Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Changing DH'S behaviour - can it be done?

(66 Posts)
Billysilly Tue 05-Mar-13 08:14:47


I want to vent at my dh's behaviour and ask for suggestions to change things.

I'll say at the outset I do not want to leave him. We have in many ways a happy marriage and two Dc who adore him.

He is however lazy and selfish and both things are getting on my nerves more and more. We have been together for many years and these have always been traits of his, however it has become more obvious since the arrival of our children.

Examples include constantly disappearing to take naps and only suggesting I take one if he happens not to be tired, I am expected to keep on going.

Getting up with Dc on a Sunday only, which is my day for a lie in. They are not good sleepers.

He is awful if he has to get up in the night. Shouting and swearing. He turns into a really horrible person.

I am currently away for a few days with Dc and I know he won't have done any housework or dealt with any laundry other than his own (he had to phone to ask how to use the washing machine)

While we are away he has taken a day off work because he needs time for himself. He has not thought at all about our parents going on holiday and who will look after our Dc I.e. me. My holidays are not viewed as time to recharge my batteries, only his.

Money - for most of our relationship I have been the main earner and have ensured we have enough to cover the bills and an equal amount of spending money. He is now the higher wage earner and Is now transferring random amounts to pay the joint account and keeping more money to himself. Some months he does overtime or gets a bonus but as a family we see little of this.

He smokes and claims he needs more money for this (don't get me started angry.

I have a separate account for birthday and Christmas presents which he refuses to pay into, although he does buy a couple of presents from his own account at Christmas for me and a few friends I wouldn't have a clue what to buy for. For my birthday he bought me a very expensive present from our joint account promising he would put the money back. He still hasn't 4 months later. I did not ask for this present but it suited his needs ( it was an iPad, he wanted me off the computer in the evenings)

Some of this is selfish behaviour, some of this is being unrealistic about money. He has a history of debt, now cleared but looks at our joint account sees plenty of money and then spends from it. We are consistently £200 - £300 overdrawn, not all because of him, but if he contributed a more reasonable amount and did not skim off the top we would be doing a whole lot better.

I realise I have probably set a pattern for this earlier I our relationship as I minded less doing the majority of housework and was happy to do the accounts but I feel resentful at the moment.

Warning bells should have struck when in our pre wedding chat to our minister he said one of the main things he loved about me was that I looked after him. Looking after me never seems to come I to the equation.

So, how can I improve things?

Flisspaps Tue 05-Mar-13 08:19:46

You cannot make someone change.

You say you don't want to leave - but your DC are growing up thinking that this is how a relationship should be.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 05-Mar-13 08:22:34

No-one can change someone else's behaviour. Understand that from the start. Only they can decide to change and they have to want to change in order to do it. You can provide motivation, threats, encouragement. You can set expectations, withdraw privileges, set incentives. But the adage of 'you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink' is very, very true.

The biggest problem you've got is this

"I'll say at the outset I do not want to leave him"

Because he knows that you'll always be there & you'll always forgive him however badly he behaves, nothing whatsoever you do will make a blind bit of difference.

joblot Tue 05-Mar-13 08:23:57

Put your needs first and stop allowing him to take advantage of you- as you said, you set up this dynamic so you need to be clear you want it to change. If he won't treat you like an equal once you're clear that you are, then you're onto a loser in my opinion

Lizzabadger Tue 05-Mar-13 08:24:36

He believes he is more important than you. This won't change.

nocake Tue 05-Mar-13 08:25:30

You're right, you have set a pattern and it's going to be hard to change that because he's now in a comfortable position where he can be lazy and not take any responsibility. Try tackling one thing at a time. Involve him in the change. Try to make it seem like his idea or find a way to make it look like the change benefits him.

With the finances you may need to take control and set the rules for what happens with your money. Stop ad-hoc spending from the joint account and allocate each of you "pocket money" each month that you can spend how you like. If he wants to spend his on cigarettes then that's his problem.

I should add that I'm a happily married man... in case that changes how you view my advice. Good luck.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 05-Mar-13 08:27:01

There's a good MN word for a man that spends your money, runs up debts, expects you to look after him, eats your food and contributes nothing in return.... 'Cocklodger'.

Billysilly Tue 05-Mar-13 08:33:21

Cognito - he isn't as bad as that. He does put money towards bills but as a percentage of our respective wages I pay more.

He does do "some" housework/ chores but the stuff that suits him - going to the supermarket, taking out bins, doing dishes ( easier than putting Dc to bed)

He also isn't entirely responsible for the overdraft issue but doesn't take it as seriously as me. I hate debt.

I'm mulling over other comments, I'll be back.

MajesticWhine Tue 05-Mar-13 08:33:49

Blimey. What a catch. I have no idea if he could change all this behaviour. It sounds like you need to completely renegotiate your relationship. But he definitely won't change it unless you a) tell him everything that you have said here and b) stop enabling him by putting up with it. He won't change unless he has some reason to do so. Why would he change when everything suits him? I think you need to get angry and spell it out to him.

With the finances, why not pay both your salaries into the joint account and then each withdraw monthly a reasonable amount for personal spending money. Then you will be saving any extra as a couple/family rather than him spending it on himself. And he can get his own account overdrawn rather than the joint account.

"I'll say at the outset I do not want to leave him".
Why do you say that?. Is that out of feelings of pride, shame, fear, having got so ground down by him now you feel trapped and cannot leave, children, not actually wanting now to think about how you yourself went onto choose such a man to marry?.

Its hard enough to try and change one of your own behaviours; impossible to change someone else's. He won't change his ways and he knows too you won't leave.

What do you want to teach your children about relationships; they are currently learning damaging lessons from both of you. Do you really want your DC to grow up thinking this is how a relationship should be conducted?.

JustOneMoreCoffee Tue 05-Mar-13 08:47:32

I have just ended my relationship due to a lot of the same issues. We were not married but have a young child and i got to breaking point. He always put himself first and his family second in my opinion and unless the selfish behaviour and his whole outlook on what's important changes he isn't welcome back. Your better than that and deserve an equal partnership but if he knows you won't end the relationship and he can get away with his behaviour he won't change. Hope you find a way to resolve it, make it clear your unhappy and don't want to continue in this way.

scaevola Tue 05-Mar-13 08:50:27

I think what you have here is a communication problem, not one of the minutiae of who does what and when.

You want to feel appreciated for what you do, and wish he was doing this spontaneously. Telling him what to do means he is only going through the motions (of the chores), not "getting it" in terms of what they represent, and also that he isn't taking responsibility as an adult for everything that needs to be done. It won't help if you end up as parent to everyone. It sounds as if the change you need in him is to engage his brain into the household and family.

One option is for you to go away for a while and leave him with everything. Perhaps that way he will grasp the extent of not just the chores themselves, but the thought that goes in to staying on top of those chores.

If that's not possible, then could you have a series of conversations when things need to be done: in effect asking him to come up with, or at least acknowledge, the list of things? Then ask him about how best to divide them up. It's pretty hard to come up with an unbalanced division if asked in a practical way if engaged in actually thinking about it.

You need to back this up by being straight with him and refusing to do the shit work.

Are there other areas in which communication is difficult or non-existent? If you are not in the habit of expressing things, good and bad, in a fairly straightforward way, then the prospects are less good.

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 05-Mar-13 08:51:08

The only thing you can change is yourself - why on earth do you want to stay with this selfish, immature, lazy arse?

And don't say he's a good father - good fathers treat the mothers of his DC with respect and set good examples for DC to follow.

Billysilly Tue 05-Mar-13 08:52:50

My parents have a similarish relationship in terms of housework etc. Not finances. Dh's parents, again his dm tends to do most things and I think possibly not the best role models either. So yes I worry about the effect on our children.

Yes shame, fear of the unknown, effect on our children and I love him - all reasons I don't want to leave him.

He has positive traits too. Good to be with, loves our children, a shoulder to cry on. The selfish/lazy traits vary.

We do have separate accounts for spending but once he has spent his, he looks at the joint account, sees money, does not think about the bills coming out and spends. I'm not talking about elaborate spends, but cigarettes add up and I don't see why I should have to pay. He knows this. It is an ongoing argument. I think I need to do a spreadsheet of bills and show him exactly how mu h we spend.

Billysilly Tue 05-Mar-13 08:56:07

Scaevola thank you, that gives me something constructive to think about.

He isn't a bad person and people who know him would agree with that but something needs to change.

Billysilly Tue 05-Mar-13 09:00:45

I am bad at delegation, at work as well as home. I tend to see what needs done, do it and then resent the fact I haven't been helped or appreciated. The communication aspect is something I need to think about. I am an introvert and tend to assume people notice how much I do when I should probably communicate better and not blow up when things become too much.

Xales Tue 05-Mar-13 09:01:54

Why should he change? There is no reason for him to make his own life any less comfortable.

Billysilly Tue 05-Mar-13 09:03:17

His life isn't comfortable if I'm constantly angry and resentful.

MajesticWhine Tue 05-Mar-13 09:13:42

It's good that you are angry and resentful. That is an appropriate response. But it's what happens next. Do you carry on doing all the laundry, worrying about the bills, not having a break? Your own behaviour is the only thing that you can change.

Do you think that your children will not be more affected long term by showing them this particular model of a relationship?. We after all learn about relationships first and foremost from our parents. What are you both teaching them here?.

What do you get out of this relationship now?. What innate and internal need of yours is being met here?. Is it the need to be needed, "I love to be loved".
What is your role here in this relationship?.

Is your H really that good to be with?. Purely from your writings he does not appear good at all to be with. Are you really now just clinging onto the wreakage out of fear of the unknown?. The first step out is often the hardest one to take.

You made a mistake re marrying this man but you will only compound that basic error even more if you remain together for arguments sake until the children reach adulthood or they have left home.

Are you really prepared to live the rest of your life like this, basically saying, "well I made my bed so I'm going to lie down in it". One day your children will leave home; what then for you?. They will not thank you for staying with such a man and being in their eyes a martyr and will wonder why on earth you did not leave years earlier.

What is there to love about this man exactly given that he treats you so poorly (with one of the knock on effect being that your children see and hear far more than you realise as well?). I daresay your H does not know the meaning of the word love, from your initial post he said that one of the main things he loved about you was that you looked after him. There were many signs (that just being one) which unfortunately you chose to ignore or minimise. Also perhaps on some level you thought that he would somehow change on being married.

How would you feel if your children went onto exactly replicate what you have now?.

Chandon Tue 05-Mar-13 09:15:27

Asking for help regularly, for small thingsl does change behavioir and patterns.

My DH was stressed at work and stopped completely helping out with any housework, washing up or anything in the evenings. I asked him " could you give me a hand with the dishes?" and " can you take the bins out whilst I take out the laundry" or "would you mind unpacking the dishwasher while I go and give DS2 his bath. "

IMO, men do not say "no" to a direct request like that, then it becomes habbit to help out. IMO more productive than converstations like " you NEVER help me." or " You don t appreciate me."

Still, an occasional big argument can be good too! Being a martyr leads you nowhere.

"His life isn't comfortable if I'm constantly angry and resentful"

No it is not but another effect of that is the children notice you being like this as well.

AnyFucker Tue 05-Mar-13 09:22:09

He doesn't care that you are angry and resentful, so he is completely comfortable. He doesn't actually give a shit what you think, or how you feel.

He will never change. A scenario where someone makes it clear they will "never leave" is on a losing ticket immediately, IMO

Why would he change ? You will always do what you are doing, no matter what.

Billysilly Tue 05-Mar-13 09:48:29

I think the "if you do this and I'll do that" conversations might help.

Are there any books anyone could recommend? I'm a thinker and reading works well for me.

something2say Tue 05-Mar-13 09:54:57

Take action as well tho Billy x
And be honest about why you are upset and taking action.
You matter too. Let him see that.

Billysilly Tue 05-Mar-13 10:07:05

What kind of action?

Off out now, will reply later

Pendipidy Tue 05-Mar-13 10:19:45

It makes me annoyed laugh when people always come on MN and listen to someones issues and then always say, why don't you want to leave him? I can't imagine that everyone one here who posts that has a completely rosy and perfect relationship themselves. If everyone left at any sign of issue in a relationship then nobody would ever stay with anyone and we would all be in continuous short relationships, bailing out at the first sign of something you didn't like.

It is admirable that the OP doesn't want to leave him. These are issues that can be worked on and there are always things in any relationship that are annoying and you would not wish for, but the good points outweigh the bad. A stable family unit is a good thing for all concerned. Jumping ship at any bad sign is not putting enough effort into a relationship.

By all means, OP, try and discuss your issues and hopefully your DH will understand your point of view and put effort into addressing your concerns...but sometimes, people cannot be changed and you put up with some things because you love them and other points about them are the reason you love them. No one is perfect!

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 05-Mar-13 11:30:20

pendi - this isn't the first sign, its a well established and ingrained pattern of behaviour confused

OP has already talked to him but as there are no consequences for him and he is too selfish to give a shit, nothing has changed. Are you suggesting she has to put up with all that crap??! The shouting, swearing, issues with money (either not sharing his or taking her money), the naps, the laziness, the lack of respect and so on? You must belong to the 1950s hmm

Oscarandelliesmum Tue 05-Mar-13 11:30:50

I read the lazy husband by joshua cole which has some good tactics in it. Often just leaving it lying around pointedly will result in a sheepish offer of help!
My h sounds similar in regards to house work. He is just a bit lazy and would rather the house was a tip than clean it, this is entitled, shitty behaviour and he knows it angry That said, he is improvimg and we do love each other.....

AnyFucker Tue 05-Mar-13 11:33:17

I find it ineffably depressing that women feel impelled to teach their husbands how to be decent human beings.

Isetan Tue 05-Mar-13 12:28:00

He treats you poorly because you let him. Yes, we all hope that the people that we love and and say that love us back would not behave this way, but you now know different.

I have been there OP, the hand wringing the "Why can't he see how much this behaviour hurts me".

You are worth more and should value yourself more, now start acting like it and maybe he will learn by your example. By putting up with his shit for so long you have condoned the behaviour, which means if there is to be change its not gonna be easy.

If you want different, demand different! To paraphase Malcolm Tucker he needs to "Step the fuck up, or fuck the fuck off". If you are unwilling to attach any serious consequences to his piss poor behaviour, then your only alternative is to STFU.

You are not without voice, the only people that benefit from martyrdom are Kleenex and manufacturers of hypertension medicine.

Pendipidy Dan Savage calls this the price of admission. If the bad points don't overshadow the good, then that it is the price of staying in the relationship. However, the resentment accrued from being subjected to continued selfish and disrespectful behaviour will tip the balance in the end. In my opinion better to tackle this now while the OP still cares.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 05-Mar-13 12:53:48

A year ago I could have written this post. I had even cried about needing help with specific things he said yes then never did anything. ExH than took this to a new level and had an affair as I didn't give him enough attention.
I wish we had gone to couples counselling/relate long before where we could have hashed these issues out. With hindsight I was not direct enough and should have stood my ground more.
One thing I will say is it is actually easier on my own as I was doing everything anyway and now I don't have to pander to his wishes. From the outside even though OW lives with him some of the time it seems his life is a bit sh*t.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 05-Mar-13 13:52:30

"It is admirable that the OP doesn't want to leave him. "

It may be admirable but it's counter-productive when there are big problems. Imagine having a job where your employer says 'whatever happens, however many mistakes you make or how badly you do your job, I will never sack you'. A hard-working person with integrity might get confidence from the statement. A shiftless person would see it as licence to take the piss.

The OP's DH is in the latter camp....

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 05-Mar-13 14:15:05

ExH than took this to a new level and had an affair as I didn't give him enough attention.

Selfish entitled men are very vulnerable to having an affair so this does not surprise me. However, I do hope you do not think that his affair is your fault - he could have talked to you, suggested counselling etc instead of deciding that shagging OW as the best option for resolving his issues....

What Cogito wrote.

Also the writing re all this was on the wall even before they got married to each other as per this comment:-

"Warning bells should have struck when in our pre wedding chat to our minister he said one of the main things he loved about me was that I looked after him".

For whatever reasons (on OPs side it was probably a toxic mix of actually loving him and thinking that marriage could somehow make him a more responsible human being) they got married and the earning bells were ignored.

Suzanna69 Tue 05-Mar-13 14:17:14

'Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invaribly they are both disappointed.' - Albert Einstein.

This quote of yours is interesting: I am bad at delegation, at work as well as home. I tend to see what needs done, do it and then resent the fact I haven't been helped or appreciated.

If you do everything, he will let you. Also it sounds like you might be a control freak (no offence). He might well feel that whatever he does wouldn't be considered 'good enough'. That might even be the reason he bought you a wildly extravagant present he couldn't afford to pay for, he is over compensating in the only way that makes sense to him (if he's had money issues before he probably sees material things as the best way to show appreciation, to himself and to you. Some people do this - I know I do if I don't rein myself in).
I'm not defending him, especially the shouting and swearing if he has to get up in the night and the nasty behaviour. But he may well be feeling very emasculated with you being the main breadwinner for so long and taking control of everything. I think perhaps you should consider that you have contributed to this situation. It's rarely 100% blame on one person's side.

bingodiva Tue 05-Mar-13 15:00:24

pendipidy im glad someone has a level head on them - what you have written is spot on. I have noticed there are certain people on here who say the same thing over and over and are quite condescending about other peoples relationships. i would love to spend a week with them to see what they are like in RL as its easy to be a keyboard warrier

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 05-Mar-13 15:03:21

"Jumping ship at any bad sign is not putting enough effort into a relationship"

But - to continue the analogy - saying 'no thanks' to a life-raft when the ship you're in is almost sunk would be stupid... No-one's telling the OP to jump ship. However, when faced with very stubborn, very bad behaviour it would be foolish to rule out the ultimate sanction.

A relationship can only be worked on if both parties are wanting to put the effort in. OPs H clearly does not want to put any effort in, there were problems in this relationship before they actually walked down the aisle (and OP has alluded to that as well).

Billysilly Tue 05-Mar-13 15:06:06

I had a look at the preview of the book Oscar suggested, and he definitely falls into the boy husband category.

Pendi - I agree with a lot of what you say.

Isetan - I agree, I do have martyrish qualities and indeed DH has accused me of this during arguments. Back to the previous point of my poor communication, assumptions on my part that he realises how tired I am and how much I do. He is very quick to tell me how tiring his day has been.

Suzanne - no offence taken, I am indeed a control freak. I also hate giving others too much to do, but have high expectations of myself and how much I can do. If I can't achieve everything and very often I can't, I get frustrated and annoyed at D H for not helping. A pattern I'm remembering my parents playing out and my dad saying but she didn't tell me what to do.

I'm talking to him late tonight so I'll try the if I do this you do that suggestion.

Thank you. Your giving me some things to think about.

Why agree with Pendi's comments?. Clearly you are not happy with the situation as it is; how many more years of your life are you willing to sacrifice for some selfish man who is happy to have you look after him?.

Well you can try to talk to him again but really you are dealing with someone here who won't play ball.

This is a man who after all bought you an IPad primarily so that he could get you off the computer in the evening so he could use same.

Do you at heart think you are simply now replaying in your own life what your parents taught you about relationships?. Think too about what you are both teaching your children now re same, is this really the relationship role model you would want them to emulate as adults?.

I think and know you want things to change but trying to change someone's else behaviour is not possible, its hard enough to even change one aspect of your own behaviours.

bingodiva Tue 05-Mar-13 15:42:04

billy you say
"Suzanne - no offence taken, I am indeed a control freak. I also hate giving others too much to do, but have high expectations of myself and how much I can do. If I can't achieve everything and very often I can't, I get frustrated and annoyed at D H for not helping. A pattern I'm remembering my parents playing out and my dad saying but she didn't tell me what to do."

does this mean that you dont ask DH to help but expect him to see what needs doing and he should get on and do it to the same standard as you do things?

I'm sure he doesn't wait for you to suggest a nap or wait for you to ask how his day is. He says he is having a nap and tells you he is tired and had a rough day. Have you tried just telling him you are tired, you need a nap and could be do the dishwasher while you sleep?

The money and different standards (i.e. OK for you to share, not OK for him to share) that is much more intractable, selfish and worrying.

It does sound like you need to be more assertive about what YOU need. I'd start small rather than saying everything needs to change. So with finances - sit down, say you are concerned your finances are a mess, that you want to sort it out, and this is your proposal (eg limits on what either of you can take from joint acccount).

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 05-Mar-13 19:14:46

I don't feel my ExH's affair was my fault it was just an extension of his selfish me me behaviour.
I do wish I had been more assertive earlier and I feel that if we had gone to counselling with an independent third party to allow everyone to have their say it might have impressed upon him how unreasonable his behaviour was before it got to that level.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 05-Mar-13 20:00:10

In my experience men like this don't change. They may make an effort for short bursts at a time but they will constantly revert to their default arrogant selfish selves.

You will knock yourself out trying to "understand" and tell yourself over and over again that they aren't that bad and if you could just be better at getting across your needs blah blah blah, it will be ok.

Unfortunately, it won't. Over time you won't even know who you are anymore.

Someone in a happy fulfilling relationship would never utter "he's not that bad".

That is probably the case Clipped but a couple of things struck me in the OP.

"Examples include constantly disappearing to take naps and only suggesting I take one if he happens not to be tired, I am expected to keep on going." Why would he suggest she naps? I suggest I nap, DH suggests he naps. No one is expected to be psychic.

"While we are away he has taken a day off work because he needs time for himself. He has not thought at all about our parents going on holiday and who will look after our Dc I.e. me. My holidays are not viewed as time to recharge my batteries, only his." Seen by who? Has OP taken time off and told DH she needs some time to herself?

The money, presents and smoking OTOH sound like a selfish arse.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 05-Mar-13 22:18:31

Does she need to tell him?

I really think she doesn't.

Surely a kind and considerate person would actually know that you do things equally?

I have never got this, tell him business. Should you have to?

Should you have to tell someone that you're tired, can't they see it? and act accordingly?

It smacks of men being let off normal fundamental caring actions.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 05-Mar-13 22:20:20

Forgive him because he is a man?


Hell no, Clipped I am not one of the 'bless him he's incapable of seeing dirt because he has a penis' brigade. I do think that taking some responsibility for your own self care is important too. As I say, it is rare that DH or I suggest naps to each other, we just nap.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 05-Mar-13 22:39:01

I wonder who started this competitive napping?

I personally don't nap. If I did I wouldn't wake up again or I'd be a total pain in the arse for at least half an hour after my "nap" I also wouldn't get a good nights sleep due to pinging awake at bedtime grin

I have a toddler who won't sleep. Napping is the only thing that stops me going postal. I could competitively nap if there was a team.

I do wonder if the napping is actually family life avoidance.

AnyFucker Tue 05-Mar-13 23:58:24

Who are all these people napping all the time ?

I napped when I had a newborn. That's what you do.

Once you are out of the sleep deprived first few weeks (or months if you are very unlucky), you grow the fuck up and participate in family life like a grown up.

Until you are about 80yo. Then you have another excuse to "nap"

Billysilly Wed 06-Mar-13 00:06:22

He is a world class napper, always has been. Claims he sleeps better during the day than at night. On the whole I would prefer to sleep at night but after a bad night I would like the option of napping, instead of the assumption he will nap and I have to wait. He also often goes back to bed on a Sunday after my lie in which drives me mad as it wastes half the day.

Just spoken to him on Skype and tried the if you do this, I'll do that and he agreed without batting an eyelid. I think working on communicating my expectations might help.

I agree with the comments that I shouldn't have to explain what needs done but I and his mother to an extent have created someone who has never had to think about the running of the household and doesn't realise the amount of work it takes. I can't expect him to change overnight.

Today was a positive step anyway.

AnyFucker Wed 06-Mar-13 00:09:09

Tell him to stop napping his life away

one of these days he will wake up from a yet another bout of ridiculously self-indulgent daytime shut-eye to find his wife gone, and he's 20 years older

fgs, these man-children do my fucking head in

how do you keep your temper and/or a straight face....never mind an ounce of respect for them ????

ClippedPhoenix Wed 06-Mar-13 00:44:22

So you feel to blame then OP?

You and his mother have made him the way he is?


I'd put my money on the latter and her still having a huge influence on his behaviour. Mummy needs to butt out and her son needs to grow up.

badinage Wed 06-Mar-13 00:48:32

does this mean that you dont ask DH to help but expect him to see what needs doing and he should get on and do it to the same standard as you do things?

Avante-garde though this concept might be, men are perfectly capable of seeing an overflowing washing basket, a dirty oven and a sink full of pots. Women aren't issued with 'special domestic eyesight' at birth.

So yes, it's quite reasonable of the OP to expect her husband to see what needs doing just as clearly as she does.

Back to the point in hand, this is human psychology 101.

When someone's entitled, selfish and highly manipulative, they will always let someone else do the jobs they don't want to and if they do grudgingly have to do something, they'll fuck it up so badly that they'll never be asked to do it again.

Worse still, if they know there'll be no consequences at all for their behaviour, they'll not only carry on, they'll get worse.

People like this are prime candidates for affairs because they feel so hard done by at the contempt and bitterness their behaviour engenders, they think they are entitled to an escape with some doozy who doesn't have to live with them and either moans about her own lazy husband or soothes his fevered brow in competition with his nasty shrew of a wife.

OP you'd be better off realising that this about respect and love. Men who are this lazy and selfish simply don't have enough respect or love for their partners.

Once that penny actually drops the pathway ahead is clearer.

So you tell him this is the conclusion you've reached. He might protest and claim otherwise but if you don't feel respected or loved enough, there's no point trying to invalidate your feelings.

Work on this a bit more because you do need to get to the point where if he doesn't show you more respect and love, you will walk. But once you threaten it, you've got to mean it.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 06-Mar-13 00:49:42

As for the nap business, why? Im with AF on this.

I have however fallen asleep on the sofa after a hard days work before bedtime very infrequently.

badinage Wed 06-Mar-13 00:50:09

Aagh....not another mother being blamed for the ills of her son angry. Isn't there a dad figure that your husband modelled himself on, with predictable results?

ClippedPhoenix Wed 06-Mar-13 00:51:40

People like this don't need alternatives, they dont need to be given ultimatums that make us feel bad and act almost like them. They just need to go away.

crazycatlady82 Wed 06-Mar-13 00:54:07

Marriage counselling? Xx

Billysilly Wed 06-Mar-13 00:55:22

His dad does a fair amount of the housework now but worked away a lot when DH was growing up, so mainly DH, his mum and sibling.

No affairs, we've been together over 20 years.

badinage Wed 06-Mar-13 00:57:03

No affairs yet you mean. Give it time.

Billysilly Wed 06-Mar-13 00:57:21

If things don't improve I would consider marriage counselling.

Billysilly Wed 06-Mar-13 00:58:20

20 years is a lot of time.

badinage Wed 06-Mar-13 01:07:23

Oh I don't mean give him any more years if he doesn't buck up. I mean that 20 year marriages are prime candidates for midlife crisis affairs and just because one hasn't happened yet, don't think it couldn't. Your husband sounds so uncannily similar to how a friend's husband used to be throughout their 22 year marriage - and yes you guessed it, he had an affair.....

I think you need to view this 'napping' in a different way. It's not necessarily about tiredness. It's about hiding. If he stays up later when neither you nor the kids are around, he gets lots of 'him time' without anyone breathing down his neck asking or expecting him to do jobs. It's a very manipulative way of carving out free time.

If that's true that he stays up late, unless he's going to give up these naps you could ask him to use the twilight hours to iron, clear out a cupboard or drawer, clean the fridge or oven; any non-noisy task will do. But generally it's far better for family life when everyone's operating to a similar bodyclock, most of the time.

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