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What to do with a killjoy DH?

(64 Posts)
MatildaMai Wed 30-Oct-13 05:17:07

DH never wants to do anything. His excuse is that we don’t have enough money to do whatever it is that I want to do, be it a holiday or a day out. There have been times when we have had enough money to do these things, admittedly things are a bit tight at the moment, but other people are in the same position and they still manage to have fun.
I am desperate for a family holiday, but he says no. He says we should be saving money for our future. Well, we haven’t had any fun in years, and we still haven’t managed to save any money! It’s not just money, on the occasions he agrees that we need a holiday, he says we should go and visit his parents who live abroad. They can’t stand me. I don’t want to visit them. Particularly as they have visited us 3 times in the last year.

We never have fun days out, we never go out as a couple, he never buys me anything. Yet we still seem to find the money for takeaways or alcohol. Or going to the local pizza place that he likes. That’s all we seem to do. I have tried explaining to him that if we gave up these things, we would have more money for other things. But he doesn’t listen.

We have 2 kids and their lives just seem a bit miserable. DH only has one day off a week and he seems to spend the whole day in a mood. Again, we never do anything fun on his day off. We’ll go to McDonald’s for breakfast, then maybe the local DIY shop, wander around the shopping centre, get a coffee, go home, get a takeaway… the same thing every weekend. I hate junk food!!!

I thought it was me, maybe I am just a miserable demanding cow, but this morning our cleaner who never usually speaks said: “Sorry to say this, but Sir is a killjoy. He is killing the happiness of everyone around him.” I don’t know what prompted it, as I said, she never usually speaks. But she’s right.

What can I do? I have 2 grown-up kids from a previous relationship who don’t live with us. And I am not being flippant when I say that me and my older kids had a better, more fun life on benefits than my current kids do with 2 parents working!

Is anyone else in this postion? How do you handle it? Thanks.

WishIHadAFunkyName Wed 30-Oct-13 08:34:34

Definitely go and fun without him!
I used to be in a similar situation to you and just went on holidays without him (sister and friend plus kids)
I've often taken the kids out without him. Lifes too short and I really believe that you have to try to give your children lots of happy times and lovely memories.
I had a long chat with dh and asked him what experiences he actually remembers from his twenties and early part of thirties? What fun and exciting things did he do in his life? He realised that he couldn't really answer with much.
I told him that our thirties were not gonna be the same and that I didn't want our children to have a dull childhood so I got his agreement and started booking days out and holidays.
I just told him in advance what we were going to do that weekend.
We did afternoons in the park, days out, weekend to Edinburgh and a holiday to Turkey after we had that chat.
Although he was reluctant to go on any of these trips, he did and admitted that he had a good time.
He's now a lot more willing thankfully though still not at a stage where he's as eager to go somewhere as me! I still take the kids out without him as he still doesn't want to go out as much as I do.
He's not an arse though. He's just content to stay home.

AmberLeaf Wed 30-Oct-13 08:34:53

Is this about takeaway/cooking tips or a man who is so miserable and makes everyone around him miserable, so much so that even the up till now silent cleaner felt the need to point it out?

spidersolitare Wed 30-Oct-13 08:36:59

I'd decide that the next time he has a day off you are going somewhere. Doesn't matter where, except it's where you and the kids want to go...To the park for example.

Invite him to come with you, if he doesn't go anyway. Buy icreams with your takeaway money.

When he sees you having fun he'll join in, if he doesn't you and the kids will still have fun.

Maybe he's depressed and needs some motivation

mammadiggingdeep Wed 30-Oct-13 08:37:46

Sounds like my x.
I never used to let it stop me though...that's why towards the end we were living separate lives. I'd pack a picnic and spend all day on a Sunday at the park with them. We'd return home with leaves and twigs and stones as a 'treasure collection', stories of hopping across streams, feeding the ducks, climbing up on big tree stumps and he wouldn't even flicker. He's rather have been sat in watching sport.

Even if you want to stay with him, please start doing the things you want to do. Don't miss out on fun with your kids. They deserve more than McDonald's and DIY shops and so do you!!!!

Bluebell99 Wed 30-Oct-13 08:45:50

Does your cleaner really call your dh Sir?! confused . Anyway, you depend money on mcdonalds, alcohol, takeaways, pizza and the cleaner, how much does she cost?! Just the mcdonalds and the take away will be about £30 . You could save that money towards a holiday, or get an annual pass to a local attraction.

MinginInTheRain Wed 30-Oct-13 08:54:37

Do you live in the UK? Reminds me of my time overseas when people did spend their free time traipsing around shopping centres! Didn't have kids then but I could see how dull it would be.

Good advice so far. If you are a good cook and like cooking and hate take aways and want to save then it makes no sense at all to...be having all those takeaways. Save the money for a much more fulfilling family day out.

People who suck joy need to be shut out. They will bring you down (understatement of the year grin).

meddie Wed 30-Oct-13 08:59:55

Just go out without the fun vaccuum. There are plenty of things to do with kids for low cost. Mine loved going to the beach to search for treasures ( shells seaglass driftwood). Take a kite.
Local park for a picnic. Collecting conkers , train rides.walks. Local museums ( ours had a childrens area whrte they could craft etc).
Many councils have regular events, you just need to look for them.

WishIHadAFunkyName Wed 30-Oct-13 09:37:28

How old are your dcs?
You really don't need to do anything extravagant for children to have fun. Like others have mentioned, just going to parks. beaches, walks, museums, Saturday morning cheap cinema.
You can get a family railcard (with Tesco vouchers if you have any) which is great for cheap train travel. If you book in advance you can get cheap Travelodge rooms for weekends away.

MatildaMai Wed 30-Oct-13 09:38:22

WishIHadAFunkyName, you give me hope. My DH is not an arse either, I think it was his parents drumming it into him that they were broke all the time when he was growing up even though they are loaded that his default response now is "we can't afford it."

zippey Wed 30-Oct-13 09:43:11

Though to be honest, if he works 6 days a week, he is probably knackered and just wants to chill on the 7th day (even God needed a rest).

Also, just because his idea of a good time (Mcdonalds, shopping centre, diy store) isnt the same as yours, doesnt mean his ideas arent fun. They are just different. Maybe you can comprimise and do his stuff one week, do yours another? Or combine things - eg Mcdonalds and DIY store in the morning then do something you like in the afternoon?

You say that your DH is a killjoy but you're OP also come across quite negative. Hope you can work it out.

MatildaMai Wed 30-Oct-13 09:46:44

Some good points, Zippey.

Anniegetyourgun Wed 30-Oct-13 09:51:38

his idea of a good time (Mcdonalds, shopping centre, diy store) and doesnt mean his ideas arent fun are mutually exclusive, sorry.

Although, to be fair, it's perfectly possible to have a good time even in a shopping centre in the right company. Some people just carry their own personal little storm cloud around with them. However, DIY store with kids? No. Just no.

You don't get a day off do you?.

Attitudes to money often stem from parents and his parents sound mean, this has transferred to you DH to being mean in spirit as well.

Your "happy family" is not really that at all is it?. Its sounds bloody awful actually, there is a massive power imbalance in this relationship and its all in his favour. You have no say here at all really.

I asked you what you get from this relationship now and you did not or could not answer. That suggests an awful lot as well.

dunfightin Wed 30-Oct-13 10:00:59

Like many others here, I had one of those. Gradually my world and the world of the DCs got smaller and smaller and I got more and more miserable, eventually I found it hard to scrape together an ounce of joy even when it was days with just me and the DCs.
Two years on after he left to go and suck the lifeblood out of someone else, we are also having a great time. We have spontaneity, we meet friends, we muddle along without plans and costings and moans.
It can be really hard to reset your compass when someone has skewed it, but set yourself a goal - do one thing with the DCs before Christmas that would make you happy. If he wants to come, then he comes but if not sod it. Anything to save you from another saturday eating mcdonalds and looking at bits of wood in a DIY place. TBH he sounds as much fun as a sheet of plywood grin

WishIHadAFunkyName Wed 30-Oct-13 13:27:24

OP my dh has got this attitude from his upbringing. He had such a boring childhood. He was an only child for years and his parents worked fulltime and just wanted to spend weekends with their friends.
As he grew older, he preferred to stay at home rather than see his parents friends. He's not really known the joy, fun and excitement that days out/holidays bring so doesn't understand it.
Sad really.

MatildaMai Wed 30-Oct-13 13:36:05

Oh, that's sad sad. Actually, my DH also talks about his childhood being very boring. He says all they seemed to do was wander around shopping centres. But that is invariably what we end up doing with our kids...

WishIHadAFunkyName Wed 30-Oct-13 13:42:59

Well there you go!
I think I've got him to a stage where he seems to appreciate going out now just by exposing him to it more. He now says yes quite happily to most excursions, not always but often.
Good luck op! Time to just go for it smile

MatildaMai Thu 31-Oct-13 04:33:49

Well, I spoke to him last night. I told him we needed a holiday and I was just going to go ahead and book it. He didn't even ask where it was!!! He did say though, that he thought we were going to visit his parents (they live in his home country). I said if I wanted to holiday with people who hated me, I would go and stay with my ex-husband.

I am feeling pretty miserable about everything. I wish I could LTB. He's not a B actually, but I feel I am wasting my life with him and the kids are not having the life they deserve, either. Unfortunately it would be impossible to leave, so I have to make the best of it.

Why do you state it would be impossible to leave?. And yes he may not be a B (I disagree) but he certainly is a Dominator and living with one of those is akin to a nightmare. Your children will pick up on all the vibes even if those are not verbally expressed; they see how miserable you are.

I ask that as leaving is not an insurmountable obstacle (you left an ex H); besides which I think you and the children would be a lot happier if you were apart from Mr SoulSucker. All this man is doing is dragging you and by turn the children down with him.

What do you want to teach the children about relationships, surely not this for them to potentially continue with their own families?.

What was his response to your comment re his parents?.

whoselifeisitanyway Thu 31-Oct-13 07:18:51

I was with a man like this. He hated days out and holidays. I spent every bank holiday with the kids on my own with tears in my eyes looking around at all the other happy families. On the rare occasion he came out with us he was so miserable there would be an atmosphere.

We eventually separated and he left. Then he wanted to come back but tbh I could never forgive him for the years he spent opting out of family life. I am still angry with myself for putting up with it for so long.

It's not about spending money or not cooking or not having had days out as a child. It's that he is a miserable and selfish person and you are not likely to change his basic personality. I am much happier alone.

JennyOnAPlate Thu 31-Oct-13 07:21:23

I had a very boring childhood. My parents are very routine driven and both worked full time. Mum would spend most of the weekend cooking and cleaning and ignoring us, dad would be sitting somewhere with the paper.

I try really hard not to let us slip into the same rut because I don't want my dc to be bored all the time like I was, or to be nervous or doing anything different.

Can your dh not see that he's perpetuating his childhood? And that it doesn't make sense to do that when he was bored and unhappy?

JennyOnAPlate Thu 31-Oct-13 07:22:25

of doing anything different sorry!

SinisterSal Thu 31-Oct-13 07:40:57

Never mind a holiday. That's a bit pie in the sky right now. Do something this Saturday while you have the momentum with you. Maybe seeing you all traipse in glowing and happy afterwards will make him consider things.

I second the budget advice given above. He might respond to seeing it in black and white where money is and where it is going.

Bonsoir Thu 31-Oct-13 07:51:19

People who are killjoys often have deep seated reasons for censoring fun and imagination and take the moral high ground in defense of their boring attitudes. But usually, deep down, they are frightened of something. Like not knowing what to do in an unfamiliar situation. I think, OP, that you need to take control of your family's discretionary spending and reallocate it to things that are more imaginative. Your DH needs to be gently challenged to try out new activities.

EllieInTheRoom Thu 31-Oct-13 08:05:49

Please don't get another part time job to save for a holiday! If anything reduce your work hours and give up the part time job you already have and just take the kids on a free day out, picnics, parks etc! They can be fun too.

If you work even more to save for a holiday at Easter, by them the kids will be bored to oblivion and you will have driven yourself crazy.

I didn't go on holiday until I was 18, my family couldn't afford it but we had a fun packed childhood with walks, beach trips etc.

Just look after yourself and spend more quality time with them. Let him live in misery if he wants but don't work yourself into the ground for six months for the sake of a week away which might be ruined by "sir" anyway

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