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Workaholic DP says I'M neglecting HIM!

(108 Posts)
happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 09:53:14

Have been with DP for 13 yrs. Have 2 DS 10 and 5. After 2 redundancies and a lot of debt which we are half way through clearing, DP now has a good, well paid job which means him working long hours, sometimes away for a night or 2. On top of that he has a hobby which brings in extra cash but which takes up alot of time in the evenings and at weekends.
He does nothing to do with the home apart from help with the kids when he can. Doesn't even change the proverbial light bulb. But thats fine with me as I have enough time to take care of those things and he definitely doesn't.
I work part-time in a job I enjoy but does not have the oppurtunity to increase hours.
DP is very stressed and unhappy in his job and has said almost on a weekly basis he is going to look for something else. This is fine by me, infact I want him to work less or drop his sideline to allow for more family time but in reality this isn't going to happen because he wont give anyhing up.
Our family time amounts to and hour before bedtime with the kids sometimes and a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon.
If he has a free hour in the evening he goes for a run and on Saturdays he plays football and is gone from 12.30 till 6.
I am not a very demonstrative person , except with my DS, but he has recently accused me of negleting him emotionaly and not giving him enough love.
I would like to know when ffs I am supposed to do this as he is never in the same f****ing room as me!
And excuse me, but what love do I get apart from when he wants sex which he is quite happy to have even when he knows I get nothing from it.
We have had sex counselling with regard to this which basically boiled down to the councilor telling him to make some time for me.
The thought of splitting up just makes me feel sick. I would do anything to keep us together for DS's sake but I can't fake feelings I don't have because I'm living with someone who is so wrapped up in his own life.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 28-Feb-13 11:21:54

What can he do to make you feel loved and respected?
Is he doing it?
Will he do it if asked?

What does he specifically want you to do to "give him enough love"?
Can he explain?
And will you do it?

And, seriously, don't have sex that you don't want to have. You are a person, not a body at his disposal.

It doesn't actually benefit your DS to watch you sacrifice your own life to being your husband's servant/domestic appliance/sex toy. Does he do anything for your benefit other than bring in money?

happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 11:30:26

In truth I am quite a self contained person so I can just 'get on with it' and don't need the romantic side but what has angered me is that I am facilitating his career by having given up my own well paid job and career and thats still not enough for him.
That was the deal and I'm very happy with it and it just wouldn't work if I was a needy person who couldn't cope on their own.
He is more demonstrative than me and he complains that I always turn away or push him off but I'm afraid I just can't turn it on when it suits him.
I know we've got into a rut and just function on a practical level I suppose but having me not make demands on his time has worked well for him so he now cant turn round and say I've negleted him.

Twattergy Thu 28-Feb-13 11:30:56

Tell him he has to chose between either weekday runs or weekend football. Can't have both. Bring a parent means compromise. Tell him if he wants more attention he needs to be with you rather than doing sport. I know this doesn't address the bigger issues but its the only instant practical thing that could make a big day to day difference.

Cluffyfunt Thu 28-Feb-13 11:48:33

I think you've explained yourself very well here and would consider printing this out to show him.
Your DH obviously works hard and I'm sure he is doing it for the good of you all, but I will say that it seems like chauvinistic behaviour to keep expecting YOU to do all the work in your relationship.
The sex thing is very bad sad you do not have to lie back and think of England!
He needs to put his running and football on the back burner if you have any hope of saving your marriage.
I would also make te for more relationship counselling.
Your DH really needs to put some effort in.

happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 12:01:52

Solid, he puts a lot of effort into those brief family times we have but as far as the 2 of us goes he doesn't even sit in the same room as me of an evening.
I appreciate he needs to wind down but he basically avoids me.
Twattergy, we've had that discussion sooo many times. Even his parents have said he's not being fair to us but his argument is he works hard all week and it's his only relaxation and chance to talk to people.
It's bascically non-negotiable. He's beenplaying for 30 yrs and is now the oldest member of the team by 20 yrs. I have asked hime why he thinks there aren't any other 40 yr old Dads on the team....maybe they have other commitments!

happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 12:14:23

Cluufy. I have put my side of things to him many times but he responds with ''oh, its all my fault, never your (me) fault''. Gets very defensive.
I'm beginning to worry that he's under so much pressure with work that if I add to it he may just crack and leave.
What am I suppossed to do? Put up and shut up to save our family. All he wants at the end of the day is affection not always sex so maybe if I put my own feelings to one side we may be able to get back on track.

happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 12:15:40

Sorry for being a bit slow with responses. Am at work!

What do you get out of this relationship now?.

There's a massive power imbalance here between you two isn't there?.

Such patterns are often deeply ingrained as well, was his Mum or Dad similar in nature?.

Re this comment:-
"I am not a very demonstrative person , except with my DS, but he has recently accused me of negleting him emotionaly and not giving him enough love".

He's being both selfish and self absorbed, it sounds like he does not like being "second place" to his child. Also he's projecting too, you could easily reply in kind to him.

Do not stay together purely for DS's sake; your DS is not the glue that should bind you two together. Also teaching DS that could also backfire on you in future years because your son could turn around and ask you why you stayed with this man if you were so unhappy. He could also go onto ask you why you put his workaholic emotionally and physically absent dad before him. Children pick up on far more than adults realise; he knows you're unhappy.

This is not a great role model of a relationship for your children to potentially emulate themselves as adults is it?. They're learning after all from the two of you about how relationships are conducted.

Also why is his football seemingly non negotiable?. He could well develop a sporting injury the longer he plays but he sounds like he wants to continue all his hobbies regardless. He can only do his additional sideline, football and running mainly because you do all the work at home, this man does not even change a lightbulb!.

What am I suppossed to do? Put up and shut up to save our family. All he wants at the end of the day is affection not always sex so maybe if I put my own feelings to one side we may be able to get back on track.

Pressed send too soon.

Re your comment below:-
"What am I suppossed to do? Put up and shut up to save our family. All he wants at the end of the day is affection not always sex so maybe if I put my own feelings to one side we may be able to get back on track."

You will only end up resenting him even more; you can only change how you react to him. Is this really worth saving, aftger all you cannot save a slowly disintegrating relationship on your own. He has to also put the work in and I am not convinced he wants to do this let alone admit that yes there is a problem here. Another bad sign is that he seems more than adept to blame you for problems that he by his actions has partly caused.

And if he keeps playing football he could well end up with a sporting injury that could end his playing days.

Is this really the family life your children deserve?. He's hardly ever there for you to show him any affection then he complains that you are not giving him enough love!.

What do you want to teach your children about relationships?. He is certainly a poor role model for them to look up to.

Ginebra Thu 28-Feb-13 12:40:03

very aware of his own unmet needs and they're a huge problem but no awareness of your needs! but, it's all your fault?
i agree, you've explained yourself well here. you gave up a good job and that was a sacrifice for the sake of the family. you gave away 'power' and he is now the boss saying 'MY needs are unmet'. no mention of your needs at all.

Ginebra Thu 28-Feb-13 12:41:39

no, don't put up and shut up. i sometiems went into put up and shut up mode, but it wasn't appreciated or acknowledged, do you know what i mean, as soon as i challenged there was a big sigh. so he was only happy with the version of me that was biting my tongue and sublimating (six feet under) ALL my own needs. the concept of me having needs annoyed him actually.

Cluffyfunt Thu 28-Feb-13 12:47:49

That's so sad.
I think you need to start putting your needs first.
Can you pick up your old carer if you employed a nanny?

I know you don't want to hear this but, it's not going to work out with your DH because he doesn't care about you as a person enough.
He is selfish and puts his wants before your family's needs.

It's him, not you.
Saving this marriage is like rowing a boat with only one oar sad

OxfordBags Thu 28-Feb-13 12:52:48

Wow, he is so selfish! You work bloody hard too by the sound of it, but don't get paid or appreciated or get much time off.

It sounds like he's got used to you fulfilling his domestic and childcare needs without asking for anything for yourself - what I'd call in your example 'taking care of his life so he can do what he wants needs' - and he is lumping in his sexual and emotional needs with these. Just expects you to add kisses, sex, etc., to the list of chores you complete for him without complaint or him having to put any thought or effort in of his own.

He's not seeing you as a real person, not real like he is. You just exist now to basically serve his needs and make his life how he wants it and he can't understand why you're not making the sexual and affection areas how he wants them.

Becoming a SAHM does seem to trigger something in some men that makes them start seeing partners as domestic appliances with a fuck-hole. And I say this as a SAHM myself (thankfully, my partner does not).

He sounds bloody awful, TBh, and very immature and self-centred. If you removed the info about your DS, work, etc., he sounds like a 15 yr old boy treating his girlfriend crappily; putting her last behind his hobbies, interests and friends and then expecting her to just smooch him like he's bloody Romeo then lay down and spread her legs for him without really caring if she's enjoying it or not. A shitty attitude at 15, inexcusable for a man with a family.

It's all setting a bad example for DS. Him behaving like this and you putting up with it just teaches him how men and women should behave in relationships. Your DH has hardly taken the advice of counsellors in the past, has he, so don't see how that would help again.

Sounds a crap situation, you poor thing.

Dozer Thu 28-Feb-13 13:16:21

He sounds extremely selfish as a partner and father. What do the DC think of him?

In your situation being a SAHM is problematic, whatever "the deal" was meant to be.

Dozer Thu 28-Feb-13 13:17:16

Yy it's him, not you.

happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 13:22:32

I agree with you all but what do I do. Make everyone miserable and break DS's hearts by not putting up with his attitude and leaving.
Day to day we function well and have a good life.
I agree with all your analysis of him but DS's and I will loose life as a family if I push him.
Sometimes a think what a horrible selfish person he is bbut he is also killing himself with work to give us a good life.
I work 2 days a week and to be fair he never questions what I do with my time and would be happy for me to do whatever I want in my free time.
He has never expected me to wash, iron or even cook for him and to be honest I didn't for a long time but now I obviously do because it needs to be done.
He would be happy to pay someone to clean the house. What he does want is ny love and affection which isn't unreasonable but I find it hard to show and thats his deal breaker.

happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 13:30:02

Cluffy. No I doubt very much I could get back into my old profession. Competition tough and I've been out too long. Even if I did it would mean long hours and occasionaly being away. How would I do that with 2 Ds to care for and no family support.
As I have told him already he has basically made me poor and unable to support myself. No pension...everything reliant on him!
He is behaving like spoilt teenager, you're right but the alternative to putting up with it seems a million times worse.
Don't people get through things like this is they try hard?

Dahlen Thu 28-Feb-13 13:33:38

No, people don't get through this no matter how hard they try. When you have someone as intractable as your DH, the only solution is put up and shut up or leave.

Dahlen Thu 28-Feb-13 13:34:24

Basically, there is no reason in his head for change. What has he got to lose by not doing as you want? Unless you leave, nothing. He's already shown that your unhappiness/annoyance isn't registering.

So what do you get out of this relationship now?.

Well he has a good life anyway because he has his work and his hobbies to occupy him when he is not at work. You fully facilitate him being able to do this but he is not reciprocating in kind. He instead accuses you of neglecting him and not showing him enough love!. He I think would rather go out than stay at home with his own family. As for you other people having a good life, well I am not convinced.

When do you ever get any freetime?. When was the last time he solely looked after the children on any weekend afternoon or during the week for that matter?. What happens when you get sick?.

He has disregarded a counsellor advising him to make time for you, he certainly will not listen to you and he has not listened to date either.

Do not use DS as the glue to bind your man and yourself together. Doing that will backfire on you and badly so.

If he really hated his job he would have left by now or more realisticially negotiated better working conditions within it. He has not done the first (is adept to moan about his job though) and seemingly has not done the second. He's therefore not going to leave his job and probably likes moaning about it as he has a ready audience.

What happens when you are not well over the weekend, I suppose you have to soldier on regardless.

How would you feel as their mother if your two boys grew up to act exactly the same as your man does now with you?.

CharlotteCollinsislost Thu 28-Feb-13 13:52:15

If both of you tried hard, you could get through this. If it's just one person trying, you don't have an equal relationship, do you? This relationship is terribly one-sided in fact. You're so right that you can't turn your feelings on and off like a switch - and to try to do so would be damaging to you and to your family.

You would not lose family life (if you separated) - you would have a different family life. I'm in a similar situation and am trying to extricate myself, as (although I'm quite independent too) it is nothing like what I believe a marriage should be: give and take, equal rights and responsibilities. The stress of putting up with his inflexibility, the constant attacks on my self-esteem which I need to deflect, the bad example he is (and I am in putting up with it) setting the dcs; the extra work he makes for me with nothing in return - all valid reasons to leave.

And I am hopeful that my dcs will have more time with him as a result, more time in which his attention is focussed on them, because tbh, they can't even rely on a couple of hours at the weekend at the moment.

I'm not telling you to LTB, just suggesting a few things to think about.

happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 13:57:31

Although I feel your image of him is correct I feel I have to point out that I do only work 2 days a week so I am far from put upon in that sense and as I said if I want to have coffee all day with friends for example he is fine with that which is fairly reasonable of him as he is working 15 hr days.
He does also take over at weekends when HIS stuff is done and he would happily take great care of the boys...he is very entertaining and makes things alot of fun for them.
He is just unbudgable on the other stuff and he is actually making himself ill.
He is very driven which stems I think frrom very demanding parents....went to Oxford Uni at 17 PHD at 24.....
Viewed as life and soul of the party by all our friends.....

happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 13:59:55

Thank-you Charlotte. Really needed someone to say there is a glimmer of hope.
Sorry you are in a similar situation. Thought life was supposed to get easier as you got older!

Dahlen Thu 28-Feb-13 14:28:17

No one's saying that he's a bad person. The point being made is that unless you introduce consequences for his not changing, he won't change. Unfortunately, it look as though the only consequence serious enough to make him take note is the threat of losing you permanently.

Am sure he is seen by (some of but not all) his friends as the "life and soul" etc - but they do not live with him day to day. If they did they would not want to tolerate this for any length of time.

It is interesting that you have seen hope from Charlotte's comments but she is right - you both have to put the work in. Also this lady is trying to extricate herself from her current position; you are undecided. Your man clearly does not want to address the issues and has disregarded what was said at counselling before now.

What does he do with the children on Saturday before 12.30 and after 6pm when his beloved football has finished?. In the meantime you have these children to look after (and you do this admirably). They notice their Dad is not there though, why is he not actually taking his children to the park for a kickabout with a ball himself?. Not suggesting he's never done that but what is he doing with either you or them when he is actually in your home?.

You work part time two days a week but you're really doing a 274/7 job.

And your sex life is crap to boot as well, I cannot see what you are getting out of this relationship at all. The fact that you have not directly answered that speaks volumes.

Dozer Thu 28-Feb-13 14:51:09

MN is not the place for offering "hope" - it is quite harsh!

Working long hours - even if this generates good income - is not necessarily for the good of the family or a noble thing. It can have pay-offs for the person (e.g. professional recognition, status, avoiding domestic responsibilities), and in this case your H spends many hours on hobbies in addition. So don't buy into the "he works so hard, I must service his needs" way of thinking.

I say this as the wife of someone who works long hours (and enjoys it, although sometimes gets stressed) and am also well aware of the demands of employers (mine and his). But when DH works so many hours I wouldn't stand for him spending lots of the time that's left on numerous hobbies, if this left no time for the children or me, or meant he made no contribution to running our household or parenting our DC.

IMO it does DC no favours to see their mum doing everything at home and dad nothing (except pursuing his own ambition and interests, to the neglect of them and his partner). Passing on the "must achieve, work work work" (while the women stay home and don't rock the boat?) ethos that he was brought up with.

He may well be happy for you to do your own thing. Because the quid pro-quo is that you don't require him to spend time with you and let him do what he wants socially, professionally and with his hobbies.

Suppose he could (since you want hope against the odds!) change, and you could push for that. But his criticism of you and attachment to his life as it is don't bode well. Or he could stay as he is and your choice then is to continue to put up with it, or leave.

In your shoes I would regard leaving as a better option than putting up with the situation, including for the DC. But it's not my life!

Fairenuff Thu 28-Feb-13 14:51:59

I think he's made his decision and is giving you a very clear message: It's my way or the highway.

That's your choice OP, sorry.

He doesn't want to 'work on the relationship' or 'save the marriage'. He wants it all his own way. That is coming across loud and clear.

happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 14:57:08

Attila, you are right . Our friends say words to the effect of ' oh He's great but I couldn't live with him'. And yes, Saturday if a right off as far ar kids are concerned.
I've just tried to list what I'm getting out of the relationship and have realised that it is just the material things.
If I could stay in our home with enough money to live off I'm not sure I do need him around. I'm living like a single parent most of the time anyway.
Don't know if I've got the courage to demand he changes or we split up. As you've gathered he seems unwilling or unable to so I would prob be ending it.
I can't do that to my boys. They do love him.
Sorry but won't be able to reply for a few hours but please keep your words of wisdom coming. I think I will need them.
Hopefully be online around 5.30.

Hi HC,

re this part of your comment:-

"Don't know if I've got the courage to demand he changes or we split up. As you've gathered he seems unwilling or unable to so I would prob be ending it.
I can't do that to my boys. They do love him."

He knows that re first sentence already, you have tried to tell him how you feel both yourself and through counselling and he still does not want to hear you or the message.

Do not sacrifice both your own self and happiness for your children; they will not thank you long term for putting up with this for their sake. It will backfire on you bigtime. Do you really want them to think that it was they solely who kept the two of you together?. What would that tell them?. Staying solely for the children is rarely if ever a good idea. Better to be apart and happier than to be together and miserable.

Leaving would force change upon him one way or another and it may well buck his ideas up. It would be hard going undoubtedly for you but you are basically doing the childrearing single handedly most of the time now.

You cannot keep showing this role model of a relationship to your boys, what will they learn from this current role model?. They could likely follow the same role model as the damaged one you're both creating for them now.

Your boys love YOU as well I have you know and they do not or would want to see you unhappy but they are not responsible here for this situation. They could well be confused and upset by the underlying tensions between their dad and you; they see and hear far more than you realise and pick up on all the vibes. Can you imagine another 5 years of this self same treatment from him?. Where do you see yourself in a year's time?. DO you see yourself getting old and grey with him?. Be honest with yourself here.

Ginebra Thu 28-Feb-13 16:50:57

i agree with fairenuff's assessment.

clam Thu 28-Feb-13 17:04:20

I wouldn't get too stuck on the "he's working so hard" line. Often, people who work long hours do so because they like it and want to.

happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 18:14:51

Ok. I feel I must put this in a bit of perspective.
Everything I have previously said IS true and I still agree he is selfish inregard to his work and time BUT
he hates his job and would certainly not wish to spend any longer doing it than he has too. He does some work from home then travels so he's not sitting in a comfy office having water cooler moments. He has had to make several people redundant recently which he found very upsetting and he gets no support from higher managment.
Every spare moment he has with the boys, though few, is spent giving them his undivided attention to the point where sometimes I have to tell him to leave them to get on with a game. He has never lain on a sunbed or read a book on holiday. He will be with them in the pool ALL day or making up games, quizs, stories etc.
He doesn't spend any of his money on himself to the point where I have to force him to buy new clothes yet he will happily spend on the boys and me.
He still never expects me to cook for him even if I've been at home all day and is always appreciative when I do.
If I suggest going out of an evening he would never say no even if he was clearly exhausted.
If I want to do anything with friends again, he would never object.
He cooks the boys tea and does the whole bath time thing 2 evenings a week while I am at work always making it fun for them rather than just getting it done.
He will drop the car off for me at work and walk the 2 miles home so that I don't have to when I finish.
Thats why I think its worth fighting for.

Now you are trying to justify him and his ways. Was waiting for that as well.

He seems to overcompensate and goes overboard on the few occasions when he is actually with them. All or nothing like that is not healthy for your children.

I think you are too afraid currently of going it alone as well as perhaps feeling that your boys will miss their dad if you were to separate. They are still not the glue that should bind you and this man together. Also you could be well wrestling with your own feelings of supposed "failure" re seperation if you were to separate which then calls into play your own judgment on choosing someone like this man to be your partner.

His main goal in life is to provide material things hence him spending money on you people but he's spending money rather than time on you all. Any spare time that he does get on the weekend or evenings is either spent going for a run or playing football. When he is not doing either of his activities you then get a look in. He thinks that spending money on you all is enough. Clearly from your writings it is not and you have good reason to be unhappy at this state of affairs. He is not listening and is adept at not wanting to hear or even listen to your own point of view. Why should he listen to you now when he has not listened before to either you or a counsellor. What has really changed here?. He holds all the cards here and you are totally dependent on him to boot.

He has not looked seriously for alternative employment although he moans about his job to you (you're his ready audience). He has not seemingly tried to obtain better working hours and or conditions for himself.

You previously stated that his time with the children consisted of one hour or so before their bedtime plus a bit of time on Sunday afternoon. His spare moments with his children are certainly few and far between.

When was the last time you either went out for the evening as a couple or on your own?. I would also argue that he is more than happy for you to do your own thing because a) you probably do not get much opportunity to go out and b) you do not then require him to go out with you so he can devote more time to his own profession and hobbies.

Is this really worth fighting for?. You cannot rescue or save what is a relationship with serious issues in it (his apparant selfishness with his time towards you people, his attitude to sex, his accusations of you neglecting him emotionally which is rich coming from someone whose hardly ever at home) by fighting to save it alone. He has to want to put the work in and meet you halfway. He is clearly not bothered, he gets what he wants from this relationship because you're doing all the donkey work and thus making his life easier. I think you will end up feeling even more downhearted and downtrodden which itself is not a good model to show your male children.

Are you sure he really wants your love and affection, given that he is avoiding you when he is home, and out most of the time?

Are you sure he is not just paving the grounds for being even less present, and permitting himself to look elsewhere? Sorry to be blunt. He does not sound like a loving or love craving husband!

OxfordBags Thu 28-Feb-13 19:04:44

You are not responsible for him hating his job or not spending money on himself. These do not mitigate the rest of his shitness. They are irrelevant. It's his poor choices as an adult to stay in the job and to not buy anything. If he could treat you with any sort of true respect, you could negotiate you working more and him less, in a more suitable job, but I suspect that he loves the victim status of hating his job, as it gives him perfect ammo to guilt-trip you into feeling behoven to provide all this affection and sex he demands from you without reciprocation or deserving it.

And by staying you are doing the worse thing possible for your sons. You are letting them believe that men should be distant, absent workaholics who use that as blackmail to get everyone else asking when they say how high, and have eir life just as they like it and just saunter in and demand love or show a bit of intense interest in short burst, and eaually, beleive that women are basically skivvies responsible for men's emotions, needs and, well, everything. Your future DILs will not thank you, trust me. This is a future AIBU about fucked-up ILs waiting to happen. Sorry, but it's true.

AThingInYourLife Thu 28-Feb-13 19:11:08

That's exactly what I was thinking, PureQuintessence

happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 19:14:50

Sorry to be so predictable Attila. Again I know alot of what you say is true but he often instigates a night out even if its squeezed in. As I said before I get ample oppurtunity to go out and I know he doesn't want to devote any more time than he has to to his job etc he just can't draw the line. His 'hobbie' isn't something he gets great pleasure from it has just turned out to generate a bit of income so he wants to keep it going. It was the only way we survived when he was out of work so he sees it as a bit of a back-up should anything happen again. I think.
At christmas he agreed with my idea to go away even though he knew it would be very tiring and meant he wouldn't get a single day at home to chill out before going back to work because he knew the boys would love it.
No ones perfect and whose to say we all behave perfectly or appropriatley at all times.
Aren't we just all trying to get by , doing what we think is right. In his case providing for his family and making some mistakes along the way. Does he not get any credit for taking on all the burden himself even though he's going about it the wrong way?

happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 19:20:06

I take it some of you guys have great husbands/partners who never take you for granted and are caring in every way?
Thought most couples had their issues.

Fairenuff Thu 28-Feb-13 19:28:59

I take it some of you guys have great husbands/partners who never take you for granted and are caring in every way?

I do. We have had our issues as a couple and we have talked them through and compromised. We want to make life easier for each other, support each other and help each other.

I would never want to hurt my dh and he wouldn't want to hurt me. We respect each others feelings and opinions. That's really what a workable relationship is about. Otherwise it is unbalanced and just breeds resentment.

Women in your position often end up trying to defend their partner's indefensible behaviour; that is why I called it predictable. It often happens in these types of threads.

What OxfordBags wrote earlier as well. By staying or choosing to stay you are creating your own poor role model for your sons to emulate.

My DH works damn hard and works long hours in a job that is high pressured but he does not in anyway treat me the way your man does. No relationship is perfect by any means and we do have our moments but I certainly do not have the underlying problems in my relationship that you have in yours.

You have a choice re your man; your children do not.

AnyFucker Thu 28-Feb-13 20:25:36

I am seeing OW in this scenario, sorry

Or at the very least he is paving the way

It's another variation on the "I don't know if I still love you" or "I love you but I'm not in love with you" situation

OP...all this time he spends away from you? At work, running, playing youth team football although he is not longer youthful. Are you very sure that is what he is doing ? (and I don't mean he simply tells you that is the case)

This "you don't give me enough affection" is the root of blaming you for something or some action of his that he cannot otherwise justify. Think very, very carefully and read between the lines of what he is saying.

CharlotteCollinsislost Thu 28-Feb-13 20:59:11

I would prob be ending it

Well, no - I think he's ending it by refusing to treat you as an equal partner with an equal voice. You'd just be recognising the implications of that.

Aren't we just all trying to get by , doing what we think is right. In his case providing for his family and making some mistakes along the way. Does he not get any credit for taking on all the burden himself even though he's going about it the wrong way?

Sure, but there is a fundamental problem here which is that he is making all these decisions by himself and dragging you along with them, not listening to your wish to do things differently.

So yes, if you were supportive of his approach of taking on all the burden himself, and you felt he was giving you enough time and attention, then he'd get credit for that. But then we wouldn't have a thread here, would we?

CharlotteCollinsislost Thu 28-Feb-13 21:05:07

Apart from leaving the car at work for you, your list of points in his defence include nothing that he contributes to the marriage, just to the children.

You were finding all the examination of your h's actions and motives difficult earlier. It's ok to look at him critically, you know. It doesn't mean you're betraying him or you don't love him enough.

HoneyandRum Thu 28-Feb-13 21:32:06

OP I have just skim read this thread so sorry if my comments are not relevant to the conversation. My DH also was a workaholic (driven by fear it seemed) he also worked almost 7 days a week and I barely saw him, to the point people thought I was a single mother. At his worst our three children were very small (newborn, 3 and 5). At least your kids are older. First I want to say things have improved tremendously he now only has one job (plus of course and on-line business and thousands of "projects") but that is SO MUCH better as we actually see him at the weekend! My DH is also amazingly intelligent and has a very specialized job for brainiacs.

I have a few suggestions.
Tell him you want to do X (something interesting and exciting) tell him you will arrange it plus childcare and ask him when he wants to book it into his schedule. If he doesn't, do it anyway. You need to shake up the power balance and also change roles where you are more of an active participant and he has to choose whether to be active or passive. Right now he is action man while you hold the fort. Change the dynamic.

Have a date night every week - on a week night. Again book it, arrange it and go even if he doesn't. I think you need to be doing more together.

Another idea - meet him for lunch at work.

There is no reason for you to stay at home waiting for him to appear, your children are old enough to have a babysitter. What about meeting him for lunch when he plays football. Or while he goes to football, go to the gym and then do something fun with the kids. Make sure you get out and enjoy yourself, you have enabled him to have what he wanted now make sure you get to have fun and be the fun parent, the fun partner.

At this point I wouldn't think OW. If your DH is anything like mine he just doesn't have the time or emotional energy left because he always has so many irons in the fire regarding work and projects.

Fairenuff Thu 28-Feb-13 21:34:45

If the only thing keeping you together is the children, I think that tells you all you need to know. The relationship is over. The marriage limps on.

HoneyandRum Thu 28-Feb-13 21:35:25

Sorry actually read the posts above mine now! I don't think your DH sounds terrible like so many posters have said. He is very driven and is a great provider for his family (as are you). He's certainly no slacker. You need to find a way to bring more balance into your marriage.

Fairenuff Thu 28-Feb-13 21:41:46

Honey how do you suggest she does that when he refuses to give up his weekend football, his hobby or change his job. When he refuses to try and resolve their sex problems by following the advice to make more time for her. When he has sex with her knowing that she doesn't want to?

Just wondering if you could offer the OP any practical suggestions because I'm buggered if I can see any.

HoneyandRum Thu 28-Feb-13 21:48:54

All I know is actions usually speak louder than words to men, she has to shake it up, right now he just hears "waah, waah" and ignores her because nothing is changing in his world. I'm not saying that I know any solution but I think she has to act more and talk less because talking to him is getting her nowhere.

Maybe just going to watch him play football might surprise him, I don't know.

It just seems as a newbie to Mumsnet that every marriage is doomed and there is OW behind every tree ready to ensnare your partner.

AnyFucker Thu 28-Feb-13 21:53:19

Honey, perhaps if she wears some lippie when she goes to watch him play football ?

whaddaya think ?

Fairenuff Thu 28-Feb-13 21:57:50

actions usually speak louder than words to men

And to women.

arsenaltilidie Thu 28-Feb-13 23:47:10

I'm going to blunt, if you dont show him affection its only a matter of time before he gets it from another women.

I understand mumsnet tries to protect put upon wifes and show them they is light at the end of the tunnel, but this is certainly not the case of a put upon wife. I cant believe but im not surprised by some of the advice given here, 'leave your husband..he is no good. '
From his perspective, what do you bring to the marriage?

^I always turn away or push him off but I'm afraid I just can't turn it on when it suits him.
All he wants at the end of the day is affection not always sex so maybe if I put my own feelings to one side we may be able to get back on track.
he would be happy for me to do whatever I want in my free time.
He has never expected me to wash, iron or even cook for him and to be honest I didn't for a long time but now I obviously do because it needs to be done.
What he does want is ny love and affection which isn't unreasonable but I find it hard to show and thats his deal breaker.
he has *basically made me poor and unable to support myself*^

OP your marriage seems to be worth fighting for, you have been through a lot, he is a good father and a good provider. Not attacking you in any way but the problem here is you are not affectionate enough and he doesn't spend enough time.
Being honest with yourself:
Do you resent him because you feel he destroyed your career?
Do you resent him for the time he spends on his me time?
Do you think he doesn't appreciate the things you do around the house anymore?
I hope at the very least you find him sexy??
These could explain the issue why you find it hard to be affectionate.
Half the battle is done when you make an effort.

Him on the other hand needs to either chose how much me time he has, either stop running or maybe once a week.
Or Quit football.
He needs to incorporate a WE time.
Could be anything from cuddling up the sofa to etc.

You marriage doesn't sound bad, it seems to be just going through a dip, he probably feel you don't appreciate the things he does.
Half the battle is done when you BOTH make the effort.
I suggest you both need to agree on and put your foot down on WE time.

Lavenderhoney Fri 01-Mar-13 05:16:17

Bit late to this but why is the sat football 12.30 til 6? Most football is first thing sat morning. And why don't you take your ds? A football match is only 90 mins isn't it?

He should be taking your ds to footie and watching with the other dads.
He needs to see that he has to forgoe this for his ds. It's part of growing up and putting your family first. My dh has hobbies he hasn't done since the birth of our first child and although he misses them I'm buggered if he is going to spend spare time like that. He already works 16 hours a day and often weekends " for the family" He spends his spare time with the dc. I spend all mine with the dc too, and our set up is pretty much like yours op, except my dh doesnt behave like a single bloke with no kids when he is off work.

If he's not there, ie away, do you miss his contribution? Or is his contribution money? He won't get the time back with the dc. And he will wonder why they don't bother with him when they are older.

We also need to instigate date nights and get our bond back. So this thread is very helpful to me.

HoneyandRum Fri 01-Mar-13 06:03:20

Fairenuff in my experience women are very keen on words, generally more than men. Look at Mumsnet, not many men on here really, most bookclubs are all female and women buy more books than men. Actions do speak louder to women but we do love to talk and are wired to "tend and befriend" rather than "fight or flight" when under stress. Talking is a stress reliever and a connector for women more than men.

I guess my only point, if I have one, is DO something different because talking to him is making no difference. I have one of these at home and have had similar issues, and I think more should be tried before she throws the towel in.

Fairenuff Fri 01-Mar-13 08:23:48

arsenal some important subtleties which are clear if you read between the lines:

I always turn away or push him off but I'm afraid I just can't turn it on when it suits him.

He has had counselling and been advised that OP is more likely to want sex she feels an emotional connection. The counsellor advised finding more time to spend with OP. He has refused to do this.

All he wants at the end of the day is affection not always sex so maybe if I put my own feelings to one side we may be able to get back on track.

OP is suggesting that she ignores her own feelings of resentment and fakes affection in order to please her dh. This will only make her feel less significant.

He would be happy for me to do whatever I want in my free time.

He doesn't spend time with her. She wants to do things together, she wants him to show that he actually admires her, respects her, enjoys her company, has a laugh with her, cares for her, etc.

He has never expected me to wash, iron or even cook for him and to be honest I didn't for a long time but now I obviously do because it needs to be done.

OP has phrased this as a choice but then clarifies by adding that he doesn't do it. So whilst he might not expect her to, he really doesn't care who does it as long as it's done for him. He is only concerned about himself again.

What he does want is ny love and affection which isn't unreasonable but I find it hard to show and thats his deal breaker.

He wants love and affection purely because he expects it. He does not feel that he has to make any effort himself. There is nothing that he does for her on this list, or with her.

HoneyandRum Fri 01-Mar-13 09:54:40

He goes to work and provides the main source of their income, I would say that's something he does for her and the whole family. If he wasn't doing it for her he wouldn't be there.

More love and affection from her could produce the changes she wants, it's a two-way street. Would you want to change for someone who blames you for all the problems in the marriage and shows you no love and affection? Sounds like they could both step up and make some sacrifices for the other to get the marriage back on track.

arsenaltilidie Fri 01-Mar-13 10:38:44

First of all this is not a feminist issue as Anyfucker is trying to suggest. This is marriage issue where the OP has probably lost a bit of attraction for her husband.

Fairenuff He rightly expects affection from his partner but she is not providing. That is the same as a woman complain to her husband she feels neglected. If she is not careful she will push him into another woman's arms. Its only a matter of time before he confides to a female 'friend.' Same as if it was a woman, it will only be a matter of time before a male compliments her on the dress.

You can't expect him to come home after a 15 hour day and do the chores that needs to be done too, whilst she had free time during the day.
He makes sure she has everything she wants.
He will go out with her if she wants regardless of how tired he feels.
He even drops off the car and walk the remaining 2 miles for her.
I don't get the impression that the OP's husband restricts her in anyway.

What does she do for her husband? what's her equivalent of dropping the car and walking for 2 miles.

He needs to quit running or football but she needs to hug him and kiss him more. Even doing things for him like Honey suggested, going to watch him play football.
They need a WE time, they need to date again.
Half the battle is does she really want to change.

practicality Fri 01-Mar-13 11:32:27

The thing is O.P. nobody wants to spend time with an entitled whinger.

I think you are being really harsh on your husband. After your first post, which seemed quite unfair,you have then dripped in a more balanced view of your relationship.

I think your husband is entitled to time to pursue his own hobbies outside of work. He is working, the majority of his time in an environment which he doesn't enjoy and you get acres of time, as a consequence to follow your own interests.

If you wanted to pursue a career I bet he would fully support you. But you don't want to do that do you? You will take the money and the lifestyle as a consequence of his efforts though. I know you contribute but it is not at the same level.

Personally, I think you would be better splitting. You may then have to learn what it is like to run a household, take care of your children for your share and bear the financial burden that this entails in terms of full time work. Plenty do.

Your husband could then do a job that meant the full financial burden wasn't on him,freeing up more time to spend with your children and a better work/life balance. He could then have a happier physical relationship with someone else. You could pursue your interests during his access times.

A happier outcome for all.

Otherwise you could sit down and discuss how you can make a bigger financial contribution to your household so he doesn't have to continue in a job that is making him unhappy. You could then divide your free time up fairly, with say Saturday being a family day and alternate Sundays being your own respective free days to follow your interests.

Pilgit Fri 01-Mar-13 11:45:32

Haven't read the entire thread so apologies if these comments are off the mark however my experience may be of help. I am a child of just the sort of marriage you are describing. Workaholic father (he did love it though) mother who subjegated her wants and desires for the sake of a 'happy' home and family. My sister and I could see it as we grew up that the simmering low level resentment was driving a wedge between our parents. Dad just didn't get it - we were incredibly well off, lived in a gorgeous house, mum controlled the finances (just as well as dad is crap with money), she had freedom to do whatever she wanted. In a lot of ways your description of your DH is my dad (except the playing with the children and having hobbies other than work parts!) he just couldn't see that he was doing anything wrong. Mum couldn't communicate to him that anything was wrong and how wrong it was. The wedge between them came unbearable and the fighting was abysmal but the silent years when they stopped fighting were far worse as we knew that they'd stopped caring enough to fight. Dad ended up having an affair and leaving for the other woman. All of the text book 'she doesn't understand me' 'emotionally unavailable' etc etc etc statements came out of him.

My dad is not a bad man. My mum is not a bad woman. BUT my dad was pig-headed and didn't understand and my mum chose to martyr herself thinking that would sort it out rather than address the issues they had. Neither of these things were ways to act that were conducive to a happy home. We knew the marriage wasn't normal and we spent out lives walking on egg shells wandering what he was going to do next and how mum was going to react next. Your DC will pick up on it!

Contrast this with the parents of a close friend who when she was 8 decided that the fighting was too much, they liked each other but being married to each other was a mistake. They decided to divorce. She had 2 totally engaged parents that were still friendly and close friends in later years and as a result has a very solid example of what marriage should be.

Things are salvagable and are worth saving. My advice (for what it's worth) is to try and get DH to understand that there is an issue that needs addressing. Remove fault from the equation - no one is to blame (or everyone is) but it is a problem that you need to fix together and that is worth fixing. Then get some counselling from a marriage counsellor. It really helped my marriage as it enabled us to talk about things without slinging insults and blame around (something I find very hard as I am a bit of a bitch)

happyclapper Fri 01-Mar-13 13:11:07

Sorry fpr going AWOL. Couldn't get online.
Thank -you for your posts. I am relieved to see there are some more measured responses which are actually acknowledging the effort he is putting into the relationship.
In reply to some questions, I was not pressured to give up my career . It was a huge relief and luxury to be able to stay at home and looke after the children and I don't miss my job at all. It just does obviously make me very dependant which neither of us has a problem with but obviously becomes a problem if things don't work out.
DP doesn't expect me to do anything for him. Infact it was a struggle at first to get him to accept me doing stuff as he had always lived alone until we moved in together and he remains appreciative.
I am far from a downtroden, put upon person. I have a great, stressfree life that works well for me, apart from this not insignificant issue.
With regard to spending time with me, this is an issue in the everyday routine. Not in regard to going out together when, true to form, he puts in a huge effort to make sure we have a good time.
Arsenal and Honey, you both make some great points which I agree with and thank-you for taking a more balanced view than the LTB MNers.

Ginebra Fri 01-Mar-13 13:18:50

Happyclappy, that's what you've taken from this thread?? seriously?

That you can do more for him? That is the balanced view you needed?


AnyFucker Fri 01-Mar-13 13:33:09

Op, you should be grateful for how he provides for the family and stfu asking for anything more

He deserves ALL the leisure time available for himself because he brings home the bacon

There, perhaps that's even more of the kind of perspective you were looking for ?

That you can do more for him?. Oh dear lord!.

He has got you well trained hasn't he?. So you will put up with this workaholic of a man, his all encompassing hobbies, his lack of time spent with you as a family mainly because he is putting other things first, his lack of affection and your crap sex life to maintain the status quo!. Jolly goodsad

Re this part of your comment:-
"DP doesn't expect me to do anything for him".

He does not have to ask you to do anything because you already do everything at home now!. This man does not even change a light bulb

I think you are basically going to stay because a) you are thinking of your children (you have previously stated that you would do anything to keep us together for DS's sake) and b) you are totally afraid of being seen as a so called failure if you were to call time on this. Thus this sorry cycle continues.

happyclapper Fri 01-Mar-13 13:49:02

No actually what I should do is break a family up because DP wants to play 1 game of football a week and wants me to show him some affection and is working all the hours God sends to provide a nice life for me and our sons without actually asking very much from me. Bastard!

I have never written the LTB line, I have asked you to consider what you get out of this relationship now with this man. You eventually came up with this when I asked you what your friends think of him:-

"Attila, you are right . Our friends say words to the effect of ' oh He's great but I couldn't live with him'. And yes, Saturday if a right off as far ar kids are concerned.
I've just tried to list what I'm getting out of the relationship and have realised that it is just the material things.
If I could stay in our home with enough money to live off I'm not sure I do need him around. I'm living like a single parent most of the time anyway.
Don't know if I've got the courage to demand he changes or we split up. As you've gathered he seems unwilling or unable to so I would prob be ending it.
I can't do that to my boys. They do love him".

This is why I have stated you are staying now primarily for your boys and you are afraid to call time on this through lack of courage.

You may well come to change your view over time. I sincerely hope for now at least you have made the right decision. If it turns out to be wrong I will not say I told you so.

happyclapper Fri 01-Mar-13 13:51:40

BTW. and I'm not making this up but he has just phoned me to say he has sent his CV to a recruiting agency to find something less demanding.
Lucky I didn't pack my bags last night!
Not saying everythings fine but its a step in the right direction.

AnyFucker Fri 01-Mar-13 13:54:43

Strangely, it's just those things that you said were spoiling your relationship in your op

So there is no problem then ?

That's good

One wonders why this thread was ever started

Fwiw, I didn't say you should end your marriage, but you are well within your rights to expect more from it

If you are happy with your lot then, we can all go off and enjoy our Friday

Its not just the football however is it?.

These are the facts from your posts, this is purely what you have stated:-

He is in a job that he detests and moans to you often about it. He does seemingly nothing to change his situation
He does not do anything chores wise
He wants you to have sex even though you get nothing from it
He accuses you of neglecting him emotionally and you rightly respond that how can you give him love and affection when he is hardly ever there.
You have previously been together to counselling, the counsellor told him to make more time for you and he has not done so
You have also stated the thought of splitting makes you feel sick

If someone else was telling you this, what would your response be?.


cross posted. I have just seen that he has contacted another job agency to find something less demanding.

As you say this is a step in the right direction but I would have to state this is only a small step; there are still problems here in your relationship. Think you want to sort this but the question also here is does he?.

Is he prepared to potentially lose you over the underlying issues?. Does he realise and or even care he could lose you?. What if things are still the same with yourselves in say 3-6 months time?. If there is no real change at home what then for you?.

HoneyandRum Fri 01-Mar-13 14:02:23

I get the impression that the OP was getting plenty off her chest and having a good rant, that's what we're here for. As her initially frustration and anger dissipated she then could get a more balanced view of things. No marriage or relationship is perfect, but this one has lots going for it. Encouraging the OP to stay in a state of righteous anger without helping her to move to finding solutions is not constructive IMHO. A marriage is a partnership and although some posters refuse to see it her DP is bringing lots to the table, as is she.

happyclapper Fri 01-Mar-13 14:23:19

Thank you Honey. Couldn't put it better myself.

LemonDrizzled Fri 01-Mar-13 14:24:32

Oh dear I think this could have been me fifteen years ago with my highly successful and very entitled H. Pilgit might well be my daughter because she describes my marriage perfectly. I tried SO hard to be the best wife, do everything at home, raise the kids, work part time to keep my career going, and not trouble my brainiac husband with domestic trivia. But I got martyrish and resentful and angry and eventually broke out, had a stupid affair and eventually decided to leave after 24 years of marriage.

If I had taken the advice you have been given OP and redressed the balance earlier then maybe my marriage would have prospered instead of withering through neglect and resentment.

Don't paper over the cracks and carry on trying harder to do the impossible! You need to accept your own feelings and explain them to your DH even if they don't suit him. Whether he finds an easier job or not he still thinks he is entitled to all his hobbies and fun time without compromising for you.

But I think you have had enough of letting off steam now and everything will go back to how it was until the pressure builds up again. Good luck!


Have you written specifically about him before now?.

HoneyandRum Fri 01-Mar-13 14:55:53

Being a martyr is unnecessary and passive-aggressive. Action to change things and actively working to find ways to reconnect and find balance in your partnership is the way forward.

If her DP is ambitious and creative then my guess is so is the DP. She needs to plug into that part of herself that created the exciting dynamic of their relationship and find ways to express it (some alone some with DP and/or kids). Her husband sounds fit and active, what about camping together? Hiking together? Paragliding?

Ginebra Fri 01-Mar-13 15:59:29

Wives who fear being single like it will make them a disease-ridden pyriah have no power to change anything.

People mock the 'leave the bastard' advice, but it's not so much that the advice is 'leave him leave him'. The truth is that if you would do anything other than leave him, then nothing will change. If you consider leaving him ridiculous advice then you are just hoping things will change. You've no power, just hope.

Women whose husbands know that they will march to the beat of their own drum and not bury all their own needs, they are the wives who will be listened to.

Fairenuff Fri 01-Mar-13 16:30:59

All the advice about how to improve the relationship is great. Camping, sure. Hiking, lovely. And lots of cuddles and affection. Date night once a week. All these are classic suggestions for improving intimacy and having fun together.

One problem. The husband has no time for the wife.

OP have a chat with him and if he does actually give up his football time, or his hobby time, or his long work hours, or his 'me' time and find some 'us' time let us know.

Either way, I guess you have decided that you are happy with your lot, so, good luck with that.

happyclapper Fri 01-Mar-13 16:51:51

Attila, no I have never posted sbout him before.
I have just reread my original post and everything I said I still stand by but I alsi stand by my later posts in that I feel he does a huge amount foir us and doesn't adk much of me apart from affection.
His singlemindedness is difficult and I do see that his unwillingness to take my feelings into account shiws a certain kack of respect.
I am by no means a martyr however ir a passive person. Quite the opposite.
Infact it is because I am so content with my day to day life which is far easier than his that I really wanted to know if his behaviour is so unreasonable.
When I analyse his actions I am 50/50.
I think we could both make small changes which will help us reconnect and if we don't then I don't think either if us would want to carry on.

happyclapper Fri 01-Mar-13 16:53:23

Sorry for typos. Small keyboard, big finger!

Herrena Fri 01-Mar-13 17:17:10

So basically you are willing to pretend affection because you feel you owe it to him, in return for the nice life he helps you to have. You're going to show him affection in exchange for stuff.

There's a name for that.....

Lueji Fri 01-Mar-13 17:20:32

His single mindedness is difficult and I do see that his unwillingness to take my feelings into account shows a certain lack of respect.

It's not only a "certain" it's a complete lack of respect and love.
It will be a dealbreaker sooner or later, I'm afraid.

CressidaFitass Fri 01-Mar-13 17:40:23

He sounds exhausting - Every spare moment he has with the boys, though few, is spent giving them his undivided attention to the point where sometimes I have to tell him to leave them to get on with a game. He has never lain on a sunbed or read a book on holiday. He will be with them in the pool ALL day or making up games, quizs, stories etc

My DH really believed that working hard at a demanding job was for us, didn't see it as an ego boosting or self interested past time (which I did sometimes as a SAHM). So if you look at it from that angle he is doing his best and probably would like your appreciation of that. (not saying you don't deserve appreciation too but it's a stalemate if you both grudge the other's life and trying to break the stalemate is what needs done)

I'm with Honeyrum on this. You can't change anyone by complaining or ordering them to change. You need to change the things that you can.
Def try taking DSs to watch footie matches. DH should be taking DS1 to his own football training but meanwhile showing an interest might encourage this. Def arrange things to go to and tell DH you would like him to come too.

DH sounds like he has got himself onto a treadmill that he can't get off. He hates his job which possibly makes him feel more entitled to his running and football perks.

Can he afford to leave his job and look elsewhere? Would you consider going back to work yourself so he can take something lower paid.

But you can't browbeat someone into changing so what changes can you make that might break this deadlock.

happyclapper Fri 01-Mar-13 17:44:37

It must be very reassuring to be so certain about things. Even for people you never met.
I think MN is a great place to get people's points of view it is just a shame some people have to be so judgemental and preachy.
Nothing is black and white and noone can say what WILL happen.
Maybe I will be posting on here in a years time saying the LTB's posters were right but for now I'm going to see if it fan get better.
Herrena, I know what the word is and Im not in thus relationship for stuff. I had far more when I was single. I am doing it for the love and security of my family.

CressidaFitass Fri 01-Mar-13 17:46:38

YOu say this happyclapper
Infact it is because I am so content with my day to day life

Are you sure you are content with a loveless, sexless life??

"Infact it is because I am so content with my day to day life which is far easier than his that I really wanted to know if his behaviour is so unreasonable".

I think you enjoy being at home with your children, there is no doubt of that to my mind at all but I am not convinced at all of your own happiness within the relationship with your man. I still think that his behaviour is well off towards you, your relationship with him is certainly not a happy one from what you have yourself described of it.

I do wonder what you actually learnt about relationships when you were growing up and what lessons in relationships you think you are both passing on to your children now. You do not of course have to answer any of that but I think those questions do deserve serious thought and consideration.

arsenaltilidie Fri 01-Mar-13 19:47:47

OP's husband doesn't sound bad. Afterworking 15 hour days, its perfectly understandable to want so me time. Do people even realise football is only 6 months of the year.
OP's husband doesn't expect anything from her, he doesn't expect dinner to be cooked or the house to be clean or his wife to have sex with him when he wants.
All marriage's have their ups and down, I suspect they have got themselves in a rut.
How were things when he wasn't working many hours??
But importantly DO YOU ACTUALLY LOVE HIM??

happyclapper Fri 01-Mar-13 20:04:37

Cressida. I agree with your assesment. You can't bully someone into doing what you want them to do and yes Arsenal football us only 6 months of the year.
He also did take DS1 to football on a Sat morning but DS1 lost interest.
Atilla, my oarents didn't have a good relationship and hardly showed any affection to each other......uhm. What a surprise!
But we are not in a loveless relationship and do show each other affection just not as much ir as passionately as most couples I would imagine.
Actually I retract that. I suspect a lot of couples have periods of less than optimum love.
Isn't ut just a case of working through the bad times.
I hear older people taking of bad YEARS that they got through.
People are too quick to give up and move on sometimes.

HoneyandRum Fri 01-Mar-13 20:24:33

Ginebra "Wives who fear being single like it will make them a disease-ridden pyriah have no power to change anything."

"Women whose husbands know that they will march to the beat of their own drum and not bury all their own needs, they are the wives who will be listened to."

I'm not sure who you are referring to on this thread but I didn't read anyone suggest she "bury her own needs". Instead I read people telling her to find way to get those needs met by making active changes. Who "fears being single" either? - no indication that anyone on here mentioned that. Using hyperbole can lose the basic fact that we are talking about two imperfect people who do seem to love each other but have kind of driven down a cul-de-sac that can happen in marriage. It doesn't mean it has to end. If you value your relationship, your family and all the love and difficulties that you have shared and dealt with over the years I don't think that makes you inadequate or pathetic which seems to be the suggestion. Two people that have built a life together also have a lot to lose if they part, but that surely is normal if you truly have invested emotionally, practically, physically. I know many friends who have sustained long, happy marriages and that means they will have overcome many challenges and difficulties and made adjustments when the partners become out of sync with each other. Sometimes you have to build bridges back toward each other, but that is what mature love and commitment takes. No long term relationship remains in stasis.

I never suggested she ignore her own needs but she also has to change. Both partners have to forgive each other - bitterness and grudgeholding are toxic in any relationship.

Fairenuff Fri 01-Mar-13 21:11:33

we are talking about two imperfect people who do seem to love each other but have kind of driven down a cul-de-sac that can happen in marriage

I haven't seen any sign of love in the relationship on this thread. OP has stated that she is only staying because of her son.

That's fine, that's her choice. But that's not love.

HoneyandRum Fri 01-Mar-13 21:30:33

Her DH wants affection from her and she wants attention from him, why do you think that might be?

CharlotteCollinsislost Fri 01-Mar-13 21:48:28

The problem is that attention is an action, whereas affection is a feeling.

OP, you seem also to be saying that you're staying because of a sense of obligation to your H for all he does.

HoneyandRum Fri 01-Mar-13 21:52:35

Affectionate behavior

Numerous behaviors are used by people to express affection. Some theories[3] suggest that affectionate behavior evolved from parental nurturing behavior due to its associations with hormonal rewards such as the release of oxytocin, the bonding hormone from positive social interactions.[4] Research also verifies that expressions of affection, although commonly evaluated positively, can be considered negative if they pose implied threats to one's well being. Furthermore, affectionate behavior in positively balanced relationships may be associated with numerous health benefits. Other, more loving type gestures of affectionate behavior include obvious signs of liking a person. Affection can also shape infant's brains.[5]
George Homans (1950) proposed that positive sentiment increases the propensity of people to interact and that familiarity gained through affection increases positive sentiment among them.[6]

CharlotteCollinsislost Fri 01-Mar-13 22:00:10

Did you write that or cut and paste? Either I don't understand the relevance or bits of it are irrelevant to this thread.

You've confirmed my point, anyway: Numerous behaviors are used by people to express affection - ie the actions express a genuine feeling. None of what you have written refers to actions where the feeling, for whatever reason, is not there.

HoneyandRum Fri 01-Mar-13 22:15:59

I did cut and paste not to negate your point but to add to it, affection involves behaviors (actions). I may be exhausted but I still hug my kids because whatever my feeling my will is to love this child and show this child I love him/her. In life the feelings are not always there but love is also a choice. Otherwise why not just say "I don't have any feelings today, I haven't for a few weeks, so I have every right to not show any affection to you and hug my coworker tightly as I'm feeling very affectionate toward him right now."

Fairenuff Fri 01-Mar-13 23:29:20

more loving type gestures of affectionate behavior include obvious signs of liking a person

This would be a good place to start I think. OP how does your dh show that he likes you? As a person. Not in appreciating the things that you do for him, or being sexually attracted to you, but that he actually wants to share his time, thoughts, feelings and experiences with you.

People who love each other strive to be together.

Lavenderhoney Sat 02-Mar-13 03:18:58

Is football really only 6 months of the year?

Then the ops dh should be around on sat at the moment then? I still don't see how when he is at football its 12.30 til 6 and also if he is 20 years older than everyone else why he is still doing it? Surely the coach would have put a younger man in and he would be playing for a team of men more appropriate to his age group? Surely a bunch of young blokes would run an older one into the ground, unless he's Beckham?

Glad he is looking at changing his job op, but is it to spend more time with you and the ds or more time doing his hobbies?

clam Sat 02-Mar-13 13:12:58

The football season seems to start in August and goes on until May. Which I make 9 months. angry

Lueji Sat 02-Mar-13 13:51:25

Unless there's a world/European cup...
Add another month and a half every other year.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 02-Mar-13 13:57:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fairenuff Sat 02-Mar-13 14:00:13

I think the football is a red herring.

It's just an example of how selfish this man is.

If, indeed, he is actually playing football, even though his wife has clearly stated that this has a negative impact on their relationship, and so has their counsellor, it just demonstrates his lack of care for her opinions.

No-one needs to be out from 12.30 to 6 every single Saturday, for leisure.

That is not a commitment you make unless you are single and have no other responsibilities.

That is a personal choice which should be made with the full agreement of the partner. If the partner is at all dissatisfied then it should be compromised.

Unless I am reading something different to many of the posters on this thread, the problem is crystal clear. The husband will not compromise. So it doesn't matter what the OP does, she will not be happy.

Yes, she could watch him play football, she could have a new hairdo and spruce herself up, she could be more affectionate and loving, she could spice up the sex life, she could become a perfect stepford wife.

But she would still not be happy because all that would be done in an effort to get him to appreciate, admire, respect and like her, as an idividual, an equal, with her own thoughts, feelings and opinions which are just as valid as his.

And he won't do that. Ever.

Think about it. He chooses to make a weekly commitment of 5+ hours to football yet makes no weekly commitment at all to his wife. Their relationship suffers. They go to counselling. The counsellor says you need to make time for your wife.

Why hasn't he done this? Either he is seeing someone else or he just doesn't care about the OP. What other excuse could he have?

It's not about long work hours, hobbies, etc. It's his choice. And he is choosing 'football' over her.

Ginebra Sat 02-Mar-13 16:52:11

honeyandrum, completely stand by the relevancy of the post i made.

posters are basically suggesting she ignore her own needs. and, as fairenuff summarises, the problem is he won't compromise at all, ever. So, if she doesn't love him, but won't leave him.............. confused yeh, good luck solving that one!

The reason the op;s husband won't compromise is because he has no need to make any concessions. what is forcing him to make concessions? nothing at all. his wife isn't going anywhere. in fact, despite being unhappy, she is thinking about bending over backwards even further, and has labelled this course of action 'balanced'.

arsenaltilidie Sat 02-Mar-13 17:58:14

Amateur football season is generally from Sept to April with a month long Christmas brake.
Its common for 'people with responsibilities' to have a partake in a hobby every Saturday Saturday afternoon.
Rugby is the same, most good clubs have a plenty of over playing week in week out.
Season ticket holders spend most Saturdays 12-6pm outside the house.

We don't know what the counsellor said to the OP, but given
parents didn't have a good relationship and hardly showed any affection to each other......uhm. makes me think the counsellor probably said she should show a lot more affection.

He shoulders the blame too for this current situation.

Discharging from the counsellor means its the beginning of change if BOTH work on change. If one or both person neglects the change, or slack a bit then it's only a matter of time before things revert to the old ways.

Hence my point, they BOTH need to work on things. He either chooses football or running and make detailed plans about spending time together and she has to at least show she cares about him.
Its a matter of both sitting down EVERYWEEK and working out what plans they have for each other such as actually booking a restaurant or organising child care.

Fairenuff Sat 02-Mar-13 20:57:36

Hence my point, they BOTH need to work on things. He either chooses football or running and make detailed plans about spending time together and she has to at least show she cares about him. Its a matter of both sitting down EVERYWEEK and working out what plans they have for each other such as actually booking a restaurant or organising child care.

arsenal the OP is more than happy to do this. This is what she wants and is asking for from her dh.

But he won't do it. He simply refuses.


Unfortunately as Fairenuff rightly states, OPs man is refusing to co-operate and has also disregarded the counsellor's advice to give her i.e the OP more time. This man also does not even sit in the same room as OP of an evening (this is stated in an earlier post of OPs).

If real change is to occur it has to be a two way process; nothing can be achieved also if the other person does not want change. He is certainly getting what he wants from this relationship, I cannot fully see what the OP is getting out of it apart from material needs being met.

I asked OP what she learnt about relationships when growing up - she replied that her parents did not have a good relationship. We learn about relationships first and foremost from our parents - she has carried those damaging lessons into her current relationship and so history repeats itself.

CressidaFitass Sun 03-Mar-13 02:34:52

Prob happyclapper and DH need to talk.

It's amazing how many years can go by without you actually discussing both of your true feelings. And 'chatting' doesn't seem to happen with men. You need to make sure you have some uninterrupted time for you both to talk about your feelings about your relationship, and don't expect men just to talk even if they have the chance. You have to agree to a chat, thus giving both of you time to think about what is most important and what you want to say, then some days later sit down and take turns to speak, allowing an extra 5 mins each time at least for DH to get round to voicing what he has to say (without interruption - men just take forever to speak ime.

CressidaFitass Sun 03-Mar-13 02:48:58

Not saying that the talk will necessarily lead to happy ever after. But it will make it clearer where they both stand.

Bedtime1 Sun 03-Mar-13 06:04:26

Good luck with it all

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