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Can he force me to be a SAHM?

(86 Posts)
BlackMaryJanes Fri 12-Apr-13 17:15:19

As you're probably aware after my previous thread my DH is a jerk to me. He is however good with our kids. Anyway, I've been a SAHM since our eldest was born in July 2010. When then had another in Dec 2011.

DH thinks 'I have it easy' and that I am 'lazy'. He resents me being a SAHM. Yet whenever I try to bring up the topic of me working, he won't discuss it. My wage wouldn't cover childcare.

So am I trapped into being a SAHM? I am so desperately low. I can't do this anymore. With no respect, no appreciation, I just can't do it anymore.

My GP has boosted my antidepressants from 50mg to 100mg. I have a HV coming on Thursday (I've told her I want to return to work).

Am I trapped?

Also am I entitled to job seekers?

What do you get out of this relationship now, why are you together at all?.

I think the main cause of your depressive state is actually your H.

You are not trapped but really can you imagine another 3- 5 years of this?. What are your children learning from the two of you about relationships here?. What do you want to teach them about relationships, surely not such an awful role model.

UnChartered Fri 12-Apr-13 17:22:53

how is he good to the DCs when he treats their mum so badly?

BlackMaryJanes Fri 12-Apr-13 17:24:22

AttilaTheMeerkat I'm a shit mother. I've been trying to be a good one for years. The children are learning all sorts of shit. Perhaps they should go into care?

That's not answering the question at all is it. That answer just makes you look defensive as well as silly.

Of course you are not a shit mother, far from it, but your H has and is playing a huge part in how you arrived at this low point in your life now.
Your children won't thank you for remaining with him if you were to choose to.

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

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 12-Apr-13 17:28:50

Don't be ridiculous.

You won't be a shit mother when you get rid of the shit husband and start actually having a life that makes you feel like a valid, interesting and capable person.

If you tell someone they are shit often enough they will start to believe it.

It has happened to you & the example you & your DH are showing your kids will also affect them. <sorry to be blunt>

You get yourself a job ....any job and get some form of income.

Do NOT repeat DO NOT let him ahve any of the money.

Once you have that bit of confidence and independance then maybe you will see that the problems you are having is fundamentally down to his treatment of you & hopefully you will see that you have a choice.

We ALWAYS have choices, not always brilliant ones but you deserve better & so do your DC keep telling yourself that.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 12-Apr-13 17:34:33

AttilaTheMeerkat it's teaching them all sorts of shit, as I said. WTF do you want me to do?????

BlackMaryJanes Fri 12-Apr-13 17:35:18

So what do you get out of this relationship now?

Then I'll have 100% of the childcare to deal with. Erm.,.. NO.

mynewpassion Fri 12-Apr-13 17:38:15

Leave him. Find a job. He can take care of the kids every other weekend. You get every other weekend child free.

No, its not about me and what I would want for your life. I honestly think that your depressive state is mainly due to your H and his ongoing abusive behaviours towards you.

I guess you get nothing from this relationship at all do you?.

DontmindifIdo Fri 12-Apr-13 17:39:25

Really OP, do you really think if you left your H he'd not want any access? You called him a good dad, do you think he would be happy to walk away and never see them again? Of course not.

However, as a single mother, you might be entitled to financial help towards childcare costs if you wanted to work.

what did you do for a living before you had the DCs?

"Then I'll have 100% of the childcare to deal with. Erm.,.. NO".

And why can you not consider that?.

He's done a right number on you hasn't he?.

mynewpassion Fri 12-Apr-13 17:40:52

People have given you great advice on your threads but you don't want to do anything but moan.

You do have choices. You just don't want to do anything about them but blame your husband. He's part of the problem and so are you.

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 12-Apr-13 17:41:42

When your HV comes tomorrow, don't just tell her you want to return to work, tell her how your DH is being about it. See what she says.

Personally I would ditch the job hunting for now and get an exit plan in place, then get a job later. You'd be entitled to housing benefit, council tax benefit and tax credits which would also cover a large chunk of childcare. And you wouldn't have to listen to his moaning. (If you don't work you get less in tax credits but also Income Support)

It wouldn't have to be a full time job, not at first. Your eldest will be eligible for a 15 hour nursery place in September if she isn't already, find a childminder who does nursery pick ups or a day nursery which accepts the funding and you're laughing. As the little one gets older your childcare bill will reduce as well.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 12-Apr-13 17:50:51

I agree with Attila. It's very hard to read your threads and not want to shout at the screen - leave him! Such a destructive relationship.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 12-Apr-13 18:02:33

I dont want to have to deal with the kids MORE than i curently am. hence not leaving

mynewpassion Fri 12-Apr-13 18:08:25

Leave him and the children. When you get a job you csn pay child maintenance snd see them every other weekend.

mynewpassion Fri 12-Apr-13 18:10:27

This way you get no husband, minimal child rearing, and no stress. You can get another degree or find a job without worrying about child care expenses.

TheCrackFox Fri 12-Apr-13 18:26:46

But if you left him you would, more than likely, get help towards most of the childcare costs. You would have to deal with the kids less because you would be at work.

I haven't read your other thread but a man who wouldn't be interested in having access to his own children isn't a good dad he is a cunt.

flaminghoopsaloohlah Fri 12-Apr-13 18:27:39

OP at the moment you dont want to face reality - it is clear in your posts. You are not happy but you are not prepared to step outside your comfort zone...until you are pushed probably. We can all tell you how much better things will be eventually. We can all tell you that this is not doing your kids any good. You are not ready to hear it. Why dont you hang out at the ea thread for a while.

mynewpassion Fri 12-Apr-13 18:29:54

What is your ideal numbers of hours you want to parent your two children per day? Or how many days do you want to see them?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 12-Apr-13 18:30:01

Yes, I'm am very wary of pushing you. It's easy for us to say - harder for you to hear and make a way forward. I think the idea about talking to your HV is a good one

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 12-Apr-13 18:35:08
Ledkr Fri 12-Apr-13 18:35:17

Oh come on. You'd rather be on high doses of any depressants than dump this idiot and love a happy life with your children?
I just don't get that.
Have you even at least considered breaking up with him and found out your rights to benefits your home etc?

AnyFucker Fri 12-Apr-13 18:36:56

Op, tell your hv everything and ask for help to leave him. There is assistance if you really want it

Have you ever contacted Womens Aid?

missmaybe Fri 12-Apr-13 18:37:26

He can't force you to be a SAHM, but you don't seem to want to consider the other options. It actually sounds like it's your choice, but that you're too afraid to leave or rock the boat.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 12-Apr-13 18:39:27

she is depressed, and that makes every turn seem impossible. The irony being, of course that her marriage contributes to the depression

MrsTomHardy Fri 12-Apr-13 18:43:16

Agree with Missmaybe

garlicyoni Fri 12-Apr-13 18:43:46


1. What makes you so sure you're a shit mother?
2. Do you hate being a SAHM? Or just being an SAHM with a bullying H?
3. How good is your independent earning potential?
4. How are you fixed for supportive friends & family nearby?
5. Would you prefer not to be a full-time mother? Have you spent any time away from DH and DC since Dec 2011?

Please think about these things rationally. Get some decent listeners to help you work it through - try your HV, GP and Womens Aid, plus any sensible friends you have.

garlicyoni Fri 12-Apr-13 18:46:00

The answer to your title question is, of course, No he can't force you. But he can make your life (and by extension, DCs') even more miserable if you hang around with him.

mynewpassion Fri 12-Apr-13 18:47:38

Or maybe its not that bad as the OP makes it sound like. She's just fed up with being a SAHM but doesn't want to do anything to change that. Maybe her DH is tired of her whining about it and her unwillingness to do anything about it.

Just speculating here. Does make me want to hear the DH's side of the story.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 12-Apr-13 18:49:02


there are other threads.

just in case she is being abused and is depressed, maybe we should be a bit gentle

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 12-Apr-13 18:49:17

you sorry, not we

mynewpassion Fri 12-Apr-13 19:01:31

I have read her other threads and its all the same thing. I am sympathetic and I do understand that she's depressed but I am also giving her husband the benefit of the doubt.

People give her really good advice about coping with two children under two and her choices about her relationship. She doesn't seem to take on board any of these suggestions but continually look at the negative side of things. If she's like this in real life, her husband might be at the end of his rope with her (providing some solutions and her mehing them) and might just take the decision out of her hands by leaving.

Maybe this might be a good thing if he leaves but it doesn't solve the problem of her being a SAHM. That makes me really worry about the children and that's why I suggested that she leave her DH and the children. Let him cope with them while she gets herself better. Its not a great idea but it might be the best idea for the sakes of her children and herself.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 12-Apr-13 19:02:51


it's frustrating I agree. Sometimes people need time, sometimes they only see the negative side because they are depressed. That is what depression does.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 12-Apr-13 19:08:33

At the moment the number of hours I want with my children are zero.

When I see the HV should i mention that ive been having thoughts of ODing? What wpuld happen?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 12-Apr-13 19:11:15

Yes, mention it!

I'm sorry, I can't answer the question about what will happen, but I don't think it will be as bad as you fear.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 12-Apr-13 19:13:07


call them. They will be able to answer your question

BlackMaryJanes Fri 12-Apr-13 19:17:59

I'm a bitch too. It's not all DH.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 12-Apr-13 19:20:03


1. What makes you so sure you're a shit mother? I'm starting not to care what happens to the DC sad
2. Do you hate being a SAHM? Or just being an SAHM with a bullying H? The latter.
3. How good is your independent earning potential? Not very. According to someone in a recent thread I am 'unemployable'.
4. How are you fixed for supportive friends & family nearby? A few good friends. No family.
5. Would you prefer not to be a full-time mother? Have you spent any time away from DH and DC since Dec 2011? Never spend any time away.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 12-Apr-13 19:23:00

Does make me want to hear the DH's side of the story.

I can try and get him on here. Tonight is not the time though.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 12-Apr-13 19:24:05

That makes me really worry about the children and that's why I suggested that she leave her DH and the children. Let him cope with them while she gets herself better. Its not a great idea but it might be the best idea for the sakes of her children and herself.

I think you're right. Where would I go?

garlicyoni Fri 12-Apr-13 19:25:17

Yes, mention it! You do sound at the end of your tether, you poor thing.

I agree, the Samaritans are very good listeners. It can often help, just to hear what you yourself are saying iyswim, I've rung them loads in the past.

I'd guess you can be snappy & negative - a bitch, if you like - because you are tired, anxious and nobody listens to you. This gets anyone down, when they have two small DC, let alone a 'dominator' where there should be a partner. Forgive yourself a bit.

You could leave, you know, and let him take care of DC. It may be that you desperately need some proper time to yourself in order to think straight. This is one of the things you can discuss with your HV, the Samaritans, and Womens Aid.

Sending you an internet hug.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 12-Apr-13 19:26:53

Thanks garlicyoni where could I leave to?

garlicyoni Fri 12-Apr-13 19:31:04

Ah, cross-posted smile Thank you for answering!

OK, time to yourself is starting to look very crucial - would you agree? I imagine it's virtually impossible to be a lovely, caring, mindful mother when you also feel completely trapped.

If you were to go to a refuge, they'd help you work out and apply for your entitlements and find a place to live. I'm thinking it's a good idea to ring WA and discuss all this with them. They'd also be able to help you figure out whether to leave by yourself first, then get the kids later.

If you were to leave, how likely is H to suddenly realise he's been an arse? Not very, I'm guessing ... in which case, waiting for a refuge place for you and DC could be the best idea. That way, you'll get the support you need and some clear 'thinking space' to enjoy with your children.

How are you feeling now?

garlicyoni Fri 12-Apr-13 19:32:16

where could I leave to?

Sofa surfing with a few friends? You'd only need a backpack. Go to Citizen's Advice to find out your position re money, etc ...

flaminghoopsaloohlah Fri 12-Apr-13 19:32:47

in the thick of it, it is very very hard to see the wood for the trees; OP. You are likely in a fog and sorting out what is wrong in your current state of mind will be difficult. HV, WA and the EA thread are all very good places to start. I have been in a very similar situation to you: sorting it all out in your head and seeibg clearly takes baby steps and time...

CinnabarRed Fri 12-Apr-13 19:41:25

I'm really sure that leaving your children is not a decision you should contemplate while in the depths of depression. If you did that, it's possible (even probably given your statement that it's not being a SAHM that's the issue per se, but rather being a SAHM with any abusive H) that you would deeply regret it.

The way you've latched onto the idea like a drowning woman makes me even less comfortable.

Phone Women's Aid - find out your options.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 12-Apr-13 20:00:23

They'd also be able to help you figure out whether to leave by yourself first, then get the kids later.

The kids are better off without me.

If you were to leave, how likely is H to suddenly realise he's been an arse? Not very, I'm guessing

Not very at all. He would think I'm even MORE of a bitch. It would make him even more angry.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 12-Apr-13 20:08:01

I agree with Cinnabar

BlackMaryJanes Fri 12-Apr-13 20:09:48

I'm phoning the Samaritans. I've asked DH to leave for just 30mins so I can make a phone call, and it looks like he's going to.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 12-Apr-13 20:12:38


garlicyoni Fri 12-Apr-13 20:12:47

See, I also think perhaps your feelings about parenting are all muddled up with being bullied & put down.

You said:
1. What makes you so sure you're a shit mother? I'm starting not to care what happens to the DC
2. Do you hate being a SAHM? Or just being an SAHM with a bullying H? The latter.

This reads like you would be a far more contented mother without H getting in your face about everything.

However, I don't want to push you to feel that, as a woman, you must want to be with your children. Not all women do. Getting some space - and, most importantly, some decent talk - has to be very important for you now.

Wish I could come over, feed you chocolate and give you a good listening-to!

garlicyoni Fri 12-Apr-13 20:13:13

Oh, good! Well done, you.

Ledkr Fri 12-Apr-13 20:22:36

Mary - the Samaritans helped me immensely many years ago.
Well done love.

bigbuttons Fri 12-Apr-13 21:21:29

Every view of yourself at the moment is completely clouded by your depression and being with this man.
What you are feeling is not the truth, I know I have been there, please hold on to that.

CinnabarRed Fri 12-Apr-13 21:25:38

My brother is a Samaritan - thank you from the bottom of my heart for calling (our DF committed suicide when I was 16 and DB was 13 - I wish he'd called someone).

BranchingOut Fri 12-Apr-13 21:31:34

I am really alarmed that anyone is advising the op to leave without her children.

What I think you might need is urgent support, possibly in-patient admission.

BlackMaryJanes Fri 12-Apr-13 22:03:10

Wow. Bizarre night.

I phoned the Samaritans. They were great. As I was finishing my conversation with them the door bell went. So I answered - it was the police!

Turns out my friend was concerned about me and had phoned the police! I've just spent an hour dealing with them and talking to the 'crisis team'. They checked the kids. Had a word with DH. They've left now, and DH does not look pleased.

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 12-Apr-13 22:04:34

I didn't read all of your previous thread. Is there ANY chance he might be verbally or physically abusive to you now as a result of this?

BlackMaryJanes Fri 12-Apr-13 22:05:44

No idea sad

flaminghoopsaloohlah Fri 12-Apr-13 22:14:53

Shit and fuck. That was possibly not the best move on your friends part. Your DH's reaction is alarming. OP are you ok?

flaminghoopsaloohlah Fri 12-Apr-13 22:14:57

Shit and fuck. That was possibly not the best move on your friends part. Your DH's reaction is alarming. OP are you ok?

Ledkr Fri 12-Apr-13 22:19:14

Op if you feel even the slightest bit scared stay calm and get out as soon as you safely can. Do not antagonise him tonight play it down until you can get through the night safely.
Is is worth pming someone your r name and area in case you need help quickly

flaminghoopsaloohlah Fri 12-Apr-13 22:21:43

Ledkr speaks sense.

Crikey sweetheart you're going through it tonight. What is your rough location? Are you safe?

Possibly not the greatest thing your friend could have done, but out f concern for you and DCs I do understand why.

Please come back and just tell us that you are safe xx

Tortington Fri 12-Apr-13 22:25:25

you need to leave

Ledkr Fri 12-Apr-13 22:34:17

Unfortunately I speak from experience sad

OP are you ok?

pigsDOfly Fri 12-Apr-13 23:22:31

How are you now OP?

Please don't think of leaving without your children. You sound terribly depressed and your GP just throwing more medication at you is not going to deal with your situation.

Sounds to me like you're going round in circles. Forget finding work at the moment. You're priority is to get your depression sorted out. Your DH does sound to be, if not the whole reason for your depression, a huge part of it. You need to be away from him at least until you can see a bit more clearly. You need to concentrate on your health and your children. As others have said WA is the place to start.

flaminghoopsaloohlah Sat 13-Apr-13 08:05:34

Checking in on you OP. Can you let us know if you're ok?

BlackMaryJanes Sat 13-Apr-13 18:36:34

I'm okay guys. Thanks for your concern. Nothing has changed with my situation but I'm okay.

pinkyredrose Sat 13-Apr-13 18:47:17

You are depressed and your partner is unsupportive and you have children who will pick up on this
How much clearer can I make it! Your environment is making you feel bad and will continue to make you feel worse. Get your head out of the sand and have a good look at your life, take your children and run. I mean it! Your life will only be worse if you stay.

Ledkr Sat 13-Apr-13 18:50:00

Thank goodness for that.
Are you going to do anything?
I remember how hard it was to make the decision to end things but I'm just so glad I did. My life is so nice I dread to think how it would have been with him.

MMcanny Sat 13-Apr-13 18:59:17

Get a job around his work hours to start with? Just to give you something outside of yourself/relationship/home. Have not seen your other threads so no idea why police would be interested. Are you still talking to the friend who phoned them? Do you understand why friend did that?

garlicyoni Sat 13-Apr-13 19:33:08

I'm really glad your talk with Samaritans was helpful. I suppose you'll be trying to keep your head down this weekend, but please do carry on reaching out as soon as you can get space. Womens Aid / Refuge would be a good next call, I believe. You can ring them just to talk, they won't pressurise you in any direction smile 0808 2000 247

bigbuttons Sat 13-Apr-13 22:04:12

you NEED to keep talking. You know what really helped me? That was to ask people here on MN if things my ex did were actually normal or not. I had become so conditioned into thinking I was a crazed woman , a shit mother and housekeeper that I believed him. You NEED to get some perspective, it will help.
There is a wonderful thread on abusive relationships, very supportive. I know how you are feeling, really I do. Talk to others who are experiencing the same as you. You will find that these men follow a very similar script.

garlicyoni Sat 13-Apr-13 22:20:59

You're so right, buttons, I carried on doing that for years! I still get the odd surprise that people are so much more decent than I had come to accept.

Go ahead, BMJ, tell us about some incident or regular complaint at home, and we'll help you deconstruct it.

flaminghoopsaloohlah Sun 14-Apr-13 00:09:41

I second the last two posters: talking things through and constantly re-evaluating are very good ways of figuring out exactly what is going on.

springyhappychick Sun 14-Apr-13 12:20:10

whether to leave by yourself first, then get the kids later

You won't be able to do this. It is considered abandonment and the likelihood of you getting your kids back is slim. I'm so sorry.

I agree with other posters that your vile H has brainwashed you to think you are crap. You have believed him. I was in a similar situation to the one you are in now. I left with my children. I was in the depths of depression, very ill.

at the time I thought the kids would be better off without me but underneath somewhere, I knew that wasn't true, that it was depression (and sustained abuse) speaking.

You have to get away from this shit. I was offered an in-patient place at a mother and baby unit but they couldn't take my toddler (what use was that offer then?!) - though things may have changed. Get in touch with WA at your absolute earliest. Get on the Freedom Programme asap.

It's taken a while to brainwash you, it'll take a while to unravel the web he has wound around you.

Plenty of us have been where you are now and plenty of us got out. You can do it. Your kids need you. They especially need you to get them away from their father. he is not a good dad - but you will see that one day if you don't see it now.

TimeIsACurrency Sun 14-Apr-13 12:47:12

Just to say, hope you're ok today OP. You did such a great thing calling the Samaritans on Friday.
There are some very wise and incredible people on MN who have been where you're at, and come through it, so please stay on here to keep talking to them.

garlicyoni Sun 14-Apr-13 14:17:59

Springy, this is a bit of a diversion I suppose. Are you saying that a mother who went off for a few weeks to get her thoughts straight, then came back and initiated a separation keeping her children with her, would be deemed to have abandoned them? Surely not??

Nobody would ever go on a girly holiday confused

springyhappychick Sun 14-Apr-13 15:04:18

You could disguise it as that I suppose. But you can't go off to get your head/a place together then come back and get them. It would be deemed abandonment and you would struggle to get them back. If you went off on a holiday with the girls, then call it that, and don't be saying you're going on holiday to come back to separate. Two weeks is a long time if your kids are little though.

When I left my husband I had no interest in my children - which was why I was offered a place in a mother and baby unit. I had no interest in my kids because I was ill. I got better - especially when I was diagnosed with PND (although I think the depression was because of my marriage) and given treatment. I rented a house and gathered as much support as possible around me, both professional and social, and hunkered down to get better.

BlackMaryJanes Sun 14-Apr-13 15:09:28

Thanks everyone for holding my hand through this.

I've found myself obsessing over the inlaws situation (thread link in OP). I can't stop thinking about it and getting anxious.

* Blood is thicker than water.
* DH already resents me for being 'lazy' as he sees it.
* He now has people he admires telling him that I'm lazy.
* I feel invisible and devalued in my own home (DH would probably argue the same).
* I want to invite inlaws up here and have it out with them once and for all - face to face.

I'm now looking for an evening barmaid job. Surely then, they all have to shut up?

BranchingOut Sun 14-Apr-13 16:54:26

What did your DH say about it?

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