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do i stay or do i go ?

(76 Posts)

DP and I have 2 children ds 3 and dd 4 weeks ....... I am currently struggling to figure out if our relationship is at all worth it.
I will start by saying dp is a good man with good intentions and he loves us dearly he works very hard full time and private jobs in spare time he tries to help at home sort of ! ..

but I find as soon as he is home our lives (mainly mine) become so much harder - too hard if im honest .
although he tries to help at home he gets everything wrong ! I have to tell him how to do everything and within minutes he has forgotten . and once I have told him he doesn't the know it he will have to ask me again the next time .

ds has no consistency between the two of us although we do discus it all in great lengths and have yet to disagree on any aspects of parenting and the way in which we apply guidance . yet after we have discussed it he cant remember what to do and will ask me what to do in front of ds .
at home it is a massive battle to keep in place the daily routines not because he doesn't agree with them ,in fact he shows enthusiasm for it all but he just doesn't do it or doesn't remember ...every evening he will say what do 'YOU' want me to do.
He will leave things out of ds night time routine the same one we have done since he was 2 months old .
dp read in a book yesterday about quiet play at bed time not to over stimulate etc etc however last night I heard them screaming and shouting water everywhere ds giggling until he had a coughing fit. which is wonderful to see and hear (bar the coughing) but not after extensive research about how to help him to sleep. which has been an on going problem bedtime drama .... this is one example out of a million
it probably sounds like he is just a 'typical man ' but its so much more than that .
I am struggling to cope (with him ) I am becoming like a prison warden telling him what to do and I don't like who I am becoming.it feels like there is nothing in our relationship except arguing and discussing this stuff am I just being dramatic or r we doomed??

aturtlenamedmack Mon 04-Nov-13 08:48:59

I felt this way for about 10 months after my ds was born. I wanted things done a particular way and felt that my dp was more of a hinderence than a help. As a result I did almost everything and wouldn't allow dp to help no matter how hard he tried and then resented him for not helping enough.
I had learn that different doesn't mean wrong and that my ds would benefit from both our parenting styles. Neither was the 'right' way of doing things.
Remember that if your dp works full time he probably feels as though he is missing out on some of the fun and games that you have with your dcs and wants to maximise his time with them when he has it. The playing with your dcs at bedtime is probably quite important to him.
Also, seriously consider the alternative - becoming a single parent. If you are realistic, it won't be any easier, it'll be much harder.
Of course there are many circumstances where it is absolutely the right decision to make, but the relationship that you describe sounds like you can work on it if you want to.
I think you should stop threatening to leave, it isn't fair to use this to get someone to behave the way you want them too.
If you want to leave then do so, and if you don't then you need to find a way to work through your issues as a family, but threatening him like that won't improve the situation in the slightest.
Have a really good think about what your life would be like without him and decide if that's what you want.
If you decide to make a go of the relationship then you need to think about how you can both change your behaviour and compromise to improve the situation. His behaviour isn't the only thing that needs to change, you need to reflect on your own too.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 04-Nov-13 09:00:14

The thing about the flip flops...has he got some sort of memory issues in general or just about householdy type things? You can't be reminding him to do EVERYTHING or he wouldn't get himself up each day so is it just family stuff...is there anything he does remember?

AnyFuckersfrogslegs35 Mon 04-Nov-13 10:11:11

Judging by what you've said regarding DP's job, he obviously doesn't have any real issue with his memory.

I do agree with some other posters in that you sound a bit controlling and rigid with the rules. I get that to a point - if a certain routine makes our lives a little easier then we try to stick to it but not everyone will agree nor do they have to follow - to be honest, your Dp sounds as though he's sometimes walking on eggshells.

Asking what feet shoes go on is a bit lazy of him and I admit that would make me hmm

If you want to stay together then you definitely need to find a compromise without the threats to leave etc... it doesn't help anyone. Unless of course you really can't see yourself with him in the future and actually want to split.

Out of curiosity how does it go when he does something that you feel is wrong?

Dp - What time does ds start school again?
you- you know he starts at 9 hun, how did you forget when you've took him so many times?

Or is it more like -

Dp - what time does ds start school again?
You - Oh FFS, how many times do I have to tell you?

wakemeupnow Mon 04-Nov-13 10:57:29

If you want the schedules stuck to you are going to have to set things up to help him remember.

My Dh can be forgetful and he sets himself reminders on his Ipad. Could your Dh put alarm/ reminders on his phone for naptime /bedtime etc. Can you clearly label the toy box. post it note on his forehead grin List on bathroom wall etc.

I think you are gonna have to accept that he's annoyingly crap at routine and set up a complete idiot proof system of reminders.
At the same time you have a newborn and must be tired... try to let go a bit. He's probably worried about getting things wrong and lacks confidence to take the initiative.

Just wondering - you say he couldn't work out which foot to put which shoe on for your Ds and has walked around himself with flip-flips on the wrong feet.

Could he possibly have undiagnosed dyspraxia? Dyspraxia isn't just about clumsiness but often about having serious problems organising yourself, confusing left and right etc.

Does he have to work very hard to stay organised at work? Or does he have a PA that helps him with this? If he is having to concentrate very hard at work to hold it all together it may be too much for him to do it at home too ( if he does have dyspraxia).

I'm not saying he must have dyspraxia - just wondering whether you or he have considered it. If you google "dyspraxia - symptoms in adults" you can see if it sounds any thing like your dh. By the way - you don't have to have all the symptoms to be dyspraxic and dyspraxia can also have degrees of severity.

nomdesw2 Mon 04-Nov-13 11:40:33

I'm dyspraxic. Sounds like possible dyspraxia to me......

don't children need a routine to feel secure ??

I think because dp works all different hours I find it hard to keep to a routine maybe i'm over compensating by making it too strict .
what do others do in way of daily routine ??
frogs legs I started off with the 1st one but now defiantly the second one ....

I think what makes it worse is that he tries to make out like things are my fault little things that probably don't matter but all the time when we both know its more likely that's it his. he constinly tries to cover or blame shift mistakes so now I feel I need tro make a point of it

I was trying to assess the situation last night and I think our tone with each other is half the problem he will huff and puff when I ask him to do something although he actually doesn't have a problem doing it and we both no he will forget if I don't ask...

I do think the situation is worse at the moment because I am relying on him a lot to help me as I am bfing 24/7 and there is always a very short amount of time to get things done .. I am also concerned that ds needs his routine to stay consistent as he has had a lot of change recently with dd being born , 2 weeks before that we moved , and I was very ill all through my pregnancy

it seems to be unanimous that I am over controlling I think again its something I am over compensating for as things get very difficult if I am not organised and I now have a bee in my bonnet because I have to pick up the slack a lot of things . but how can I make life easier but also let things go at the same time I feel life just be kaos and I will constantly be lookigf for things

JoinYourPlayfellows Mon 04-Nov-13 11:48:24

Maybe you could just stop telling him what do to and how to do it?

Let him be the kind of father that comes naturally to him.

Especially now that you have a newborn to deal with, just leave him to deal with the older one when you're all together and you sit and breastfeed.

You would reduce the stress in your household enormously if you stopped caring so much about stuff that isn't really that important.

So what if he read a book about being quiet before bed and then didn't implement it straight away?

He needs to respond to his own child in the way that feels natural to him.

What are the GOOD things about the way he parents?

It sounds like he is fun, that's a good quality in a parent. What else?

You have a 4 weeks old baby, this is not the time to be thinking of leaving your partner because he drives you up the wall.

Lweji Mon 04-Nov-13 11:49:50

I wouldn't say it's unanimous. smile

I do think there may be aspects where you might be. I feel this is difficult to evaluate without watching you both.

However, I would say that children thrive on some routine, but we don't need to be slaves to it, neither do they.

In particular during changes, sometimes there needs to be some flexibility.

His attitude as you describe it is not helpful, but it could easily have arisen in response to a more controlling attitude on your part. For example, if he doesn't do something the way you think it should be, do you complain? I think it's significant that he was able to be in charge when you were not around.

How would you describe your conversations? You convincing him of how things should be done, or a genuine exchange of ideas and making a plan that suits both?

wow just googled dyspraxia ....... spot on . other than riding a bike and DIY which is his speciality he seems to have most other symptoms ...

I suppose I do mostly tell him what we are doing as I spend my days looking into how to raise the children eg , parenting cources , mums net books etc therefore relay the info back to him which he then agrees with . as he doesn't have time to read and research

In all honesty he did cope while I was ill while working full time looking after ds and looking after me ... although he drove my best friend mental asking her what time ds was at school as she would drive him some days .. when I returned to the world ds was eating all meals in front of tv and had a staple diet of chips and fish fingers
but actually still managed to get employee of the month during this time .

he has no PA he organises himself at work and others !

just too add I don't keep threatening to leave .. we broke up while ds was 10 months mostly for this reason and have recently had a discussion where I sad that if things don't get easier we have no choice but to part.
I must admit

Vivacia Mon 04-Nov-13 13:14:56

rocky you sound so similar to me at that stage - researching (because I love learning) rather than relying 100% on instinct and natural ability. Reacting to uncertainty and the ties of breastfeeding by becoming more controlling and bossy.

I remember complaining to a mother figure in my life about having to do everything myself and OH not doing anything right, and she very gently pointed out that perhaps, with me, he just couldn't do right for doing wrong. It was like a light switch went on. I didn't want my children growing up with that around them. I realised that to me it was more important for my loved ones to feel respected and trusted and capable than it was for Things To Be Done Properly.

Matildathecat Mon 04-Nov-13 13:34:43

Do you think he could be dyspraxia or similar? Putting shoes on the wrong feet is odd. Other problems with processing information and remembering instructions do sound like an actual problem as opposed to just being annoying or scatty.

I know with kids like this you have to, for example, only ever give one instruction at a time, remove distractions, use visual timetables. Sorry, but no idea how you help adults.

Is his mum around? Might be worth discussing with her if it seems appropriate.

To be fair, he sounds like he's really trying. The fact that he's willing to keep discussing the issue with you does indicate that he accepts he has problems. Have you actually asked him what works? In order to navigate adult life he must have some quite robust strategies.

I hope you can work together to improve things. Do try to relax a little and enjoy your baby. The fact that even though he knows pretty much everything he does is 'wrong' yet he still keeps trying makes him sound like a pretty solid chap.

If the bedtime routine is so important (and I agree it is), why don't you do it and let DH do the baby or cook dinner?

If you think dyspraxia might be an issue, then your DH might be able to access some help with managing it - if that is what he wanted. The first step might be for him to see his GP with a list of dyspraxic symptoms he thinks he may have and ask to be referred on.

The dyspraxia foundation have advice on getting help here including an adult support group. They have advice about managing everyday life on the website as well.

AnySpookyWolfyFucker Mon 04-Nov-13 18:10:21

You know this, because you've done it before, but 4 weeks PP is a frustrating time. If you are anything like I was, then you are spending a lot of time sat breastfeeding, perhaps without a free hand to even read a book with, not being able to do stuff yourself, in the order and way you would do it. But with loads of time to think about what needs doing, and you have so little time to yourself and the time you do have has to be prioritised into trip to the loo/eat/sleep/wash.

I was pretty snappy and demanding of DH at that time not so much because of what he was doing/not doing but because of what I wanted to do but couldn't and expected him to do. It was a bit easier when I realised that I was frustrated with the situation more than anything else. And of course, gradually things got easier as DS got older.

I wouldn't make any hasty decisions now about your relationship. Prioritise the things that are important to you and find some way of communicating these effectively to DH. Try and let the other things go. Let him get as involved with baby as soon as you feel comfortable about it so you get adequate time to rest/eat/shower/do the things that niggle you. DH did most nappy changes when he was home and bathtime.

I think that since becoming a mum, I have reminded DH sometimes that I am not HIS mum, and that he needs to use his initive. Hopefully if dyspraxia is an issue for your partner he can get help figuring out ways to compensate.

since reading your advice I have been trying my hardest to keep my nit picking -nagging- to a minimum and I have actually noticed a number of things that I possibly don't need to nag about !! ..
also spoken to dp about dyspraxia but have not had time to look into it properly yet but read out some of the symptoms and he seemed interested in taking a look .. (although he always is )

school time are on the wall and have a plan to make lists of our general routines to remind dp so he doesn't need to keep asking me !

However yesterday .. we were supposed to register dd ,to book it I looked up the name and number of our local registry office forwarded it to dp to arrange an appointment because its his schedual we need to fit it into so he booked it .
yesterday I went to enter the address into the sat nav and dp asked "aren't we going to the z registry office "
so I replied in my calmest possible voice
" oh is that where you booked it because I sent you the details for x registry office "
He said "I don't know" so I said u must remember where you booked it did you call the number I gave you or look up a different one.. again he replied "I don't know I cant remember " . then he said well you must know I sent it to you in an text and began to start an argument as I f I was being difficult . . so I checked the text and it just said .. booked 4tue
so we couldn't figure out if it meant booked for tue or 4pm tue as we thought it was at 4.30 and still didn't know where it was although he had arranged all of it ! this then became my fault.. needless to say we never made it !

oh and I thought of another example that me ..

he got ds easel out to do some painting and when they had finished they left the stuff all over the bathroom floor so I kindly asked dp to tidy it all up -maybe with a slight attitude- and he put the pots on the side to be washed up and folded the easel down but left it where it was so I then aske him again and he asked me where it went . so I said .. but you got it all out .
he says yes but I cant remember where it goes so I tell him to figure it out himself and he causes a massive argument as if its entirely my fault that he doesn't remember where it goes even tho he got it all out only an hour or so ago !!

Mumsyblouse Wed 06-Nov-13 15:26:31

Ok I think that four weeks in and you are micro-managing everything and everyone as a way of coping with what is really overwhelming- having a tiny baby in the house again.

It sounds like your husband doesn't know what to reply to you to make it better, he asks you constantly where things go/what to do as you get cross if they are not done correctly (your correctly mind you) and this irritates you more.

You are stuck in a pattern where he is like the child and you are the bossy parent, telling where/when/how to do even simple things- which is not necessary for either of you as he is perfectly capable, as proven by the fact he has had sole care of your first child for a while and is organized at work.

The real shame of all this is that you say you are hanging onto these routines and rigid schedules for your eldest child, but the far more devastating thing for him will be the break up of his family and not seeing his dad every day. That's a pretty high price to pay and far worse than a bit of giggling at bedtime.

Can you talk with a good friend, or your GP or HV to get a bit of perspective on all this?

Mumsyblouse Wed 06-Nov-13 15:32:17

And- by the way, I'm not saying it's not irritating if people don't clear up immediately after themselves or they ask what time is school finishing again, but in general, these things can be dealt with by a quick neutral 'can you clear that up?' and 'the usual time, 3.10' rather than nastiness, arguments and so on.

I just think you are missing the bigger picture, and the bigger benefits of having a hands on dad who is also a good earner and has good intentions.

But I think this type of niggling and misunderstanding and stress is very typical of the little baby stage where you are all sleep deprived which is why I wouldn't make any massive life decisions right now.

Wow - get him an appointment with the GP fast.
It sounds like some kind of issue with remembering things.
There may be a lot they can do to help him.

It sounds exhausting to be honest and I don't blame you being frustrated, but I think you need to rule out things like dypraxia before you call this quits.

wakemeupnow Wed 06-Nov-13 16:23:00

This sounds pretty severe memory loss. I'd second get him to a gp just in case it's something more serious. He may also be pretty exhausted with work, toddler and new baby which could be effecting his abilities

CinnabarRed Wed 06-Nov-13 17:02:15

He's either suffering from serious short term memory loss - in which case he needs to see a doctor ASAP - or he's taking the piss utterly. I can't tell which from the thread.

The part the doesn't sit well with me is the fact that he can cope at work.

Do you think he genuinely can't remember where he took the easel from, or which foot to put shoes on?

Jan45 Wed 06-Nov-13 17:16:05

I agree with above, he's either got something seriously wrong with his memory and/or how to process information or he simply doesn't give a toss. I can see why folk are saying you sound like a control freak but tbh you'd have to be to be able to cope with him, he sounds like a child that needs constantly reminded to do the basic of things. I would find it impossible to live with someone like this, I'd probably end up really resenting them and wondering if there's much point in being with someone so incompatable.

Lweji Wed 06-Nov-13 19:37:32

It is odd. And perhaps a gp might be able to advise.
Do you know if such memory lapses would be noticed at his work?

I may sound like 'one of those women' but I really don't think its that he is just taking the piss .... If I thought that I wouldn't be worrying about it he would be out of the door !! like I said he Is a good man in soo many ways and his cup ru..neth over with love for us all and he seems to try hard but just doesn't seem to be able to help this ...

I used to be similar no where near as bad quite forgetful etc. but then I found if I wasn't organised everything went to shit !! and I didn't mind making up for his short falls as he was great in other ways but after having children it became way too difficult .. I can see he tries but it doesn't make a difference .

I will defiantly suggest going to the Dr but do I go in with him and explain on his behalf or does that scream control freak .. as I worry if I send him in alone he will forget everything and they will get knowhere

I think also I tend to get even more annoyed about it because he will initially try to turn the blame around onto me , make out its normal or he hasn't done anything wrong .. this is what causes the arguments .

always realises and apologises later

CinnabarRed Wed 06-Nov-13 21:14:26

Honestly, if the alternative that you're seriously contemplating is ending the relationship then I would make it a condition of your staying that he goes to the GP, with you there too.

CinnabarRed Wed 06-Nov-13 21:16:52

And I would also request an explanation from him about how he copes at work but not at home. And not a "dunno"-and-helpless-shrug answer, but one he has given serious, proper thought to. Which you know he can do, because he does at work....

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