on, I will try and link in a bit for background). It's come to a head because my mum's dog bit someone so obviously I cannot take the dc to her house anymore. I understand and know this. But mum thinks it's all a bit of a joke the dog biting the postman and doesn't understand why I won't bring the dc round, she is however welcome to visit ours. We live 5 minutes away.
Dh hates my mum. Understandable considering the background. And he gets frustrated that I seem to make allowances for her behavior based on the fact she's my mum. He gets annoyed I don't hate her as much as he does. If it was down to him she would not see the dc at all. I feel sad about the relationship with my mum and feel very caught between dh and my mum. When mum texts or comes to visit dh gets into a mood and becomes very negative about it.
This has all built up into me talking to him and saying I don't particularly like my mum but she is my mum and it's hard for me. Especially as an only child and no other family. He said he won't say anything but he just can't help himself.
I am also struggling with looking after two dc (one 11 months one 10 year old) all day every day no support as he works everyday most days 8-10 and we have no family or friends to help. Literally no one. So I'm doing it but it's bloody hard.
We seem to constantly get into this tiredness competition over whose life is more difficult and I feel I can't have a moan without him alluding to how awful work is for him at the moment. So I've literally just stopped talking to him really.
This week on his day off we went into town which is actually 40 min away in the car as we live rurally. Ds started moaning and whinging in the car as its a long journey and I got very fed up feeling sorry for ds and generally stressed. Dh then got fed up with me as I couldn't calm down even when we got to town. I felt really wound up. And I was annoyed as the only reason we went was for some book that he wanted. He can't drive so I had to go to. None of the shops had the book so he ended up in a mood and had to order it online later anyway !
We ended up having lunch somewhere and ds was enjoying some food and suddenly had a bit of a choke (which is one of my major anxiety things as dd nearly choked and died when she was little) . Dh went to offer him some more food and I don't think he realised ds was choking so I put my hand out to stop dh and dh got annoyed with me and said he knew what he was doing.... it's so frustrating, he thought I was attacking his parenting, ie that I'm the better parent.
It has now been a few days and neither of us are really talking at all. I have said sorry for snapping etc and just said I'm finding everything difficult. He said well there's nothing he can do as I obviously don't want anything to do with him... which is partly true as when I'm stressed I just want to be on my own. I'm usually in bed by the time he gets in as I just don't want to have conversations that time of night.
Ds is sleeping 12 hours a night so it's not a sleep issue.
I don't know where to go from here. None of this makes much sense.
One thing really stands out to me here - his working hours. It is no wonder you are both tired and resentful and drifting apart. Can he not do anything about this? Is he a workaholic? What would happen if he left the office at say 8pm, would they really fire him on the spot?
Thank you for the reply. It's not an office job. They are short staffed and keep saying they will hire more people but it's been 4 months now and they haven't.
He is currently doing about 60 hours a week. It's ridiculous. But we need the money. Jobs aren't easy to come by our neck of the woods.
He's also management of a sort so can't really refuse to do hours.
He may have to though if its wrecking his health, your health and your marriage? Does he want to cut back?
My dh works very similar hours and often later. He does get home sometimes for a break in the afternoon. Its very hard, especially when we fall out. I also have no help and friends and family are a flight away.
How does he get to work? Motorbike?
Anyway, you need to talk - could you preempt it with an email or text to say you don't want it to be like this, you can't change your mum!
And you both need to have a break, even for a few hours at the weekend, and a plan. His needs to include learning to drive, otherwise he can't even take the dc out, to feed ducks or anything. They need time alone with him, to get to know him and be happy to be with him without you.
What does he and you want to change, realistically? Small steps generally work. We have an evening at the weekend where we almost have a meeting to go through the week gone and ahead, no tv, no wine, then a DVD and maybe wine then.
Changing hours isn't an option. He is currently looking at other jobs but I am not hopeful he will find anything because jobs aren't in abundance up here!
He walks to work. It's 5 mins down the road so he does come home for his break, when he has one - he doesn't always as often he is the only senior member of staff inso needs to remain onsite.
We have spent £2500 in total on driving lessons for him in the past two years and he cannot seem to pass. Some of that money was even on an intensive week course and he got too stressed and anxious with it all and didn't finish the course.
So... sigh. It's all a bit crap isn't it.
You're right, I should email or whatever and try and reach out but I'm still so angry and I just feel I don't really have the energy at the moment, the dc take up my whole day and then I don't even have time for me let alone dh.
We don't have anyone to babysit apart from my mum and due to reasons mentioned in previous thread I am obviously reluctant to ask her. However here is the odd part dh keeps wanting to ask her to come to ours and listen out for dc in the evening so we can go out! But I feel if he hates her so much he can't pick and choose when he wants her in our lives. He's just so desperate for us to go out.
We have no friends. And I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving dc with a paid sitter. I just wouldn't enjoy the evening if we did.
To be honest, I am just feeling like a bit of a horrible old woman at the moment. Lots of little things are pissing me off.... dh playing Xbox in the evening and shouting at the tv even though I know he works hard and it's just a hobby, he sits in my favourite spot on the sofa (I'm aware I sound like Sheldon from big bang here), he is always waffling on about something.... that sounds awful but I just feel bombarded with noise constantly.
I should miss him in the evenings when he's working but I'm so tired and run down I enjoy the quiet and just sitting on the sofa and going to bed early.
My weight is another issue.. I have a thread in style about that. I'm 3 stone heavier since I had ds and I feel miserable. I am dieting to lose it and walking etc but dh doesn't care about the weight, which is nice, but as I'm not eating as much he seems to be annoyed with me because I'm not joining in snacks etc. He is skinny and eats everything. Always has done.
Because of my weight and everything else I have lost my libido. Like dropped off a cliff stopped. I can't even think about sex at the moment.
Everything is just shit. It just feels like I'm clock watching till bedtime everyday. I enjoy moments with ds and the rest just drains me.
Dh has a week off coming up and I'm actually in a bit of a panic feeling anxious about how we are going to get on because there's such an atmosphere between us now.
Well, he can see you need a night out together so that is a good thing. He is picking your dm as he knows you trust her. He is ok to have her at your house, and thinks she is best to look after the dc if you are out. I haven't read your previous thread so I don't know if its anything except the dog, which she won't bring? I don't think he is picking and choosing, he is trying to make it something you agree to and are happy with.
Realiy, as exhausting as it sounds please agree with him and have dinner with him somewhere or something- not the cinema! Make sure he gets up to help in the morning as well.
I feel the same re when my dh is here, snacking and watching what he wants on the telly when he is here ( which is ok really) and after dc are in bed and he is at work, I tidy then I wonder where the evening went.
I am on the low carb bootcamp thread starts tomorrow - come and join in, I lost loads last time and never hungry. Plus it's a nice friendly thread.
Do you mind about the driving? As its easy to be complacent about work and not driving then a job offer comes up and he needs to drive and you can't move dc from schools easily, house move etc or he loses his job?
Do you go to toddler groups at all? I found a mum who's husband had the same job as mine, which was a great comfort - she knew all about it!
Ok, just read your other thread. If you go to toddler groups, then ask for a babysitter, or better yet, ask your dh if anyone's wife at work or older reliable person would babysit. They can pop round for a coffee as they work so close, and meet the dc.
I also suggest getting a cleaner a couple of mornings - you can't do it all, if you can afford it, and maybe she might babysit?
Wow, just read your mum thread - you have a lot on your plate right now.
The main thing that hits me is that you sound very cut off & lacking in support network - you mention not having any friends that you could ask to babysit - what happened there - new area?
What are local playgrounds/ mum & baby classes or groups like? I wonder if you need something for yourself - friendships, stuff you do for fun. While ds is still little you've got a great access into lots of mums - just pick out a few you think you like & ask if they'd like to meet you for coffee/ come to yours. Or is there a mum at a class your dd does who you think looks friendly? Get chatting, make yourself some links....
Ito Dh? I'd be trying to get some reconnection time sorted - sounds like you need to remember why you like each other. Which is hard when you're both feeling over worked & under appreciated. I think the night out plan sounds like a really good idea. Get yourself some new clothes, go & get your hair done maybe, think of it as a new start.
I'm keeping off the mum issue, as I'd want to get things with me & Dh sorted first then tackle that....
Oh my word I could have written some of these threads tonight. I am so glad I am not alone. Feel for you hun. X
Thought I would come back to this..
Thank you for the replies.
Dh had some time off work and after some careful thought we got mum to listen out for ds, he was asleep when she arrived and all she had to do was chat to dd before her bedtime and then listen for ds on the monitor. We went out but didn't go far and ds slept the whole time.
I enjoyed going out. But still unsure about the whole relationship with mum thing. I feel like everytime we ask her to do something for us she's thinking she has the upper hand on us. I have no idea how true that is.
Dh and I reconnected a bit. I think so much of my anger is all entangled with how I feel about my mum and dh generally seems stressed from work so much and there's a lot of negativity about. I really enjoy being at home with ds and then I have to counsel dh about work and mum about whatever else.
Dh has said he wants to look for another job. Fair enough. He doesn't seem to be happy in any job he's had really .
I won't go back to work unless I absolutely have to. As in dire financial need. I love being at home and I enjoy looking after the house and if I returned to work I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving ds with anyone. The nurseries here are awful and there are no local childminders. We would not be able to afford a nanny.
When I had dd many years ago I returned to work quickly as mum was more with it and also used a good nursery but we have moved now and the nurseries we visited just to have a look have all been awful. I actually complained to ofsted about one. And obviously I can't leave ds with mum for daytime childcare. I just don't feel I can trust her to do things my way let alone anything else.
I am worried financially though. We are just scraping through every month. It's not a long term situation really. I plan to find another job when ds starts school. Anything would do really.
Since having ds I feel really odd about myllife really. In some ways I feel contented ... he's the perfect bond baby I never thought I'd get to have after having awful pnd with dd, so I kind of proved to myself I'm not a bad mother... and on the other hand I keep feeling quite stressed out wondering if I've peaked at 32 years of age... I have done everything. Had a fab job once, had a rubbish job, been married twice, divorced, single mum... all kinds of relationships, clubbing, drinking, staying up all night... everything. I can't think of anything I haven't done.
So what do I do from here? Just exist? I am quite happy plodding along... I think. Or am I? I don't know.
I am trying to look at booking a cheap holiday for us all in the summer but dh is having problems trying to get work to commit to dates. I need something to look forward to maybe.
I don't know what I want. I want... something. I don't know what.
I feel quite old. Really old, very suddenly.
oh Fairy, have just read your latest post. I think it's very very normal and natural to feel as you feel - and it goes without saying that 32 isn't old, but at 37 now I can relate to feeling like that at times in the past, but I don't think it has a single thing to do with age.
A few random thoughts if I may.... a relationship gone awry with your mother is not to be underestimated in terms of the impact it has on you - and you feel alone with it. Your DH is clearly very hard working but perhaps has not really empathised with you on this matter, making you feel isolated. There is also a sense of both of you having very specific things that make you unhappy or life harder but these have become stuck - I'm thinking about the lack of a social network and the driving - these are no doubt connected. Since you are a SAHM for now (unless this changes and you get a job) is now not the ideal time to start to build one? You may be over-estimating how many people/ how much of a network you really need to feel supported. There are probably other mothers in exactly your position not too distant. You probably only would need two or three people to make a huge difference to how you feel about your local area - can you look into things that interest you? Zumba/cakes/bookgroup/yoga/riding/running club/local theatre - the possibilities are many!
Your DH probably could do with a mate or two as well. He sounds unhappy at work but has he actually spoken to them about achieving a better balance, or has he shouldered the extra responsibility without a conversation. That could go better than you both think if he plans what he wants to say. Even if the hours were better whilst he looks for another job, that would be a start.
Rome wasn't built in a day, but honestly feel from reading your posts that for both of you a combination of repetitiveness, isolation and overwork would be the things to look at first - the babysitting, whether to get another job, the relationship with your mum - all these things might look a lot easier to tackle if you both take steps to address increase the enjoyment to be had out of life.
Fairy I have no solutions but I understand that what do I still have to do feeling.
I'm married, my children are 8 and 13, I've had my fun times, I've studied hard, got several good qualifications, done the whole staying up all night/different relationships etc.... I don't see what there is ahead of me that could be better than what's gone before. I feel I have peaked.
I'm not sure this is a solution as such but I find I need to keep looking for ways to challenge myself. Right now, I'm challenging myself at the gym, with a really hard 50 day training programme. That might bento work for you but how about finding something for yourself - learning to do something new, something relaxing and which would help clear your mind maybe?
It might be a daft idea and if it is, sorry.
I went away and have been having a good think about everything here. You're right, I do need some sort of challenge. Or something for me really.
I've started to do some selling on eBay.. all kinds of things. I used to work in marketing so I'm quite enjoying writing all the blurb out for the items. I've also started toying about with the idea of making some sort of saleable craft type thing. Although I have to be honest .. no great ideas yet!
The isolation thing is more difficult. I am extremely anti social (she says posting here, wittering on) and I think a lot of this stems from the fact people have always hurt me throughout my life and I feel I just don't need the hassle or the disappointment. Very self defeatist maybe. I also hate people just popping round and it seems to be a culture round here that friends just pop in. To illustrate... I had one friend that used to just turn up on me a couple of years ago and in the end I pretended to be out and then when I moved I didn't give her my new address. And I changed my phone number about the same time and didn't give anyone that either.
Occasionally I get pangs of wanting a friend.. but then the responsibility that comes with that, the effort, the popping round, the phone calls etc. I just don't have the energy. I guess that's why I like forums. I can just switch off.
I think dh is pretty much the same although he doesn't get as anxious as me. He just can't be arsed.
Things are still very difficult. Mum came round this week and dh got very annoyed as he perceives she was a bit rough with ds putting a top on. I don't think she was, I was next to her and ds was just having a little bit of a moan. Mum was doing ok. But I could see dh was getting annoyed mum was holding ds so in the end I took ds back. Mum was miffed, dh was stressed. It was all a bit of a disaster really.
Mum also really annoyed dh by keeping going on about how ds looks like our sideof the family ... he doesn't. At all. Dh feels like this is her trying to wind him up. I am not sure. Think mum is just maybe trying to share ds and at worst a bit thoughtless. However she never ever says ds looks like dh even though he is the spitting image. This annoys dh.
I am so fed up with it all. Nothing but hassle and stress. We are now back to dh being really annoyed with my mum. He wasnt meant to be there anyway he had abreak and came home from work.
I feel defensive towards mum. I feel angry... with myself for feeling that way but I do. I feel annoyed with dh as I feel he has no sympathy towards how I feel about my mum. He feels I should be able to cut her out but I can't and he seems frustrated with me.
I know if people read my dh's version of events on here they would be very sympathetic towards him and I would be slated for having sympathy towards my mum and not siding with my dh.
The thing is deep down I just feel that my mum is the only constant in my life. And she hasn't been really so I don't know why I feel that way. But I just feel like I'm sure one day dh will get fed up with me and I'll be back on my own again and the only person I will have anything to is my mum. I just don't know if I can believe my dh is always going to be there. I must drive him mad, I'm a very introverted person and I am very difficult to live with. As is everyone at times I guess.
I go to bed and all I think about is mum, my childhood, have I done the right thing, am I doing the right thing.
In my darkest moments sometimes I wish I hadn't had ds as its changed everything between me and my mum. But I love him, I really do. I just find life so hard and I miss my mum.
I feel very low at the moment.
Your statement that you wish you hadn't had your DS because it has affected your relationship with your mum is quite worrying, to be honest. It's not normal to put your relationship with your parents before your relationship with your partner, and I remember reading your other thread and being surprised that you had spent most of your adult life living with (and supporting) your mum, though I appreciate her mental health problems were part of the reason.
If I were your DH, I would resent the lack of support regarding your mother - you said in your previous thread that she hated him from the start, and that must be very difficult for him (especially, bluntly, that his stressful job is paying her mortgage).
My DH doesn't drive (failed his test several times), so I know how difficult that can be. I was wondering why you chose to live in such a rural area? Would your life be easier if you lived somewhere more urban. It would probably have the advantage that there wouldn't be such a 'popping-in' culture, either (which I would hate too!). You sound very isolated - do you ever go to mum and baby groups, that kind of thing?
A tip to pass into your DH for his driving test that worked for me after similar amounts of money being spent was to ask the GP for beta blockers for the test. Passed right away after that. Stopped the anxiety leading to the errors.
Thank you. All good points. I totally see where my dh is coming from with regardsto my mum. But I can't just cut her out. And so round and round we go....
The mortgage thing is a bit more awkward than that. She owned a share in our house and wouldn't have been able to afford to buy her own due to living with me and health problems for many years of non working so unless we got a mortgage to buy her house now she wouldn't have been able to move out. So we would have been stuck with her. So it's not like dh resents paying it. It's necessary. And also we have our house relatively cheaply as I was high earning before so if it wasnt for me doing that ... well dh would be under even more pressure or I would need to work. I feel like I've already made my contribution by effectively bringing most of the equity to the relationship so dh is effectively buying his share in, if that makes sense. One of the reasons I don't want to work is because it's like I'm working to buy another share in a house that I've already brought, I want dh to buy his share. I'm rambling.
I am happy living rural and neither of us want to move back to somewhere more urban. I don't want to go to mother and baby groups. Sorry, I know people are trying to help. I do plan to place ds in nursery for a couple of days when he reaches about 2 to meet other children. At the moment we potter at home or go to the park or shops or whatever else.
Dh and I talked a little the other night. He said he feels that if it came down to it I would always choose my mum over him. I said how could he say that after everything I've done for him, ie forcing mum to move out (which is something I have never done for any other partner) etc.
We got quite heated and he said he just doesn't know how I can just let her walk all over me (his words) and never confront her about things. But Im just not confrontational. I don't want to argue with everyone anymore.
Part of the reason I can't cut mum out is because I suffer with a low immune system and if we ever needed someone desperately to look after the kids there is literally no one else. Dh would have to take time off work and we would end up in debt and lose our house. I never want that to happen. Its unlikely. Yes. But I'm not prepared to cut off my mum at all.
I just don't know what to do really.
Dh and I are now back to not talking really again. I feel angry with him because he just doesn't understand my need to have a relationship with my mum. He's not close to his own family and he just doesn't get it.
It's very complicated as dd for example went to stay at mums yesterday as she wanted to and mum is bringing her back today and she will want to come in and see ds. Dh is due home from work about then so the whole thing will be awful again and I feel totally stressed out.
Similarly ds has a birthday coming up soon and my mum obviously wants to be part of that and will want to pop round for an hour to give presents etc and I know dh will be very unhappy about this. So I say no to mum??? I can't do that either.
I feel totally stuck in the middle.
I didn't mean I regret having ds because I don't I just mean I hate the way everything has changed and I don't feel right pushing my mum out because of my dh. Maybe that's wrong. People say your spouse should come first but to me I can't just abandon my mum because at the end of the day whatever happens she is my mum, whereas dh could leave any time. That's the reality of marriage.
I see the mortgage issue is not that straightforward, sorry.
Do you realise that the problems since having your DS are problems that your mother has caused, not you? She's the one who has reacted strangely and been hostile to your DH, instead of being happy that you have found someone who makes you happy, and happy to have another grandchild. Was she the same about your previous marriage?
It seems drastic to completely cut your mother out, as your DH suggests. But could you set firm boundaries with her - ask DH to be civil, and be clear to your mum that if she can't treat your DH with respect and be polite, you'll ask her to leave? Your DH sounds as if he feel unsupported by you, especially with his comment about how he feels you'd chose your mother over him.
I would disagree that you should put your mother first because your DH could leave at any time, in fact, I think that's the reason you need to prioritise your relationship with your DH. Parents should love you unconditionally, but marriage takes effort, especially if you're dealing with stressful situations (finances, new baby, etc). You should focus on your relationship with DH precisely because it takes more nurturing/ effort that your relationship with your mother.
Would you please read the thread you linked to?
Please see how god awfully piss poor she is as a mother.
Would YOU do the things to your dc, that she has done to you?
The choice here is not between your M or your DH. You have to choose YOU. Choose those that make you feel good about yourself, that want the best for you, genuinely, without having their own agenda.
Focus on your H, on your marriage, on you, your dc. Not necessarily in that order, and not always with the same priority.
Your mother is holding your head under water here, she's stopping you live. That is why your H hates her, because she is so crappy to the woman he loves.
Thanks, the most frustrating thing is I know both of you are right about my mum. I just don't think I can live with the guilt of feeling that I didn't take care of her, both now and in the future. I don't know how to let go of that. I am fully eyes open at the fact she was a pretty shit mother but some of that I can explain by her mental health issues and her own childhood. Although at the same time I go round in circles thinking well not everyone that has a shit time of things turns into another shit.....
I just feel that supposing say she gets very ill and I don't look after her, what does that say about me? She brought me up, in a way anyway so why shouldn't she expect that of me? Could I live with myself if I didn't? There is no one else to do it. Just me.
Dh and I have had a terrible row this evening by text unfortunately as he is at work. He is now saying he thinks I want nothing to do with him etc and that I should do what I want to with my mum because he wants nothing to do with it. Which would be fine if he meant that but he doesn't, he's angry with me and is saying it almost to incite a row I think.
I have told him that I don't know how I can make him feel I've chosen him anymore than I already have but I feel likehes just not sympathetic to how painful it is for me with my mum, he just gets angry with me about it all. He got angry and said how dare I say that etc etc. He clearly feels he is being supportive but it just comes out as angry and resentful.
I don't know how to put myself first. Even now I'm just living for the kids and my goal is to grow them up properly and well and then hopefully have some of me back again. Maybe I'll get a villa in Greece or something who knows.
Interesting what you say about making more effort with a dh rather than family as the family will always be there... maybe that is part of my problem in a way. All my relationships have always felt like a lot of work, I feel that with my mum too but I feel like I understand mum well as I've always been around her. Sometimes with my dh I am not quite sure what he's thinking etc. I find it difficult.
I just don't know how to move on from here. This is the first time in my life I've lived without my mum. I'm struggling with it. I really shouldn't be but I am. I feel like a massive chunk of my life has gone and I should be happy but somehow I feel like a fish out of water. Almost worthless.
Please get counselling? For you? You can't do any of this on your own
I think I'm going to have to. I will do.
I'm sorry I keep going round in circles. It helps me to clarify things and when I read it back sometimes things do sink in.
Your mum hates your H. She hates your joy/happiness. She ignores and roughly treats you son, the only child your H has.
Talk to him! ASK him what he thinks you should do, calmly and seriously. Come to terms with the fact that you have NO idea how families should be. How you don't know what love is, or means. He does by the sounds of it.
Give it a month. A MONTH of him calling the shots as far as your M is concerned. If he wants no contact, no contact it is. If he's prepared to shoulder the blame for you, so that you can have the break you need to gain clarity, please let him.
Talk to him, to us about your fears (it's fear, not guilt that panics you btw). Don't think about what others would say. You H knows the truth and wants her gone. Anyone who read your story would support you, not her.
You need to be shown how to put yourself first, you need to relearn how to live.
I had to do this, and by god when you see what life SHOULD have been for you, it's almost evangelical. Tinged with sadness, as you see how cheated you were, but you are young, you have time still to live well and happy.
So give the reins to H for a fixed period. Let him be the buffer.
Just picking up on a different aspect, you said the local nurseries are awful - have you considered becoming a childminder? You may enjoy the challenge and it could provide you with some income?
Def get some counselling to deal with your mother, your dh and dc are your future...