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Really fed up with DH - mid life crisis type post - long

(355 Posts)
BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 19:08:38

So, DH has a long history of being a bit of a grumpy old sod at home more often than not when it suits him, and lying in bed at every opportunity (at the weekend it's usually more or less all morning, plus at least a 2 hour nap in the afternoons, plus slipping upstairs for a bit more of a lie down at regular intervals whenever I am not looking). I have pointed out he is doing less and less with us as a family, that we have become a very stereotypically gendered household in some respects, and that he might be depressed but he replies:

1. No he isn't, He is just tired.
2. He works hard and commutes to London (NB I also have a full time job and commute to London, he replies his commute is half an hour longer each way and I get to work from home sometimes).
3. He needs more sleep than me.
4. He does some of the washing and cooks once a week or so.
5. He earns more than me which makes his job more important to propping up the lifestyle of the family.
6. Two weekends out of three in term time he takes the older two to the local station on a Saturday morning to get the train to school (20 minutes there and back, then he goes back to bed).

(I have posted on here in the past about the rampant hypochondria linked to the lie downs, but luckily that has now diminished to more or less tolerable proportions since encouraged by MN I told him to man up and that there was nothing wrong with him, although he did strut about in front of our Christmas day guests with a thermometer thingy in his ear at one stage, so the hypochondria has obv not gone completely).

Now he lost his dad a couple of weeks ago, and the funeral was yesterday. I have been doing all the necessary propping up and wifely support that you would expect and which is only right. However his reaction to this is like an extreme version of his normal-lying-in-bed-complaining-all-the-time-not-doing-much-with-the-family. When his mum died a few years back it was also extreme. I think it's probably not an exaggeration to say that he copped out of family life for an entire year on that occasion (I remember speaking to relatives about it for advice at the time, I was so exhausted and fed up). I had five, repeat five bereavements of my own during the same period, including one of my closest, dearest relatives, but they were more or less ignored because he was so wrapped up in himself and his own grief.

I am really worried I am facing another year or so of doing all the heavy lifting for the family emotionally and domestically while he disappears into his psychological defence cave. I am not sure I have anything left to give. Over the last year or so I have felt suffocated by his moods and needs for lie downs, absolutely suffocated, and imprisoned in the house while we wait for him to wake up/get up/get dressed/get washed and join in. It's like we are all perpetually in limbo, and when we do get out, he's such a wet weekend it's no fun any more. I struggle to do the whole thing on my own as my mobility isn't the best.

He never volunteers to take the kids to the park, play with them or anything - if I don't nag him or do it myself the 3YO would basically spend all weekend indoors more or less entertaining himself, and the older ones would just sit in their rooms. He does however run around in a complete frenzy on a Sunday evening at 9pm in an attempt to find their PE kits and get them to complete their homework, at which time we are all completely frazzled frankly.

When he is at home, DH disappears off regularly and if he's not in bed, after half an hour or so he will appear and say things like 'well, I've tidied the kids's rooms/tidied our rooms/put everything away' very proudly, when the reality is that this is a 5 minute job stretched out to 30 as I have already usually spent the morning on domestic tasks, and he is actually multi tasking in the most inefficient way possible - dabbling about doing a bit of a job here, a bit of a job there, never quite finishing anything, criticising the way I organise the house. If he runs out of these pointless domestic tasks to occupy himself, that's when he goes off to lie in bed for a bit, rather than do something with the kids.

I have tried playing his lying in bed game as well, to see what happens, but basically the kids just end up rather neglected and start fighting, and he gets even grumpier.

I am really exhausted with all this. It is not what I got married for, tbh. I have just snapped at him and told him to 'see a fucking counsellor FFS' blush and while I apologised straight afterwards, he has now driven off in a sulk to get away from the house. I am not getting what I need emotionally from this marriage at the moment, at all.

Oh dear, what on earth do other people do in this situation?

schobe Thu 04-Apr-13 19:16:16

God love I don't know but getting away from him does rather spring to mind. Sounds like you'd be no worse off without him there - possibly better off emotionally.

One of your problems at the moment is his recent bereavement. Despite his previous piss taking, he IS going to be struggling with his grief for a good long while.

But in your shoes I think I'd be asking for a trial separation before I went completely round the bend. You will look like the bad guy however.

taketheribbon Thu 04-Apr-13 19:32:38

I left. We were living abroad, and I told him I was moving back to the UK, with or without him.

He followed some months later. To be honest, I couldn't have cared less whether he came or not. He'd left me to do it all alone anyway, so what did it matter whether I really was. In fact, in some ways, it was easier not having him in the house. But he has 'bucked his ideas up' and things are marginally better.

FairPhyllis Thu 04-Apr-13 19:50:36

God, this sounds exhausting.

It sounds as though things never got properly resolved after the year he 'took out' when his mum died. How did things get back to normal? Did the fact your needs had been neglected for a whole year just get swept under the carpet? If that's what happened then it will be doubly harder to get him to acknowledge that he has to support you too. And to be honest it doesn't sound as if 'normal' is great either.

Would this be a situation where relationship counselling is appropriate? Possibly in conjunction with bereavement counselling? It would allow you to see whether he understands and cares enough about the impact his behaviour is having on you to change. You would then be able to make your mind up about the chances of things getting better. And if he refused to go, I would say fine, but I am going by myself to figure out whether this relationship is working for me. And his response to that will probably tell you what you need to know.

In the meantime I would get on with my life. I know that you said you have mobility issues, but I would do everything I could to make sure the DC and I had a full and interesting life, and leave him to make up his mind about whether he wants to be part of it. Don't hang around the house waiting for him. Just say, we are leaving at such and such a time, do you want to come with us, and then if he isn't ready, just go.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 19:52:03

Bloody hell I was not quite prepared for thinking about leaving him. I've been a single parent before for 3 years and it was not much fun. We have been together 15 years.

People always say what a lovely bloke he is, how supportive, yada yada, but I am not sure how other marriages work on the inside, I suppose. I ma not sure what to compare it to. I haven't got a compass really.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 19:53:27

BTW I have said all this to him, but he just takes offence and then I am suddenly painted as the naughty party. I think I am fed up of that too.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 19:54:30

Phyllis, I think he just laid in bed a bit less after the year out. He would never admit to having done the year in bed thing though. He always makes out I am exaggerating and in fact it is me who is high maintenance. I am not sure whether I am or not any longer.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 19:56:01

<small voice>

What do other people do at the weekend?

DIYapprentice Thu 04-Apr-13 20:00:46

I think you need to lay it on the line - either he gets counselling for his bereavement, or he gets the hell out of the house.

No way should the whole family suffer for a YEAR because of him. Of course he's going to mourn. But so do lots of others, and they do it without this sort of carry on.

So that gets the bereavement out of the way.

Now you need to get him to start participating in family life PROPERLY. Clearly he does a complete piss take out of cleaning up - make some lists and divide them up. He HAS to do his share. If he doesn't, then you make him take care of himself - cooking ALL of his meals, doing his own washing, looking after himself. He's acting like a sponge, taking everything and not giving back.

herbaceous Thu 04-Apr-13 20:01:25

Well, we're not married and only have one child, but DP tends to get up first, about 7, and lets me have a lie in, until about 8.30. Then we'll play with DS, have breakfast, read the papers, etc.

Then to the park, out for lunch, visit relatives or friends, etc. DS to bed at 7, us to bed at 11. Or we might go out, either together or individually. No naps are had, unless one or other of us is uber-tired, and then it's only 30 minutes or so.

Same goes for Sunday.

I'm afraid your DH sounds unbearable.

herbaceous Thu 04-Apr-13 20:02:06

Oh and DP does a huge clean of the kitchen on Saturday, and usually a vacuum. I'll have a go at the bathroom.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 20:03:47

He thinks going to work and bringing in money is giving back, I think, and he argues he does a fair proportion.

He has just gone off to his dad's old place for the night.

I am afraid if I start down the counselling/expressing dissatisfaction route I will end up fat, divorced, alone and with three kids in tow. I know that's a bit wimpy.

Flumpyflumps Thu 04-Apr-13 20:04:28

This sounds completely draining, I agree that relationship counselling could be an option, it just sounds like he is massively self centred and doesn't consider anything other than how HE is feeling.

Perhaps counselling may help open his eyes, the less one is 'inside your own head' and seeing another way to look at things may help?

Sorry that's really rambly!

At weekends either me or DH take DD to ballet the other has a lie in, DH watches some football and we go out for amchinese or a curry together, sometimes something like tgi Fridays, I have a wine or two and he drives us home.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 20:05:03

I am thinking half the problem is that we rarely do anything together in that laid back, co-operative sort of way. We do shifts. I have pointed this out, and said I hate shifts. He just seems to do everything possible to minimise his ability to nap.

TunipTheVegedude Thu 04-Apr-13 20:05:44

You need to come back to the basic rule, both partners should get an equal amount of free time.
If he chooses to use his to lie in bed, fine, but there is no justification for him getting several hours in bed when you are doing childcare and domestic work.

Flumpyflumps Thu 04-Apr-13 20:06:40

Aren't you pretty much alone already though? You haven't had support from him for ages despite FIVE bereavements of your own, sorry that sounds harsh.

chocoreturns Thu 04-Apr-13 20:06:53

before I split with my STBXH, I spent my weekend juggling a toddler, doing laundry, tiptoeing around him while he tinkered with a mountain bike/played call of duty/surfed the net/smoked in the garden. I begged and begged him to do things with me and DS as a family. He refused, played football every fri night and all of sunday morning until 1pm. He would 'do me a favour' and take out our DS for an hour or two on the Sunday pm, but I wasn't invited, ever.

NOW I see my friends, have breakfast parties at Costa with the kids where we all get croissants and jam, hang out with my family and go on playdates with other families.

I now realise that this 'world revolves around him' attitude was part of a pattern of EA behaviour and I am very well out of it. At the time, I just thought it was a rough patch and we should work through it (read: I should make it work). I guess my point is that 'normal' weekends for other families can be pretty shit too. The question isn't what other people do, it's how long you can live being unhappy about what you and your family do. It's no way to live feeling like a second class citizen in your own home. You may not need to LTB but it does sound like he needs a right kick up the arse, and some counselling, pronto.

I hope you get it fixed.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 04-Apr-13 20:07:46

Well his Dad died two weeks ago...I took a YEAR to get over the death of my Dad.

MolotovCocktail Thu 04-Apr-13 20:08:22

It seems to me that he might very well be depressed. How close was he to his DM? Was he like this before she passed away? It could be that her death hit him very hard, he struggled, now he's bereaved again and its all too much for him.

People act in weird ways when they're down, such as the hypochondria thing. Its like a manifestation of the internal mess in his head; a focus somehow, a way of taking control. He might not be aware that he's doing it. He might even be really irritating himself - its hard to say unless you talk.

If it is depression, regardless of the cause, it needs to be dealt with. Get him to see your GP and a referral if necessary. The way he's going on isn't 'normal', but as you have said he is grieving right now which will muddy the waters.

Hope you get things sorted.

AnyFucker Thu 04-Apr-13 20:09:40

I remember your previous posts about this lazy pisstaker

What does he actually bring to the table apart from $ ?

This isn't a partnership, it's a single parent family where one of the children happens to be bloke sized

trice Thu 04-Apr-13 20:10:07

Grief is not a competition and people handle it in completely different ways. I think you need to cut the poor man some slack.
You want him to do some family time at the weekend? Ask him for something concrete like taking the dcs to the pool for an hour or going out for a meal or a walk together. In between times let him hibernate. As a coping mechanism it sounds relatively harmless.
If he is still incapacitated by grief after three months suggest he tries counselling or ads.

doctorhamster Thu 04-Apr-13 20:10:58

It's really hard to advise because I don't know if he's depressed or if he just doesn't give a shit about you and the dc.

What's your gut instinct?

MintyyAeroEgg Thu 04-Apr-13 20:13:36

I also think he is probably depressed. Depression very often manifests itself as extreme tiredness.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 20:14:47

I think he cares an awful lot about us, we mean the world to him, but he has been depressed for longer than I can remember. I think he needs bereavement counselling because he doesn't realise you can't just cling on to one single family member like some sort of lifebelt without dragging them under as well.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 20:17:35

I actually had a breakdown about 18 months ago and I am on ADs, and I was still getting up at the weekends and letting him have lie ins, after the initial 6 weeks of the acute phase.

This is all really exhausting me, but I don't feel I am entitled to express this at home without getting my head bitten off.

FairPhyllis Thu 04-Apr-13 20:17:37

But there's always the possibility he just won't change. You are here looking for surefire ways to get him to change, but they might not exist. In which case, you would have to decide, am I happy to live like this? is this worth it?

I don't think this is an automatic LTB scenario. But it does sound like a 'he shapes up pdq or I reconsider our future' scenario. The 'doing things in shifts' thing sounds like you are basically not a team, and that is why he feels he can opt out and go to sleep. Personally I think relationships are about being a team. (Is he really sleeping when he naps, btw?)

What do people do at the weekends? Depends how old your children are, I guess? Go for a walk, go shopping, visit relatives, go out hiking for the day, take the kids to a museum/house/farm/zoo, swimming, cycling, go to the library ... Not every weekend needs to be a riot of excitement though. Going and buying the papers and doing gardening or cleaning or cooking is as good as it gets sometimes.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 20:19:10

I know I should cut him more slack in some respects, but it feels as though I have nothing left to give really.

FairPhyllis Thu 04-Apr-13 20:19:44

Cross posted. So you are on ADs. What are the chances that the stress of essentially living on your own is contributing to your depression?

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 20:22:56

If I am really honest with myself I think that must be a factor, yes.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 20:23:40

Kids at home are 15, 12 and nearly 4.

MavisGrind Thu 04-Apr-13 20:29:56

My XH is like this. I could have written much of your posts myself. The endless lie-ins and naps, the constant hypochondria. Family life on shifts and the utter self absorption.

My X went to couselling for about 4-5 years of our time together. Shortly before our 2nd DC was born I pointed out that the trips to his couseller were costing us a third of our income after our mortgage. I was told to get a job hmm

It has to be said, he's a much better father now as he's only got the dcs for small bursts.

I'm so much happier! I might be single for the rest of my life but I've achieved so much since he left (in the end life wasn''t fun enough apparently hmm) that I don't care. The dcs are fine and I'm not having to put up with a whole heap of nonsense anymore.

I hope you can find a way to resolve things so that you and your dcs are happy.

LadyApricot Thu 04-Apr-13 20:30:38

This could have been written by me. The only difference is your dh does slightly more than mine. I am at a loss.so so so bored and hate that I get up at 6am every morning for the children yet he lies in until mid day.
If I tried to stay in bed the dc's would be neglected and he'd get cross.
I wish I had an answer. Depression is he only thing I can think of. If they won't admit it though then what hope is there?
Counselling I guess?

ExcuseTypos Thu 04-Apr-13 20:38:36

I do feel for you.

Whatever his problem is he doesn't sound happy and you certainly aren't.

I think you must be very worried that he will need another year to get over his dad, so I understand why you lost your temper with him today. I think I'd be telling him you understand he will need time to get over his dad, but you cannot put up with the way it was last time. He has to get some help so he becomes part of the family again.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 20:48:26

It is very interesting hearing everyone's experiences and thoughts, so thank you for that.

I am seeing him tomorrow at the house, so I think I will try to take him for a pint and see if I can get him round to the idea of bereavement counselling. Perhaps we can see how that goes, and then if it isn't working, then Relate can come a bit later on, perhaps.

In the meantime, I think I will plan my weekends a lot better so I have activities scheduled that I can actually cope with on my own, for example I could take the smallest one swimming on a Saturday morning, and then go out for a coffee or something. That kind of thing.

PurplePidjin Thu 04-Apr-13 20:49:34

Iirc you're both academics?

Keep a diary. Write down exactly what he does and how long it takes on one page, and exactly what he does and how long it takes on the opposite page:

Mrs Boffin: 8am wake up, make tea, play cars with dc3. 8:25 make dc3 breakfast, help dc2 find green shoes. 8:30 shower, dress

Mr Boffin: 11am wake up. 11:30 get up, make tea. 11:40 shower. 12:15 collect dc1 laundry. 12:45 nap. 15:00 get up and ask Mrs Boffin to make lunch.

Then show him.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 20:51:39

Hahaha Purple, do you have a secret camera??

No, he's not an academic. I can't say what he does on here for outing reasons. He has quite a full on job but he does make a bit of a meal of some aspects of it.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 20:55:08

I think I might well do a diary, tbh.

MooncupGoddess Thu 04-Apr-13 20:59:02

Sounds really difficult, poor you.

I will just say that I think most bereavement counsellors to prefer to wait until a while (a few months?) after the death, as the vast majority of people feel dreadful and have no energy for a while after a close relative has died... it is absolutely natural and not seen as a problem that necessarily requires counselling.

I entirely understand why you are so concerned given his previous behaviour, but losing one's last parent is just devastating. Can you grit your teeth for a few months longer, while asking him to do specific tasks at home and with the children?

Ebayaholic Thu 04-Apr-13 21:00:18

The fact that you say if you make a fuss you will be a fat lonely single parent of 3 speaks volumes- does he not care enough about you to change things to make you happy? You don't seem to think so. Is it his way or no way? Have you no power within the relationship?

Charbon Thu 04-Apr-13 21:05:03

I think this is about laziness, selfishness and entitlement BoffinMum.

Plus a deep-rooted belief that the things he avoids doing are actually women's work.

I had a wry smile when you posted that everyone else thinks he's marvellous. That same sexism is alive and well in society at large and many working women will tell you endless tales of listening through gritted teeth when strangers, family or acquaintances remark on how wonderful their husbands are for looking after their own children, cooking a simple meal or ironing their own shirts. I'm often away with work and I get to hear this all the time about how lucky I am to have a husband who'll do any of that. We've often compared notes as a couple and it won't surprise you to hear that no-one has ever said the same to my husband about how 'wonderful' his wife is, doing all that while he's away.

Hypochondria is a form of lying, just as napping is a way of 'hiding' from family life and unpleasant chores.

I don't think this is about depression or bereavement at all. I can imagine you noticed a few of these traits and beliefs before you had the children, but that they have come to the fore in earnest since they came along and very hard work beckoned.

I'd do some analysis about what you really think underlies his behaviour and then tackle it head on, agreeing some new expectations of family life and load-sharing.

This is sounding familiar to me too. Dh has had the day off today. Dd has been at holiday club so he has had no child care to do. I've come back from work to find dd being babysat by the tv, the house a total sty and dh in bed ill. He may be ill, I don't know, I haven't really had time to check. (btw, I have multiple disabilities and am in a lot of pain today, but I have responsibilities so I keep going.....)

As for what to do about it. Things sometimes get better when I broach it / throw a strop, but he slips back into the pattern. He's recently started shift work and now he sleeps pretty much all the time he's not working. (and has impunity to sleep day or night) but I don't want to separate as I would lose some of my precious weekends with dd. I have her all to my self at the moment.

I sent dh to the drs a few years ago but he was told he wasn't depressed. He was just stressed. He used this to justify sleeping more, refused to get any help and subsequently lost his job. He's happier now but still slopes off to bed(or the pc) at the drop of a hat..... Put it this way, dd is never sure if he's at work or in bed as we see so little of him even when he is home.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 21:32:08

Charbon, you are right and I know this really. Nobody says well done to me for bearing him 3 sons, running his home, supporting his career and managing the rest of our domestic life. But he is a big saint for 'allowing me to have a career' and cleaning a toilet twice a year.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 21:34:02

You know, I think I am living with an old man sometimes, he's that lethargic, with so many medicines lined up beside his bed.

welcometomysillylife Thu 04-Apr-13 21:37:26

Mostly this behaviour is simply laziness. What woman with kids has the opportunity to lie in or go to bed during the day? It wouldn't enter our heads. Men do it because they can. It is also a choice that is saying they don't want to join in family life. Been there, done it, wouldn't put up with it again.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 21:38:46

I sometimes lie down for a bit, and make him step up to the mark, but it's more to make a point iyswim.

Hassled Thu 04-Apr-13 21:44:01

You asked what other people do at weekends.
DH works away all week every week. He's usually back Friday nights.
Sat morning he has a bit of a lie in - up at 9 ish. He takes DCs to music lessons, popping into a sumpermarket to get lunch/whatever en route. In the afternoons he usually takes the DCs to the football.
Sundays he's up early to coach DS3's sports team. Sunday afternoon we go out collectively or potter around/deal with homework.

You have the patience of a saint. What you describe is so far from normal I can't begin to quantify it. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this shit.

You don't mention redeeming features - are you still able to enjoy his company?

JulieCarp Thu 04-Apr-13 22:21:13

Can I ask ? does he sleep well ?
Im afraid he sounds very self absorbed - unless he is very unwell with the flu weekend long lie ins/ naps sound a bit much.
Its nice to have a bit of a lie in but he isnt being very fair.

In the Carp house we are usually up by 8 .DH will go for a run/cycle while I drink coffee and DC lumber about in the kitchen stripping it of food wink
I will then go for a swim/ sauna and then we have lunch together.
We might go shopping in the afternoon /garden/go for a walk/or just potter about .
DC might meet their friends and go into town.
Sundays are similar with a bit of cleaning thrown in but short of a little nap in front of the sport on tv noone goes back to bed unless ill.
Does he go out or get any exercise at all ?

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 22:29:09

He doesn't do any exercise really. He's getting a beer gut and man boobs and tbh I don't really fancy him much like that. I don't like fat men.

He belongs to an amateur dramatics club and from time to time they put on plays which involves intensive rehearsals and then two or three nights for performances. This will remove him from the household even more. He missed our 15th wedding anniversary, although he did apologise in front of the audience at the performance that night, and presented me with some flowers, and he was away for Mother's Day afternoon rehearsing (he spent the morning in bed). I have to say I had a major strop on Mother's Day after that, a full on grump. I made it clear that it made me feel utterly taken for granted.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 22:34:10

He says he sleeps badly and tracks it on his iPhone every night. I then have to listen to his bloody quantified self statistics every morning with his percentage rating, and look at his sleep graph. Frankly it looks from the stats that he sleeps just the same as the rest of us, but I have given up trying to get this message across to him. I have also told him that napping a lot is bad for sleep hygiene, but he doesn't seem to make the connection.

He also lies funny in bed. I have to keep well over to my side and I have a duvet, while he has a special ritual with a sheet and a blanket wrapped around him in a certain way. Apparently I give out too much heat in bed and regularly invade his side 'like Hitler invading Poland'. I am bloody fed up with his silly ways, I can tell you.

JulieCarp Thu 04-Apr-13 22:35:29

He spent Mothers Day morning in bed shock
Bloody hell ! I dont blame you for being in a grump . He needs a reality check but of course its now immensely difficult due to his recent bereavement.

AnyFucker Thu 04-Apr-13 22:35:43

christ, what a fuckwit he is

How do you stand him ?

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 22:38:08

AnyFucker, I think I am having to work that out at the moment. I was very happy before, I can't work out what happened really.

AnyFucker Thu 04-Apr-13 22:39:05

While you are working it out, he is having another kip while you run yourself ragged

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 22:41:08

He claims he is run ragged, and I am the villain of the piece if I suggest he's taking advantage.

Maybe I need to grow a pair. I don't know.

AnyFucker Thu 04-Apr-13 22:41:52

well, he would say that, wouldn't he ?

JulieCarp Thu 04-Apr-13 22:44:46

Ok am veering between anger on your behalf and wondering if he has some sort of deficiency .I dont know of any friends in 40s(guessing)that go to bed /lie in/nap all weekend.
I think he needs to see his GP and have a few tests - vit D /testosterone HB(anaemia) and take it from there.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 22:45:47

Thinking about it, I am not even allowed to watch what TV I like. He runs through things he has recorded and eventually we always go with what he wants. I get bored and go on MN or whatever and he says the tapping on the laptop annoys him. I don't even really like watching TV, tbh.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 22:46:05

He is mid 50s.

Tortington Thu 04-Apr-13 22:46:45

i think you need to both go to counseling.

Tortington Thu 04-Apr-13 22:46:54

together

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 22:49:02

That may be so, Custardo, but at the moment I am so fed up with it all I almost don't have the energy to even ring them up.

Hassled Thu 04-Apr-13 22:50:32

His dramatics aren't really all that amateur, though, are they? He seems to have done a fairly professional job here.

Either Julie's on to something and there is actually something wrong with him, or he's doing such a number on you that you're struggling to see what's "normal" anymore. I'm sure you probably know which it is - but if you need to be sure, make that GP's appointment, go with him, list the ailments and the exhaustion and whatever else and see what comes up.

Simontowers1 Thu 04-Apr-13 22:50:46

Apart from wedge OP, what is this douche bringing to the party?

yellowhousewithareddoor Thu 04-Apr-13 22:51:38

Not sure I can help but wondering if I ought to go back to the Dr. I am almost your husband (I'm not, I'm a SAHM).

My husband is away a lot and I have 2 small children. When he comes home all I want to do is sleep. I am permanently exhausted. I feel guilty as he works such long hours and often comes home to a messy home. I'd hate for him to be thinking as above. I don't want to be like this, I want to be up swimming and out with kids and cooking more interesting things but I'm permanently exhausted and just waiting for next chance to sleep. I don't think until this thread I'd realised how bad that was. :-(

CelticPromise Thu 04-Apr-13 22:52:04

This sounds awful.

I think the bereavement thing is a red herring really. I know everyone copes differently but I lost my mum a few months ago and I have carried on doing the stuff I always do, because you have to. So have the rest of the family. He's coping with work and am dram so it's not that he can't function. As you say, you have coped with bereavement, you've had no choice!

Weekends in our house... wine and telly on a Friday night, Saturday meet friends/watch sport/take DS out. We have a lie in each. Sundays I play sports usually so DH brings DS to watch or stays at home with him. I'm better at getting us out doing things but DH isn't reluctant, just slower to get off his arse, probably because he works ft and I am mostly a SAHM. He does a fair amount of housework too.

Your H sounds like a dead weight at the moment. I hope things get better. I would be insisting on Relate and considering leaving I think.

Tortington Thu 04-Apr-13 22:55:20

i know from personal experience, that if you say something infront of a counselor in these situations - suddenly the stupidness hits you.

the stuff that you've done for years - I became embarrassed at my enabling, i know dh was embarrassed for his part.

loadsof things we all do on a daily basis and take for granted is not normal - saying it with a third party present really clarified that for me.

managing expectations is key though, i mean - some stranger can give you communication techniques, can helps some realisations but they don't fix anything.

i found it really useful just recognising how stupid i was and that actually all this 'stuff' was not how normal people acted.

and your DH ( forgive me) sounds very very strange

Gosh, I remember one of your threads about his raging hypochondria and wondered how things were.

I really don't think he's going to change. Question is, how many more years of his selfishness are you prepared to endure?

AvrilPoisson Thu 04-Apr-13 22:56:02

Oh boffin, I'm so sorry you're going through this. I have name-changed to post, as I'm ashamed that I find myself in pretty similar circumstances, barring the bereavements. People on here think I'm so together, and such a strong supporter of equalities, but my husband behaves in a similar manner, and I have no idea what to do about it.

He does nothing within the home, though he does childcare/parenting, but only the practical stuff, feeding them breakfast, taking them to the park (obviously not recently!) supervising their play etc, none of the planning everything out, making sure it all happens type stuff (for example, he has never once in 8 years arranged childcare/after-school/holiday care for our children, nor organised their stuff for school- he wouldn't have a clue what to pack for them going back after Easter hols).

He has cleaned the loo once in the 7 years we've lived in this house, never the basin hmm He has never done any laundry- I mean honestly never put a load on in the 15 years we've had a washing machine. He rarely cooks, if he does, it's only preparing something I've previously cooked and frozen, or oven-ready type food, fish fingers and chips type thing. He doesn't menu-plan, or food shop other than essentials such as bread, milk, yoghurt- he doesn't drive so can't bring back a large shop, but he never does the online shop either. He doesn't do the school run of 4 miles, except on rare occasions when I have an early meeting; he has brought them home from school once. In short anything to do with home and children is left to me.

And the lie-ins... he will lie in bed until I get up with the children, and then stay there until I make him rise. He feels he deserves this because he'll have been up later the night before "working", however he is only working on his own 'projects', tinkering really, and that is interspersed by reading things, etc, essentially his own free time. He is a workaholic, and he does work incredibly long hours, which is how we got into this situation prior to having children, when he would work 16, 18, 20 hours a day, 7 days a week.
He will wander off in the afternoons, and I'll find him in bed 'resting his back' or his eyes hmm And he's frequently 'ill' necessitating release from childcare duties. He was very very ill with swine flu in the first wave of it, and it has had an impact on his health since, however he needs to rest-up even with colds, despite me and the children having the same cold.

I just don't know how to change things, and I don't want to LTB, as my children love him so much. If he's ever away for work (occasionally goes away for a week abroad) things are so much easier, but I do not see that life as a lone parent would be better, as I would still have to do everything.

I don't know the answer, but I just wanted you to know you're not alone. thanks

schobe Thu 04-Apr-13 22:58:41

I have PMT and this is making me enraged.

I would say do your own sleep graph and do the diary of what you do and what he does.

But then I realise that life is just too short. He would disbelieve and challenge either data set and produce his own 'evidence' that he is extraordinarily hard done by and hard-working.

Honestly, I just cannot get past the question of what grown up with children (and he has had at least one child for 15 years) thinks they can still have lie-ins past, say 9:30am, at the latest. And that's pushing one's luck and needs to be repaid with a similar chunk of time for the other parent to nap or have time to themselves later that day. I would say the same if you were a SAHM too, but he doesn't even have that as a spurious stick to beat you with.

I have posted before on threads which touch on depression (disclaimer: not bereavement though) and often been a bit flamed. I am a sufferer of depression (very serious at times) but I strongly believe that I must take full responsibility for it and it must impinge upon the emotional wellbeing of my family members as little as is humanly possible. If I'm getting too bad, I need to be told in no uncertain terms and then I need to deal with it.

If this means ADs, counselling, exercise, whatever, then I will try it as my family is actually more important to me than my illness.

AvrilPoisson Thu 04-Apr-13 22:59:52

Should have said- I work full-time btw, not a SAHM.

Charbon Thu 04-Apr-13 23:01:18

Believe me, I hear this story a lot and it's got precisely nothing to do with health (apart from unhealthy lifestyles) and more to do with an attitude of mind.

At its absolute core root is a belief that houses and families are women's work and that he as the only man, is the most important person in the household.

That's why he bores you with his sleep statistics, makes a meal of everyday work problems and feels entitled to absent himself from family work; because other people would benefit from it and not just him. The Am Dram stuff made me smile; the rapturous applause just feeds this.

AvrilPoisson Thu 04-Apr-13 23:03:10

yellow- the difference is you are working flat out, caring for 2 small children- they are very hard work. You should get your thyroid checked though, as that can cause excessive tiredness.

schobe Thu 04-Apr-13 23:06:29

Yes, the am dram thing is possibly a bit telling. He announced how thankful to you he was in front of an audience where they would all think what a great guy he was. Did he tell you that when nobody else was listening?

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 23:18:20

Interesting, no he didn't tell me that, he just announced the dates clash and I didn't get a say in what happened.

Avril, thanks for that. My DH is only doing organisational things if I insist on it, and he is starting to bring to it learned incompetence, for example he did not send the fax booking our holiday (although I made all the other arrangements) and he did not pay various bills having claimed to have lost the invoices and then forgotten. He puts it in terms of me 'forgetting' to tell him to do it.

Look, it's perfectly all right to dump a man. It is not compulsory to have one in your life. If you've got one like this, throwing him out of the house means less work but you also still get money from him.

Having a man like this, self-obsessed whiny and lazy, sucks all the joy out of life for you and DC, who will be growing up aware that they 'mustn't disturb daddy' and that' Daddy is important and what he says goes.'

joanofarchitrave Thu 04-Apr-13 23:22:19

He sounds classically depressed and probably has been since that first bereavement. You sound almost at the end of your tether. Are you getting any help for depression on top of the ADs? Is the dose right?

I think you should state to him that you are convinced he is very depressed, that he has seemed to be that way since the death of his mother, you are concerned about him and that you want him to go to the GP, talk to his occupational health service if any, and request help and keep requesting it until he gets it. And then I think you should say that you are struggling to be the wife he needs, that you need some help yourself and you are going to get it.

Could a parent of yours or other relative or friend drop everything and come and stay with you for a fortnight, so that you don't feel you're alone in harness and you can do some fun things with another adult there? Can you move into a separate bedroom for a bit, or sleep with the kids so that he can have his space for sleep (actually tbh so that you can be free for a little while?) Next time he starts on about his sleep diary, ask him 'do you have a feel for how long you will need to chart sleep for - do you notice things improving at all?' Keep banging away at the idea of a sleep diary being a short-term measure to identify problems, not a hobby (or at least not a hobby you're prepared to share).

I do think that parental bereavement is a major issue and he does deserve support from you. It is not unheard of to have lie ins and naps as a parent blush. It is not OK for you to struggle on with this all alone until... what? you crack, or leave?

Charbon Thu 04-Apr-13 23:22:20

Does his boss have to remind him to do everyday jobs BoffinMum? If he fails to do them, does he blame him or her? To the person's face?

Or is it just at home that he has learned to be incompetent?

AnyFucker Thu 04-Apr-13 23:22:58

Then he blames you for his fuckwittedness, double win for him

This learned helplessness is just manipulation on his part

schobe Thu 04-Apr-13 23:25:59

I guess if you are not prepared to LTB you just need to get analytical.

Ensure that all the things he is meant to do will result in something highly aversive to him if he 'forgets' and, if you're feeling kind, very reinforcing for him if he succeeds.

'Don't shoot the dog' by Karen Pryor is a handy manual.

Or you could accept that you actually only have 3 children, not 4, and that life is in fact too short. <Sorry, I did say I had PMT.>

LondonNinja Thu 04-Apr-13 23:26:11

He sounds ill - depression or something more fundamental. Has he always been like this?

Can absolutely see why you're being driven mad btw. It sounds exhausting.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 23:27:26

I am off to bed now, alone luckily as he is at the other house. I will think about all this and come back tomorrow. Thanks so much for all your thoughts, everyone. xx

schobe Thu 04-Apr-13 23:27:58

SGB always comes along and says what I'm secretly wanting to yell.

However, it is so easy to say and my life is far from perfect too.

AnyFucker Thu 04-Apr-13 23:29:09

One's own life/relationship doesn't have to be perfect to acknowledge this bloke is a dick of the Highest Order

Charbon is making a lot of sense.

He sounds like a lazy fuckwad to me.

DH has some tendencies towards this too. I stopped waiting for him and started planning and doing things with the DDs at weekends. We really did leave him behind, mouth hanging open, about half a dozen times. Now he comes with us and even plans things himself for us to do (that way the family does what he wants grin instead of what I want. He's figured it out, bless)

He is "on the front foot" family-wise now, engaged, participating, interested. only every once in a while he slides back to his old ways and disappears back into his man-cave, watches telly and drinks all night and then is useless the next day... in which case I send one of the DDs to jump on him around 11am and make as much noise as possible grin

schobe Thu 04-Apr-13 23:30:14

A 'doho' if you will.

pollypandemonium Thu 04-Apr-13 23:43:58

I thought at first he might be suffering from depression but now I think he's just being lazy. There are so many men like this, and mostly probably those in their mid 50s who perpetuate this pointless housework/family work conflict because they refuse to co-operate equally.

But as a last resort excuse, I wonder whether the bereavements have made him regress slightly into his parents shoes. When we lose our parents we lose a large chunk of our cultural history and I wonder whether he feels some subconscious pressure to revisit his parents cultural values?

Whatever the reasons he is behaving like a retired old man.

I must say I am very sad to hear this coming from you Boffin, as you are one of the nicest, most well balanced and intelligent people on here. You don't deserve to be made miserable.

How long have you been together?

pollypandemonium Thu 04-Apr-13 23:49:57

DOHO grin

CalamityKate Thu 04-Apr-13 23:58:51

See reading threads like this always leaves me wondering if I'm just a bit intolerant because I would NOT be able to tolerate what you've described for more than a few weeks. If that.

I would fall out of love. I know I would. I couldnt carry on loving someone so wet and miserable and lazy. I don't know if that's a good thing or not.

BoffinMum Fri 05-Apr-13 08:10:29

Polly, thanks for the compliment. I try to be a reasonable person and balance up my natural diva tendencies for the sake of the rest of society. Perhaps on here I have managed it in some small way. wink

We met in 1996, got married in 1997, had first DC in 1998.

His mother did a lot of afternoon naps and moaning about her health. I think he may have picked this up from her. Eventually she got a 'proper' health problem and nobody believed her for ages because she had cried wolf so often.

DrGarnettsEasterMixture Fri 05-Apr-13 09:20:47

Was really shocked to see this was you BoffinMum-you don't know me, but I've always enjoyed your posts (and would never have had you down as a diva! ;)) It does sound like your DH has learned this kind of behaviour from your MIL, and it's clearly really damaging your relationship and family life, and has been for some time.

I am ok with how DH and I split the housework-he does all the laundry, I do the cooking and we have a cleaner once a week for a proper clean but I did have a meltdown last week about the ongoing stuff-wiping the kitchen surfaces, hanging coats up when we get in, shoes on the rack etc. It was only me doing those things, so if I wanted to keep on top of it (small house, so can look cluttered/messy very quickly) I was hanging his coat up, putting his opened post in the letter rack after he'd abandoned it, putting stuff away in the living room when we went to bed at night so it was tidy when we got up the next morning etc. I had asked him to do stuff, and he'd do it once, then never again. So I told him the truth-that I felt like I had two children, and that he was one of them. How bloody relentless and depressing it is to clean the kitchen in the evening, then get up the next morning to find he has made a sandwich and there is butter and crumbs smeared over the surface, the bread left open to go stale, milk drips on the counter and his plate sitting on top of the dishwasher. That I was dreading the Easter holidays, because it wouldn't be a holiday for me, it would just be more time in the house for him to make a mess that I had to clean up. That I had a little daydream that he would have a work course that sent him away for a week, because it would be so much easier to keep on top of things if he wasn't there blush He was absolutely shocked and horrified, and embarrassed. He said he knew I had routines for me and DS, and he'd just left me to get on with things and thought it was ok that he didn't follow the same routine hmm I pointed out that with three of us in the house, 50% of the adults creating mess and not clearing it up was clearly going to have an impact.. He had absolutely changed-seems to get it at last, and it's quite a turnaround for me to be able to sit and read in the evening, knowing that we've both spent ten minutes tidying/cleaning, and the house is in order. I hope things will stay this way, and if they don't, I'll have no hesitation in reminding him. But for now, that's good enough for me.

We had something similar with DS when he was very tiny-DH would take him so I could have a lie in, and I'd get up to find DS in the (wet) nappy he'd been wearing all night, his pyjamas, lying on the floor while DH was lying on the sofa in the living room with the curtains closed watching an action film. Now DH gets that giving me a lie in means taking DS, but also getting him changed, dressed, breakfasted, opening the curtains downstairs and then playing with DS/taking him for a walk/putting him down for a nap when he's tired. I don't much like having to spell out every single step of the process, but it does seem that once I have done, DH will absolutely do all of the steps. I'd love for him to take the initiative more, but he has actually planned a family day out for May, so we're getting there!

I suppose the difference is that your DH isn't taking any of your conversations on board-not just that, but he's actually turning it round to make it your fault hmm Do you think you could shock him into seeing how little he is contributing, or is he so self-absorbed that he'll twist it to make it your fault anyway?

BoffinMum Fri 05-Apr-13 09:27:54

DrGarnett, I nearly name changed and then I thought sod it, it's not my fault I need advice from the MN Massive, and anyway, I have some good friends on here.

I think he will twist it. I have been pretty clear to him that his behaviour us unacceptable but he just starts to say I am treating him like a school child, or lists my supposed misdemeanours, or stomps off until I have to apologise to keep the peace. He is not getting it. Absolutely not getting it.

I am reluctant to go to Relate as he'll just do the same there. I can imagine him sweet talking some counsellor with his charm and going on and on about the need to comprise and be considerate to each other, not realising he has been taking advantage for a very long time.

MavisGrind Fri 05-Apr-13 09:30:53

Morning Boffiin. TBH the more you post about your H the more he sounds like my DH. I don't think there's a lot you can do about him really. He might go down the route of 'sorting it all out' but in my experience he may well concentrate on elements that aren't contributing to the fact that he's a tool to live with IYSWIM.

My X spent years in therapy but if it helped him personally it made absolutely no difference to our home life. Sorry!

midgeymum2 Fri 05-Apr-13 10:18:48

Hi op. You sound like a sensitive, caring and rational person. I think that if someone with these traits is resenting their partner's behavior to such an extent that even the death of his father doesn't generate understanding then things have to change. I can see why you feel like this but it is not healthy for you. For me I need a partner who is fully 'in' the relationship, this halfway house is no good for anyone. If you were employing him presumably he would have got his p45 ages ago?! You need to put it to him that things need to change and be specific and give times or dates by which he needs to be in a position to be a fully functioning family member. If you love him you could sit down, discuss the thing that are important to both of you and decide the timescale together and write it down. This might give you an opportunity to identify which issues are medical, due to, depression or grief and which are simply down to lazy or selfish behavior. I think you need to feel his willingness to change. You cant make a marriage alone it needs to be a partnership - that's the whole point.

NatashaBee Fri 05-Apr-13 10:34:54

Bereavement or not, he sounds very difficult to live with. Personally I'd make a 'housework graph' and show it to him every time he goes on about his 'sleep graph'. I would start by making a list of everything that needs to be done at the weekend and dividing up the tasks, so he can see what share of the housework he's taking on.

BoffinMum Fri 05-Apr-13 10:56:16

Midgey, I have sat him down a lot and tried to tell him all this stuff lovingly but it hasn't really got me anywhere, really.

I do think bereavement counselling might be very helpful for him as he definitely has issues and he would be the first to admit that. Plus he found the body on this occasion. So that would freak anyone out. That might start him on the road to a more positive home relationship generally, you never know.

BoffinMum Fri 05-Apr-13 10:57:08

Midgey, you are right about marriage needing to be a partnership, and I haven't felt this one has been like that since I had DS3, I think.

PlainBefuddled Fri 05-Apr-13 10:57:33

He sounds like my friend's DH who was clinically depressed. He went on ADs and there has been a marked improvement.

wetsand Fri 05-Apr-13 11:01:02

Spending an excessive amount of time in bed, combined with bereavement, sounds like depression to me (it was for me).

www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/depression.aspx This is a depression self-assessment from the NHS. Try gently suggesting that he completes it.

Physical exercise helps. So try going out for a walk or a bike ride at the weekend.

Try a walk somewhere nice where you can stop for a coffee and a cake en route. Make a plan the night before, such as what time you will leave and what time you will all get up to be ready for that time. Then make sure you do it at that time! It will help him get out of bed, and the exercise will do you all good.

DIYapprentice Fri 05-Apr-13 11:58:11

I'm sorry, but all of those saying 'depression' - pfft to that. He has a LONG history of doing this, but he can get his lazy arse out of bed to go and do his amateur dramatics???!!!

No, there may be some mild depression that might make it harder, but I really doubt there's major depression here. He's just a lazy arse who has worked out how to play his wife to get exactly what he wants, and that's to do fuck all work in the house.

Boffin - what do you want to happen? You need to be clear about that, and not just have some vague 'I want things to be better' ideal.

You need to set down specifics because just 'talking' to him hasn't worked for many, many years.

What's the first thing? Do you want your own sleep in? Do you want him to have less naps during the day? Do you want him to do more housework - therefore some specific chores that could be allocated to him? Do you want to have a choice as to what is on the TV sometimes?

You need to set some small goals/lines in the sand, and see how it goes. If he doesn't show willing to do even some small things, then I think you have your answer as to whether he loves and respects you (and you need BOTH love and respect) enough for the marriage to work. If he can't tackle some little things, you haven't got a snow flakes chance in hell of him being willing to tackle the larger issues.

AvrilPoisson Fri 05-Apr-13 12:46:13

i was thinking about this last night Boffin, and I too had been surprised this was your thread. I wondered whether you DH's excuse would be similar to mine when I raise issues, that he doesn't do things because it wouldn't. Be the way that I wanted them done. I am a highly organised, efficient person, as I believe you are (well, tbh I have learnt plenty from you, via your posts, blog etc), and he is the complete opposite, absolute architypal absent minded professor type.

pollypandemonium Fri 05-Apr-13 16:59:20

Bereavement schmereavement. I have watched 3 immediate family members die and lost a fourth over the past few years. I have been desperately bereft and had to deal with the horrendous fallout of children having lost a parent, without a will and with custody issues. I actually did spend a couple of days over easter in my pajamas all day but I have still kept everything together. As a parent you can't just give up and put your feet up however much your mlind wants to escape the reality.

Although I do stand by my suggestion that when parents die their children often pick up the family traits more.

DrGarnett, your husband and your experience are exactly the same as mine. The difference is I've been through all the explanations, discussions and family meetings, counselling, lists, leaving-the-book-open-at-the-page-on-his-pillow and nothing has changed bar my ability to expect nothing.

Yet still we are having the same arguments, my disbelief at his inability to do the right thing (pick up after himself - that's all) and him turning my request (I always ask nicely) into a conversation about 'well what have you done'.

Kids are sick of his lack of cooperation and so am I. I wait expectantly for good advice on this thread (bearing in mind we have been together since Like a Virgin was in the top 20)!

It's like living with a 20 year old student.

DrGarnettsEasterMixture Fri 05-Apr-13 18:44:57

Sorry to hear that polly, it's pretty pathetic, isn't it? I actually said that to him-he said 'I don't know what needs to be done!' and I said very carefully and slowly 'Grow up. You are an adult. Look around the room-if things are on the floor, pick them up and put them away. If something is dirty, clean it. Remember all the things you see me doing, and do some of them. I don't want my life to be easier and more pleasant without you here, but right now, it would be' blush

I don't think I was threatening to chuck him out, but it was quite a stark pointing out that he was causing more hassle just by being present in the house. Sorry yours hasn't pulled his socks up-I hate the idea of women just being dragged down and down into this depressing place where them doing everything is the default and men doing any tiny fucking thing is seen as deserving of applause and comment.

AuldAlliance Fri 05-Apr-13 20:17:24

Oh, Boff, I'm so sorry to read all this.

It is just so sad, as are the posts from other MNers in similar situations. As you know, I'm not exactly delighted with the sharing of responsibilities and tasks in the Auld household either. What is it about men?

I've seen you both in RL in your home surroundings and so i am hesitant about posting here: would you rather I e-mailed you?

Sending support...

BoffinMum Fri 05-Apr-13 21:47:01

Well, we went for a pub lunch, and he announced that the reason he is do stressed is that he needs to be able to go away for 24h breaks on his own as he is always having people make demands on him.

Me too, I said, I need 24h breaks etc.
He snapped at me.

He then came out with his usual justifications for lying in bed, etc. I gently shook my head every time he came out with one, contradicted him, and said that I did think he needed counselling as it just wasn't normal, his sleeping. I reminded him he was having naps and sleeps adding up to 14-16 hours a day. He said that's because he was different and needed more sleep than most people, not least because during the week he gets up 30 minutes before me every day. shock

We fell out at this point, and I went back to the cottage first.

He then came back and announced maybe he would spend his inheritance on a place near the boys' school and live there during the week. I just said oh, don't you want to live with me then, in a nice way. He then was quiet for a bit. I don't think he meant it.

I did not broach things like feeling neglected. I just decided to behave assertively and like a bloke. I made sure I walked ahead of him when we were out and did not wait while he faffed about. We had to go home in separate cars and luckily I had left hardly any petrol in the one he used (it's usually him that does that to me). I went off first and left him to do the washing up, and close down the cottage. I currently have my channel of choice on the TV and he has rolled home an hour later than me. I have put clean sheets on the bed but not put on the sheet and blankie for his side, nor his stupid chillow insert thing. The bed is made up how I like it.

I keep checking for fledgling testicles and while they are not there yet, I do feel I may be about to grow some.

BoffinMum Fri 05-Apr-13 21:48:55

Auld, email if you like.

AnyFucker Fri 05-Apr-13 21:54:46

channel those cojones

nurture them

water them, help them grow

but don't wait too long

atm, although you sound like the kinda person I would want to hang out with, you are acting like a doormat

this is not a "special" person in the correct meaning of the term, although he certainly thinks he is deserving of special consideration...and you are supplying it

sorry x

BoffinMum Fri 05-Apr-13 22:16:31

AnyFucker, be gentle with me. I am new to this. I am sure I can learn fast.

I have wanted to hang out with you too ever since you changed your Xmas name to AnyFuckerForAMincePie. That was inspired. grin

BoffinMum Fri 05-Apr-13 22:17:34

I have such a busy day planned for DH tomorrow. He won't know what hit him.

AnyFucker Fri 05-Apr-13 22:19:49

I don't think you are "new" to this really

You know exactly what you are colluding with, and have been for some time sad

mrslaughan Fri 05-Apr-13 22:28:46

All I wanted to say boffin, is that I hope you manage to get you (not so) DH to engage with the family.

All I can think is, if he actually got up, got energized, (got fit - ie actually did some exercise) engaged with the family, he may not need so much sleep.
Clinically depressed or not - exercise will help his lethargy

I seriously would find it hard not to have killed him.... He would have driven me crazy!!

MavisGrind Fri 05-Apr-13 22:32:40

Aww, Boffin, well done! If you'd said your H was an academic then I'd swear he was my X....apparently he needs more sleep than most because all the thinking he has to do for his job makes him exceptionally exhausted and I couldn't possibly understand this, not having a doctorate hmm

Be kind to yourself, and I really hope you can get through to him. He'll be full of more shit while you make your point but stand firm! and listen to AF

BoffinMum Fri 05-Apr-13 22:33:37

A bit of me wants you all over here to stage a 7am intervention on my behalf. Wet sponges and everything. How great would that be?

I might do a live waking him up thread actually.

AnyFucker Fri 05-Apr-13 22:34:06

I'm on your side, Boffy smile

BoffinMum Fri 05-Apr-13 22:37:00

Mavis, tell your DH I do have a doctorate and strangely I need only 7.5 hours a night. Perhaps he isn't that clever if all the thinking exhausts him. wink

Charbon Fri 05-Apr-13 22:38:06

BoffinMum have you thought that this might be an opportunity to separate? He mentioned the inheritance and so could this be a good time financially to consider separation and shared residence, when he wouldn't be able to sleep when he's in sole charge of the children?

I don't want to be presumptuous, but I can't imagine your sex life is all that you'd want it to be or that your desire is strong. Add this to the sheer exhaustion you must be feeling, might it be time to think the unthinkable and at least give his proposal some serious consideration, but make it a formal separation?

BoffinMum Fri 05-Apr-13 22:38:44

Christ I am practically getting chest hair just thinking about that, AnyFucker. I may even stop plucking my lady tache.

JulieCarp Fri 05-Apr-13 22:40:15

He needs to have 24 hour breaks because he is stressed and demands are made on him shock
Im sorry but he is an adult - Does he ever consider anyone but himself.
He has 3 children and a wife - do they disappear when he is having one of his moments ??!!
We all have moments when we are stressed and probably dream of lying in bed alone,no stressors or demands but ... we have responsibilities and children who need us and make do with a cup of tea and a fair bit of chocolatebrew wine or running,walking,swimming .
He doesnt appear to have developed any of the coping skills required when dealing with the ups and downs of family life and you and your children are bearing the brunt sad

AnyFucker Fri 05-Apr-13 22:40:24

well, King Kong is just starting on ITV 3

MavisGrind Fri 05-Apr-13 22:41:25

I'm soooo frustrated on your behalf with this though as I know just what it's like. I was speaking to a friend today about what it was like to be married to XH and I realised that in over 12 years of being together we went away for a weekend on our own twice, and that I spent most weekends on my own, or laterly with the dcs, as he was asleep.

What a fucking waste (and why I'm determined to get out and do stuff now!)

I'm not actually suggesting you LTB as I wouldn't actually have chosen to be a single parent. However unless your H is going to undergo a radical change you're always going to pick up the slack where he lets you down.

I used to do 90% of everything when I was married - that extra 10% is much easier to cover when there is no seething resentment that I'm not actually in a partnership.

Apologies blush rant over!

Now then, where would you like me to aim the cold, wet sponge.. grin

BoffinMum Fri 05-Apr-13 22:41:40

Charbon, I'm going to have a go at kicking him up the arse first, I think.

MavisGrind Fri 05-Apr-13 22:46:00

Ha ha ha, I'd love to point out that he's actually shit at his job but this would just be met with the long held belief that he is impossibly important to the continuation of the mental evolution of humankind and I just don't get it. hmm Yeah. Really.

Honestly, I don't think all academics are idiots wink but some are just total arses..

Charbon Fri 05-Apr-13 22:46:32

I hope he changes. But I'm still of the view that this is deep-rooted sexism at work here and not just laziness and selfishness. I honestly think you'll have to tackle that first before seeing any improvement. I think even though he might be the sort to spout equality and is intelligent enough to publicly espouse it, he doesn't truly believe in it or think it applies to him.

AnyFucker Fri 05-Apr-13 22:48:42

This guy thinks he is advancing the human condition ?

Those who sleep, die

Really they do

MavisGrind Fri 05-Apr-13 22:53:43

AF I wish I'd been on MN ten years ago... I so would have kicked him out (or at least realised what shit I lived amongst and not been so clueless when he finally left)

Yep, he really is That Important. Fucker.

AnyFucker Fri 05-Apr-13 22:56:46

Ah, wish fulfillment is a glorious thing smile

I wish I had MN at various points in my life.

StephaniePowers Fri 05-Apr-13 23:11:25

Boffinmum I can erm sympathise with a lot of what you say.
My dh is a bit lacking in the old lustre these days and it is pretty much down to lack of testosterone, for which he has been tested and had things prescribed. He keeps missing appointments but the responsibility is missing from his repertoire hmm I am not sure how long I can be arsed encouraging him to reschedule appointments and tolerating him missing them.
Anyway food for thought, not that it negates the dragging, dreary feelings you have.

marriedinwhiteagain Fri 05-Apr-13 23:16:55

Just a thought but:

Poor sleeping at night
rituals with sheets and blankets and heat
exhausted in the day plus minor ailments
needs to nap
Stressed and a short fuse

Apart from all the other isssues, has he had his thyroid checked. I recall similar symptoms 20 odd years ago and it was a raging, out of control thyroid.

BoffinMum Fri 05-Apr-13 23:18:36

Well we have MN now, like some sort of karmic gift.

I continue with my offensive. I make him walk across the room for everything. I make him fetch and carry. I hid his Private Eye collection that he relies on for entertainment during his long toilet personal space interludes. He was confused about the sheet/blanket absence but I just said I found it uncomfortable to have them on my side as well as a duvet. I bought cheap frying steak for his Saturday night treat. I will tell the kids he has promised to make them pancakes first thing, when they wake up. Mwah hah hah.

I am also going to buy myself some silk pyjamas with money from the current account. shock

BoffinMum Fri 05-Apr-13 23:19:50

No, I have frogmarched him to the doctor in a number of occasions, and he has attended a sleep clinic, and there was fuck all wrong with him.

Boffin in my mind you definitely appear to be growing a pair.

Well done, keep it up.

MavisGrind Fri 05-Apr-13 23:29:08

Boffin out of interest, how does he treat other people who are close to him - eg his DM or DF? He doesn't seem to have much respect for you and I wonder if this is because he doesnt' have respect for anyone or if he's just got used to taking you and your dcs for granted?

racingheart Fri 05-Apr-13 23:46:29

Yes, Boffin, yes. Silk PJs just for starters. Do lots of fun things and easy things. You have had a really rough few years. You've been very unwell too. Both of you are on a knife edge and laying into each other. I'd back off him for a while, for no other reason than it isn't working and if confrontation doesn't have the desired effect, you need another tactic.

Please try and make life very very easy for yourself for a while. I know it sounds trite, but trite works sometimes.
Get out a stack of funny silly films and watch them with DC.
Buy very easy meals or ready meals/take aways for a week or two if you can afford it.

Get your older DC to each cook for at least one night a week. Every week. Even if they just stir pesto into boiled pasta and open a bag of salad. Don't make it a chore or battle of wills, but a pleasure. (And make the deal that whoever cooks also washes up, so they don't use every pan in the house.)

Ask DC to do their own washing - again - not as penance, and certainly not because you tell them you've had enough of being the go-to skivvy - otherwise you help them buy into the myth that housework is slavery and beneath them. It's not. It's no big deal and everyone should be sharing the load. It's part of them learning independence.

Then you are down to doing your own and your pre-schoolers washing - nothing else on the laundry front, with two nights off from cooking a week. Get a take away or ready meal for a third night.

Use that time to rest and have fun. You sound like there's not much joy in your life. day to day, and you deserve to get that back. It's not your job to have to bark orders at your family. They are all, except the 3 year old capable of pulling their weight. Show them how and then let them, nicely. Take all the bitterness and confrontation out of it.

For now, just give yourself a mental break from him and have more fun at all times, with DC, with him, if at all humanly possible, certainly without him. You don't sound like you like him very much and yet you don't seem to want him to leave. He won't help himself in any of the ways you suggest, so you need to just allow yourself a breather from being so caught up in his lethargy and misery.

Can you make a list of stuff you'd like to do with or without your DC, that won't leave you feeling washed out - anything from what music to listen to, to ready prepped food you'd love to eat? Then do some of it, have some of it each day. It's not an answer to your problem but it is a break from it, and you need a break.

Could you face going for a pint with your OH and not talking about your issues, but just having a drink? He's not behaving well but you both sound like you are locked into your own private misery without space to feel much for each other, and you both need a breather from the pressure of that constant mood.

pollypandemonium Sat 06-Apr-13 00:35:59

He then came back and announced maybe he would spend his inheritance on a place near the boys' school and live there during the week. I just said oh, don't you want to live with me then, in a nice way. He then was quiet for a bit. I don't think he meant it.

Read this bit again Boffin. How would you feel if he did do what he suggeted?
Hopefully AF will have a more experienced analysis.

Tortington Sat 06-Apr-13 01:15:23

sounds like your making a great start

pollypandemonium Sat 06-Apr-13 01:21:24

I meant AF or another experienced poster. wink

I like you with balls, Boffin. Hope the morning goes 'well'!

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 08:31:05

Racingheart, they are good suggestions, thank you.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 08:31:44

Polly, if he did that I would feel I had less hassle in my life!!

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 08:34:57

Racingheart, I do have an AP to help with kids' things so I am not totally downtrodden, and he does help a bit, but I certainly still have plenty to do. I can do things like refuse to process loads of washing he has half done, for example.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 08:49:06

Well, he has a right face on him now as I have forced him to be awake from about 7.30. He has pointedly home downstairs to make DS3's breakfast. He is not laughing at any of my jokes. He is a Grumpy Man today, that's for sure.

TunipTheVegedude Sat 06-Apr-13 08:53:55

Good luck Boff x

I like JulieCarp's post about him needing to develop coping skills other than sleeping a lot.

Corygal Sat 06-Apr-13 09:05:19

I have been lurking and wish you all the best. What flew out to me was the way he reacted to you in the pub when you brought up even the smallest problem - he immediately threatened to leave you.

Was that a threat or a promise? I reckon he knows you don't want to be a SM again and it was a pathetic attempt at leverage. Not pleasant. What if he realised right now that leverage has no traction?

Corygal Sat 06-Apr-13 09:05:58

I also note he mentioned spending his inheritance on himself, not the family.

fancyanother Sat 06-Apr-13 09:30:59

I'm sorry, I just needed to chip in here, I'm so outraged on our behalf! Call his bluff- tell him to bugger off and live away during the week ( and weekends too, for that matter, or 'be out' during the weekends, and see how 'tired' he is when he has no clean pants or plates in the house because his slave isn't around) It sounds like you are financially independent and the boys are in boarding school, which he would still have to pay for. If you only have he weekends as a family, he is wasting precious time- yours, your children's as well as his own. When you fall out of love with someone, the scales fall from you eyes about their faults. It sounds like this is what has happened to you. If he had to live on his own, it may give him the shock he needs to buck up his ideas or it may just make you realise how much better your life is alone.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 10:04:07

He wanted to have a big talk, so I told him all the main points again and suggested counselling for him. I said I couldn't go through another year of him basically copping out of family life in the name of grief, and that while I could provide the usual wifely support I could not be the sole person he leaned on as I was not able to do it alone. I pointed out that he had not been there for me when my grandfather died as his mother died at the same time and everything was shunted to one side as we all had to focus on the death of his mother. I also said I didn't get the emotional support I needed in the marriage and I felt like a doormat.

He is pretty disgusted now to say the least, and his response was to say that I am incredibly high maintenance, that he has been proppping me up for our entire marriage because I am so moody, that he supported me through years of post natal depression and that basically I want it all my own way.

We got a phone call in the middle of all this so that broke the conversation and he has now gone off to have a bath.

This is not going well at all. sad

TunipTheVegedude Sat 06-Apr-13 10:11:57

You have never come across on here as high maintenance. Maybe he is confusing moodiness with you being justifiably pissed off when he doesn't do his share.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 10:13:47

I think you are onto something there. But you lot only know me online. I might be a real bitch in RL. Ask Auld!

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 06-Apr-13 10:26:21

I can't really say anything Boff but if he won't change or see the need for change and if you are unhappy might you both be happier apart - at least for a bit?

midgeymum2 Sat 06-Apr-13 10:34:16

Riiiight....so this would all be your fault then? There's a surprise! And has he ever brought up any of these 'issues' to you before? Or is this just a tit for tat response to engineer the situation back to trying to get you to feel sorry for him because he's somehow deserving of 'special' treatment? And when you want "it" all your own way, what does this mean? Is "it" your marriage? Is there something wrong with wanting your marriage to be equal?

Sorry I'm not being terribly coherent - I'm very cross on your behalf! I did have some thoughts yesterday that perhaps his behaviour has a medical reason or is due to grief and, as I am very fortunate indeed to not have a great deal of first hand experience in these areas, I wouldn't dare to presume that his behaviour can't be attributed to these things.

But as you said yourself 'there's fuck all wrong with him' and his response this morning to the slightest insistence that he spend time with his family is shocking. I'm sorry but he is just being a twat. All this because he was asked to make pancakes and get up before 8? Good grief! How does he manage to hold down a job? He needs to get his head out of his arse and engage with the real world.

This may not be something you can 'make' him do though...

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 10:38:36

You have to understand he genuinely, genuinely believes he does half when he is at home, and that this is an equal opportunities marriage. He honestly doesn't realise how disengaged, self-obsessed and boring he has become.

TunipTheVegedude Sat 06-Apr-13 10:40:02

But how can he believe that when he is in bed so much? <genuinely confused>
What does he think you are doing in that time?

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 10:40:06

If he really loved me, would he not be shocked and sad that I am unhappy, rather than defensive?

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 10:40:58

Tunip, I think he imagines I sit around on the sofa or something.

midgeymum2 Sat 06-Apr-13 10:48:07

Well what else can you try then? Whatever he believes, you are not happy with the current arrangement. He is either prepared to take your feelings seriously and agree to make some changes or he isn't. While it would be daft to expect him to just say 'oh, ok then - I'll do x, y and z' and you can both live happily ever after (it is bound to be more complicated than that) you do have to find a way to get through to him. Do you think you can? Do you think he wants to hear it? Is HE happy?

midgeymum2 Sat 06-Apr-13 10:51:34

He can't imagine that you sit on the sofa all day - he is an intelligent man. If childcare and running the house involved sitting on your bum all day, why does he need to be in bed?

And yes if he really loved you I think he would be at least prepared to listen to your concerns and address them in a respectful way. He may be defensive I suppose but ultimately he will realise that your feelings are genuine and that if he wants to make you happy he will need to take you seriously.

ErpsKwerpsTwerp Sat 06-Apr-13 10:54:15

Oh God, I feel your pain! (I have namechanged for this.) My DH is exactly the same with regard to the sleeping and "naps". He insists on getting up early - at 6, even at weekends, and then spends the rest of the day "napping". He then rants because we never do anything at weekends.

I think he would like a wife who stayed at home, to be frank, but as I earn considerably more than him, this is never going to happen. We had a HUGE row the other week, where he called me a "fucking lazy bitch - you are absolutely fucking bone idle." He went on to say that the house was always a tip, it's filthy, the kids and I seem to like living "like pigs in shit" but he doesn't, yada, yada, yada. He is (apparently) "the only one who does any cleaning around here." He washes the floors once a week (if we're lucky) and cleans the toilet (not the bathrooms, just the toilet) "because I don't do it properly."

I would like to employ a cleaner, but he refuses as he works from home and doesn't want anyone around when he is working. So I do all the shopping, washing, cooking, general tidying, push a hoover round, clean kitchen and bathrooms. My job is busy and stressful - I often don't get home till eight, and he has made no effort to cook dinner or even start preparing something. His excuse is always "I didn't know what you wanted to eat" or "there's nothing in the fridge." If he does do something, it is as if he should be awarded a medal for it - "Look! I've done X!", and like your DH, takes about 5 times as long to do a job (but this is because he does it "properly", of course).

He seems to resent the fact that I am more successful at work than he is, and goes out of his way to make life difficult - he arranged a business trip for a time when I had two important meetings - told me that someone else would have to do them (I chaired them - not that easy) or they would have to be rearranged (also impossible - the date was set 6 months in advance to ensure that everyone could attend).

I think he is also depressed and/or needs counselling. He refuses to discuss either.

Like your DH, he never does anything with the children, either. I am in bed with flu, and a temperature of 39 degrees at the moment, and he has very resentfully taken DD2 to a party (a 10 minute walk away).

He won't sort out doctor/dentist appointments for the children either, this is all my responsibility. He took DD1, once, to see the doctor, when her asthma was bad, but moaned non-stop about having to do so. He won't call up to make appointments "because I don't speak the language" (we are overseas) despite the fact that all of the medical personnel we deal with are either British or American.

And (I think this is the worst) - he also stopped paying any money into our joint account 18 months ago (which covers bills, mortgage etc) on the grounds that "we can manage perfectly well on your salary." Yes, we can, but that is not the point.

racingheart Sat 06-Apr-13 10:57:19

Surely the fact that he suggests spending his inheritance on himself, without consulting you or considering your DCs needs should demonstrate to him unequivocally that he is putting himself above others.

But you do both sound as though you're at the end of your tethers and stuck in a blaming mindset. I really think you need a break from this, Boffin. You deserve a lot more joy than this. Spend time with people who can lighten your life and your load for a while, so you can return a little bit refreshed and sort it out with him without feeling resentful. Nothing will get achieved if you are both on the defensive.

jayho Sat 06-Apr-13 10:59:18

Fuck me Erps run for the hills........sad

pollypandemonium Sat 06-Apr-13 11:04:54

So sorry he has reacted like this Boffin. In the end its not about what he does and does or what he thinks is fair. It is about whether you are unhappy and whether he is prepared to accept that your happiness is important to him.

My dds leave theor clothes on the bathroom floor. Dp asks me about them. I tell him if we pick them up they won't learn to do it themselves. He is in a dilemma because he can't blame me. Likewise if I ask him to help with something and he ignores me I ask the dds to help. Then he does it.

I tell him perhaps he should find someone who is happy to wipe up his tea drips and pick up his dirty socks. Its not good and like you I am at breaking point because the little things do matter.

MadAboutHotChoc Sat 06-Apr-13 11:07:28

Erps - he sounds horribly selfish, lazy, arrogant and entitled. Why are you with him?

TunipTheVegedude Sat 06-Apr-13 11:12:56

Erps - that is unacceptable. He is taking the piss.

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 06-Apr-13 11:50:33

Not as bad but for all you who do everything; about 10 years ago (maybe a bit more) when the dc were about 8 and 5 and before I went back to work I got sick of DH leaving the house at 7.30 and coming home at 9ish asking for his dinner; moaning about the mess and x and y not being quite right. Then announcing on Saturday mornings that he was meeting a client before taking them to football or playing golf or had tickets for the test for Saturday and Sunday. So, one weekend I got up at 7ish and announced I was going up to town for the day to do some shopping and look at some galleries and I left him with a list along the lines of: ds football practice 10 - collect at 12, when he's sthere take dd to buy a party present and card and wrap and write. Collect DS and given them lunch then deliver dd to party at 2 and collect at 4.30. And could he please collect the dry cleaning and his shoes.

I actually had a really boring day - I did Harrods, Harvey Nicks, and then wandered up to St Christopher's Place via a few galleries which didn't have much on to interest me. Had lunch in the Richoux on my own and felt like going home but I stuck it out until gone 6pm.

I got home and announced I hope he now knew what my weekends were like. It never really changed much but it got the message across and he started consulting a bit more. Must add that it was all just before DS changed schools and his sporting tendencies were properly noticed and as soon as that happened DH committed himself totally to supporting the rugby and the cricket and got involved with managing teams at various clubs, etc.. and from then DS's stuff took precedence over his own.

pollypandemonium Sat 06-Apr-13 12:08:12

Marriedinwhite do you feel as though he does his fair share because he does DSs sports activities? Does he wipe up the drips when he's made a cup of tea? If you are unhappy does he want to make it better or does he blame you for it?

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 06-Apr-13 12:21:14

Yes I do feel that overall he does his fair share. Yes he always cleans up after himself and is the tidiest person in this house. That doesn't alter the fact that he is out of the house for at least three hours more than me every day (he has the more demanding job) and I do more of the practical stuff but overall we contribute the same to the family.

Nowadays I don't feel the teenagers do their fair share grin. Lives move on and pressures change.

I don't think he's ever blamed me for anything I might have blamed him from time to time for stuff but can't remember anything more important that when he knocked out the broadband by pulling out the fridge to sweep under it and pushing it back so hard he broke the connection just behind it and of course it was me who had to get it sorted out and I stormed off to PC world and had it sorted in 45 minutes

TomDudgeon Sat 06-Apr-13 12:32:14

Oh boff I'm so sad to read this is you (not that I wish it on anyone)

Are you able to ask your dds opinion? she may be able to give you a subjective view while being close enough to know true extent.

You are a strong capable woman
Do not let him make you think anything else
FWarrior

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 12:43:48

Erps, your DH makes my DH look like an angel. At least mine tries hard to support his family financially.

He did discuss the inheritance thing with me a bit - pay off some mortgage here (it is huge), buy out BIL from their shared cottage and do the cottage up a bit, early retirement, etc. The moving out out thing was a bit of an idle threat to test the water, really.

onefewernow Sat 06-Apr-13 12:49:09

Boffin, I think the most telling thing you H said was the suggestion he live elsewhere during the week.

I think you REALLY need to look at that again.

What messages does that convey? Eg about money, about free time for him, about responsibility, about detachment?

Given that is a desire of his, to spend an inheritance on a pad for himself elsewhere, you havnt a hope of getting him to listen. It is just a more open example than the others of his detachment.

My H spent years doing sod all, putting his needs first, getting up lunchtime at weekend etc.

But here is the thing I really learned about myself: I thought that because I was assertive in life, had a good job and was prepared to argue back with him, there wasn't such a fundamental problem.

But there was. Which was that he thought he was more important than me, he didn't need to care about my views and feelings, and most critically, that it worked for him. Because in reality there were no consequences and he always won.

Your H wants to stay married but half move out. Damn right he wants the domestic support and emotional support you offer, when he feels he needs it. But all on his terms, and offering not much in return.

My H was also doing online sex, it turned out, but that is a side issue. The entitlement and other issues, ie the breeding ground for that final betrayal, were exactly the same.

onefewernow Sat 06-Apr-13 12:52:29

Maybe not an idle threat. He may actually be telling you alot.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 12:53:31

When I was with DD's dad the beginning of the end was when he did absolutely nothing for my 21st birthday, and went off to have Sunday lunch with his ex DW and other DD while I stayed at home with my DD, who was ill with an ear infection at the time.

He had banned me from organising a party or anything like that. However a bit later it was his older DD's 21st birthday and he basically hired Cliveden (a five star hotel) for her party. I realised that he didn't really give a stuff about me and made plans to move on (there was abuse as well, it's a long complicated story).

I have to say on Mother's Day when DH didn't bother getting up and then went off to a rehearsal all afternoon, I felt like I did on my 21st. It was the second time he did this - he has stayed in bed before on Mother's Day.

I did get a present - my third bottle of supermarket Neal's Yard lavender body lotion. I don't like lavender and I don't use body lotion so it all just sits there in the bathroom, but he hasn't noticed yet. (Sorry, I know that's petty but it's kind of symbolic about how little he knows about what makes me tick these days).

AnyFucker Sat 06-Apr-13 12:54:48

A very cruel threat, not "idle" at all

Boffy, my DH lost 2 people very close to him last year, in circumstances that were very tragic and close together (don't want to out myself by saying who/how)

My point is, he took a half day to feel sorry for himself, have a cry and then got on with the business of supporting other family members, me (I was there when one died), his own kids who had lost loved ones etc

At no point did he think this grief was any excuse to behave selfishly, was his alone to experience or gave him a green card to opt out of family life which of course goes on no matter what

When something like this happens, families should pull together to support each other, not allow one person to unilaterally be the person everyone has to treat differently

Your husband sounds horrible in many ways, and I believe the fact that he has lost loved ones and is "depressed" is a very small contributory factor in that and certainly not one that should make you think you need to tolerate it for a moment longer

ScrambledSmegs Sat 06-Apr-13 12:55:12

Boffin, I'm sorry your DH is a lazy selfish person, you always seem so lovely and deserve much better. You're also clearly a very good person who still loves him despite his dreadful treatment of you, as my response to his 'suggestion' of living away most of the week would be 'Yes! But why don't we make it all week, every week? And get a divorce to make it official? There's the door. Bye!'

Erps, I wouldn't even bother with the divorce. KILL HIM.
<only slightly joking>

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 13:00:09

With ex-DP basically he wanted shared care, but he ended up having me run ragged looking after DD all week on top of a f/t job, and then driving backwards and forwards to take her to Brownies near his house on Friday, drop her off at his on Saturday, then return to pick her up on a Sunday, a two hour round trip each time. Meanwhile I even had to bring food round to his for her, because he wouldn't really feed her properly. He was a great one for lying in bed for hours and hours as well.

On her 10th birthday she was supposed to be having a sleepover but he had an achey finger so went off to A and E and left all the kids alone in the house, again without food or anything. He was in A and E for hours and the first I knew was when DD phoned me up at around 10pm and said that they were alone and nobody had fed them. We managed to get someone to go around and we sent a pizza order, but it was really understandably really worrying.

I am worried that this is the standard of care my kids will start to get if I split up from current DH.

Thinking about it, there are parallels in the two relationships in that the better I did at work, the more they both lay in bed and told me how high maintenance I was.

TomDudgeon Sat 06-Apr-13 13:00:20

If you lost a loved one, a parents or a sibling would he give you time to wallow. I bet not. I would put money (if I had any) on him expecting you to keep going because your family need you.

onefewernow Sat 06-Apr-13 13:04:02

Well it's good you are noticing those parallels. There may be others.

onefewernow Sat 06-Apr-13 13:05:16

It is a version also of him withdrawing and you pursuing. Don't play the game or, if you do, test it by withdrawing yourself.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 13:05:36

I think the worst thing is that I have had all these children with him at great personal cost to my health, and he is holding that against me when I suggest he may need some bereavement counselling.

That's not normal, is it? For husbands to resent the fact you get PND or develop physical health problems whilst having their children?

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 13:06:22

Believe me, I am not pursuing. If he wants me back he is going to have to work as hard as he did to win me in the first place.

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 06-Apr-13 13:06:48

Boffin I'm so sorry you are going through this. Why are you worried about the standard of care your dc will get? Good solicitor, limited custody due to his inability to be awake in the day time and you get one less to look after and a lot less stress. I know that's trite and doesn't make up for the hurt but you are worth more.

ScrambledSmegs Sat 06-Apr-13 13:07:14

No. The opposite of normal. But what's worrying is that you have to ask.

Don't you trust your own judgement anymore? sad

TweedWasSoLastYear Sat 06-Apr-13 13:08:19

Its a difficult situation Boff for sure .
Here are a few ideas that might make him less of a burden .

Job lists , simple things that have to be done ( bins , shopping etc ) with who and when on them , If he says No , then try to find out why .

Alcohol .- Does he drink ? Maybe the alcohol is causing him disturbed sleep , has a hangover in the morning / dehydrated . Alcohol is also wasted calories hence the moobs and beer belly.

Cat naps.- Fine , but they are only supposed to be 10 -15 mins max , anymore and you go into REM sleep and find it hard to came round . Then your not tired at night , so dont sleep , then need a cat nap = viscous circle.

Early night , Some people feel the need to sit up in the evenings as its 'their' time outside of work. This is fine if you can get up at 0730 the next day . So what if you go to bed at 10.00pm , its not a competition to see how late you can stay up, there are no prizes .

Cleaning night . Friends of mine spend 90 mins every thurs doing cleaning , washing , ironing etc . This leaves more time at weekends for doing things as a family .

Hope this helps gives you some ideas, although it seems he has the energy and get up and go to do the things he wants to do , not the things you would like him to do .
Go on strike, do nothing for a week see how he likes not having any dinner ready or clean ironed shirts ready in the morning .

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 13:20:48

Thank you Tweed. I did a 3 month strike Jan to March last year and nobody actually noticed. So I got a cleaner for 2 hours a week.

Not only does he go to bed early, he makes me do that as well. He often makes us watch 'the top of the Ten' and that makes a big point of going up. That having been said, it takes him an hour to get ready for bed.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 13:21:35

He has two bottles of beer every evening, plus one or two visits to the pub a week where he has a couple of pints and some crisps.

onefewernow Sat 06-Apr-13 13:24:06

Boundaries and consequences are the way to go, I think.

But you will have to mean them.

Ps it is pursuing to keep arguing about something he is unwilling to hear. It didn't work for me. It just becomes a tussle about control and power.

onefewernow Sat 06-Apr-13 13:30:43

Boffin my situation is different in how it panned out, but very very similar in some underlying ways. And you would simply not believe how quickly he caved on all this stuff at Relate. After years if giving very little in an argument, he caved on almost every one of my long list if complaints (!) on week one. It was stunning and empowering to realise that under those 20 years of fog, he actually knew what he was doing!

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 13:36:08

Onefewer, how could that be? Why would someone be unreasonably stubborn like that for years knowingly??

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 13:37:37

I tell you what, I have had a much better morning without having an invalid to look after. The kids got up and dressed too, as they had a better example set to them.

TweedWasSoLastYear Sat 06-Apr-13 13:42:09

Alcohol is also a depressent. Something to be avoided following any berevement.
Oh , He knows exactly what he's doing / not doing, and actually is a lazt arse who wants to be doted on hand and foot at Hotel de Boffin for the rest of his days.

Why ? Because he can and does get away with it One reckoned boundaries and consequences and i happen to agree .

TweedWasSoLastYear Sat 06-Apr-13 13:42:36

'lazy' even

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 13:53:20

I am about shocked about that. I thought I had married a genuinely nice bloke. Everyone said that as well. Whenever I spoke to relatives about all this they either stayed quiet or told me I was being over fussy.

Oh dear.

onefewernow Sat 06-Apr-13 13:57:22

Noggin because they are not stupid.

My complaints were about not being really listened to or heard, him spending too much time on his interests and hobbies, in the office, me doing all the domestics, organising and running around, him using my every absence to hop on the sofa, me having to do all "the care taking" in the relationship and problem solve fir everyone else.

He has a senior job and could argue his way out if anything, and did. He would defend his position for hours on end.

We went to Relate as I had finally consulted a lawyer and he saw I meant business. He just admitted the lot, though the online infidelity took another month to get out of him.

I had spent YEARS twisting my over analytical brain into what the problem was. The problem was that he wanted whet he wanted, and would use whatever smoke and mirrors necessary to get it, clearly.

Your H knows quite well you are unhappy, but he has told himself a pretend story about his contribution (huge) and yours ( smallerl)!

onefewernow Sat 06-Apr-13 13:58:20

He probably is a nice bloke. So is mine, in some ways.

onefewernow Sat 06-Apr-13 13:59:05

Please excuse typos! Not noggin!!

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 13:59:29

Why would you tolerate a spouse being unhappy? That's awful.

I wish I hadn't had DC4. It's been downhill all the way since then. It was DH that wanted another.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 14:01:53

I am afraid of going to Relate and them backing him up, or him using his gift of the gab on them and going on about how 'difficult' I am and what a saint he is.

onefewernow Sat 06-Apr-13 14:06:11

Our Relate counsellor was a man. Big help! (although he was delighted to hear it wasn't a woman at first). Relate are just one provider, and we got lucky. And they all have differing quals there.

I do think you should ask yourself who wins the arguments in practice. I can be quite a drama queen myself! He does charm, humour, more thought, and is good at finding ways round me.

I bet your H does too.

onefewernow Sat 06-Apr-13 14:07:12

Did you recognise my list of issues, by the way?

onefewernow Sat 06-Apr-13 14:07:53

I also added that his work came before my health, when it was necessary to put it first on occasion.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 14:08:28

Yes, I am always effectively made to apologise, thinking about it.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 14:09:59

I do recognise the issues very well, except he believes he spends all his time at home 'sorting the family out and getting everyone back to being happy'. Methinks he deludes himself.

onefewernow Sat 06-Apr-13 14:12:25

Well counselling may or may not help.

But if you try it, a man works great with other men, I think. They cut through the bullshit and the man is less likely to flannel.

TomDudgeon Sat 06-Apr-13 14:13:16

You don't mean that about dc4
If you hadn't had him you would still be stuck with a man who acts entitled and you wouldn't had the opportunity to have another little person who brings you joy.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 14:14:07

I am thinking of many uncaring symbolic things. Last year for my birthday he bought my present at an airport on the way back from a business trip. It was a piece of cheap jewellery, and when I took it out the box it was broken. I was apparently supposed to take it to a jewellers in town to get it repaired, at my own expense. He did not offer to do this or make any effort at all to put it right. I've not got around to this so the jewellery has never been worn.

onefewernow Sat 06-Apr-13 14:24:47

Well you have certainly isolated that he has become uncaring. And that he expects you to do a lot of caring about him.

What can you do to refocus your efforts to care for yourself, and do less less of his work for him?

A few weekends away, a few evening meals with friends, refocus on your social life?even a holiday?

Let him cope. Especially since he doesn't think it is much work, and he does half anyway.

Also, It isn't my business, but I think that taking on an extra home right now is not a wise idea.

racingheart Sat 06-Apr-13 14:39:20

Boffin, I'm usually the one bouncing in one these threads to say: hold on to your marriage. But I don't like the sound of how he treats you. It lacks love. Broken airport jewellery? Neal's Yard supermarket cream? He sounds indifferent to your needs and your difficulties in the marriage.
No idea what to suggest, except that you can't really stay like this any longer.

racingheart Sat 06-Apr-13 14:41:39

Totally agree with onefewer, that you need a heavy dose of pampering and self-care. Weekend away, nights out with the girls - at least one a week.

Genuine question: have you ordered those silk pyjamas yet?

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 15:19:27

No, I am out with two of the kids while he runs his own errands.

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 06-Apr-13 15:31:40

*I am afraid of going to Relate and them backing him up, or him using his gift of the gab on them and going on about how 'difficult' I am and what a saint he is.*

Boffin I have been criticised a life time over on here for pandering to my DH and giving up x y and z for him and I am well known for saying marriage is tough and has its ups and downs which require compromise on both sides. DH and I aren't perfect - in fact I'm pissed off today.

But, that sentence quoted above sounds like emotional abuse to me and you should not have to feel like that.

Married has a point Boffin.

(although married, I can't really imagine you pissed off, you always seem so calm, cool and collected!)

StephaniePowers Sat 06-Apr-13 16:12:55

Oh this is a sad thread sad
I'm consistently depressed by the poor quality of men. Massive generalisation of course. I just don't know any women with male partners who aren't a bit like this.

I'm sad too because I recognise so much of it and am coming around to the idea myself that it's make or break time. I don't want to split up but I'm living with a man who, in the face of any emotion from me (and I'm not a screamer or a cryer...) chooses silence. So I've no idea what he thinks of any of our relationship at the moment, which sort of suggests that he doesn't think much of any of it, or of me.

The feeling of being unthought of is so difficult to deal with, I actually don't think there are any ways to describe it in adult language.

onefewernow Sat 06-Apr-13 16:17:08

In the light of that fear about counselling, maybe look up psychological manipulation on wiki. The list of tactics, and the list of qualities of people vulnerable, was a revelation to me. And I never would have thought it before I started taking a much more forensic look.

AuldAlliance Sat 06-Apr-13 16:28:27

Boff, you are not a bitch, you know that.

Your DH doesn't (outwardly, but that may be the Act) seem like a monster, either, though, so I can only assume that things have gone downhill in the year and a bit since I last saw you. He did drive to the airport to pick up a random stranger you'd met on MN once ;)

But from what you say here, he is being very unreasonable, some kind of mid-life crisis thingy. And, without wishing to project my own complex marital problems on your situation, I would agree with the poster who said that men are proving a bit duff. I get the impression that many women have a far higher capacity to adapt to complicated situations and to take on practical, everyday tasks than many men. Why that is, I don't know.

One thing maybe: you are not high maintenance by any means, but you do, i think, set high standards, justifiably so. For yourself, first and foremost but then perhaps also for those around you. Has he said he finds those wearing? Is he feeling somehow inept and inadequate and is taking it out on you?
You do have long commutes, both of you, and you've been through lots of upheaval with nannies, bereavement, health issues, job change for you, etc. Is there any way you could slow the pace, or do you think that's a red herring?

Living alone in the week - that may have been an idle threat, a huffy litmus test to gauge your reaction. But if you stop to think about it, would that be a solution for you? If you saw each other less often but also with less stress, less commuting for him, less angst, would it provide a degree of rest from things. I'm not suggesting it is necessarily the solution, but what are your feelings about it? Would you miss him? Would you be relieved? Resentful?

Gotta go, but I'll pop back later and will also try to e-mail or call you soon.

FW hugs to you, and I'll try and send some chocolate olives to keep your stamina up!

BranchingOut Sat 06-Apr-13 16:36:20

Oh BoffinMum, like a few others on this thread I am sorry that this is you...I have always really liked how you come across and you were good enough to give me some help via PM a little while ago.

The only thing I would say is - pause for a month, due to the bereavement. Then, as i can see that you don't want to move immediately to LTB steps, try all supportive measures: insisting he goes to the Dr, recommending counselling, sending him away for the weekend...if he does not respond, take stock from there.

I also know how it is to try to argue/negotiate with someone who is very clever, a formidable negotiator and able to ague that the sky is not blue.

But the online sleep app thing? The next time he shows it to you: you can't make head nor tail of it. Repeat ad nauseum. Yes, I know you are an academic, he knows you are an academic, but somehow these statistics are 'beyond' you....smile

LadyLapsang Sat 06-Apr-13 16:54:02

OP, he sounds incredibly entitled but I think you are enabling his behaviour too. Problem is the recent bereavement which is a real issue but the back story makes me think it will be one thing in a list of excuses.

You mentioned him 'forgetting' to do things like the holiday booking; what is he like at work?

Personally I wouldn't care that much about the crap gifts - I would just go out and buy myself something nice, 'actually darling I wear Chanel 19 these days, but I'll give your Neals Yard smellies to the school tombola / your sister etc.' Out of interest, how did he feel about embarking on fatherhood again in his 50s?

Sounds like money is not going to be a big issue in the Boffin household if you do split, but it may be if he takes early retirement, I would cull that idea pretty quickly otherwise you will be doing absolutely everything and it may be harder to split up if needed.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 16:56:46

Auld, I am sure he does think my standards are too high, whatever that means. He comes from a family where the domestic standards are really rather low by anyone's standards.

onefewernow Sat 06-Apr-13 17:00:06

Auld it would be hard for anyone whose H was not contributing if they just moved out Monday-Friday. It would just enable him to do even less. Or perhaps he will take the three year old with him? And what about the holidays?

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 17:01:34

LadyLapsang funnily enough I did put the remains of a pre-marital bottle of Chanel No 19 on before I went out with the kids earlier, only to have DS2 say to me 'god, mum, you smell like Grandma'. shocksmile

He seemed fine about fatherhood at 51, and on many levels we found it easier this time apart from the fact I couldn't walk.

I am not sure where the line between friendly compromise and enabling lies.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 17:02:41

If he moved out he would do all the easy fun stuff and I would end up as a glorified nanny. Been there, got the t-shirt.

StephaniePowers Sat 06-Apr-13 17:07:12

"I am not sure where the line between friendly compromise and enabling lies." This is such a good point.

Almost certainly he thinks you are both on the friendly compromise side of the line, and if you're anything like me you're thinking this line is getting to be a bit of a pain in the arse.

JulieCarp Sat 06-Apr-13 17:16:37

It seems to me that the moving out during the week might also be an attempt at "Poor me the missus kicked me out so am alone all week noone cares " whilst actually doing even less but garnering sympathy.
If I were you my rage would know no bounds at that little gem !

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 17:17:57

Julie, along with 'the missus gabe me a hard time after I had barely buried my dad' etc.

AuldAlliance Sat 06-Apr-13 17:22:32

I wasn't suggesting that him moving out was a good idea, but that Boff's thinking about how she feels at the suggestion might help her clarify where she is at.
Sorry I didn't make that clear. I am well aware it would mean he'd have an ideal excuse to engage even less with the dull reality of everyday parenting and would have the role of fun, relaxed Daddy. It was Boff's feelings I was trying to gauge...

onefewernow Sat 06-Apr-13 17:29:24

The good point Auld made was about the dad issue. I would give it two week more, so a month has passed from that. However, I don't believe a woman such as yourself is basing this in a two week blip. Your OP makes that clear.

One thing is for sure. If he is not ill, and if this is a long term thing, he is doing this because he can, and he wants.

With my H I imagine a box. He used to draw a big box around his life, and exclude from it anything he decided wasn't his or he didn't "have time for".

Of course, I couldn't draw my own box around mine, because who would do the stuff in the middle?

Effectively, he is saying, "this is what I am able to do ( ie offering to do) the rest us yours".

Life is tough with 4 kids. We have five, and careers. ( 2 grown though). Tough for both of you .

JulieCarp Sat 06-Apr-13 17:31:41

I was just mulling over the initial response and thinking about the mindset of a man who on hearing that his wife was unhappy , exhausted and at the end of her tether would offer(threaten) to move out during the week . Absent during the week,emotionally and physically absent at the weekends = win/win for him.

Snazzynewyear Sat 06-Apr-13 17:39:02

Can't offer much advice BoffinMum other than to say I always enjoy your posts and on the basis of them I don't see you as difficult or high maintenance. So power to your elbow (or foot in giving him a kick up the arse). Good work on focusing on making him get involved with the practicalities. Are you going to shove hiom out of bed before 8 again tomorrow?

Oh, and on the 'he makes me go to bed early too' just don't. Don't see why he gets to sleep whenever he likes but also to dictate when you sleep. Stay up and tell him you are going to do so.

DrGarnettsEasterMixture Sat 06-Apr-13 18:21:43

The defensiveness when you call him on bad behaviour suggests he isn't really bothered that you're not happy, so he must be getting something out of things being the way they are. Either you're unhappy and so is he, in which case you both need to decide if you want to fix things, or you're unhappy and he's ok, in which case you need to decide if you can live with someone who isn't bothered by your unhappiness. I don't think I could.

DrGarnettsEasterMixture Sat 06-Apr-13 18:24:42

Oh, and as for his sleep app? Tell him you don't give a shit. It's boring. You're not interested. point out his naps have enough of an impact on your day already without you having to read statistics about them.

And bloody well done for waking him up-parenting in the mornings and at weekends isn't optional for the rest of us, there is nothing amazing about him that means he gets a pass. We're ALL tired. Pretty much all of the time. The rest of us just get on with it.

catsrus Sat 06-Apr-13 18:29:53

This month I will have been divorced for 2yrs, my exH left for an OW after 24yrs of marriage. Reading this brings back so many memories - but not in a good way.

I now have less money (but enough) & more responsibility for the dcs - but I also have more autonomy, the freedom to live the life I want and I am grateful to him for being the one to make the decision to go. OTOH I was working this morning and driving home had the thought that it was a shame we hadn't made it work confused.

That thought bubbled to the surface because I'd had a fab morning, the sun was finally shining, I was happy - so I remembered times we'd been happy. To be honest I don't think I would be this happy if we were still together.

I'm absolutely not saying LTB but life can be better than this - you need to decide how much energy you want to put into it and in which direction. The life you are living now is not fair on you or your dcs - or even your H really.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 18:42:02

I don't know what to think really. I think he clearly isn't happy, and I have no idea why. But I feel he has reneged on some sort of social contract we had. And that makes me unhappy.

LadyLapsang Sat 06-Apr-13 18:47:29

Well, for me letting my DH spend half the weekend in bed would not count as friendly compromise.I've just finished reading Edna O'Brien's memoir and she recounts her EXDH spending the morning in bed and getting them to bring him toast at lunch time...unfortunately she had to endure a horrible court case and separation from her children before she got divorced and care of their two boys- you wouldn't. Has he been like this since near the beginning of your relationship or is this a fairly recent development?

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 18:56:48

I remember when we had just the two kids and he was finishing his MBA, I used to have to look after the kids so he could do his thesis, only he would actually get up to start work on it at 5pm. I would have been tiptoeing around the flat all day with them. He did improve when I told him off that time.

Then when we had three I remember him lying in bed on Saturdays and Sundays and talking about shifts. Again I told him off and he toned it down.

This time he has turned on me.

Badvoc Sat 06-Apr-13 18:59:45

It sounds unremittingly grim boffinmum.
I'm so sorry.
And, no, it's not how it "should" be.
Dh and I have been married for 14 years and have 2 dc.
So far this weekend dh has taken the boys for a haircut, we have taken them both to a local beauty spot for a run about and he has now taken ds2 to the park whilst I mn do the dinner dishes.
Tomorrow he is taking them swimming after lunch.
That's a pretty normal weekend for us.
He seems to have completely pulled away from being part of your family.
sad

Badvoc Sat 06-Apr-13 19:00:58

What do you want and what are you currently getting from this relationship?
How is it affecting your dc?

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 19:22:49

My elder sons are starting to take me for granted as well, I think. In terms of what I want, well I want to feel as though we are not in fire fighting crisis exhaustion mode a lot of the time. It's as though we are running somewhere, but never arrive. I feel like I live in limbo.

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 06-Apr-13 19:33:24

Boffin. I think teenage sons take mums for granted. My DS does, at 17; my DH does at 51. The only man I know who didn't was my dad and he left his aged 10 on kinder transport.

BTW it sounds like he does the easy stuff now and you have to put up with a 5th child.

ChasedByBees Sat 06-Apr-13 19:36:00

It all sounds pretty grim Boffin and like you are not being respected or treated well at all. sad

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 19:42:32

It has been a lot easier today with him up and mucking in in a more timely manner rather than cramming a weekend's chores and interactions into such limited time as we had before.

JulieCarp Sat 06-Apr-13 19:44:33

Sorry married having a penis doesnt give them some magical pass that allows them to get out of doing their fair share !

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 06-Apr-13 19:49:18

Did I say it did JulieCarp?

LadyLapsang Sat 06-Apr-13 19:50:26

If your sons see their father treating you with so little respect the pretty normal teenager attitude that mum is there to service them will just be exacibated. Why would they get out of bed and get on with the day in a productive fashion if they are given such a poor example or is your DH a believer in do as I say not as I do?

JulieCarp Sat 06-Apr-13 19:53:32

married you stated that teenage sons generally (and your husband) take us/ you for granted - my point is that in this house having a penis doesnt mean you get to duck out of doing the chores .

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 19:57:49

I have taught mine to cook, clean and do laundry but if they see their dad in bed a lot of the time it sets the wrong tone altogether.

JulieCarp Sat 06-Apr-13 19:59:13

I think generally DC will either follow the example they are given or try to compensate for the absent parent /neglectful parent in some way.

ouryve Sat 06-Apr-13 20:10:34

Boffinmum, just backing up all the voices here saying that this is not how it should be.

As far as weekends are concerned, we don't do a lot as a family. DH works a 9-5 job and I'm a SAHM/carer, but when he's home from work, he pulls his weight. He will wash up, clean the bathroom, vacuum or anything, usually unasked because he can see that it needs doing, or if I do have to ask because my knees are hurting or whatever, he'll do it without the adolescent eye rolling and expectation of praise and adulation that your DH seems to want. And this is despite him being tired.

Your DH needs a kick up the arse. I hope he does agree to counselling. If he tries to be charming and manipulative with the counsellor, I'm sure that's something they'll have encountered before.

lovesherdogstoomuch Sat 06-Apr-13 20:16:07

OP. i feel for you. i do think it sounds like depression. he needs to do you and himself a favour and go to the GP. sleeping all the time would drive me NUTS. i think you might have to tread carefully with the recent bereavement, but when you feel the time is right take action. it's a very difficult situation. PS: everyone else isn't having perfect weekends. you know that. take care. ")

FairPhyllis Sat 06-Apr-13 20:17:47

That's not normal, is it? For husbands to resent the fact you get PND or develop physical health problems whilst having their children?

When I was posting towards the beginning of this thread, I said I didn't think this was a LTB scenario. I am now upgrading you to a priority one, LTB stat! scenario.

Lazyoldcow Sat 06-Apr-13 20:21:50

he's not treating you well but TBH he sounds exhausted.

Do you each have to live this lifestyle- both ft/ jobs, kids a private schools (I assume re. weekend school) etc.

Would it help if one of you worked less?

Presumably you can afford help at home?

Lazyoldcow Sat 06-Apr-13 20:22:55

ps- think about couples counselling - it's not just his problem- it's a couple's problem.

Laquitar Sat 06-Apr-13 20:53:03

Hi boffin, i know you said that there is nothing wrong with his health but i would insist on a check up. Have you ruled out diabetes, thyroid, auto-immune disorders?
He also sounds like depressed and ready to escape any challenge i.e. suggesting to move out (isn't it this a symptom of depression?). Tbh what would upset me more than anything is how easy he came up with the 'solution' to move out during the week (having his cake!).

He is either a very ill man or very self-obsessed. As you have been married many years and have 5 children i would give him a chance first and i would arrange a full medical check up. If it turns out that he is healthy...well..then i would tell him he can move out all the week not only mon-fri.

Mumsyblouse Sat 06-Apr-13 21:00:55

I am often really exhausted on the weekend and have an afternoon nap for a couple of hours, sometimes both days. The difference is my husband is exhausted too, and we nap together smile We taught the children to have quiet time in their rooms, or have a nap too. So, it is not about one person withdrawing as in this case, it's about all having agreed downtime.

The thing that strikes me about your post is that your husband makes decisions unilaterally. He decides to go to bed in the daytime when there is childcare to be done, he decides not to bother cooking, he decides what time you go to bed in the evening (why do you go along with this one?) There's no discussion, negotiation, a fair divvying up of the chores and jobs and childcare which has to happen when you are both working full-time.

He does sound depressed, but this is not an excuse for withdrawing from his marriage or his children.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 21:03:54

No, my kids are day pupils at a state comprehensive that happens to take boarders as well, hence the Saturday school. DS3 goes to a state nursery class.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 21:07:06

Laquitar, I have made him have full health checks more than once, calling his bluff. Nothing wrong.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 21:07:47

PS I have one DD by someone else and 3 DSs with him.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 21:09:17

Mumsy, these are exactly the accusations he aims at me, funnily enough. Don't know what to make of that.

PicardyThird Sat 06-Apr-13 21:14:40

Boffin, another one coming to say she's sad and sorry this is you (am an oldie from way back when, back in new incarnation, now mostly lurk).

I think your H clearly can't be happy, as in satisfied with his life, to live it in such a way, but I also agree with those who think he's taking the piss big time. I don't think he's completely unconscious of wrongdoing either - his sleep apps and attacks on you as high maintenance and for your PND (FFS) seem to me about him going on the offensive, iyswim.

When he says he believes he does 'half', what he means, I think, is he does the share that should in his view reasonably be expected of him. IOW, he thinks (IMO) that he is, for whatever reason, more important/worthy or requiring of rest/care/whatever than you to the extent that he thinks you should be carrying the bigger load of domestic/headspace things. It's really not a good message to be giving to your sons - I was wondering throughout the thread what they make of it and am saddened to see they have begun taking you for granted too.

pollypandemonium Sat 06-Apr-13 21:23:56

I agree that it's not that you are doing too much and he is doing too little, it's the way the contract is being negotiated, as in he's choosing to do what he wants regardless.

I wonder if it's an age thing - you have dcs, it's really hard and you fight, but then it gets a bit easier and you think 'I survived that then'. As you get older the big issue creep in - poor health, bereavements, teenager - things that are less about domestic chores but things that test your commitment and ultimately your love for each other.

And then the mid-life reverting to crap habits or panicking that life's too short is thrown into the mix. I know my DP has suddenly picked up his old hobbies which I'm glad about, for him, but it seems he has simply gone backward to his single days rather than moved forward with me.

Charbon Sat 06-Apr-13 21:26:37

Boffin can you give us a little more background to what's being going on recently, apart from his bereavement? Did it start getting appreciably worse even before that? Why do you think he has more recently departed from the contract you had? What could be behind that?

Offering to live apart seems like an enormous elephant has taken up occupation in your house, but everyone's skirting around it and not acknowledging it.

It sounds to me as though something fairly fundamental has shifted recently in his life and I don't think it's got anything to do with grief.

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 06-Apr-13 21:28:17

Boffin and others who are sad. I am sorry. Everyone's circumstances are different and there must come a point where working at it becomes too much. Ultimately and being entirely pragmatic we are all entitled and I repeat ENTITLED to a life where happiness is possible.

Hugs all round; wish I could take some of you out for supper and lashings of wine and sympathy.

pollypandemonium Sat 06-Apr-13 21:33:26

Well I've been working at it for 27 years. Keep thinking it's still the noughties and not the teenies or what ever this decade is. As I said, when we are older a whole new set of problems turns up at the door and takes us over so any thoughts of leaving renegotiation are put to one side.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 21:35:53

I am not sure, Charbon. He got a new boss a year ago who sounds pretty ghastly. The place he works in is having an institutional nervous breakdown at the moment. He is terrible with death and the thought of death since his beloved grandfather died suddenly in 1979. We are having to be incredibly careful with money as his salary and benefits have been reduced by the equivalent of about 10%. Those seem to be the main things. Plus he only got married at 39 so he had developed some entrenched single man habits by then, eg only having to clean and do washing once a fortnight. Perhaps the sheer scale and complexity of family life is a shock to him even now.

Mumsyblouse Sat 06-Apr-13 21:37:47

Boffin, how I read his accusation that you decide everything is that you have had to do that because he has abdicated responsibility for family life. There's a big difference between making a decision such as what to cook for the family tea as no-one else is doing it, and going to bed early and making you do so too.

I am also sorry you are living like this, like marriedinwhite I have seen your name over the years and I find it really sad that you are so unhappy living with such a grump. Is there anything good about the marriage? (clutching at straws) Do you make each other laugh? Is there any sparkle whatsoever? If not, and he is basically staying in bed instead of living his life, whether through depression or blood-mindedness, this is no way to live.

And his threat to withdraw even more, Mon-Fri, is a very real one- again, nothing wrong with one partner living away, my husband has done this from time to time because he simply couldn't get any work where we lived, it was never a first choice. Again, a massive difference between that and him unilaterally withdrawing literally from family life.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 21:37:49

You lot are being really ace, btw. I do appreciate you all sticking with this through more than 200 posts. xx

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 21:39:48

Yes, Mumsy, my dad had to do that sometimes as well but not because he was running away.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 21:41:52

Sometimes he says he feels line a wage slave, which is a bit odd as I have always worked f/t as well, apart from when I was a postgrad, and I was fully funded and did hourly teaching as well, so I still paid my way.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 21:43:44

I am feeling slightly bad because as usual he has cooked me a Saturday night steak. However we are eating it in front of the TV, which I dislike, and I have to say steak isn't my thing really.

Charbon Sat 06-Apr-13 21:45:06

I'm curious about why you're not having a conversation with him about why he yearns to opt out of your marriage for five days of the week.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 21:48:33

I did try earlier. He huffed off.

ExcuseTypos Sat 06-Apr-13 21:51:09

He sounds very unhappy

You sound very unhappy

I agree with Chardon that you need to talk. Could you say to him " we need to talk about our marriage/life and our future" and then set a time- so you are both ready and to ensure he has thought about it all, properly.

lovesherdogstoomuch Sat 06-Apr-13 21:51:15

BoffinMum sorry but you have to talk. you are unhappy. sometimes i am unhappy with DH. i am always glad when i have talked it through. can you do that?

ExcuseTypos Sat 06-Apr-13 21:51:59

Sorry x posted.

Ask him tonight and set a time for tomorrow sometime?

pollypandemonium Sat 06-Apr-13 21:52:38

Please don't tell me you get steak every Saturday and it's not really your thing?

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 21:57:21

Yes, Polly, that's what I do every Saturday. Eat a steak I don't want in front of the telly watching people murder each other. Luckily it's Swedish people murdering each other tonight which is more interesting.

I suppose we do have to talk but I don't feel going over the same territory for a third time now will help. I feel I have nothing left to say.

pollypandemonium Sat 06-Apr-13 22:00:55

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lWHc6bKmrA This may or may not cheer you up.

ExcuseTypos Sat 06-Apr-13 22:04:01

Sorry you feel so helpless.

Could you just talk about trying to make things better, by deciding you will go to counselling?

Otherwise things will just carry on and nothing will change.

lovesherdogstoomuch Sat 06-Apr-13 22:04:24

BoffinMum. you sound like a lovely lady. i am thinking of you. flowers

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 22:06:05

I sense a slight desire on his part to prove himself by avoiding bed during the day, and helping in a more realistic way. Let's see how this pans out.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 22:06:40

Polly I will watch that clip later with headphones!

pollypandemonium Sat 06-Apr-13 22:17:51

Astounding how they can go for years with shite habits and suddenly they can do everything perfectly after all. Magic.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 22:18:16

Thank you, lovesherdog.smile

Lazyoldcow Sat 06-Apr-13 22:39:30

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 21:43:44

I am feeling slightly bad because as usual he has cooked me a Saturday night steak. However we are eating it in front of the TV, which I dislike, and I have to say steak isn't my thing really

This is all very sad.
Do you have a problem communicating with each other- really communicating instead of nagging?

What's stopping you saying "Look I am really worried about us and our relationship. Let's make an appt with Relate and see if it can help us move forward."

Strangers here can't help- you can!

well? smile

AvrilPoisson Sat 06-Apr-13 22:39:52

I hope tomorrow he gets up Boffin.

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 22:46:53

Bit scary, lazyoldcow, if I am honest.

Lazyoldcow Sat 06-Apr-13 22:48:42

you need to take the bull by the horns- stop moaning smile and actually take action .

BoffinMum Sat 06-Apr-13 23:07:19

I did earlier, to no avail really.

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 06-Apr-13 23:10:54

Go to bed Boffin. Tomorrow's another day. Sleep tight and don't let Mr Boffin bite.

MavisGrind Sat 06-Apr-13 23:20:05

Hi Boffin, I've dipped into the thread all day and you sound so worn down by your situation at the moment. I know I've already said this but your H sounds so uncannily like my XH I really would have thought they were the same person.

I really hope you can find a way forward. Sometimes people are depressed. Sometimes there are underlying health problems. Sometimes circumstance gets the better of people. Other times they're just being a twat.

Thinking of you.

Charbon Sat 06-Apr-13 23:21:29

It's not 'nagging' and it's not moaning. You've explained very lucidly your fears about couples counselling and FWIW I think you are very prescient. It might be a very bad idea indeed.

If you attempted a calmer conversation tonight about why he was looking to opt out of your marriage and he responded with a huff, I'd suggest trying one more time and then if he evades discussions again think about having some therapy on your own Boffin.

Dozer Sun 07-Apr-13 07:56:43

He sounds unbearable boffin, am exhausted just reading! I don't like the sound of him at all! And yes, the roles are totally gendered, except he isn't even doing the traditional "fun dad at weekends" stuff.

He doesn't seem to care for you very much, over a long time period. It is shocking that when you were ill after your breakdown he didn't amend his behaviour at all and you had to go on doing everything.

Even with depression, bereavement and / or unhappiness, it is his responsibility to participate in family life, like you have. At the moment he is just being a selfish, lazy cock. Not seeking help for his mental health while dragging you and probably the older DC down is unacceptable.

The wage slave / my job is harder and more important than yours so I need more rest thing is nasty and unappreciative. It is basically saying "I am more important than you" and leavng you to do the wifework in addition to working FT. Horrible.

counselling on your own could be good.

The older DC will surely have strong (negative) views about his behaviour?

LadyMountbatten Sun 07-Apr-13 07:58:33

He sounds like he's physically distancing himself as he feels no emotional tie. Bloody hard work. It's up to you to assess if he loves you or just the idea of a family as the right thing to do.

LadyMountbatten Sun 07-Apr-13 08:03:31

Boffin.

How does it take him an hour to get ready for bed? Why can't you go to bed when you like?

justaboutalittlefrazzled Sun 07-Apr-13 08:15:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lazyoldcow Sun 07-Apr-13 08:44:04

Boffin- you said you had already taken action. What? sorry but haven't had time to read 300 posts!

Have you suggested counselling- for both of you together?

Has he taken this idea seriously if you have mentioned it?

One other question- not trying to alarm you but is there any chance he is having an emotional or physical affair- or online flirtations? Distancing yourself in a relationship is often the precursor to these , or a reaction to one going on.

MadAboutHotChoc Sun 07-Apr-13 09:11:52

The possibility of an affair has crossed my mind due to the distancing and checking out of family life on his part. However, his shitty lazy entitled behaviour is a real issue - Op must feel like she is treading in treacle trying to get him to change.

OP - you can't change him but you can change how you deal with the situation. Tell him him its over if he does not improve and mean it.

BranchingOut Sun 07-Apr-13 09:18:31

The only thing I can think of are comedy beds that fold away into the wall, so that the lazy sod can't lie down to rest at every opportunity...

Here with you, BoffinMum.

BoffinMum Sun 07-Apr-13 09:19:40

Just to recap:

I have spoken to him on multiple occasions about all this, most recently yesterday and the day before in clear unequivocal detail. I have suggested counselling on more than one occasion.

Everyone else thinks he is a saint.

He thinks he is a saint because he does things like prime the teasmaid (God, we have a teasmaid, am I 80?), puts a bowl of muesli on the bedroom tray for me before he goes to bed, puts a glass of water by the bed for me, reminds me to take my medication, empties the bins on a Sunday night and puts the wheelie bins out, folds two loads of laundry a week, loads and unloads the dishwasher approximately five times a week each, and does a Saturday school run to the local station. (I have probably forgotten things but there isn't a lot more).

Currently he is asleep in the study and I got up at 7 as usual with DS3. I took him a cup of tea half an hour ago but he has not got up yet.

BoffinMum Sun 07-Apr-13 09:23:02

Branching out, he needs that ruddy Wallace and Grommit device to get him up, I tell you.

BoffinMum Sun 07-Apr-13 09:23:29

I am not sure when he would be doing an affair, as his time seems pretty much accounted for.

PicardyThird Sun 07-Apr-13 09:25:53

Oh, Boffin. Well done for keeping your sense of humour (Swedish murders) but the Saturday steak and telly is so sad sad You should be able to spend desperately needed couple/family downtime enjoying what you do.

Agree with the poster who said go to counselling on your own to start with if he won't entertain Relate or similar - and, in fact, if he will. If you're within reasonable striking distance of SW London I can recommend someone. Message me if you want (and I'll try to find my inbox, things have changed so much round here since back in my day when it were all fields).

LadyMountbatten Sun 07-Apr-13 09:53:58

The dishwasher and laundry thing - meh. Who cares? That's just life. Don't be grateful for that.

BoffinMum Sun 07-Apr-13 10:01:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BoffinMum Sun 07-Apr-13 10:02:07

He got up at 9.30am today, btw.

MadAboutHotChoc Sun 07-Apr-13 10:31:20

re affairs, all his time spent away from the home isn't accounted for - many use working hours to conduct their affairs. I don't think he is having one but there is a link between this kind of entitled selfish behaviour and infidelity.

Lazyoldcow Sun 07-Apr-13 10:42:36

Boffin

It's hard for any of us to know exactly what is going on.

When you say you have talked to him about all of this, does that mean you have sat him down and had a serious conversation ( along the lines of Relate- or we may have to separate) like many of us ( me too!) you kind of snarl, have a moan and then nothing changes?

Sleeping like this is a sign of depression. Or low thyroid.

How does he cope at work?

And BTW he does a lot more around the house than my DH who works 11 hr days, with lots of travelling.

oh and stop taking him a cup of tea! stop doing anything until he engages in a conversation with you.

Lazyoldcow Sun 07-Apr-13 11:01:23

Boffin

just wanted to add- don't underestimate the effect of his dad's death.

I think you could be smile

I have known men and women do all kinds of things hen a parent of last parent dies- divorce, have affairs, marry unsuitable women ( all my friends are late 40s/50s).

The sight of your own mortality can be paralysing- or push you into things that are high risk.

You need to think on this.

Lazyoldcow Sun 07-Apr-13 12:14:10

You said you had a breakdown 18 months ago sad
what was all that about?

It sounds as if you BOTH need to step back and look at the whole life-work balance bit as well as your relationship.

I'm not in your shoes but there is no way I could work full time and commute Cambridge-London, and bring up 3 kids. maybe I'm a whimp though.

Mumsyblouse Sun 07-Apr-13 13:33:20

I also wondered to what extent your incredibly busy lifestyle is contributing to all this. I don't hear when he says I feel like a wage slave a condemnation of you at all, but frustration and exhaustion. I have a reasonable commute daily at present (I do about 1.30- 2 hours min a day and that is really enough for me), and I'm not fun mum on weekends, I lie in if I can, have naps when I can and generally my job does exhaust me. I am not excusing the lack of communication here because when life is like that, my husband has to pick up the slack but we both do get very tired when working full time and commuting, so weekends are less fun than when one of us is working part-time and has got on top of everything before the weekend happened. I don't even get dressed on Sundays, neither do the kids!

Everyone working, small children, it sounds exhausting and is exhausting. How do you think that plays into all this, along with the bereavements etc?

Snazzynewyear Sun 07-Apr-13 13:37:59

Lazy and Mumsy take your points about exhaustion and grief, but then that doesn't account for imposing his own likes on the OP all the time - steak and Sat night telly, early bedtime etc.

TunipTheVegedude Sun 07-Apr-13 13:44:49

I agree with people commenting on the Boffs' work-life balance. You are asking a lot of yourselves. We found it incredibly hard going with two kids and one long commute.

I think there is an assumption these days that this is the norm and any reasonable person should be able to just suck it up. Well, it's hard. In the old days a woman who managed a career as well as a family was considered impressive (and a whole lot of less nice things as well of course - I'm not pretending things were any easier then) but now it is the benchmark we are all meant to aspire to and if you don't you can feel like a wimp. In fact I hardly know anyone working full time with kids and 2 high-powered careers in the house, and of the ones I do know, none have more than 2 children and all either have family support or earn enough to pay for a LOT of domestic help.

And you have 4 kids, yes? shock

pollypandemonium Sun 07-Apr-13 13:49:22

If anyone needs to read through OP's posts, set your setting so they are highlighted, that way you can read through them quickly and Boffin won't have to repeat herself. smile

Leavenheath Sun 07-Apr-13 13:54:57

No-one asks men how they manage when they work full-time and have 4 kids.

It's because people assume they have a wife.

And because they assume women's careers are expendable.

cocolepew Sun 07-Apr-13 14:20:43

I've just read the entire thread and I don't think he is depressed or ill. I think he is a lazy, self indulgent, self entitled git.

He has the energy to go to am dram and the pub a couple of nights a week.

Mumsyblouse Sun 07-Apr-13 14:28:47

Snazzy I haven't said that we need to discount his unlateral decision-making and complete inability to communicate. However, you can read this in different ways- what strikes me about this now is that both adult members of the Boffin household seem to be reacting to extreme stress or exhaustion - one had has a breakdown (which I know nothing about and may not be related to work/stress/exhaustion whatsoever, but there's no doubt that working full on means you have less time to process events) and one stays in bed pretty much all weekend and seems withdrawn from family and from life. No-one is happy, I don't imagine Boffin's husband is really enjoying his weekends in bed, and Boffin is beyond frustrated herself.

If no-one is happy with the situation, it is worth starting a conversation about how the family as a whole could be happier. This is better phrased as a 'what are we going to do?' rather than 'this is how you have to change' because, despite her discontent, I don't see Boffin seeking a way out of the marriage she has said nothing about leaving in this very long thread despite others throwing the suggestion out there, she just wants her old husband back and not to be so bloody worn-out herself, emotionally and in every way.

Lazyoldcow Sun 07-Apr-13 14:35:54

It might be easier said than done Boffin, but can either of you stop commuting?

Is there the option of working nearer home?

Part time?

More help at home- paid for?

I'm older than you and things have changed since my DCs were small. But I made the choice quite early on that I could not cope with F/T work ( in my previous career) and be a full time mum, as DH had a 12 hr a day job and went overseas a lot. We have no family within 300 miles and at the time there was one private over subscribed nursery.

Luckily we could manage on DH's money and my p/t money. We lived accordingly and I am fully aware that had I pursued my former career we'd be living in luxury now.

However, there's have been a price to pay.

I know that now many families need 2 salaries to simply live- but really, can either of you work less- or nearer home?

Badvoc Sun 07-Apr-13 14:44:43

Boffinmum.
Your Saturday night story really made me sad sad
Why should you feel grateful for a meal you dont like watching tv you don't enjoy?
If your dh had made an effort to cook you something you actually liked and suggested a DVD or programme he knows you would enjoy then that would be different.
Does he even know what you like?
I am starting to wonder.
It doesn't matter what other people think of him...they dont have to live with him.
It must be very upsetting to be married and yet few like a single parent sad

BoffinMum Sun 07-Apr-13 15:03:57

Brief progress report.

A big talk has been had.
Concessions have been made.
Some changes are afoot.
A weekend away without children is planned.

AnyFucker Sun 07-Apr-13 15:15:07

Concessions from whom?
Changes wrt to whom ?
A weekend away without dc...a lovely treat for him as reward for shitty behaviour

I wish you well, Boffy. I hope you get what it is you need.

Mumsyblouse Sun 07-Apr-13 15:16:03

Good.

Can I also suggest you are a bit more upfront about what you like, if you don't like steak, say 'this week, could we have chicken, I'm a little bored of steak' and watch your choice this week, his the next.

Some of the things he does could be pleasing and kind (e.g. making tea in the morning, cooking a dinner on a Sat night) but they are not because they are not what you want. If he's going to make an effort, you need to make sure that his efforts are genuinely appreciated and beneficial to you, by communicating exactly what you would like to happen. In other words, if he has limited energy on weekends because he's knackered, it gets directed towards the things that make your life easier and more pleasurable, this will then become a positive feedback loop (he will get more out of pleasing you) rather than the current negative one.

fuzzpig Sun 07-Apr-13 16:37:29

I'm late to the thread but I'm so sad and angry you have this to put up with. It is so far from normal that it is shocking. What is with all these men (I haven't yet heard about a woman checking out completely from family life although it isn't impossible) who think it is ok to turn away from the woman they love and the children they created? angry

I'm glad you checked the health issues as I was wondering if there was something up. I have a disability with fatigue at its core as well as depression so I know what it's like to be unable to do anything (not even am dram). I still participate as much as I can - I am mostly parenting from the sofa today while DH is at work. But I am still parenting, cheering DD on her wii sports effort, grabbing them a lazy picnicky lunch, refereeing sibling spats etc.

What you said about resenting your illness is so so sad. It's just horrible. How dare he throw an illness in your face FFS. It is vile. My DH has done pretty much everything since I got ill and not once has he complained how hard it has made his life.

I agree with those who've said you need to wait a bit because regardless of any awful behaviour his dad's death is terribly difficult. But whatever issues he has apart from that, he needs to step up and get help, whatever form it may take. It is easy to ignore problems when you're a single person but when you have a family you have to think of how it impacts everyone else.

I know this is way back on the thread but this At its absolute core root is a belief that houses and families are women's work and that he as the only man, is the most important person in the household. is spot on IMO.

All the best thanks

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 07-Apr-13 16:49:31

Good luck Boffin. Hope you work it out. I'm going to tell mine I want him to put me out a bowl of muesli and bring me up a glass of water every night though wink. He can do that as well as the bins and the dishwasher in future grin.

Honestly though, he doesn't make me feel undervalued or emotionally abused and he certainly doesn't sleep all the time. He might not be domesticated but he certainly isn't lazy.

wine lashings flowers lashings [love - need an emoticon mnet] lashings.

Badvoc Sun 07-Apr-13 17:04:37

I hope it works out for you boffinmum x

JulieCarp Sun 07-Apr-13 19:16:40

Reading your latest posts - the tea,muesli,water by your bed does sound thoughtful- how many of us do this for our partners - I dont !

You sound so unhappy and trapped.

The steak and saturday night - really if you hate this tell him ! its unfair if you expect him to read your mind and know what you want.
I have sort of caught bits in your post where you say he accuses you of the things he is doing - not really sure what that is about.confused

BoffinMum Sun 07-Apr-13 20:44:06

Right, here we go. I was very forthright in the earlier conversation and he said he had been quite shocked as the marriage I was describing was not the one be thought he had been in. I said I was pretty appalled that he had said he fancied moving out, and I said that if he was wanting the easier bits of parenting and to lie in bed all the time, then he knew where the door was. He said that was a bit harsh, and I said he started it with his stupid comment about moving out. I also said that it was a bit bloody rich saying I was moody when the reality was I had been bearing his children for him. That point was taken.

He then rapidly agreed to go for bereavement counselling, which is apparently available through his work for free. He will ring them asap. I said I thought this might be very helpful for him as I thought he probably hadn't got over his grandad's death yet, let alone his mother's. We discussed this a bit. He is nervous about counselling but is going because he knows I want him to.

He also agreed to have one lie in a week and on that day to get up by 9.30. I can have a lie in on the other day and get up when I like. If he feels tired at other times he has suggested we all go for a walk/bike ride/other exercise to boost metabolisms and ward off tiredness. He has said he will not be sneaking off for extra naps any more.

He has been helping in the house a lot more, like he used to, and I feel the balance is a lot fairer now. The efforts are much more efficient and focused and there is no 'ta-da' at the end of each task.

He has stopped grumbling generally, and he does not have a face on him any longer. He has stopped sighing regularly like a member of the cast of Eastenders.

He was really surprised when I said I hated lavender body lotion and broken necklaces as presents, sheepish in fact. I think he knew they represented a poor effort. I said I was still monumentally hacked off about Mother's Day and he said sorry again. I think he won't be repeating that nonsense.

We have been for a walk and to do some shopping, and also a bike ride to a local beauty spot.

We are going to have a proper weekend away if we can find some childcare (will ask former nanny to step in as proxy parent), and I get to call all the shots. We also booked all the various components of the summer holiday so that it is as easy for me as humanely possible (e.g. flying not driving, fast track at the airport, automatic hire car, lounge access and so on). I have carte blanche to order whatever silk stuff I want off his credit card (although tbh pretty much all our money is in the same notional accounting pot at the end of the day, so that's more symbolic). Some of the money he has inherited may well be going on reupholstering some of the prize antiques that I inherited, that are stored at great cost rather than used because we have ironically not had the money to get them sorted out (long story). In short, I feel my priorities are now being recognised in a way they weren't before.

I am feeling a lot more positive, I do think I have managed to assert myself properly, and I think he has experienced a major wake up call.

Thank you all once again for holding my hand this weekend through what has been a very difficult and gruelling process.

Boff xx

justaboutalittlefrazzled Sun 07-Apr-13 20:45:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChasedByBees Sun 07-Apr-13 20:48:51

Glad to hear it - hope he keeps up with the improved behaviour. Don't let him slip back into old ways, this should be your new normal.

Mumsyblouse Sun 07-Apr-13 20:50:20

I also don't think it is realistic for everything to be fixed straight away, indeed some issues may rumble on, but I think it is ok in a long marriage sometimes to say: your behaviour is just awful and I will not go on with the marriage if it continues. I hope he heeds the wake-up call, I suspect it has shocked him and that is no bad thing. It would also not be a bad thing for him to stop his self-indulgence, for him as a person as well as because he is your husband. You know he is better than this and that is what you have to transmit to him.

Charbon Sun 07-Apr-13 21:02:12

Glad he's had a wake up call Boff, if you'll pardon the irony grin

Good luck.

racingheart Sun 07-Apr-13 21:03:15

I'm really glad he's finally listening to you and acknowledging the effect his behaviour's had on you.

On top of bereavement counselling, I hope he will go to the doc too, as that level of exhaustion must have a mental or physical illness at its core.

Have a lovely weekend. Have FUN together. But will you also please listen to what so many people on here have said? Your lifestyle or pace of life is making you both ill. God knows what effect this stress is having on your DC. But you've had PND and a breakdown and now he too has had a breakdown of sorts. Surely this suggests you all deserve a gentler, less pressured life.

What changes might you make, together, to achieve this?

justaboutalittlefrazzled Sun 07-Apr-13 21:11:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fuzzpig Sun 07-Apr-13 21:12:02

Good news Boff, make sure he keeps it up smile

AnyFucker Sun 07-Apr-13 21:20:26

so, he's always had free bereavement counselling as part of his job ?

then why the fuck didn't he access it before, bearing in mind you have been telling him for a long time that you are not happy and he has been letting you think all his shitery is because he lost someone he loved

ffs, we all lose people we love

we don't all turn into a selfish wankstain who take it out on our families

christ almighty, please don't take any more excuses at face value

I hope this is a wake up call for you because I do believe he will do what the fuck he likes and the only variable here is how you respond to that fact

TomDudgeon Sun 07-Apr-13 21:21:55

What they all said
You're a wonderful woman. Make sure you both keep remembering that

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 07-Apr-13 21:28:58

Fingers and toes crossed.

Snazzynewyear Sun 07-Apr-13 21:33:39

Really hope this is a turning point for you. Good luck!

Badvoc Sun 07-Apr-13 21:35:21

Agree with AF, but wishing for the best x

pollypandemonium Sun 07-Apr-13 21:46:53

I can understand the counselling thing - not everyone likes counselling - I don't think he needs it anyway. It was an excuse to wallow and be a slob. I'm still not convinced he has shifted his thinking on a deeper level (ie men don't do housework and women shouldn't complain about anything), it does sound to me as though this is an unbelievably sudden change.

I will watch this space - don't think you can sneak off without an update.

AuldAlliance Sun 07-Apr-13 22:25:56

Have sent you a small novella-length e-mail, Boff.

Thinking of you. xxx

BoffinMum Mon 08-Apr-13 08:16:32

Going well at beginning of Day 2.
Stand down the LTB storm troopers. wink

MavisGrind Mon 08-Apr-13 09:15:03

Just caught up Boff, glad to hear you've had The Big Chat and wishing it all works out for you both. You know where we are if you need AF us though! wink

onefewernow Mon 08-Apr-13 11:39:09

Tee hee Boff. I never left mine, but I will be forever grateful to those who suggested I should!

Make sure he keeps it up. You have been married long enough to know quite well about the two week spurts of effort they tend to favour!

onefewernow Mon 08-Apr-13 11:40:38

I'm glad he is getting counselling, but the wrong kind of sole counselling can be very validating for poor behaviour too, so take care.

GreatUncleEddie Mon 08-Apr-13 12:01:45

Oh I'm glad to hear that boffin. Stick to your guns, don't slide back into the habits he has pushed you into. (No stormtrooping from me)

AnyFucker Mon 08-Apr-13 12:16:16

Has anybody actually said LTB ? confused

If anyone was going to say it, AF, it would have been you grin grin

Boffin I really hope it all works out for you.

Everyone always says people can't change. Well IME marriages can change - mine did (long story) and it's what saved it.

AuldAlliance Mon 08-Apr-13 14:57:07

Glad things seem more positive, Boff. Hang in there, hold on to your principles and I hope you two can work it out.

(AF, I think the expression "selfish wankstain" may have made it seem like you were suggesting LTB... wink)

Dozer Mon 08-Apr-13 17:08:17

[Grin] at LTB stormtroopers!

Although really it should be LTB jedi, as we are not on the dark side.....

Food wishes boffin.

Dozer Mon 08-Apr-13 17:09:09

Oops, good wishes!

AnyFucker Mon 08-Apr-13 17:19:51

"Selfish wankstains" can be forced to change their behaviour if you refuse to tolerate it, and quit making excuses for it. There is quite a lot of excuse-making on this thread, and not all of it only from respondents.

This what I say on many threads. Not necessarily "LTB" although I don't think I am too unusual in thinking that if someone is selfish to the point of being abusive and have no wish to change even though they know they are hurting someone, then the only useful thing to do is leave or make them leave.

JulieCarp Mon 08-Apr-13 19:47:10

One thing that continues to jump out at me is the general his way/my way attitudes to things.
He has made some concessions and hopefully will as you say have had a wake up call but if this is to be a longterm change then I still think couples counselling would be the way forward - DH and I are like chalkncheese but we have a teamwork approach to things and I tend to notice this in happy couples . The tug of war approach can be exhausting .
Good luck

JulieCarp Mon 08-Apr-13 20:00:30

I dont actually mean war grin- just the toing and froing approach of him conceding /you gaining - I dont think provides a long term solution with such ingrained behaviours .

DrGarnettsEasterMixture Fri 12-Apr-13 15:02:04

How are you, Boffinmum? Hope you have some nice plans for the weekend, and that you get a bit of a break smile

BoffinMum Sun 14-Apr-13 08:25:33

As you ask, I am currently Mnetting in a posh hotel in a four poster bed having been given a box full of Rigby and Peller, and wined and dined all weekend. gringringrin

Prior to this, DH went to the doctor and was advised about CBT and also given some mild medication to help temporarily with sleep issues. This is helping him a lot.

He has clearly taken the point that lying in bed indefinitely is not a) healthy, or b) an option. Also that I cannot single handedly provide all support mechanisms for him should he decide to do so.

I am feeling a lot happier about things and very glad I made a fuss about the way things are going.

BoffinMum Sun 14-Apr-13 08:26:05

Or that should probably say 'were going'.

DrGarnettsEasterMixture Sun 14-Apr-13 08:49:39

Wow, that sounds lovely! Really glad DH has been to the doctor, and got that just opting out of family life isn't ok.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend (and I'm jealous of the Rigby and Peller box-I love their stuff!) You sound so much happier, which is great smile

Small note of caution-don't let DH think that grand gestures make up for equally grand crapness, ie the occasional weekend away, however lovely, doesn't 'buy' him the right to be rubbish the rest of the time!

BoffinMum Sun 14-Apr-13 17:15:47

Well, let's see if he can keep it up wink

Katisha Sun 14-Apr-13 21:24:59

But grief takes more than a couple of weeks, as you know. Don't underestimate him losing both his parents.

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