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I need your help - DH doesn't see there's a problem

(126 Posts)
NeatSoda Thu 13-Jun-13 19:35:09

Just feeling so helpless. My feelings for my DH are very conflicted: I love him but I am on my knees with wanting him to take some responsibility for his life/our lives.

Basically, I make all the decisions, take all the responsibility, make all the plans and do all the 'moving forward' in our family. This isn't really about money - he has inherited some income from before we met - but about almost everything else. He's a stay at home dad and I'm off putting in the hours working. I love what I do and this is a decision that we made so we could have someone at home for the DC and to look after our investments.

However, he just abdicates every decision to me. Every awkward or challenging conversation with banks/lawyers/insurers/accountants either waits for me or simply NEVER gets done. We borrowed £70K for a project he was going to do last summer, it still hasn't been done but we've been burning through it on repayments. Today he told me he still hasn't called the accountant to go through the business plan.

It's not just the big stuff though - it's everything. It took six months of me asking for him to take the dog to the vet. OK, I didn't badger him but why should I have to? The DCs dentist trip was the same. I can't make the appointment - he needs to so he knows when he can take them. I do make appointments for eg tradespeople to come to the house.

We have a cleaner three days a week. I do all the cooking. I've asked him just to do 40mins housework a day sorting clothes/putting on laundry - he won't.

I spoke to him at the weekend about all of this, and how I feel dumped on, but over the (10) years we've spoken about it loads. I thought he'd hoisted something in but,no, when I asked him today if he'd followed up X phone call or Y email he hadn't. I asked him to sleep in another room tonight. I'm just gutted.

Badvoc Thu 13-Jun-13 20:41:29

I feel the same soda.
Different set up to you, I am the sahm but I do everything.
And I mean everything,
And I can't anymore.
I get no support, no help...
It's not looking good.

SmallChanges Thu 13-Jun-13 20:45:48

He is not going to change, whether you do whatever. You know he is not going to change. There is no point in having another talk.

So what are you going to do? What can you life with? Maybe buy in more support, reduce 'projects' and ambitions perhaps? So that you do feel so put upon.

If you are mainly happy, focus on the good things and sort out the obstacles and try and stay on the right side of balancing things/making the best of it.

NeatSoda Thu 13-Jun-13 20:46:22

I'm really appreciating the responses, thanks. I know I must sound like I'm refusing to change too.

I long to make a list together of jobs and to tick them off but he won't. I have suggested he come back from school drop off and just work on stuff flat out until, say 11am - no. Nothing. He will not commit to any structure.

He just thinks I'm so bourgeois wanting a tidy house ('Who cares?') but, really, my standards are on the low side. He recently offered to take one of the teachers on a run to a DIY store - such a great guy! - and took her in the care full of dog hair and old Happy Meal cartons and crisp wrappers. I suggested he tidy it first and he just laughed.

SmallChanges Thu 13-Jun-13 20:47:18

typos - 'What can you live with?' 'So that you don't feel so put upon'

Maybe be a little more selfish

ExcuseTypos Thu 13-Jun-13 20:50:36

You've told him numerous times that you aren't happy.

He just ignores yousad

I'm sorry to say this, but if this was may H I'd be asking him if he really loved me, because I don't think someone can ignore a patner's unhappiness, if they really loved and cared about them.

frogwatcher42 Thu 13-Jun-13 20:53:53

I am only starting to realise late in life that you can't make people what you want them to be. If you can accept this it may make it easier.

Then it is a case of deciding if they are what you want (or can tolerate) or not.

If he isn't what you want now, and the things that you would need to change are fundamental to his personality, then you are on a losing battle. For example, if you see being a SAHD as getting x, y, and z done in a day, but he sees it as letting the cleaner in and then drinking coffee and reading the paper and he won't meet you half way then surely you either have to accept him as he is or separate.

Harsh but maybe true?

Or you find another way round it which is to list the things that are important to you (such as clean house and car) and then you employ people to do them (cleaner and dh drives the car for a valet once a week). That way he gets his easy life, you get a clean car and house etc. Maybe to fund it he works a couple of days a week, and to allow you to sort dentist, opticians a/ps etc then you drop one day a week?

What you have to decide is: can you cope with regarding this man as a kind of exotic pet? Enjoy his good looks and amusing company but accept that he is something you have to feed and tend, not an equal partner from whom any effort can be expected. If you can't, then you need to put him out, because he is not going to change. He thinks that his charm entitles him to live a pampered, selfish life and he has no conscience about this.

NeatSoda Thu 13-Jun-13 20:55:17

Badvoc, what's to be done? It's a massive grind down. No change, stuck like this. No way do I want to disrupt the DC.

He'll be affectionate or funny or we'll chat about lovely things the DCs have done and I know I want it to work out. But, fffffffffffffffffffffff

Is it really SO impossible he'll change?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 13-Jun-13 20:59:48

Of course he won't change, he has no motivation to.

He clearly knows you will stay with him, so he can behave how he likes with no consequences.

You either accept him how he is, or end the relationship.

i agree with sgb.

either you accept he is not a fully functioning adult and understand that you have 3 children or it's over.

he's demonstrated loud and clear that HE WILL NOT CHANGE.

are you happy to accept the status quo?

SmallChanges Thu 13-Jun-13 21:01:22

Yes, it really is SO impossible he'll change. He is as he is. Deal or dispatch

spiderbabymum Thu 13-Jun-13 21:02:40

PSML at the idea of your dp as an exotic pet

But sorry OP this is not looking good

Your feelings are important

He is not recognising or respecting that you are HURT

Sorry but I too think things are seriously not good

You need a third party a professional to help you have frank discussions

GruffalosGirl Thu 13-Jun-13 21:02:43

Have you tried explaining how much he is risking your relationship?

My dh whilst working full time and good with the kids was like this, did nothing round the house and no amount of lists, shouting, nagging has ever worked.

I finally sat him down and calmly explained that the way he acted showed me he thought his time was more important than mine, that he was being disrespectful, that we weren't a partnership and explained that it had made me resent him and was rapidly damaging our relationship to the point of no return and that I didn't see us lasting a year if things didn't change.

I think it was the first time he saw the impact of his behaviour and that I wouldn't be fobbed off.

We made some practical plans to make it easier but I refused to tell him what to do, he needs to be responsible for that himself.

It's only been a couple of months but it seems to be working so far. Reading posts on mumsnet really helped me articulate why it was such a problem for me, it might be worth a try.

pamelat Thu 13-Jun-13 21:03:10

Before youngest was at nursery did he have them full time? Maybe, like some mums I know, he's seeing now as his reward for those hard years?

I have friends who shop/gym/lunch with children in childcare.

It's just that they don't do that whilst leaving their full time working partners to pick up house admin/chores. It's a juggle.

Badvoc Thu 13-Jun-13 21:03:47

I don't know soda.
Sometimes I think Aibu expecting him to be something/someone he obv isn't.
But then I just get the rage again.
I have actually been in tears today with stress and worry.
Talking makes no difference.
Saying sorry doesn't help me.

NeatSoda Thu 13-Jun-13 21:04:17

In my darkest most honest moments I think, yeah, I can have him as the amusing father to DCs but I'll need organised, ambitious support from someone I can talk to... and I worry that that would open me up to the possibility of an affair.

There really are two jobs (mine/income and house/investments) to be done here and I honestly don't think I can do them both. And even if I can I so resent the Saturday Every Day that I don't want to. He says he feel 'scared' at calling the accountant - well, yeah, I can get that but there's nothing fucking scary about taking duvets to the cleaners, or organising oil to be delivered.

SmallChanges Thu 13-Jun-13 21:05:25

I know it sounds harsh, and looking at it the situation it is such a small thing to ask, but unfortunately, this is who he is...

Take some time out of the situation if you can, maybe a weekend away and explore your options systematically and thoroughly.

You need to be able to live happily with whatever you decide to do.

Badvoc Thu 13-Jun-13 21:06:18

He does try,
Things will get better for a week or two and then....
Earlier he said we should be a partnership. I agreed. Then asked him to name a time when he has supported me or helped me.
He couldn't sad

Badvoc Thu 13-Jun-13 21:08:21

Yeah.
Had to call an ambulance for ds2 last year as he was having breathing problems.
I asked dh to phone as I was dealing with a distressed ds.
He handed the phone back to me and told me he couldn't "because he was too upset"
I could go on.....

NeatSoda Thu 13-Jun-13 21:09:31

Before my youngest was at nursery, I was at home and was around or working from home and on-call if needed.

I think the status quo is not OK but could be sustainable. In a divorce, I wouldn't get the house or the children. That's the harsh truth. I supposed that's why I'm so desperate to hear he can change.

Badvoc Thu 13-Jun-13 21:10:28

He could...if he wanted to...

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 13-Jun-13 21:11:03

One word....boundaries.

Set these and make it clear that he has to pull his weight - or you will have to look at changing the way you deal with him. Its not a real marriage as it is sad

I think HE is the one more likely to have an affair, not you. Its usually the one investing the least in the marriage, the selfish, entitled one who has an affair not the person running around trying to make everything work.

foolonthehill Thu 13-Jun-13 21:11:56

"he is too scared"
"he is too upset"...

so what are you then...made of stone??
In a relationship there has at the very least to be some mutual support and help emotionally otherwise what relationship is there??

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 13-Jun-13 21:12:41

In a divorce all assets including the house are divided. See a lawyer to get some advice so that you can see where you stand legally and financially.

foolonthehill Thu 13-Jun-13 21:13:14

In a divorce, I wouldn't get the house or the children.......are you sure? after all if he had the DC he would have to wash clean, cook, organise etc.

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