Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Another incompetent man child(41 Posts)
Things aren't right and I don't know if I can be bothered to fix them. I've been with DH 9 years married for 2. Two little ones under 5. We've had lots of fun together and I guess at some point, I was mad about him.
For me the main turning point was when we had dd1. She wasn't planned, I then had a horrendous birth. I gave birth on a Friday and he was back at work the following Monday. I really struggled coping and subsequently had PND. I had little support from him and no one to fall back on as it were. Even when I had an infection 10 days after the birth, and feverish in bed he refused to take time off to be with us. I had to catch a black cab to the Gp who sent me back to the hospital.
We now have 2dds, low and behold I had another bout of PND. We've now moved to the middle of nowhere. I'm even more isolated than before. I've continued to be a sahm mainly because of childcare costs being prohibitively expensive. I essentially bring the girls up alone as he works all the hours God sends because he "enjoys it".
Everything came to a head two weeks ago when he found my stash of sex toys. I think he felt hurt that I had them. That I needed them. Sex has been non existant for months, I'm simply not interested. He on ther other had is constantly groping me at every opportunity. Begging for sex. It's a massive turn off. He's skulked off down stairs after I told him I didn't want to be touched.
I've gone from feeling neglected and unloved to a little bemused. He's now pulled out all the stops. Been buying me flowers. Arranged a weekend away. Trying
badly to pull his way as a father and husband. I'm not sure what to make of it. I've called him out on it, if he cared that much why the hell have I spent the last 4 years asking him to 'be here'!
On the face of it he's a hard working, lovely guy providing for his family. I should be happy, I have it all, a lovely house and a nice car and several holidays a year. I'm not. The reality is he works all week out of the house 5.30am to 8pm but when he's here he does nothing. Children are not dressed unless I ask. He used to wake with them in the morning say at 6 on a weekend make himself breakfast but not feed them. I would have to feed them when I woke at 10. They're both more verbal about their needs being met now. He undermines my parenting. He can't do anything without supervision or instructions. We're not equals, I feel like his mother always asking him to do xyz, doing the majority of the thinking for everyone.
I'm tired. I disengaged a long time ago. I don't care anymore and he knows it. I stopped
begging asking for his support. I'm utterly miserable to be honest and I don't expect to be here at 30 but I need to grow a pair and make that decision for all our sakes.
Well there's not much to say, I think you've made your decision
He works hard. So do you If it isn't working it isn't working. Flowers and shagging weekends don't fix the whole overwhelmed by dc feeling.
What would your plan be for splitting?
I don't know what the point of the post was.
I guess deep down somewhere I'm hoping that things change. Or waiting for the proverbial final nail in the coffin.
Well, he's making an effort, which is to be applauded. It might be slightly misdirected if you'd prefer him to focus on your children.
Have you actually spoken to him about any of this? I'd feel totally shit if this was how DP felt about me. Especially my parenting and didn't broach it with me.
Why do you need a final nail in the coffin? Would it make you feel better? Seems to me you've got quite enough reason to end the relationship right now. You don't need something dramatic.
And you don't need to justify your feelings. He has let you down left, right and centre - failing to support you just at the point you were the most vulnerable when you have just given birth. What on earth did he think he was doing then? It's the sort of betrayal that never goes away, I suppose because it showed you what (coldness, at best) he was capable of. These things are hard to get over or forgive. So, with his awful behaviour around your children's birth coupled with the fact that he fails to support you now, is pretty much all you need for the deal-breaker. Plus, your feelings of disengagement are pretty conclusive. His 'efforts' may be just five years too late. It sounds like you've tried desperately and clearly to get him to understand.
Are you worried about his reaction? Are you still depressed? Sounds pretty horrible situation to be in, but also sounds as if you wouldn't miss him or his parenting skills. You are pretty much a single parent already. Maybe if you did split up you could move back nearer a town and people.
I'm going to sound a little controversial but I would recommend a little time apart. Is there somewhere he can go for a week and anyone who could come and help you with DCS to relieve a bit of pressure for a short time?
I really feel for you as my own DP is a thoughtless man-child. Time apart to think about what we both want is something I've been considering for DP and I. Separating is a huge deal and should be properly weighed up especially with PND. In my experience it can skew your perception of everything and loving can feel impossible at times.
What do you expect will change? How could it get better? If you honestly think there is an answer to that question then go for it but I'm going to guess the answer is actually nothing.
I think it's difficult for a relationship to recover from a total lack of emotional support following a trauma like your first birth. The realization that he's never going to be there when the shit hits the fan is a bleak place. It kills the love and respect, which in turn kills the rest.
If I were in your shoes I would be looking at moving without him. Look at where you would like to live where his access weekends would still be possible. Look at primary schools in the areas etc. think about how your life should look without him in 5 years or so and what you need to accomplish that.
I think it's very unlikely he'd want 50/50 parenting and every other weekend will certainly be better for you than the current deal.
My first thought is he's panicking about you leaving him - the realisation of having to parent the kids alone in his down time - he didn't know he's was well off!
Has he ever had them alone? Have you had a day to yourself at all in the last few years?
Clearly I wouldn't have started this thread if we hadn't discussed this. He's never been interested in parenting the children, never. Initially I thought it was lack of confidence but I have supported him taken a step back and still it seems in order for DD's to be looked after properly he needs someone to tell him.
Hill, its likely that I'm depressed again. I'm exhausted. I've had a tough number of weeks with the kids poorly. And of course it was business as usual for 'D'h. Yes you're right I don't need further reasons to leave, but I already feel incredibly guilty at the thought of breaking up our family. Then I wonder if all of this is really all in my head. Is it me? Is it's something that I've done? Maybe I'm not a good enough wife. PIL perpetuate this idea that he shouldn't be expected to do any more at home but that a whole other thread in itself.
'His efforts are to be applauded' Its too little too late. He's had five years to pull his finger out. And one dirty weekend away doesn't absolve him for all the times he's let us down. He puts his job before us, he'll readily accept those files placed on his desk at 6pm on a Friday night. They're far too many incidents to mention here, but when dd1 (4) mentioned that he failed to pick her up on time after her swimming club it really hit home, that there was no way that I can ever trust him. Not properly.
He rarely has them alone. When dd1 was little, I would arrange a night out with the girls and he'd, I don't quite know how to describe it. But he'd make me so wary
because of his lack of competence and guilty of leaving that in the end I stopped accepting invitations out. The only time he had them on his own was for my 30th, last summer over 4 days, I put my foot down and went away. Needless to say Mil moved in for the duration.
Have you made your own plans for separation , what you want to do , where you want to live ? I'm guessing your oldest isn't yet at school, so you don't have to worry about moving her .
I recognise everything you're saying.
My marriage started to founder on very similar grounds (they turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg, but that's another thread).
There come a time - when you've asked and begged and explained too many times - when innocent ignorance becomes wilful ignorance becomes negligent disrespect.
It's the endless disrespect for your views and opinions - the utter refusal to see you as an equal or even truly a person - that kills the love.
That's called strategic incompetence- do it badly then you don't get asked to do it again.
And bollocks to the dirty weekends. You don't need gestures, you need him to put the dishwasher on and get the kids breakfast.
I don't think you need a final straw - although you may feel you need it to justify leaving, you don't. A million little uncaring actions are more corrosive than one big betrayal.
You're unhappy. The kids will sense that. You're effectively a single parent as it is - why not have one fewer overgrown child to deal with?
I think having some time apart would be a good thing. And during that time apart, make sure he has the kids half the time.
If you separate he will have access to the DCs alone, I would assume, as I doubt your view that he is incompetent will be enough to stop contact or require supervised contact. So there will not even be your presence to 'supervise' how he looks after them.
But I would look at changing your life now. Move to new area with the possibility of a job for you, settle the DCs at new schools, get out more, get a job.
I'm not saying DH isn't a waste of space but I'm surprised he is seen as the sole problem (unless he is bullying you into living in a remote place) when you must be fed up, bored, (as a sahm, I was one so am speaking from my experience) and lonely.
Don't give up just yet. How about seeking treatment for your depression first?
I agree that his lack of care towards you when you needed him most was unacceptable and I can see the resentment it is causing.
Something similar happened to me and I discussed it over and over but he just, at the time did not realise how much I needed him to be there and tbh he was also slightly shocked at becoming a new parent!
I got over it because I came to understand it wasn't a lack of love or respect it was that we were both very tired, emotional & exhausted and I my dh was also affected by the trauma of the birth itself (which was very unpleasant)
Why move to an isolated location? Can you move again?
Your life changed but I can see it looks as though his never did? That is wrong in itself, the responsibility of those children needs to be shared, he needs to show you how he is going to start contributing to the parenting of the children......
His job, how flexible is this? Is it a must that he works those hours? Did you know he would be required to do them?
Why did he go back to work two days after you gave birth? Was it a choice?
I really would take this weekend away and list everything from start to finish, tell him how it made you feel and see what his response is??
He seems quite thoughtless and selfish, relies on you far too much and you are feeling the weight of carrying him, the lack of partnership between you.......
I'm not saying stay with DH long term but it would be easier to get a job and home in the meantime if you have his income coming in.
Isnt difficult when work is what is keeping him away. If you said he was out with his mates etc I'd say leave him and don't look back but when he's working so hard to keep a roof over your heads etc it's difficult.
Why does he have no confidence with DC? Have you criticised him a lot when he has tried and got it wrong?
Was his MIL coming to stay not a coincidence, as in you were away so he took the opportunity to spend some time with his mum or does she live locally?
If you want to stay, then you need to make time for you are the weekend, choose a day, tell DH that you won't be around that day, in the first instance leave him a list of your expectations. Then leave him to it.
If you want to leave, start planning it. Get finances together. Presumably you will have to start work, do a college course etc in the meantime so your all set and it gives you some time for you.
Having just recently had a good chat with a friend who split with her husband erm maybe five years ago, and who now says that if she'd been on antidepressants at the time she might never have left him, I would definitely agree with tackling your depression first. Also you do both sound miserable, not just you.
However, I'm not altogether sure my friend isn't looking back with rose-tinted glasses. And it does sound as if a major cause for your depression is being in something that is supposed to be a partnership but that isn't. You sound pretty fed up that even the decision to split is going to have to be yours to make.
You actually sound as a family as though you could afford to go and live somewhere else for a month, on your own. Could you do that? Even if it's staying with your family/friends? A very extreme move but it's telling that his first thought is 'let's go somewhere we can have sex', i.e. what he wants, rather than 'how can I prove to you that I can be the partner you need'. If the kids are older they shouldn't starve, as long as they can reach the cereal boxes.
He is who he is I guess. We all have to make choices in life. You knew he wasn't great in lots of areas so having another child with him was never likely to make things any better sadly. You are not happy with your life because you feel that you don't get the support you crave but surely if you separate things will only get worse because you will definitely have to do everything yourself as a lone parent plus you would need to work to support yourself and your family. Sadly, and I can vouch for this, the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Life for me living with ex partner wasn't great but life as a single parent has been unbelievably tough.
In many ways you have so much..... holidays, car etc but quite often there is a price to pay. Some men have no idea whatsoever how to support their partners and things that are glaringly obvious to us don't even compute on their radar. Men sometimes need things clearly explaining to them in a non patronising, non critical way. My partner and grown up son constantly say to me that they aren't mind readers.
I think you both need to start trying to talk to each other and see if things can improve. If you really can't find a way forward then you have to think of how you would be able to survive financially as at the moment you do not have an income. Benefits are being slashed right now so that may not be a way forward and bear in mind that most landlords won't accept housing benefit claimants nowadays either.
I would suggest going back to the drawing board and see if you can both really connect by ways of actually speaking and listening to each other and at the same time trying, somehow, to start training in something that will enable you to find work at some stage.
Sahm & working husband
We fell into this trap & it ended in resentment
He worked hard but his job ended at 7pm where mine was 24 hours
He thought I had it easy at home but to me he just became another child to be looked after and I really lost respect for him because of that.
I made the break last year & ive not been happier in years! The kids are fine, money is tight but I rely on myself & I like that. It's so nice not to have that daily seething resentment feeling.
I know lots don't agree but from my own perspective I think giving up work altogether was a big mistake.
It means you are totally reliant on someone else & I'll be reminding my dds in 20 years time however much you love someone - stay self reliant!
Also it's so bloody difficult to get a job now I'm a cleaner with a degree.
if you separate things will only get worse because you will definitely have to do everything yourself as a lone parent plus you would need to work to support yourself and your family
You're basically telling her she's trapped, don't agree at all. I've got one less person to look after and workload is much, much reduced. I can't explain why, maybe because it's just me, im very organised & just get on with it quicker leaving more free time with the kids. Also he was a sloppy git.
Look into the finance side before you do anything, is there equity in the house? Could you work from home, start your own business?
I think you have to decide what your bottom line is. I left my DH as I couldn't see a way back from where our relationship was, not without fundamental changes that went against everything he or I wanted. Grown apart or whatever, I couldn't face the next 40-50 years with him (I was 30 too).
Although it's been a struggle for our daughter to understand (who was 4 at the time), we've moved on and co parent effectively and I am much happier being freed from the burden of a life I suppose I was never ready for either.
The tough bit has been giving up all the 'trappings' of family life - including being together on special occasions. But my bottom line was that our relationship, the foundation of our family life, was not making me happy. It sounds like if you don't want to disrupt your family, you'll have to accept you'll need to settle for a second rate relationship.
You poor thing. I think I'd go to relate on my own to put things in order in your own mind - do you need to try with him, is this about just leaving, are there other things that would make life happier? As others say, it is tough with depression in the picture. A good counsellor might help clarify your thinking a bit. One of my best friends had birth trauma and severe depression, probably PTSD, and it has been a complex and difficult - I really feel for you. Nobody can tell you what's right but whatever you do I think you might be happier if you felt you'd tried to think it through methodically with a counsellor
What do you get out of this relationship now?. What needs of yours does he meet?.
He gets what he wants out of this. He does not meet any of your emotional needs really does he; he is that self absorbed and I can imagine his parents are the exact same. They also taught him learned helplessness and I would also agree that he is deliberately incompetent so that you end up - and do - all the tasks associated with the children.
Whose idea was it to move to where you are now in the middle of nowhere - his mainly?. That has simply made you more isolated.
What do you think your children are learning about relationships here; is this really what you want to teach them?. You are showing them that currently this is acceptable to you. You are not equals, he has all the power and control in this relationship and you disengaged a long time ago; what does that tell you about the state of your relationship. Children are perceptive and do pick up on all the bad vibes.
If you are in the same situation in a year's time (which is likely) you'll likely feel even more resentful. Such men do not change; its too deeply ingrained within their own self.
Join the discussion
Please login first.