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Am I becoming the nightmare partner?(16 Posts)
About six months ago the toilet stopped flushing properly/taking an eternity to refill. DP had his plumber friend come take a look who advised a replacement part at around £60. Our house was up for sale at the time and DP had vague ideas about replacing the bathroom so just left it as it was still vaguely working. Time passed, nothing happened despite my nagging. The house has finally sold and we are due to move in a month. Today the toilet broke completely, plumber friend can't fit us in until Wednesday. DP can't understand why I'm annoyed, how on earth was he supposed to know this would happen
I'm furious, it's typical behaviour from him. He has no common sense, it seems, as well as a complete lack of initiative. When it comes to anything practical or involving any level of organisation I have to be there constantly prompting and nagging him. He once drove his car untaxed for 4 months and claimed I should have reminded him. I couldn't even drive at the time! Another example was when he had to organise currency for a foreign trip. He told me he'd done it (he hadn't) but then left it too late for our post office to order any in so we ended up paying a bloody fortune at the airport to have some for when we landed.
He is fantastic in other ways, brilliant with the kids, a very loving partner and father, supportive, kind, funny, we love spending time together. I just feel like all of the responsibility for planning/organising/fixing etc all falls to me and I can't rely on him. We are moving house soon and getting married next year but I'm finding that this is becoming a bigger and bigger problem for me. His DM very much rules her own marriage, FIL constantly bossed around, not trusted etc. He had an affair a couple of years ago because he was sick of being bossed around. This is the absolute last thing I'd want in my own marriage but I feel we are slipping into those roles somehow anyway? I don't know what to do. I don't want to be bossy/nagging but it just doesn't get done otherwise!
If he's got lots of plus points and has a couple of things he's not good at, you do those thing instead. Is there anything you aren't so good at that he does for you? Give and take, pick your battles and all that.
No one is perfect, think about all the good things he does.
My DH is unorganised and forgetful, drives me mad! But.... He is caring and kind and loving and a good dad and brilliant at researching holidays, good deals for cars, taking back my food if it's cold or uncooked I a restaurant etc. So I think it evens out really well.
What things does he do that you don't? What is he better at? How does he help you out?
'No common sense' and 'a complete lack of initiative' - yes - you sound like a critical parent not someone in an adult relationship. Surprisingly, perhaps, the less confidence is shown in someone, the more likely they are to become hesitant, doubt themselves and make poor decisions. Competence at anything comes with practice and is lost by constant attacks to our self esteem, confidence and composure.
As a man Ive seen seen this in relationships from both sides. In fact when a partner took just this attitude to me she was surprised to see me quickly and competently help another women whose child and push chair had jammed. The woman in question had snapped and scolded her own husband the minute he had attempted to help. As a friend and someone else's partner I was trusted. And her face broke into a humble smile as she thanked me. And I felt sorry for her husband - who won't have seen that smile for a while. He might have been equally competent without such a partner on his back. Ironically I would not have attempted anything similar with my own partner - I would have got the same reaction as he did from her.
So maybe stop thinking that everyone else's husband is more competent than your own. It might say more about you and your relationship than his actual competence. Personally I've discovered I respond better to trust, belief in me and higher expectation. Perhaps you could give it a go?
He has his good points.
And his weaknesses. Maybe you need to look beyond the gender stereotypes and accept that it is down to you to resolve toilet matters. If he can't do it himself call someone in.
Or is it that this incident gets to you because you feel a general discontentement over him?
Who had an affair (because of something he said was wrong with their partner?)
Have we stepped into an alternative Mumsnet reality tonight? There are many threads on here about partners (usually but not always men) who just completely opt out of life and expect their OHs to sort it out. Google "Wifework" - brilliant book. And do look through other threads here I think you'll find you are not alone - you should be sharing tasks and responsibilities fairly.
user I have tried not being on his back, because I don't actually want to take that role. If I leave him to sort things in his own time and way, it just doesn't get done. I have no doubt that sorting car tax/travel money/a plumber/switching energy suppliers etc are within his capabilities, it just never occurs to him that these things need to be done. Or he forgets, or says he'd have done it if I'd reminded him. I don't want to have to remind him, that's the problem. Then when things go tits up he acts like this outcome was totally unforeseen and can't see why I'm frustrated that it wasn't sorted like he said it would be.
I appreciate that he has many fantastic qualities, but the fact that anything stressful or involving any level of thought or organisation falls to me can be really draining. We share housework and childcare equally, agree on money issues and life aims etc. That's great. But I have a stressful job, so sometimes it would be nice if the stressful jobs at home didn't fall to me.
liney it was FIL who had the affair.
What's the biggy? You'll have it sorted by Wednesday...weeks before you move.
Something else might break and you'll have to replace that too. Fancy!
You do sound a bit micro-managey I have to say. You sound like his mother.
Ah well...your second post is more telling. Yanbu. It is galling to have to think of everything and I suppose the broken loo is simply a flashpoint.
It really isn't a big deal though - you've got loads of time yet.
I'm not bothered about the toilet being fixed before we move, it will be. More so that it's an absolute pain with two kids not to have a flushing toilet for three days.
I hear you OP. And I don't think you can or should be expected to manage his responsibilities - it's totally unacceptable and I can see exactly how it would make you angry. I think my point is being angry about his submissiveness - creates a more submissive partner. It's not just about hanging back and waiting for him to fail. Example - he lies about not having done something! Why ? Because he fears your disapproval. I would be bloody annoyed at myself (and yes I have forgotten to tax the car - but I owned it!) The difference is I am not handed the responsibility from a position of subservience - it's my car, my responsibility! Nothing to do with letting anyone else down more than me. But I suspect that you manage and delegate responsibility, so that in his mind (and I am not defending - just explaining) he is doing all these things 'for you' - under your 'line management' - and he is merely 'tasked' with a 'to do list'. Your complaint then sounds like a manager about a lazy ineffective staff member. That is what needs to shift - not the fulfilling of defined tasks, but the whole sphere of responsibility. Hand him the wheel - (you can tell him 'don't bloody crash' but a better subtext would be - -' I know you are capable and I know I can trust you because you are not an idiot.' Then he owes it to himself. Then he owns it. Then he is a partner.
And if he forgets - he has to let you know that he has f*ked up - and he will hate that. And you will ask whether he is telling you he is not competent to do these things or if he is he asking you to it take on the management (Which is an unfair share for you). And he won't want to, and it just might drive him to be more competent, responsible and reliable?
No advice, OP - but this used to drive me crazy with my Ex. I ended the marriage, and that dynamic was a big reason why.
I hate to be cynical
who, me? but most marriages that end do so through built up resentment, which develops into outright contempt.
I think counselling could help...because it looks like you've already hit 'resentment'.
He is not handed tasks "from a position of subservience". At the time of the car tax incident, for example, I hadn't even learned to drive. It wasn't something that would have crossed my mind, it was his responsibility. However the fine he had to pay came out of "family" money, so did affect people other than himself.
We are a team; when anything is planned we sit and discuss who takes on certain tasks, who will be responsible for what etc. He just forgets, or didn't realise how important it was, or ran out of time, or thought I was doing it.
There was a huge thread about this....'incompetent husbands'
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