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.

I feel like a fool. Am I?

(130 Posts)
4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 11:12:02

I am a SAHM and living overseas for the last 18 months. My youngest is now 3 and where we are living is OK. I can put up with it for a while longer!

My DH works hard and really enjoys his job, which is great. He doesn't work at weekends, and is good with the DCs. During the week, he hardly sees them, he's up early, and back late. By late I mean 8pm at the earliest mon-fri. The last few months he always seems to be late at night, meeting colleagues for dinner, going out for team drinks, presentation to prepare so he'll be back late. Drinks seem to mean 1am, dinner, 11pm, report to write, 9:30pm. It may all be true, I have no idea, no way of knowing. I don't think he is cheating (Lord knows everyone says that) but why he is he out every night? I know the jobs market is really tough at the moment (tho I've been out of it too long) and I know that he is really into his job and really like socialising with colleagues.

Clearly, what he's not into is spending time at home with me. I feel like an idiot because I have no idea ever where he is, what he is doing. If I am lucky I get an "oh, i'll be late home tonight" but that is it. This isn't my idea of family life, this isn't my idea of a relationship. I feel silly for thinking that I want to leave and to disrupt the DC's, but I also feel that this lifestyle is all lovely for him and it would be v easy for him to cheat, and the gullible fool at home wouldn't know. Or I am just paranoid and controlling.

I have spent years feeling unloved and ignored. I have been unhappy because he doesn't communicate, where he is, or answer his phone/texts whereas my argument is that when I was pg or with small DCs, he should answer, he should check, because he should be concerned that we were all ok, and actually he doesn't worry about it all.

Sorry for rambling

No, you're absolutely not a fool. You are entitled to your feelings and your husband is treating you like a housekeeper/ nanny. It's ok not to be happy with this, but it is up to you to tell him and ensure he understands. Once that has happened you'll be able to determine if you do need to rock the boat re family life.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 06-Feb-13 11:24:18

You have to tell him that you feel lonely and ignored. Business is business and a certain amount of networking & travelling often comes with the territory. But if most of these 1am drink sessions and other extra-curricular stuff are simply socialising then I think he's just choosing not to come home.... for reasons best known to himself. I don't know if he's cheating or not but he's certainly behaving extremely selfishly and you should challenge him on it. He's a family man, not a bachelor.

targaryen24 Wed 06-Feb-13 11:24:49

Didn't want to read and run...I'd have major issues with that. Every night more or less?

Won't actually tell you where he is going exactly?

Generally evasive and uncaring behaviour?

Alarm bells. Sorry to hear you're going through all this with small DCs by the way. Have you tried talking to him about it directly? Does he know it's making you SO unhappy? hmm

targaryen24 Wed 06-Feb-13 11:26:06

(and if he's not cheating...he still doesn't want to be home for whatever reason, which is way less than you deserve in itself. No wonder you're feeling pretty crap about the situation)

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 11:37:51

Thank you for your replies.

I have told him it is making me VERY unhappy. I told him things need to change and I can't go on the way things are. Really nothing has changed, except perhaps telling me slightly more often when he'll be late.

I do think he's selfish No i think I'm in a category of possessions, house, wife, kids and now he's on to see what he can 'collect' in his career.

He thinks he's great, supporting the family, providing for everyone, and he's right, he has made it possible for me to stay home with the kids

targaryen24 Wed 06-Feb-13 11:45:33

He doesn't own you because he's paying for you to look after HIS children etc. angry

Sounds like he thinks you'll either stay put in your place or he isn't fussed whether you walk or not. Sorry to sound blunt.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 06-Feb-13 11:50:50

As you have already talked to him and nothing has changed, your only option is to tell him you will not accept this behaviour any more and that if he continues then there will be consequences i.e that the marriage is over.

I am not sure if you are prepared to do this though...

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 06-Feb-13 11:53:09

And remember that YOU are the one making it possible for him to have this lifestyle and career.

Without you doing all his ironing, cooking, shopping, washing, childcare etc, he would not have gone as far. As a single dad he will have to do his own chores and take time out to care for the DC.

This man simply doesn't consider women to be human beings. You're his 'wife' which means you are a cross between a pet and a domestic appliance.
Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to get it across to a man like this that you are a person and that your feelings and wishes and your life matter just as much as his. Someone else posted a while ago about this mindset - think about having a dog. You love the dog, you care for it, you make sure it's fed properly, exercised etc; if it's ill you get appropriate care for it, you protect it from harm. But it's a dog. You don't consult it about the way it lives, and if it doesn't obey you, you punish it.

Do you want to accept your life as a servant to this man, and negotiate time off and better pay? Or do you want to take the DC and leave him? Because, unfortunately, there isn't an option of making him acknowledge that you are a person.

targaryen24 Wed 06-Feb-13 11:57:49

Didn't mean to sound so blunt by the way...There's just no situation where you deserve to feel that way. Agree with madabouthotchoc , you'll probably need to tell him it's a dealbreaker and then if things don't change, walk.

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 12:17:37

tagaryen24 and Madabout sadly I think you are both right. Yes, I have made this lifestyle possible, it's certainly helped his career. I have no career obviously. As you say, I just don't know if I am prepared to walk. And over what? I feel like I'd be told I'm being stupid and irrational; so he works hard and is home late sometimes (i think his definition would be after midnight)

As for childcare, I questioned him on it recently, and yet he does not respect me for being SAHM. Yep, it's useful, someone has to do it (bit like filling the dog bowl) but ultimately unimportant. Whereas his career...

It would be a deal-breaker for me, sorry. He's either having an affair or spending time without yousad

You deserve better, make a new life for you & dc.
Don't be his skivvy so he can come home to a clean house etc.

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Wed 06-Feb-13 12:31:48

I feel for you. I have been an expat SAHM for six years and by what I saw, the wives do get a rough deal. The house and furnishings are nice but their life is lonely.

It is a vicious circle. The couple, usually two well educated equals, moves abroad, SAHP becomes isolated, stops being an individual and only lives for the small family unit. Then some working partners stop seeing the SAHP as a deserving equal, it becomes a trap, even more so if kids are born in the new country and said-country has strict exit rules.

I think a two prod approach may reap some benefits for you.

a. Him: keep communicating your expectations. I have no expire ce of ultimatum/ deal brakers so I defer to other posters for these. He gives himself permission to be out and stay out because he knows you are stuck at home. It does not sound as if he asks if your okay but just announces it.

b. You: It may be worth re-creating a life for yourself too. A course in the evening, seeing other people. They do not have to be soul mates. The purpose of the exercise is breaking the dynamic where he is a person and you are the dog, referring back to an earlier post. It will also provid you with contacts should you need help down the line. Get a babysitter even if you have nothing scheduled, so that you just get back to thinking about you.

Get back in touch with friends / family in the UK. Widen your net in the country you are in.

Get informed about rules in your country of residence should you want to leave.

Save money independently. You do not have to hide this. What happens if he gets run over tomorrow? Could you pay the rent or tickets back? In most countries, joint bank account are immediately frozen if one parent dies, and the account is frozen until probate is over. This can take a couple of months.

At any rate, he should be contactable at work. He can also reduce time spent out for work. Do yu know any of his colleagues?

My DH is a workaholic but he had a direct line so I can always call him at his desk. Also I can call his colleagues for a chat.

he may have made it possible for me to stay at home with the kids.

So he feels his payback is not being at home?

Is it what you would have wanted? Or would you prefer both earning and being equals?

Gosh. I typed too much. I hope you do get somewhere.

frustratedashell Wed 06-Feb-13 12:36:41

His lack of care and consideration for you and DC is awful. As others have said you are allowing him to behave like this. Spell it out to him, you are a family man not a batchelor. Change or its over. You would be entitled to some money/maintenance from him. I cant see him changing, well not unless you really bring it home to him what he has to loose. Good luck OP.

oldwomaninashoe Wed 06-Feb-13 12:39:55

I guess he sees you as part of the fixtures and fittings, and you probably want to "talk" to him when he comes home, when he's tired.

Is there any way you could get a job, or anything that would mean you were not so tied to the house, something that would give you an interest and boost your confidence, you sound a bit "ground down"

Is he really late every evening ie after midnight? or is just on a few nights?

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 12:46:32

Thank youFF

Absolutely. He sees no need to check if it is okay to be out late. As for me, I do get babysitters, I do have friends here, and I do get out. The kids are small tho and I also need my sleep. I am lucky. If I left, I'd probably be broke and going out v v rarely.

I do have some money in a separate bank account. I will check how much I've got.

I do feel desperately small and unequal. I have started doing more in the community, locally. I do need to work, I need to feel valued and respected. I see I need to change my life. Just not sure what I can do about him sad

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 12:56:05

He's home mostly between 8-11pm. At least once a week later than that.

Can I not just leave the country of residence without him? His company is supposed to pay to repatriate us or does that depend on 'us' all leaving together? Oh shit.

I really want him to come to his senses but I don't think he values us enough/sees why he has to change; just me being unreasonable.

AloneSoon Wed 06-Feb-13 12:59:29

I'm so sorry to hear about him not being into family life. This rings a few alarm bells for me, because this is how H was before we separated temporarily (at his instigation). We had counselling and I realised I felt completely unloved. We're now back together and living in the same house, but I've just found out that he had an 8-month affair and am now considering what I do next.

Just before he left, he was treating me almost like an appliance. There to do the washing, look after the DCs, arrange childcare, keep everything ticking over. Despite the fact that I had a job too.

And because he saw me this way, but never really articulated it, I think it made it really easy for him to have the affair. Why bother with me when he was meeting a glamourous woman who could go out raving with him, go to restaurants without worrying about childcare, have time to get dressed up for work and nights out, etc. He also built up significant debts as he was spending whatever he wanted and spoiling the OW.

I never thought that H would ever even contemplate an affair. But that kind of lifestyle, where you're out and having a good time, not needing to worry/think about the DC, not thinking about how your partner feels or what they might need, makes it easy to slip into an affair (IMO).

I think you really need to talk and get him to work out how he shows you that he loves you. Staying out every weeknight doesn't really do it, does it? I really hope that he can show you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 06-Feb-13 12:59:59

Truth is that you can't change someone else's behaviour unless you're prepared to apply serious consequences to them doing nothing. And, even then, there are no guarantees. I've worked in all kinds of jobs all around the world and the type of guy that can't fit a decent day's work into regular office hours, is still 'doing reports' at 9pm & then spends all night in the bar is either crap at their job or simply doesn't want to 'go home and play happy families' as one once memorably put it to me.

OxfordBags Wed 06-Feb-13 13:00:05

I can't see him changing. What is his incentive? He gets to enjoy his career, do what helikes, socialise with his work mates, his house is kept nice for him, his children are happy and well-looked after... and, when he feels like being a husband, he comes home and deigns to remember that you exist. He barely sees you, you have become a servant and clearly, if he cared about your feelings at all, he would have changed for good the first time you told him you were unhappy and why. although, of course, if he cared about your feelings, he wouldn't allowed himself to behave so selfishly in the first place.

When couples slip intopatterns like this, the prognosis for any improvement that doesn't involve the SAHP leaving is incredibly slim. The pattern they slip into works too well for the person reaping the benefits. I am not blaming you, btw. Blaming him. You are an intelligent woman who sees others as her equal and naturally expect the status quo in your relationship to be one of loving equals, with the relationship being for the mutual benefit of both, of the whole family. You could not foresee he'd turn out like this.

But he has. And now you know his true colours. I think you are absolutely spot-on that you and the DC have become just objects in a long line of his quest to acquire and prove himself. SGB, as always, is correct in saying that he can't see you as a full, real, true human being the way he is. Thisis proven by what he said to you about being a SAHM being unimportant compared to his career. He can't see that his career only exists because YOU make it happen by having to sacrifice your needs, wants, ambitions and natural desire for a normal relationship and being a skivvy-nanny in the process. He sees you having to do and be those things as a given, as an automatic right of his. You exist to serve and service him, to make his life run how he wants it, to give him the status and appearance he wants in society, ie family man, without him having to do anything to maintain or preserve that.

If you leave, you don't need to give anyone else a reason why you're leaving and your reasons don't have to fulfill anyone else's criteria of acceptable reasons. There is no real relationship anymore, is there? You are merely his housekeeper that he's overfamiliar with right now.

Above all else, this relationship is setting a terrible example for your DC. I don't know what gender they are, but it's teaching them that men should have it all, have all the power, do what they want and can treat women like irrelevant skivvies and that women have to just put up and shut up and basically be servants, not expecting any love, attention or life of their own. This pattern will repeat in their own adult lives unless things change drastically and soon.

targaryen24 Wed 06-Feb-13 13:02:40

It's better to be broke. Trust me, I've made that choice myself. Being happy is much more valuable and teaching your children that it's better to walk away than treat/be treated badly. (Not that I'm judging's a very tough situation to work your way around and I really feel for you).

But you deserve to be happy and to feel like your role as a parent is as important (if not more so) than some job. He'll probably say you're being unreasonable etc. to get out of his own responsibilities (or lack thereof) as a husband, because he has neglected you emotionally. And if he does...then you REALLY know you'd be doing the right thing by leaving him.

Really wishing the best for you thanks

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 13:16:08

Am I not just expecting too much?

He would say he's a good man; he doesn't cheat, he's not violent, he doesn't spend all the money, works hard, not a gambler or an alcoholic, spends time with the kids at the weekend..

and (as far as I know) that is all true.

Am sad sad sad right now

Thanks for your support

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 06-Feb-13 13:19:34

I am not saying he is having an affair but its so easy for people used to getting away with being selfish and entitled to slip into one so this is something you need to consider- even if you do not leave him, there is still the chance that he leaves you for someone else.

targaryen24 Wed 06-Feb-13 13:26:53

He's just ticking boxes...And what you're expecting is what should happen in a healthy relationship so no, I really don't think you're expecting too much. (Though i'm sure he'll say otherwise).

To be honest I'd have already left, and be looking to any other support I had (like family, friends, even posting on here) to help me through the next bit.

Whatever you decide, you'll be ok. Just make sure you make the right choice for you and your DCs, not him.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 06-Feb-13 13:27:57

A good man wouldn't treat his wife like a dog.

A good man would listen to his wife and make her feel loved and respected.

A good father will want to spend time with DC after work and that includes doing the less interesting aspects of parenting.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 06-Feb-13 13:31:24

"He would say he's a good man; he doesn't cheat, he's not violent, he doesn't spend all the money, works hard, not a gambler or an alcoholic, spends time with the kids at the weekend.."

Those are givens, not attributes. A good relationship is a lot more than two nice people having a wedding ring each. It's about being considerate, thoughtful, selfless, appreciating each other, showing respect to each other, putting each other first occasionally....

He's not a good man. He is enjoying his life at your expense and the fact that you are miserable, isolated and bored doesn't matter to him because as far as he is concerned, you don't matter. You;re a 'woman', that's all.People who consider whole classes of other people to be their inferiors are not good people. A man who considers women as lesser beings than men, existing for men's benefit, are the moral equivalent of people who consider that some ethnic groups are 'naturally' inferior and stupid.

I don't know where you are (and you don't have to say if you don't want to) but it would be a good idea to look into your legal position WRT coming home and bringing the DC with you. If you are all (you him and kids) UK citizens then it shouldn't be a problem. However, if the place you are living in is his home country and any of the DC were born there, it might be more complicated.

It doesn't mean you have to pack and leave him immediately, but knowing what rights you have is always useful, it helps you make an informed decision.

AloneSoon Wed 06-Feb-13 13:35:02

I think you're expecting to be loved and to be shown that love. That's not expecting too much.

I remember feeling sad that H and I didn't do anything together just before he left. He had his social life and I had mine. We onlyspent time together at weekends - but that was with DC there. I mentioned that I'd like to spend time with him, but he just didn't get it.

Could you try counselling? To see if H would get it if you discussed neutrally? If he won't go, how about taking to someone about what you want out of life for you and your DC, to help you work out what you want out of this relationship and what you'll do if you can't get it?

NotMostPeople Wed 06-Feb-13 13:44:41

It is very hard being the partner of someone who has a job like this, my DH is in a similar position. Long hours, often abroad, often preoccupied. There are times when I get seriously fed up about it. However my DH makes it very clear that the one place he most wants to be is at home with us, even when he's is a five star hotel in Dubai or similar. His favourite thing to do when he has time off from work is just to be a home, pottering about.

What you are living with is sole destroying so you need to take charge.

raenbow Wed 06-Feb-13 13:54:08

He may not be having an affair now OP but he is detaching himself from you and the family and this in his eyes will make it OK when an opportunity presents itself.
My 'not soon enoughTBXH' did just this, abroad , alone with kids his career was all important, I stayed home with kids and he jetted off around the world where an opportunity did present itself. So he saw no reason not to indulge! At this time we had been talking about separating for a time as I felt very isolated and unloved and just to see 'what happened' He returned and told me he had started this relationship with his colleague ( apparently only physical after I left - yeah right!!)
I wish I had gone when we 1st started to talk about it rather than waiting another year ( i had packed our bags and was packing boxes) but was persuaded to stay to see if we could work it out. I think if I had gone with my first instincts I would not be feeling the pain I am now at being cheated on and would also be a year further on.
Don't forget if you take the kids out of the country you will have to have his permission and a witnessed statement. Is he likely to agree?

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Wed 06-Feb-13 13:55:01

What do you want to do?

Make him change or leave?

Now that you have said that you go out and have friends, I do not think you are depressed, rather than the ball is in his court.

It is not unreasonable to want your DH home after work or to ant to be loved He would not entertain the opposite? You wanting him away all the time and not standing the sight/touch of him?

Assuming he is not cheating, then he can certainly change things at work. My DH was expected to entrained lots for example, so he made a deal with his boss that he'd do lunches rather than dinners so that he could be with his family. He also did not apply for a promotion that would have meant being out all the time.
Some work can be done at home.

If he is not willing to talk to his boss (managers are rarely the demons that they are made out to be) or change, it sounds like he does not want to. then the reasons for not wanting to be at home... OW or not, it is not good.

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 14:04:27

It is soul destroying. And I am in tears because AS is right, I want to love and to be shown love, and I thought he was 'The One' and that what we had was so deep and if that was true I wouldn't be here would I?

And yes, he has no interest in kids bedtimes. Seems likes lots of DH's I hear about tho

It's not like I have a fancy designer life to lose smile but I am terrified about packing up and starting all over again.

We are all UK and not permanent residents here so I hope that's something. I can't see him wanting responsibility for the DCs but he might want to be petty about it and hold me here over it

AloneSoon Wed 06-Feb-13 14:18:27

I'm so sorry 4paws.

Would it help to think about all the practicalities of what would happen if you split, so you have a good idea of what you will do if it comes to that point? Such as, how will you get children out, where would you relocate to, who can give you emotional support in the UK, etc?

I found working through different scenarios really helpful. I even included staying with H for a few years until I wouldn't need childcare (and am still considering that!). It made me feel I was doing something positive, even though no-one else knew.

Also remember that lot's of people do love you - your DC, your family, your friends. Often you don't realise until you're in a position of having to ask for help, just how much your family and friends like you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 06-Feb-13 14:19:41

How do you think he would react if you gave him a kind of 'be home by 8pm every night this week, or else....' ultimatum? Does he realise how neglected you feel? Would he take you seriously?

beachyhead Wed 06-Feb-13 14:26:57

I agree with an ultimatum. I think it's fair to let someone know that they are upsetting you enough that you are contemplating leaving.

I would start with ' We need to address the balance here. It's not working for me'. Maybe a move back to the UK could save the relationship? It sounds very like he is at work with similar types or bright young things snapping at his heels...unless he's sitting alone at the office night after night.

Sometimes it's hard in these scenarios to do the right thing and leave the office to see your family. He needs to do it and you both need to work out why is isn't/can't.

AloneSoon Wed 06-Feb-13 15:04:50

I agree that you should talk before taking steps towards leaving. He needs to know how serious this is for you - it might be the trigger he needs to really think about what you both need out of this relationship and how he can go about giving you what you need.

I just found it helpful, from a personal perspective, to know that I have a plan if it doesn't work out between H and me. It's about facing the worst case scenario (in terms of disruption for the DC) and realising it wouldn't be as bad as I initially thought... maybe even good for the longer term.

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 15:30:47

I guess I was hoping you would all tell me I was being silly sad

And I feel really angry with myself that I was so stupid and got myself in this mess. I still love him but I know I've been hanging on for crumbs for years.

I still hold a faint hope that he will come to his senses, but yes, everything right now is exactly how he likes it, so why would he change? And no, he's adamant he doesn't want to go back to the UK unless for some fantastic promotion.

I will look at different scenarios. I will spell it out (again) I don't want to go but I can see that unless he changes it will be exactly the same, or just get worse, or he'll leave.

AnyFucker Wed 06-Feb-13 15:47:15

When I read this thread, I get the awful feeling you will hang on and on, getting more and more depressed, until he is careless and you discover his infidelity sad

Being a SAHM and giving up your own career/earning potential only works if your partner sees what you do as equally useful as what he does. Not just pay lip service to it because it enables them to get ahead in their own life....and then slowly edge you out of it.

Dahlen Wed 06-Feb-13 15:57:39

I don't think giving him an ultimatum will walk. OP has already said she has tried to talk to him about this on numerous occasions. He doesn't see that he's doing anything wrong and has been very dismissive about her feelings. Further talk and ultimatums will just lead to him getting angry or painting her as some sort of neurotic ungrateful female.

Actions speak louder than words. I'd leave. Nothing less than the impact of that will wake him up to how serious this is, and even that might not work but at least you'd already be out.

Whatever pain you experience from being so let down by your H will be softened to some degree by the resurgence of your self-esteem, which will happen from no longer being passive in your own maltreatment.

MajorB Wed 06-Feb-13 15:57:48

If I were you I would sit him down and explain that you've tried to talk to him about the situation before and it hasn't made any real difference, so now you need some time to think over your options (& be ambiguous over what those options are).

Tell him he needs to book a week off work in the next month or so, and you are going to go away, do a bit of travelling, see a bit of the country you're in and have some time to take stock and think about what you want - after all, you're owed some time off after all the jollys he's been having.

Ensure that you have spoken to family/friends/babysitters and local nannies etc and explain to them that he needs to take care of the kids on his own for an entire week so he doesn't get any help, and that he's only to contact you in case of emergencies.

If he's a decent man he'll step up to the plate and realise how hard your day-to-day life is, if not at least you'll know relatively quickly.

Also you may find that some time where you get to be you (& not "wife" or "mum") will allow you to focus on what is improtant and what you want, and realise that you are worth loving and cherishing.

Good luck in whatever you decide.

KinNora Wed 06-Feb-13 16:20:05

I've not read all the replies, OP but I just wanted to say that you are emphatically not a fool.
I was you. My ex was busy enjoying his high-flying career, enjoying all the social opportunities, free sporting events, membership of exclusive clubs and trips abroad while I was at home bringing up our 3 dc.

We were living away from friends and family, I had no support with the children, couldn't afford the childcare to return to work even part-time. He once told me that he'd been asked to work for a month somewhere thousands of miles away, when I said ' what if I don't want you to go ?' His reply was that he'd go anyway. I used to lie in bed at night, crying quietly because I was in such despair.

He saw me as his housekeeper, PA and nanny, he had no interest in what I wanted or needed, there was no partnership in our relationship, he couldn't even be bothered to have sex with me.

The reason I tell you this is because I stayed too long, I thought I was being a 'good wife' by not complaining or demanding, in reality I colluded in the erosion of my confidence and personal identity. Please do not let it happen to you, do not doubt yourself or the importance of your feelings.

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 16:23:39

No, I don't want to be that person. I don't want to wake up 20 years wrinklier and still stuck.

Is it worth snooping to see if he is cheating or is it just his detachment that matters anyway? Somehow an affair seems like more reason to leave than just DH being a workaholic who'd rather spend his time with anyone rather than me sad

We have a house (3bed) in the UK and tenants in it, the rent comes to me, but the house is joint. I could give notice and move back in, or leave them there and try and find a place near my parents, who might or might not be supportive. I don't know what would be better/worse!

AnyFucker Wed 06-Feb-13 16:27:04

The fact that you are unhappy should be your motivator for change

Remember you?. Yes, you are a person in your own right.

Don't get too hung up on only a breach of monogamy being 'bad enough' to leave over. He is being unfaithful to the relationship by treating you like a servant rather than a beloved partner and his equal.

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 16:29:33

Yes, kinNora

"his high-flying career, enjoying all the social opportunities, free sporting events, membership of exclusive clubs and trips abroad while I was at home bringing up our 3 dc"

It's a lovely life for some isn't it hmm

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 16:31:29

AF Do I remember me? I think I got submerged under childcare responsibilities. Because I wanted to, I can't blame anyone else.

Stupid stupid stupid romantic fairytales

AnyFucker Wed 06-Feb-13 16:34:26

Yes, those "romantic fairytales" have a lot to answer for. It's why I'm seen as a right fucking killjoy on these boards, because I quash them and refute the image of the "charming provider" any opportunity I get.

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 16:35:01


How am I equal though? I have no job, no earning, no status in this world. As far as I see around me, politically, socially, SAHM is practically falling off the social ladder.

I value what I do, what I have done, but DH's perception is pretty common these days. All I get to hear about is a female colleague sending emails at midnight and 5am. He thinks that's dumb, but then I guess she's getting home to see her kids, whereas, er, he isn't

Yfronts Wed 06-Feb-13 16:39:57

Can you make your own life? Go out and enjoy yourself too some evenings? Attend some evening classes or meet friends. Also ask to have a set night on which you can do something together with your DH. Spend quality time.


You wrote this comment earlier:-

I am terrified about packing up and starting all over again.

What is really worse; starting over or continuing to be miserable as you are now?. Your children are learning from both of you about relationships, what lessons do you want to teach them?. You think your children are not going to realise that you feel both unloved and ignored by your selfish H?.

You write that he is good with the DC. However, many women write that their DH or DP is good with the DC when they themselves have NOTHING positive to write about their man and you have not written anything positive about him from your own viewpoint. How do YOU feel about him now when you do see him?.

What do you get out of this relationship now?. I can see the benefits for him all too clearly but you?.

AF - I would not call you a killjoy, I'd call you a realist.

KinNora Wed 06-Feb-13 16:59:12

4Paws, I think you can search for evidence of infidelity if that is what you want to do, I always suspected that my ex was having an affair but by the time I got to the end I would have been happy for signs that someone was willing to take him away.
I'm guessing you went into the marriage believing in a partnership in which you each supported one another and attempted to fulfil one another's needs - does he do this or is the supporting a wholly one way street ? A man who deserves you will not only care about what you want and desire to make you happy but will see this as important enough to make changes to ensure this.

Numberlock Wed 06-Feb-13 17:06:26

He thinks he's great, supporting the family, providing for everyone, and he's right, he has made it possible for me to stay home with the kids

Actually, you've got that the wrong way round. You've made it possible for him to do his job because you've stayed at home with the kids.

This culture of presenteeism drives me mad, it's bollocks that that kind of socialising is at all necessary in order to succeed. And it particularly annoys/saddens me when senior male managers perpetuate the myth.

OP - whether or not you decide to split up, you need to bring some balance back to this relationship and force him to take some responsibility at home. A good suggestion is "I've started an xyz class, it takes place on Wednesdays at 6pm so you need to be home by then". I'd love to see his reaction to that.

targaryen24 Wed 06-Feb-13 17:29:46

This man is an adult. He's chosen to enter an adult relationship and in an adult relationship you have some responsibilities (which are usually a given but I don't think he got the memo). The ones that are MOST important are the ones he's falling short on, like respect , affection and empathy/thoughtfulness . You have a very valid reason to leave if he doesn't make any effort to rectify the above.

Remember, it's you taking care of his home and your children pretty much single handed (besides money) and THAT is how he repays you.

Fairenuff Wed 06-Feb-13 17:36:16

As for childcare, I questioned him on it recently, and yet he does not respect me for being SAHM. Yep, it's useful, someone has to do it (bit like filling the dog bowl) but ultimately unimportant. Whereas his career...


Do you realise what he is saying here?

Arrogant. Dismissive. Selfish. Ignorant.

I see no redeeming qualities at all in this 'man'.

MajorB Wed 06-Feb-13 18:10:05

I'm repeating myself here, but I really think you need to go away for a while and let him do your job for a bit so he can get back his respect for you and you can get some respect for yourself.

Just a week or so in your shoes could make him view your input to family life in an entirely different way.

zipzap Wed 06-Feb-13 18:26:09

What would he say OP if you told him that you are fed up of your life as an expat and the way the company treats it's employees here, expecting them to behave as if they are still single, not valuing family etc (thereby initially blaming the company rather than him so it's not seen as a personal attack) and that life for everybody was so much better when you were still in the uk, so you think that it is time to move home for the entire family...

Would he agree with you on any of the points and would he donanything about initiating a move back home?

Or would he tell you that you're being ridiculous, life is wonderful where you are, why on earth would he give it all up to move back to where it was not quite so good for him but significantly better for the rest of the family? Or would he tell you to go home while he stayed on - and would he suggest either staying married or splitting up?

I think the answer to these questions will answer a lot of your questions as to how he views you, your dc and his life with you bs his work (and any potential affair or not).

On a separate note, how would he react if he is bugging up how great he is at providing for you all, enabling you to be sahm, etc etc as you've said above and instead of agreeing that he is great for doing that, you were to tell him that actually you dint agree with him, he is devaluing you, your life and opportunities, and that actually it makes you think of him as less of a man and lose respect for him. Would that shock him into seeing how selfish he is being?

I also agree with making him take a week off to look after the kids by himself (and making sure that he does all your other stuff too so he doesn't hand the house back in a pigsty etc!!)

tumbletumble Wed 06-Feb-13 18:44:19

Tell us about weekends OP. You've said he doesn't work at the weekend. Does he muck in with the DC and participate fully in family activities? After they're in bed, do the two of you have a nice evening with him talking to you and listening to what you have to say? What is your sex life like?

How about if you asked him to be home by 7pm (or 8pm at the absolute latest) without fail at least one day per week for a 'date night'? How would he react?

Is there any way you could go back to work? Would that help your feelings of self worth?

To be honest, if he doesn't value your contribution to the family then that would be a deal breaker for me sad

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 18:52:03

Sorry Bedtime stories called, and I also hid the thread and took forever finding it again blush

I wanted to say thanks to all, even if I don't manage a reply, I am rereading over and over. Lots of comments that hit the mark.

ZipZap I don't know. He spent hours up and down the motorway in the uk, so not often back early, for sure life is better for him now. As for the DC, well, arguably the UK (family etc ) could be better. Here isn't that fab. He has said before he would come back to UK if I was adamant.. I guess I sit there thinking about what is best with a longterm rose-tinted 'family' view and tbh it is a comfortable life and many people are really struggling right now, and I am lucky not to stress about bills and food. I could well be shafting myself in the future tho

fiventhree Wed 06-Feb-13 18:58:06

I think people have a right to monogamy if that is what has been negotiated, and more especially if your h was keen to negotiate that when it suited him.

However SGB has a point . I remember complaining like hell to my h about his late stays at work, lack of help and support and putting his career before mine- for years, and I might as well have been talking to the wall . But when I found out about his long term cheating habit, that was it, and I was ready for all sorts of real boundary enforcement .

Now, a year later, I ask myself what the hell I was thinking. The cheating was only the tip of the iceberg of an unequal relationship where I was disrespected all over . Why on earth I needed to spend so long finding evidence of his infidelity, I don't know. It was the least of the crap, and the rest was visible .

And finally, that level of disrespect where you are the second rate citizen in the relationship means that they will probably cheat at some point anyway.

And don't let your stay at home status get in the way- you are a partner and carrying half the load. And anyway, I was working and in fact earning more than him- it makes sod all difference. It's the attitude of entitlement and lack of care which is the issue . He wouldn't treat his peers at work that badly, would he?

targaryen24 Wed 06-Feb-13 18:58:40

Is being comfortable worth staying with a man that doesn't appreciate you or respect you? How do you know he won't leave you anyway? He sounds like he barely lives with you (as a family) as it is. hmm

wordyBird Wed 06-Feb-13 19:07:31

He would say he's a good man; he doesn't cheat, he's not violent, he doesn't spend all the money, works hard, not a gambler or an alcoholic, spends time with the kids at the weekend.

... it's slightly reminiscent of a 17th-18th century slave owner. Look, I'm a good master, you're lucky to be in my comfortable household, so stop complaining and get back to work.

Leaving that aside, none of those qualities - which aren't qualities so much as the absence of vices - none of them relate to you, or being in an intimate, equal relationship with you.

I mean: if I have no vices and am hard working, does that entitle me to a life partner to love me, do my housekeeping and raise my children? For a simple monthly fee of £xxx? If so, I'll find my credit card....

To put it another way, 4paws, you deserve much more love and respect than this. Much more! brew

ImperialBlether Wed 06-Feb-13 19:09:52

It's not just a matter of making him come home early or making him do her job, though, is it?

Fundamentally, OP, your husband doesn't respect you. He knows, when he can be bothered to think about it, that you are very unhappy. Of course he knows that. Your happiness is not important to him, except in terms of shutting you up so that he can carry on doing what he's doing.

Personally I think it's very likely that he's having an affair and as someone said above, he has detached himself from your marriage so that he can do so guilt free. If he hasn't started an affair yet, it's absolutely inevitable. Please don't tell me it's all men going out drinking after work. Please don't tell me he's chatting to men at 1 am. No way. Absolutely no way.

In your position, OP, I would use some of that money you have for a private detective. It seems as though if you left without knowing for definite what's going on, you may go back to it. You need to know. It will be very hard for you to hear what a detective has to say, believe me, but it will hit you very hard that while you are cleaning and washing and caring for children so that he can have his career, he is living the life of a single man.

So I would contact a good agency and just ask them to find out what he's up to. They will do that. Then pack your bags and go. I think it would do him a world of good to come home to find you all gone and photos of him in a compromising position on the kitchen table.

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 19:11:31

Working would help me. Fairly impossible in the current situation. Plus anything that happens with the kids, is all mine to deal with. If there was a job, yes I could find childcare etc but either way all my job. What does make me angry is when I really am sick and with sick kids to care for, he will not take the day off, or try to work from home, or even come back early. Last time, the first I heard from him all day was an SMS at 6:30 saying... 'he'd be late home'

He's fairly normal I think at weekends. He often cooks breakfast, does play with them, does take them swimming or play sport with them, but mostly wants downtime in front of the TV/Internet, while ignoring them. Sex sadly seems to be tailing off even more but I think had been better than lots of other v indiscreet people i know

CartedOff Wed 06-Feb-13 19:11:52

I understand the fear of screwing yourself over if you leave but it really is better to end this situation, one way or another, while your children are still young. They're smart, they pick up on these things. Over time they will lose respect for him, they will see how he treats you. Or they may end up following his example and seeing you as the one who does everything but doesn't deserve any respect. It can go both ways, or either. But in my experience seeing one workaholic parent taking the piss and lacking any consideration for the other will never go unnoticed by the children, and can impact on their own relationships later on in life.

AgathaF Wed 06-Feb-13 19:19:28

You deserve more and better than this.

Your children are young now, but in time they will be teenagers and not be around so much, and eventually they will leave the nest. Will he still be staying out every night 'working' and socialising?

If you think he won't change, it may be best for you to return to the UK now and forge a new life for yourself, rather than wait 10 or 15 years and be faced with trying to move teenagers who don't want to move.

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 19:19:59

I Should think less and type faster. V v good points since I last posted. Oh God. What a bloody waste of time and energy. Why did I do this to myself?

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 19:23:03

CartedOff Interesting. The MIL was SAHM. Devoted would be the word I used. As for her children

"seeing you as the one who does everything but doesn't deserve any respect."

that just about sums up their attitude. For sure, FIL had affair/affairs. Not sure their offspring know that tho

targaryen24 Wed 06-Feb-13 19:23:54

Don't blame yourself! thanks
Situations like this can happen to anyone. Just do what's right for you and your DCs, here in the present.

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 19:25:24

DH thinks being a dad who is around loads doesn't count for much because "my dad was hardly ever there and I still have a really good relationship with him"

(I wouldn't myself call it really good)

wordyBird Wed 06-Feb-13 19:26:34

Oh no, 4paws... Leaving you ill, with sick children, and not caring or making an effort to help .. he doesn't care, does he. That's worse than thoughtless, that's a big, waving red flag in my book.

Don't berate yourself, please. All you've done is love someone who doesn't love you in return, and we've all done that at some point. It's nothing to kick yourself over. thanks

targaryen24 Wed 06-Feb-13 19:29:27

He's just coming out with excuses tbh to justify himself. He pays for you to stay home, it's not like he's cheating, he had an ok relationship with his dad who was partially absent etc etc....

I'd be more annoyed he was trying to shut me up with rubbish reasons for his behaviour to be honest. You know in your heart of hearts it's not right or you'd never have posted. Really do feel for you though, especially handling this with the DCs brew

ImperialBlether Wed 06-Feb-13 19:39:00

Think of that last time you were ill and he sent you a text to tell you he'd be late.

He made a decision, didn't he? At some point he would have realised he should go home and help. He didn't phone you because he didn't want to feel guilty. (In my experience a selfish man fears being made to feel guilty more than anything else.) So he had to decide - either go home and help, or stay out.

Now it's far more likely that he had a reason to stay out. He'd made a promise or he'd get something out of it. When you think about it, he could have come home and acted like a normal person and dined out on that for years. "What do you mean I do nothing? I came rushing home when you were sick..."

He didn't come home. He didn't want to feel guilty - he knew he was guilty. My bet is that that night he was seeing someone.

I'm sorry - I hate talking to you like this. My ex husband was unfaithful and it broke my heart. I do wish, though, that someone had sat me down and said it clearly so that I had to listen. It's amazing how little you can hear when you choose to.

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 19:39:43

He doesn't love me does he? sad Because I know if there was a problem at home I would worry, and I would check however I could to make sure things were ok

carlywurly Wed 06-Feb-13 19:39:49

Another one who was in this situation. I remember he used to work away all week and fly home at weekends. Once I was really ill with flu and sinusitis and he came home on fri night and then flew back to work citing some work crisis the next day.

I remember sobbing in utter despair - I'd been at home alone with a 3 and 1 yr old all week. My family was hundreds of miles away. It was just awful. It later transpired he'd been with the ow..

He eventually tripped himself up and with some damning evidence of what he'd been up to, i booted him out. Finally. Life is so much easier now.

Don't let your life slip away. I feel so angry now at what I put up with. I really wouldnt wait to confront this if I were you.

ImperialBlether Wed 06-Feb-13 19:42:34

It depends what your definition of love is, OP. If it means wanting what's best for your partner, wanting them to be happy, wanting to spend time with them and all those good things, then no, he loves himself more.

He wants what's best for him. He wants to do what he wants. He is annoyed at anyone who stops him having fun. He knows you're unhappy.

It's not the kind of love I'd want.

ImperialBlether Wed 06-Feb-13 19:43:28

If it's any consolation, he probably doesn't think that he doesn't love you. He's just completely selfish, so all he thinks about is himself.

carlywurly Wed 06-Feb-13 19:43:47

Imperial is so so right. It's horrid seeing anyone go through this.

Xh was never available either. He used to call from the tube, knowing the signal would cut out after a few seconds. angry

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 19:49:12

IB I know in my heart you speak the truth

He wants what's best for him. He wants to do what he wants. He is annoyed at anyone who stops him having fun. He knows you're unhappy.

That is exactly how he views life.

KinNora Wed 06-Feb-13 19:49:30

Couldn't agree more with Carly ' don't let your life slip away'

- two more examples from my own life, my first day alone with ds1 - 4 years old, ds2 - 2 years old, dd - newborn, 3 weeks post c-section. He told me that he had arranged to work away, and no, he couldn't alter it so he'd be coming back after work, no matter how worried I was that I wouldn't be able to cope.

One of the dc was unwell in class and for once school couldn't immediately get hold of me, they called him in work. His reply to them ' What have you called ME for ? What do you expect ME to do about it ?'.

If either of these two examples sound like something your h would do or say, then the man is treating you like the hired help. You are not overreacting. You have every right to be unhappy.

ImperialBlether Wed 06-Feb-13 19:53:03

Oooh KinNora, I would have LOVED to have been the one to make that phone call to him. I would have let him have it with both barrels.

AloneSoon Wed 06-Feb-13 19:57:26

4paws, the more you post, the more I wonder if he could ever be made to see what you need and what he is going to lose by treating you this way. If talking to him hasn't helped so far, and he really does see the SAHM role in such a demeaning way, and he can't be bothered to help when you're ill - it doesn't look great.

I hate to say it too, but could he be having an affair? Has he always been this way? Can you think when he started to detach from you emotionally- this might have been the point where he started confiding in another woman (even if nothing sexual happened).

Some of the posts here must be really hard reading. Make sure you give yourself time to think about what you want and how you can achieve that. I know I was in pain when I realised I felt unloved, it's very hard to process so please make sure you are kind to yourself.

carlywurly Wed 06-Feb-13 19:58:27

Me too. Xh can be rude and dismissive to school too. Just before Xmas I was away (unusually) for a long weekend and he had the dc's. They missed the nativity they'd been rehearsing for ages for because he was too busy working late to take them. He didn't even contact the school to tell them or apologise. I was utterly mortified and so upset for the dc's.

KinNora Wed 06-Feb-13 20:01:04

I know, Imperial, even I was aghast at that one. Still didn't make me see sense though which is why I feel so strongly that 4paws doesn't play down her feelings.

(I'm generally more comfortable posting on more frivolous matters but your original post, 4paws, really struck home. I kept telling myself that he was a good dad, the kids loved him, he worked really hard. All true but it wasn't a marriage, it was a business arrangement )

Snazzynewyear Wed 06-Feb-13 20:06:43

He may or may not be cheating, but either way, living like this is making you unhappy, and that's the problem. If you could have unquestionable proof he wasn't cheating, would that make him staying out all the time ok? No.

Don't feel bad, you went into this in good faith and it has not been honoured. I think Major B has made a good suggestion. Tell him it is vital he sees your life from your point of view. If he really isn't prepared to, you probably need to accept that he sees you now as a convenience and you will need to make a better life for yourself.

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 20:08:28

It is hard reading. It is.

I will keep on. He's still not bloody home though

wordyBird Wed 06-Feb-13 20:11:16

KinNora What have you called ME for ? What do you expect ME to do about it ?' mouth is actually --> shock

AloneSoon, you are right, this is very hard reading.

4paws I am so sorry. This is your life, and these words must feel so painful. When you know things in your heart, it's awful to bring them to light like this.

KinNora Wed 06-Feb-13 20:14:02

I'm really sorry, 4paws, I can imagine how you must feel.

elastamum Wed 06-Feb-13 20:15:50

Poor you sad.

Am another one here who was maried to a man like that, always away, always working hard, not even taking leave when we had booked holidays. We had a superficially great lifestyle, but numerous times I went on holiday on my own waiting for him to join us when he finished his work. Or he didnt turn up to family events, or went sailing for months leaving me at home with the children. FFS I even packed up and moved house on my own when he 'forgot' our moving date! I always felt something was'nt right, but couldnt put my finger on what.

Predictably, he was leading a double life and having an affair, and we are now divorced.

Now 4 yrs on my new partner also has a demanding job, he travels all over the world and we live apart, with our respective children -BUT our relationship couldnt be more different. New DP dropped everything when I was ill recently, to drive 100 miles and collect MY children from school, cook tea and pick me up from hospital. He is there for me, he remembers things, he turns up at my house with a toolkit and fixes things in his spare time. He gets up and makes my tea so I can lie in bed on my day off. When he is away we skype and txt several times a day. I feel loved and cherished in a way I never did when I was married.

OP - you deserve so much better.

KinNora Wed 06-Feb-13 20:19:37

That's exactly it, Elasta, being 'cherished' . I never even knew what that was like.

targaryen24 Wed 06-Feb-13 20:19:53

Nothing much else I can say but I really hope things unfold in a way that's better for you. You know you can always post here if you need to. Keep us posted thanksbrew

Viviennemary Wed 06-Feb-13 20:28:24

I would be suspicious if those very late nights became a regular thing rather than a very late one off. Not many people would be happy with this situation. On a typical week do you mean most nights back by eight and perhaps one night back very late. Or quite a number of nights back very late.

4paws Wed 06-Feb-13 20:45:08

It is now 9:45pm and no, still not home. And maybe since Christmas this has become more regular. He used to at least be home once the DC were all safely in bed angry

Bobbybird40 Wed 06-Feb-13 20:54:41

Hey OP you are not a fool, your partner is just a bit of a cock. If I was in your shoes I would bide my time and start sneaking money away and fleece the fucker for all he is worth when he is least expecting it in a year or two. Play the long game.

carlywurly Wed 06-Feb-13 21:01:39

How does he even get home? Does he drive? Hopefully not after drinking for hours..
I would be asking him exactly what has taken this long. It just isn't on.

carlywurly Wed 06-Feb-13 21:03:58

I'd probably start copying finance documents, pension statements and the like before he realises how pissed off you are. Don't give him a chance to start squirrelling. I had a fat file of absolutely everything (kept at a friends) by the time we split and it helped immensely.

TheWandererReturns Wed 06-Feb-13 21:06:15

Could you return to the UK for a break - half term or Easter hols? - see how you feel with space and distance? You would not have to return....

Bobbybird40 Wed 06-Feb-13 21:06:24

I agre with curlywurly - now is the time for cool heads. Don't get mad - get even.

Viviennemary Wed 06-Feb-13 21:29:50

I'd be thinking is he secretive. Or is he quite open about the restaurants he goes in and the places he drinks. And I'd wonder what time he actually finishes work. And who are all these other people who keep such late hours after work. But I agree with those who say keep cool and do some thinking rather than getting angry. But when all is said and done you aren't being treated fairly.

OxfordBags Wed 06-Feb-13 22:04:10

OP, you know how you described how your Dh and his siblings view their mother? That is how your own DC are going to view you, if things stay as they are. As for him getting on fine with his father, well, yes, I bet they do - I bet they have a trivial, shallow relationship where neither really knows who the other is, what they like, what they do, etc., and they just make a few jokes or chat about mundane things and because there isn't enough closeness for them to even get to a stage of communication where an argument or disagreement could ensue, they both call that a 'good' relationsip. That is, best case scenario, what your children will have with him. A distant, shallow father who they have no real bond with and a mother they sneer at like shit on their shoe. You need to help them as much as you need to help yourself.

YOU are not an idiot. You would never dream of treating a partner the way he treats and has treated you, so it never occured to you that things would get this way. HE is the idiot, as well as a cunt, to treat you and his kids like this, to not cherish the wonderful people who love him most in the world.

Actually, 'treat' is the wrong word, because it implies action. He is trying to as little as possible to do with you all as possible. He doesn't sound like a good father, btw, he sounds pretty crappy. You all deserve so much better. You'd be far happier and it'd be a much healthier environment for the kids, if you were all skint without him back in the UK.

raenbow Wed 06-Feb-13 22:26:57

My husband was also a good man, a good father and on the surface was the perfect provider. In everything except for me.
You can stay and keep trying maybe he will change and wake up to himself, then again he may not as he has already disengaged. You will have to talk to him but if you are feeling low about this now and stay it is going to do nothing for your self-esteem and self worth ( I know because I did stay) eventually I thought this is not healthy for me or the kids to live like this. I had to start again ( new house, new schools and I had to give up my job as I worked Part time.)
4 months on all the practicalities are sorted ( house schools etc) and it's not easy but I have support from a lot of people who care unlike him who now cares nothing except for maintaining his pathetic new relationship at ANY cost.

Talk to him but listen to what he tells you, and like earlier poster said get evidence first and be suspicious of anything that seems like generosity beyond the norm there may be an ulterior motive.

AloneSoon Wed 06-Feb-13 22:49:10

Oh 4paws, it's just not nice is it, that you're left wondering where he is, who he's with, whether he's in the office working late or popped out for a drink, and most importantly, why he can't just bloody text you to give an ETA for getting home.

If he can't understand why this isn't a nice experience for the partner at home, it does seem as if you need to really think about your next move. He won't spontaneously realise that it's important that you both feel cared for and part of each other's lives. It will take some sort of trigger and hard work on his part. it doesn't sound like he'd be up for that or changing the status quo though.

So... do you wait for him to realise and start supporting you, do you stay with him until he decides he's the one not getting emotional support from you and finds it elsewhere, or do you tell him you've had enough - now or in a few months time (or later) when you have your plans in place??

I agree with the posters saying get evidence together. I think it will make you feel better to be doing something positive and getting plans in place for whichever option you eventually end up going with. I am projecting there though, because it's certainly making me feel more in control.

AnyFucker Wed 06-Feb-13 22:53:32

Is he home yet, love ?

ninah Wed 06-Feb-13 23:06:48

maybe I am tired and jaded but on these threads it always strikes me we are deconstructing the man. What does he want, what is he thinking, has he got someone else?
op take a good hard think about what you want out of life for yourself. And don't stay just because you are scared of taking a risk, you only get one go

4paws Thu 07-Feb-13 13:49:55

He got back after midnight last night. I did attempt to talk to him but he reeked of alcohol and wanted to go to sleep. I could tell I annoyed him tho, just the very idea that he shouldn't be out whenever he wants - I don't think he got the point that I want him to want to come home, not feel like I'm with a surly 18yr old.

I did speak to someone close in RL. She thinks I should make more effort, make more suggestions for 'fun' stuff so he will want to be here.

My head is spinning. I have been trying to think of plans, what would be the best option, the best timing. If it is worth trying to get more money together? What do I need to do? Can I just go home and not tell him? He won't even sleep on a sofa after a fight; his bed, his bedroom too. I don't know what to do.

targaryen24 Thu 07-Feb-13 14:03:13

YOU should make more effort?

Pretty sure that is not the problem... hmm

AnyFucker Thu 07-Feb-13 14:04:15

Please don't take your friends advice to try and make yourself more interesting, you are ok as you are

Putting a bit of lippy on, giving him more blow jobs and forcing him to spend time that he doesn't want with you is completely humiliating

AnyFucker Thu 07-Feb-13 14:06:36

Love, talk to your family. Stop pretending to people that everything is fine and that he is a good husband

It isn't and he is certainly not

CartedOff Thu 07-Feb-13 14:10:28

I'm not sure where you are in the world (sorry if you've already said) but if you're thinking of just leaving with the children I would look into the legalities of removing them from the country without telling him. I wouldn't do anything rash.

I'm so sorry you're in this position.

CartedOff Thu 07-Feb-13 14:11:25

By that post I didn't mean go ahead and do it, just make sure you don't do anything that puts you on the wrong side of the law.

targaryen24 Thu 07-Feb-13 14:15:05

he's rolling in whenever he feels like it and treating you like you're worth nothing...not even a tiny explanation of where the hell he's been. The longer it continues, the worse you're going to feel i'm afraid. You can tell from your posts that the situation has already ground you down a lot. Only you can change it for the removing yourself. You're worth SO much more than this brew

DrGarnettsWinterMixture Thu 07-Feb-13 14:16:05

OP, your home life is just normal, fun sometimes, hard work at others. It is absolutely NOT your job to make it 'fun' for your DH-please don't listen to your friend on this. It's belittling to try to entice another adult to do what most of us do automatically-come home as soon as we can after work, because it's where the people we love the most are.

What do you think your friend actually meant by fun, anyway? More sex, better meals, better behaved children, circus skills workshop in the back garden? I'd rather be alone with dignity than have to bribe my husband to come and be amused with specially organised activities. You are worth so much more than this.

DrGarnettsWinterMixture Thu 07-Feb-13 14:16:56

Oh, AF got there way ahead of me and in far fewer words blush

AgathaF Thu 07-Feb-13 14:36:02

Not impressed with your friends advice. He's a grown man with a family and responsibilities. He should want to be home, not have to be enticed like a toddler.

What to do next. Can you copy all the documents you may need in the future - bank statements, shares, pensions stuff, mortgage stuff etc. I'm sure others who have been in the same situation will be able to give you sound advice, but this for a start.

Lueji Thu 07-Feb-13 14:53:03

As for childcare, I questioned him on it recently, and yet he does not respect me for being SAHM. Yep, it's useful, someone has to do it (bit like filling the dog bowl) but ultimately unimportant. Whereas his career...

Behind every great man...
Even if he considers his career that important, he must realise you are enabling it.
It would be worth leaving one monday morning before anyone wakes up, to spend the day at a spa and see what he thinks of that.

carlywurly Thu 07-Feb-13 16:15:32

I think if you want to save this, you need to let him have it with both barrels, explain exactly why you're not prepared to tolerate this shit any longer and see if anything changes as a result. if not, I don't think I'd bother engaging with him at all tbh.

I definitely wouldn't go the stepford wife route, it never works unless you're prepared to sacrifice your dignity and happiness to please him.

Get yourself a decent counsellor (your friends advice is well intentioned rubbish IMO) and some legal advice too.

4paws Thu 07-Feb-13 17:16:36

AF did make me snort. grin Harsh but fair, and I'm sure I've already tried that in the past and it only makes me interesting short-term and then, like you say, humiliated. sad.

I think I did give it 'both barrels' about 6 months ago. Nothings changed. Since then I have started detaching emotionally, I don't expect he will be home during the week, and not constantly hoping, and wondering if he'll be back soon has helped me. I'm not a rock tho, and it pains me, it hurts.

I need some time to fish for documents and make a plan for what I'd do if it's just me and the kids and he cuts off the money.

I'm tempted to disappear for a day or 2, and see what happens. I also want to spell it out one last time. I want to say unless a important meeting with the boss, he has to prove his commitment by coming home at normal time (I'm not sure what time that is, but i could check what his colleagues do) and see what happens over the next couple of weeks. If he doesn't or doesn't last longer than 2 weeks well, then I know for definite nothing will change.

Thank you for all your support. As my first dip into RL was not positive, I'm worried my family will not be supportive either "You've made your bed/You've got no job/you'll be broke and all alone/No man is perfect-this one just works too hard/you're being ridiculous etc etc

My DS' dad, who is not my partner, has a demanding, time-consuming and important job (don't want to out him but it is charity-related and he's very good at it). This doesn't stop him taking time off when I need him to look after DS, whether that's for health reasons or because I want to go and party.
4Paws, is your wretched H's job something entertainment-related and 'glamorous', and is that why he thinks he's King Cock and the rest of his family must worship him?

Letsmakecookies Thu 07-Feb-13 17:22:00

Don't be terrified about packing and starting over again.

My xh behaved similarly, we moved around a lot for the first 5 years of my eldest's life, including a two year stint abroad. He chose to stay out late most nights, 'working', in his case it was working, networking, drinking, actually I have no idea what he was doing or who he was with as he never told me and would not answer his phone, by the time he got home there was no point asking as it would just lead to a drunken fight. For the first few years I confronted him and we fought, and then I started trying to make life 'fun' at home so he would want to be there. It was a really really painful way to exist and I got very lonely, stressed and depressed.

I finally hit rock bottom and had some counselling, and eventually after a year of therapy set down some boundaries regarding his behaviour. I realised how abusive and controlling the situation was, and how he had no respect for me at all. He couldn't cope with my boundaries which he termed 'ultimatums' and he stormed out to teach me a lesson and I locked the door firmly behind him.

The calm I experience every evening is amazing, not sitting waiting for someone to finally come home (often drunk, always moody). It is like a huge weight had been lifted and I could breathe. I could never go back to that life again, it was like living with constant chinese water torture. And it was bad for the children, really bad. No way at all for them to learn about relationships. I had a father who worked really long hours and I still saw him often enough and got cuddles and stories before bed, and I saw him adore my mother.

Once my xh left though his disdain for me became a lot worse. He told me he was not interested in raising the children at all, which is a good thing I guess (although my heart broke for them when he said that). But financially he felt everything was his, he left me with £30 and a tank of petrol. Telling family and friends was a strong experience, as I realised I had people in my life who loved me and what that means.

I am so much happier now and rebuilding my life. It is not easy but at least I can imagine a future that is good. And I don't miss him at all. I feel grief and sadness, but I think mostly for what I went through.

4paws Thu 07-Feb-13 17:25:24

No nothing glamorous at all. Except he's now at a high enough level to get work jollies and fancy restaurants and stuff. It's not that high level, tho he meets some millionaires and I see he wants that. I think deep down, he really thinks he is marvellous. His family are so proud of him, the success he's had. I don't disagree, he's a solid, reliable worker, people like him

4paws Thu 07-Feb-13 17:32:14

Letsmake Thank you. It gives me hope. And reinforces my thinking that I need more than 30 quid, as I can see him being petty.

Lueji Thu 07-Feb-13 18:07:40

At the very very least he should be taking you to some of this stuff and getting a baby sitter.

The issue is that he really doesn't seem to care about you, other than having a housekeeper and a nanny for the children he has to entertain him and give him some status.

DrGarnettsWinterMixture Thu 07-Feb-13 18:10:28

I want to say unless a important meeting with the boss, he has to prove his commitment by coming home at normal time but you've given him his get out of jail free card-they'll ALL be important meetings with the boss now!

Charbon Thu 07-Feb-13 18:16:07

I've just read this thread all in one go and I'm sorry, but I think it's obvious, especially as his late arrivals home have got worse in recent times.

He's having an affair.

AgathaF Thu 07-Feb-13 18:52:44

He is self-obsessed. His ego is sky high. It's all me, me, me. Full of his own self-importance.

I don't think it's relevant whether or not he is having an affair. This behabiour is not a new thing. It's unnacceptable.

Abitwobblynow Thu 07-Feb-13 18:54:16

Hi, another expat here, I read the awful re-run of my life (almost word for word) with foreboding, and sorry I have to tell you he is f ing someone.

Really sorry 4paws, but even post affair my H has been revealed to be selfish, emotionally unavailable, and the workaholic is a cover to keep distance.

It doesn't matter. After terrible pain and suffering I now don't care any more and am getting on with life.

You have two choices: return home to UK, or start developing a life there. Do you have home help? Can you volunteer for anything? One thing leads to another.

But in both of those options STOP looking to him for connection and emotional support, because you won't get it (and if you look back) you never had it.

mummytime Thu 07-Feb-13 19:02:26

It all depends on the country, but make sure you know your rights, and don't give him hints that you may leave/take the children; whilst you make your plans.

Could you stay in the country you are in? Would you want to?
Where would your choices/career options be better?

Good luck!

Abitwobblynow Thu 07-Feb-13 19:20:10

PS and start squirrelling money NOW.

Mimishimi Fri 08-Feb-13 05:22:44

What does he say when you ask him where he has been at midnight? At one stage my DH was ,for months, regularly out of the house from about 7am to 9pm. I felt like a single mum. It was horrible and really put a strain on the relationship. He was always completely upfront with me about where and what he was doing though. I don't think I could have borne it had he not been.

Fairenuff Fri 08-Feb-13 08:18:12

He may have a wonderful, high paying job with great prospects, but it's not making you happy is it. I expect you'd be happier sharing a jacket pototato and baked beans with a man who loved you, respected you, admired you and you could have a laugh with. Someone who cherised you and wanted to grow old with you.

It really is the simple things in life that make us happy.

You won't be happy with this man whatever your circumstances. You could be rich together, poor together, alone on a desert island together. He still would not respect you because he truly believes you are a second class citizen and there to service his needs. If you weren't there, he would get someone else to do it.

Sorry, but it's no use waiting for him to change, wishing he would do x, y, z. It isn't going to happen.

Putting his existence aside. If he weren't on this earth at all and you just had to consider yourself. What would you do? What do you want for yourself?

Take some time to think about your own needs, without looking to him for answers. Then start making some plans, get legal advice, get financial advice, get busy getting your life back.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now