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dh and i barely talking, probably my fault....(62 Posts)
I am feeling really sad and angry at the same time... I'm hoping posting about it might be cathartic or at the very least help give me some perspective.
Dh and I have for the past week or so barely talked, and had no physical contact at all which is totally out of character. Things have been difficult for a while, I'm going through a very tough time with my mum (which I had a thread on, I will try and link in a bit for background). It's come to a head because my mum's dog bit someone so obviously I cannot take the dc to her house anymore. I understand and know this. But mum thinks it's all a bit of a joke the dog biting the postman and doesn't understand why I won't bring the dc round, she is however welcome to visit ours. We live 5 minutes away.
Dh hates my mum. Understandable considering the background. And he gets frustrated that I seem to make allowances for her behavior based on the fact she's my mum. He gets annoyed I don't hate her as much as he does. If it was down to him she would not see the dc at all. I feel sad about the relationship with my mum and feel very caught between dh and my mum. When mum texts or comes to visit dh gets into a mood and becomes very negative about it.
This has all built up into me talking to him and saying I don't particularly like my mum but she is my mum and it's hard for me. Especially as an only child and no other family. He said he won't say anything but he just can't help himself.
I am also struggling with looking after two dc (one 11 months one 10 year old) all day every day no support as he works everyday most days 8-10 and we have no family or friends to help. Literally no one. So I'm doing it but it's bloody hard.
We seem to constantly get into this tiredness competition over whose life is more difficult and I feel I can't have a moan without him alluding to how awful work is for him at the moment. So I've literally just stopped talking to him really.
This week on his day off we went into town which is actually 40 min away in the car as we live rurally. Ds started moaning and whinging in the car as its a long journey and I got very fed up feeling sorry for ds and generally stressed. Dh then got fed up with me as I couldn't calm down even when we got to town. I felt really wound up. And I was annoyed as the only reason we went was for some book that he wanted. He can't drive so I had to go to. None of the shops had the book so he ended up in a mood and had to order it online later anyway !
We ended up having lunch somewhere and ds was enjoying some food and suddenly had a bit of a choke (which is one of my major anxiety things as dd nearly choked and died when she was little) . Dh went to offer him some more food and I don't think he realised ds was choking so I put my hand out to stop dh and dh got annoyed with me and said he knew what he was doing.... it's so frustrating, he thought I was attacking his parenting, ie that I'm the better parent.
It has now been a few days and neither of us are really talking at all. I have said sorry for snapping etc and just said I'm finding everything difficult. He said well there's nothing he can do as I obviously don't want anything to do with him... which is partly true as when I'm stressed I just want to be on my own. I'm usually in bed by the time he gets in as I just don't want to have conversations that time of night.
Ds is sleeping 12 hours a night so it's not a sleep issue.
I don't know where to go from here. None of this makes much sense.
One thing really stands out to me here - his working hours. It is no wonder you are both tired and resentful and drifting apart. Can he not do anything about this? Is he a workaholic? What would happen if he left the office at say 8pm, would they really fire him on the spot?
Thank you for the reply. It's not an office job. They are short staffed and keep saying they will hire more people but it's been 4 months now and they haven't.
He is currently doing about 60 hours a week. It's ridiculous. But we need the money. Jobs aren't easy to come by our neck of the woods.
He's also management of a sort so can't really refuse to do hours.
He may have to though if its wrecking his health, your health and your marriage? Does he want to cut back?
My dh works very similar hours and often later. He does get home sometimes for a break in the afternoon. Its very hard, especially when we fall out. I also have no help and friends and family are a flight away.
How does he get to work? Motorbike?
Anyway, you need to talk - could you preempt it with an email or text to say you don't want it to be like this, you can't change your mum!
And you both need to have a break, even for a few hours at the weekend, and a plan. His needs to include learning to drive, otherwise he can't even take the dc out, to feed ducks or anything. They need time alone with him, to get to know him and be happy to be with him without you.
What does he and you want to change, realistically? Small steps generally work. We have an evening at the weekend where we almost have a meeting to go through the week gone and ahead, no tv, no wine, then a DVD and maybe wine then.
Changing hours isn't an option. He is currently looking at other jobs but I am not hopeful he will find anything because jobs aren't in abundance up here!
He walks to work. It's 5 mins down the road so he does come home for his break, when he has one - he doesn't always as often he is the only senior member of staff inso needs to remain onsite.
We have spent £2500 in total on driving lessons for him in the past two years and he cannot seem to pass. Some of that money was even on an intensive week course and he got too stressed and anxious with it all and didn't finish the course.
So... sigh. It's all a bit crap isn't it.
You're right, I should email or whatever and try and reach out but I'm still so angry and I just feel I don't really have the energy at the moment, the dc take up my whole day and then I don't even have time for me let alone dh.
We don't have anyone to babysit apart from my mum and due to reasons mentioned in previous thread I am obviously reluctant to ask her. However here is the odd part dh keeps wanting to ask her to come to ours and listen out for dc in the evening so we can go out! But I feel if he hates her so much he can't pick and choose when he wants her in our lives. He's just so desperate for us to go out.
We have no friends. And I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving dc with a paid sitter. I just wouldn't enjoy the evening if we did.
To be honest, I am just feeling like a bit of a horrible old woman at the moment. Lots of little things are pissing me off.... dh playing Xbox in the evening and shouting at the tv even though I know he works hard and it's just a hobby, he sits in my favourite spot on the sofa (I'm aware I sound like Sheldon from big bang here), he is always waffling on about something.... that sounds awful but I just feel bombarded with noise constantly.
I should miss him in the evenings when he's working but I'm so tired and run down I enjoy the quiet and just sitting on the sofa and going to bed early.
My weight is another issue.. I have a thread in style about that. I'm 3 stone heavier since I had ds and I feel miserable. I am dieting to lose it and walking etc but dh doesn't care about the weight, which is nice, but as I'm not eating as much he seems to be annoyed with me because I'm not joining in snacks etc. He is skinny and eats everything. Always has done.
Because of my weight and everything else I have lost my libido. Like dropped off a cliff stopped. I can't even think about sex at the moment.
Everything is just shit. It just feels like I'm clock watching till bedtime everyday. I enjoy moments with ds and the rest just drains me.
Dh has a week off coming up and I'm actually in a bit of a panic feeling anxious about how we are going to get on because there's such an atmosphere between us now.
Well, he can see you need a night out together so that is a good thing. He is picking your dm as he knows you trust her. He is ok to have her at your house, and thinks she is best to look after the dc if you are out. I haven't read your previous thread so I don't know if its anything except the dog, which she won't bring? I don't think he is picking and choosing, he is trying to make it something you agree to and are happy with.
Realiy, as exhausting as it sounds please agree with him and have dinner with him somewhere or something- not the cinema! Make sure he gets up to help in the morning as well.
I feel the same re when my dh is here, snacking and watching what he wants on the telly when he is here ( which is ok really) and after dc are in bed and he is at work, I tidy then I wonder where the evening went.
I am on the low carb bootcamp thread starts tomorrow - come and join in, I lost loads last time and never hungry. Plus it's a nice friendly thread.
Do you mind about the driving? As its easy to be complacent about work and not driving then a job offer comes up and he needs to drive and you can't move dc from schools easily, house move etc or he loses his job?
Do you go to toddler groups at all? I found a mum who's husband had the same job as mine, which was a great comfort - she knew all about it!
Ok, just read your other thread. If you go to toddler groups, then ask for a babysitter, or better yet, ask your dh if anyone's wife at work or older reliable person would babysit. They can pop round for a coffee as they work so close, and meet the dc.
I also suggest getting a cleaner a couple of mornings - you can't do it all, if you can afford it, and maybe she might babysit?
Wow, just read your mum thread - you have a lot on your plate right now.
The main thing that hits me is that you sound very cut off & lacking in support network - you mention not having any friends that you could ask to babysit - what happened there - new area?
What are local playgrounds/ mum & baby classes or groups like? I wonder if you need something for yourself - friendships, stuff you do for fun. While ds is still little you've got a great access into lots of mums - just pick out a few you think you like & ask if they'd like to meet you for coffee/ come to yours. Or is there a mum at a class your dd does who you think looks friendly? Get chatting, make yourself some links....
Ito Dh? I'd be trying to get some reconnection time sorted - sounds like you need to remember why you like each other. Which is hard when you're both feeling over worked & under appreciated. I think the night out plan sounds like a really good idea. Get yourself some new clothes, go & get your hair done maybe, think of it as a new start.
I'm keeping off the mum issue, as I'd want to get things with me & Dh sorted first then tackle that....
Oh my word I could have written some of these threads tonight. I am so glad I am not alone. Feel for you hun. X
Thought I would come back to this..
Thank you for the replies.
Dh had some time off work and after some careful thought we got mum to listen out for ds, he was asleep when she arrived and all she had to do was chat to dd before her bedtime and then listen for ds on the monitor. We went out but didn't go far and ds slept the whole time.
I enjoyed going out. But still unsure about the whole relationship with mum thing. I feel like everytime we ask her to do something for us she's thinking she has the upper hand on us. I have no idea how true that is.
Dh and I reconnected a bit. I think so much of my anger is all entangled with how I feel about my mum and dh generally seems stressed from work so much and there's a lot of negativity about. I really enjoy being at home with ds and then I have to counsel dh about work and mum about whatever else.
Dh has said he wants to look for another job. Fair enough. He doesn't seem to be happy in any job he's had really .
I won't go back to work unless I absolutely have to. As in dire financial need. I love being at home and I enjoy looking after the house and if I returned to work I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving ds with anyone. The nurseries here are awful and there are no local childminders. We would not be able to afford a nanny.
When I had dd many years ago I returned to work quickly as mum was more with it and also used a good nursery but we have moved now and the nurseries we visited just to have a look have all been awful. I actually complained to ofsted about one. And obviously I can't leave ds with mum for daytime childcare. I just don't feel I can trust her to do things my way let alone anything else.
I am worried financially though. We are just scraping through every month. It's not a long term situation really. I plan to find another job when ds starts school. Anything would do really.
Since having ds I feel really odd about myllife really. In some ways I feel contented ... he's the perfect bond baby I never thought I'd get to have after having awful pnd with dd, so I kind of proved to myself I'm not a bad mother... and on the other hand I keep feeling quite stressed out wondering if I've peaked at 32 years of age... I have done everything. Had a fab job once, had a rubbish job, been married twice, divorced, single mum... all kinds of relationships, clubbing, drinking, staying up all night... everything. I can't think of anything I haven't done.
So what do I do from here? Just exist? I am quite happy plodding along... I think. Or am I? I don't know.
I am trying to look at booking a cheap holiday for us all in the summer but dh is having problems trying to get work to commit to dates. I need something to look forward to maybe.
I don't know what I want. I want... something. I don't know what.
I feel quite old. Really old, very suddenly.
oh Fairy, have just read your latest post. I think it's very very normal and natural to feel as you feel - and it goes without saying that 32 isn't old, but at 37 now I can relate to feeling like that at times in the past, but I don't think it has a single thing to do with age.
A few random thoughts if I may.... a relationship gone awry with your mother is not to be underestimated in terms of the impact it has on you - and you feel alone with it. Your DH is clearly very hard working but perhaps has not really empathised with you on this matter, making you feel isolated. There is also a sense of both of you having very specific things that make you unhappy or life harder but these have become stuck - I'm thinking about the lack of a social network and the driving - these are no doubt connected. Since you are a SAHM for now (unless this changes and you get a job) is now not the ideal time to start to build one? You may be over-estimating how many people/ how much of a network you really need to feel supported. There are probably other mothers in exactly your position not too distant. You probably only would need two or three people to make a huge difference to how you feel about your local area - can you look into things that interest you? Zumba/cakes/bookgroup/yoga/riding/running club/local theatre - the possibilities are many!
Your DH probably could do with a mate or two as well. He sounds unhappy at work but has he actually spoken to them about achieving a better balance, or has he shouldered the extra responsibility without a conversation. That could go better than you both think if he plans what he wants to say. Even if the hours were better whilst he looks for another job, that would be a start.
Rome wasn't built in a day, but honestly feel from reading your posts that for both of you a combination of repetitiveness, isolation and overwork would be the things to look at first - the babysitting, whether to get another job, the relationship with your mum - all these things might look a lot easier to tackle if you both take steps to address increase the enjoyment to be had out of life.
Fairy I have no solutions but I understand that what do I still have to do feeling.
I'm married, my children are 8 and 13, I've had my fun times, I've studied hard, got several good qualifications, done the whole staying up all night/different relationships etc.... I don't see what there is ahead of me that could be better than what's gone before. I feel I have peaked.
I'm not sure this is a solution as such but I find I need to keep looking for ways to challenge myself. Right now, I'm challenging myself at the gym, with a really hard 50 day training programme. That might bento work for you but how about finding something for yourself - learning to do something new, something relaxing and which would help clear your mind maybe?
It might be a daft idea and if it is, sorry.
I went away and have been having a good think about everything here. You're right, I do need some sort of challenge. Or something for me really.
I've started to do some selling on eBay.. all kinds of things. I used to work in marketing so I'm quite enjoying writing all the blurb out for the items. I've also started toying about with the idea of making some sort of saleable craft type thing. Although I have to be honest .. no great ideas yet!
The isolation thing is more difficult. I am extremely anti social (she says posting here, wittering on) and I think a lot of this stems from the fact people have always hurt me throughout my life and I feel I just don't need the hassle or the disappointment. Very self defeatist maybe. I also hate people just popping round and it seems to be a culture round here that friends just pop in. To illustrate... I had one friend that used to just turn up on me a couple of years ago and in the end I pretended to be out and then when I moved I didn't give her my new address. And I changed my phone number about the same time and didn't give anyone that either.
Occasionally I get pangs of wanting a friend.. but then the responsibility that comes with that, the effort, the popping round, the phone calls etc. I just don't have the energy. I guess that's why I like forums. I can just switch off.
I think dh is pretty much the same although he doesn't get as anxious as me. He just can't be arsed.
Things are still very difficult. Mum came round this week and dh got very annoyed as he perceives she was a bit rough with ds putting a top on. I don't think she was, I was next to her and ds was just having a little bit of a moan. Mum was doing ok. But I could see dh was getting annoyed mum was holding ds so in the end I took ds back. Mum was miffed, dh was stressed. It was all a bit of a disaster really.
Mum also really annoyed dh by keeping going on about how ds looks like our sideof the family ... he doesn't. At all. Dh feels like this is her trying to wind him up. I am not sure. Think mum is just maybe trying to share ds and at worst a bit thoughtless. However she never ever says ds looks like dh even though he is the spitting image. This annoys dh.
I am so fed up with it all. Nothing but hassle and stress. We are now back to dh being really annoyed with my mum. He wasnt meant to be there anyway he had abreak and came home from work.
I feel defensive towards mum. I feel angry... with myself for feeling that way but I do. I feel annoyed with dh as I feel he has no sympathy towards how I feel about my mum. He feels I should be able to cut her out but I can't and he seems frustrated with me.
I know if people read my dh's version of events on here they would be very sympathetic towards him and I would be slated for having sympathy towards my mum and not siding with my dh.
The thing is deep down I just feel that my mum is the only constant in my life. And she hasn't been really so I don't know why I feel that way. But I just feel like I'm sure one day dh will get fed up with me and I'll be back on my own again and the only person I will have anything to is my mum. I just don't know if I can believe my dh is always going to be there. I must drive him mad, I'm a very introverted person and I am very difficult to live with. As is everyone at times I guess.
I go to bed and all I think about is mum, my childhood, have I done the right thing, am I doing the right thing.
In my darkest moments sometimes I wish I hadn't had ds as its changed everything between me and my mum. But I love him, I really do. I just find life so hard and I miss my mum.
I feel very low at the moment.
Your statement that you wish you hadn't had your DS because it has affected your relationship with your mum is quite worrying, to be honest. It's not normal to put your relationship with your parents before your relationship with your partner, and I remember reading your other thread and being surprised that you had spent most of your adult life living with (and supporting) your mum, though I appreciate her mental health problems were part of the reason.
If I were your DH, I would resent the lack of support regarding your mother - you said in your previous thread that she hated him from the start, and that must be very difficult for him (especially, bluntly, that his stressful job is paying her mortgage).
My DH doesn't drive (failed his test several times), so I know how difficult that can be. I was wondering why you chose to live in such a rural area? Would your life be easier if you lived somewhere more urban. It would probably have the advantage that there wouldn't be such a 'popping-in' culture, either (which I would hate too!). You sound very isolated - do you ever go to mum and baby groups, that kind of thing?
A tip to pass into your DH for his driving test that worked for me after similar amounts of money being spent was to ask the GP for beta blockers for the test. Passed right away after that. Stopped the anxiety leading to the errors.
Thank you. All good points. I totally see where my dh is coming from with regardsto my mum. But I can't just cut her out. And so round and round we go....
The mortgage thing is a bit more awkward than that. She owned a share in our house and wouldn't have been able to afford to buy her own due to living with me and health problems for many years of non working so unless we got a mortgage to buy her house now she wouldn't have been able to move out. So we would have been stuck with her. So it's not like dh resents paying it. It's necessary. And also we have our house relatively cheaply as I was high earning before so if it wasnt for me doing that ... well dh would be under even more pressure or I would need to work. I feel like I've already made my contribution by effectively bringing most of the equity to the relationship so dh is effectively buying his share in, if that makes sense. One of the reasons I don't want to work is because it's like I'm working to buy another share in a house that I've already brought, I want dh to buy his share. I'm rambling.
I am happy living rural and neither of us want to move back to somewhere more urban. I don't want to go to mother and baby groups. Sorry, I know people are trying to help. I do plan to place ds in nursery for a couple of days when he reaches about 2 to meet other children. At the moment we potter at home or go to the park or shops or whatever else.
Dh and I talked a little the other night. He said he feels that if it came down to it I would always choose my mum over him. I said how could he say that after everything I've done for him, ie forcing mum to move out (which is something I have never done for any other partner) etc.
We got quite heated and he said he just doesn't know how I can just let her walk all over me (his words) and never confront her about things. But Im just not confrontational. I don't want to argue with everyone anymore.
Part of the reason I can't cut mum out is because I suffer with a low immune system and if we ever needed someone desperately to look after the kids there is literally no one else. Dh would have to take time off work and we would end up in debt and lose our house. I never want that to happen. Its unlikely. Yes. But I'm not prepared to cut off my mum at all.
I just don't know what to do really.
Dh and I are now back to not talking really again. I feel angry with him because he just doesn't understand my need to have a relationship with my mum. He's not close to his own family and he just doesn't get it.
It's very complicated as dd for example went to stay at mums yesterday as she wanted to and mum is bringing her back today and she will want to come in and see ds. Dh is due home from work about then so the whole thing will be awful again and I feel totally stressed out.
Similarly ds has a birthday coming up soon and my mum obviously wants to be part of that and will want to pop round for an hour to give presents etc and I know dh will be very unhappy about this. So I say no to mum??? I can't do that either.
I feel totally stuck in the middle.
I didn't mean I regret having ds because I don't I just mean I hate the way everything has changed and I don't feel right pushing my mum out because of my dh. Maybe that's wrong. People say your spouse should come first but to me I can't just abandon my mum because at the end of the day whatever happens she is my mum, whereas dh could leave any time. That's the reality of marriage.
I see the mortgage issue is not that straightforward, sorry.
Do you realise that the problems since having your DS are problems that your mother has caused, not you? She's the one who has reacted strangely and been hostile to your DH, instead of being happy that you have found someone who makes you happy, and happy to have another grandchild. Was she the same about your previous marriage?
It seems drastic to completely cut your mother out, as your DH suggests. But could you set firm boundaries with her - ask DH to be civil, and be clear to your mum that if she can't treat your DH with respect and be polite, you'll ask her to leave? Your DH sounds as if he feel unsupported by you, especially with his comment about how he feels you'd chose your mother over him.
I would disagree that you should put your mother first because your DH could leave at any time, in fact, I think that's the reason you need to prioritise your relationship with your DH. Parents should love you unconditionally, but marriage takes effort, especially if you're dealing with stressful situations (finances, new baby, etc). You should focus on your relationship with DH precisely because it takes more nurturing/ effort that your relationship with your mother.
Would you please read the thread you linked to?
Please see how god awfully piss poor she is as a mother.
Would YOU do the things to your dc, that she has done to you?
The choice here is not between your M or your DH. You have to choose YOU. Choose those that make you feel good about yourself, that want the best for you, genuinely, without having their own agenda.
Focus on your H, on your marriage, on you, your dc. Not necessarily in that order, and not always with the same priority.
Your mother is holding your head under water here, she's stopping you live. That is why your H hates her, because she is so crappy to the woman he loves.
Thanks, the most frustrating thing is I know both of you are right about my mum. I just don't think I can live with the guilt of feeling that I didn't take care of her, both now and in the future. I don't know how to let go of that. I am fully eyes open at the fact she was a pretty shit mother but some of that I can explain by her mental health issues and her own childhood. Although at the same time I go round in circles thinking well not everyone that has a shit time of things turns into another shit.....
I just feel that supposing say she gets very ill and I don't look after her, what does that say about me? She brought me up, in a way anyway so why shouldn't she expect that of me? Could I live with myself if I didn't? There is no one else to do it. Just me.
Dh and I have had a terrible row this evening by text unfortunately as he is at work. He is now saying he thinks I want nothing to do with him etc and that I should do what I want to with my mum because he wants nothing to do with it. Which would be fine if he meant that but he doesn't, he's angry with me and is saying it almost to incite a row I think.
I have told him that I don't know how I can make him feel I've chosen him anymore than I already have but I feel likehes just not sympathetic to how painful it is for me with my mum, he just gets angry with me about it all. He got angry and said how dare I say that etc etc. He clearly feels he is being supportive but it just comes out as angry and resentful.
I don't know how to put myself first. Even now I'm just living for the kids and my goal is to grow them up properly and well and then hopefully have some of me back again. Maybe I'll get a villa in Greece or something who knows.
Interesting what you say about making more effort with a dh rather than family as the family will always be there... maybe that is part of my problem in a way. All my relationships have always felt like a lot of work, I feel that with my mum too but I feel like I understand mum well as I've always been around her. Sometimes with my dh I am not quite sure what he's thinking etc. I find it difficult.
I just don't know how to move on from here. This is the first time in my life I've lived without my mum. I'm struggling with it. I really shouldn't be but I am. I feel like a massive chunk of my life has gone and I should be happy but somehow I feel like a fish out of water. Almost worthless.
Please get counselling? For you? You can't do any of this on your own
I think I'm going to have to. I will do.
I'm sorry I keep going round in circles. It helps me to clarify things and when I read it back sometimes things do sink in.
Your mum hates your H. She hates your joy/happiness. She ignores and roughly treats you son, the only child your H has.
Talk to him! ASK him what he thinks you should do, calmly and seriously. Come to terms with the fact that you have NO idea how families should be. How you don't know what love is, or means. He does by the sounds of it.
Give it a month. A MONTH of him calling the shots as far as your M is concerned. If he wants no contact, no contact it is. If he's prepared to shoulder the blame for you, so that you can have the break you need to gain clarity, please let him.
Talk to him, to us about your fears (it's fear, not guilt that panics you btw). Don't think about what others would say. You H knows the truth and wants her gone. Anyone who read your story would support you, not her.
You need to be shown how to put yourself first, you need to relearn how to live.
I had to do this, and by god when you see what life SHOULD have been for you, it's almost evangelical. Tinged with sadness, as you see how cheated you were, but you are young, you have time still to live well and happy.
So give the reins to H for a fixed period. Let him be the buffer.
Just picking up on a different aspect, you said the local nurseries are awful - have you considered becoming a childminder? You may enjoy the challenge and it could provide you with some income?
Def get some counselling to deal with your mother, your dh and dc are your future...
Of course you go round in circles, this stuff is hard core hard!
Please let yourself be guided by those who Know normal?
I haven't read your other thread I confess however I did want to say that I think accessing counselling FOR YOU to talk through how you are feeling may leave you with a better sense of self and confidence.
After decades of unpleasantness manipulation I ceased contact with my mother about three months ago. I am happier. My relationship with my husband has gone from rocky to rock solid and improving. My DD is happier because we are happier and I have a hige amount more confidence in everyday parenting as well as my job.
Its been a massive eye opener, I do keep in contact with other family members and there have been several tough moments such as a relatives funeral and my pregnancy (baby due in a few weeks) where I've wished it could have been different but ultimately I can only change my expectations of my family's behaviour, I cannot actually change THEIR behaviour.
It's not easy. We had financial ties too at one point so I do appreciate how that can seem a big burden. I also strongly agree with a pp who says that you need to open up to your DH and ask hom what you should do, be honest and say you have done everything you know how to do and you need him to show you the next steps.
I did that to a degree with our situation. My mother upset me very badly, by a throwaway comment and I asked DH if he would support me in going no contact, he replied he'd kept quiet long enough and he felt I deserved better treatment than they gave me and he wouldn't have stood for it if it had been his family.
Will you be expecting your DD to put you before her DH and DC then OP?
Will you be pressuring her as your DM does, making life difficult for her, and trying to split her up with a partner, telling her partner to Fuck off etc and generally resenting that her primary relationship isn't with you?
I think you do need counselling, but so does your mother. She is expecting your relationship to be the most important to both her and you but of course it can't be. Just because she lived with you doesn't mean she has the right to expect so much from you.
YOu've now had a long period where you haven't seen much of her until recently. You are in a good position now to talk to her and tell her that unless she really tries to get on with your DH and DS, tries to improve her behaviour and attitude towards them then you & DD won't be seeing her. And stick to it. Put a time limit on it and let your DH decide if he thinks she has tried to behave. I'd also tell her that you expect her to get rid of the dog.
The ball is in her court OP you have no need to feel guilty if she doesn't choose to make the changes that will keep her in your lives. Sad though it is I know.
I really think you must stop discussing your mum with DH. See her when he is at work and dont disturb him by tattling on about it. He has his hands full with work, problems (from his perspective) with his MIL and marital problems. Please try to minimise the impact your Mum has on your relationship by separating the two as much as possible. I dont mean your DH is right and you/mum are wrong, just that this is an easy practical step that you can take to improve your relationship.
Next is there one day of the week when DH could regularly come home for his break? So you get 40minutes together regularly say every Tuesday, and you can both look forward to that.
Certainly you must get more fresh air and exercise, I wonder whether circumstances have pushed you towards mild early depression which is making it even more difficult for you to manage the problems you have? Would you consider consulting a doctor about this? Maybe short term medication would be enough for you to get your life back under your control?
Thank you for the replies. Much food for thought... you're right when you say I wouldn't expect dd or ds to put me first in the way my mum expects me to do for her. That has got me thinking about things and I can begin to see how odd our relationship is really. It's more like a marriage than a mother daughter relationship. So I guess what I'm going through now is a kin to a bereavement or divorce. The slowly separating everything is so painful.
Interesting what you've all said about allowing dh to lead the way for a bit... maybe that's the best thing to do. I do feel very disconnected from everything, you're right I don't think I really know how to love properly (well apart from my dc, but even then sometimes I feel oddly disconnected too). Dh is very passionate about us and our little family and as much as I am, well sometimes I just feel so worn out with it all. Its relentless. I sometimes feel I have no inner peace.
Believe me I don't pester dh at work... in the evenings he is very quiet but still has to be there so he tends to text me a lot and we do talk about things then. I'd be happy if he chose not to text me or talk about mum but most often he is the one chasing me and asking about mum. I wish he'd just leave it sometimes. It makes it worse. He's now said he won't mention mum again which is fine by me but there's now sort of a superficial unease between us where we are not really talking about the issues that matter.
The thing I am struggling with most is little things like some random thing ds will do and I take a photo and I want to send it to mum. Or I want to text her and tell her something. We do text quite a bit here and there (normally 1-2 texts in an evening) and I would find it hard to stop that. To not share things with her seems very empty indeed. Obviously I am sharing all these things with dh too, I'm not excluding dh over mum.
Tomorrow I promised her last week that I'd go round tomorrow with dd as dh is home for the day and so can look after ds for an hour... she is desperate to show me her garden she's been working on. Obviously I cant take ds to hers because of her dogs so I need dh to be home so I can go. Its at the point now where I'm dreading tomorrow as I know dh will start moaning about mum again even though he doesn't even have to see her. I won't be gone longer than an hour in all so it's not even taking up a day off together.
Mum absolutely won't get rid of the dog. No way. Never. Not even an option.
I still can't really talk to dh. We are just tiptoeing round each other. He was off most of today and we just focused on the dc and hardly spoke to each other. I still feel angry with all the harsh words between us. And then I try and get over it and little things will really annoy me and we are back to square one.
I'm going to see my gp about counselling this week.
Ok well mums just texted me and said she wants to pick dd up from school and go for a coffee with her as planned but she has to go somewhere else so I won't be able to go round after all. So that has solved that one... but now I feel sad because she has obviously prioritised something else over me. Again. Fucks sake. I need to stop being surprised.
Honey, you are sharing things with your mother through fear of not involving her, she is an interloper in your marriage, and she is going to see your H off if you don't take this stuff seriously.
She is keeping tabs on you, keeping her hooks in.
If she won't treat your children equally, why are you letting her take your DD? Just text her back and say another time then, and call off the coffee thing.
Seriously, you NEED to step back and WEAN yourself off this poisonous woman.
H can be the bad man, he can be the one that says, actually no, DD stays home. You know you need help from someone to help you stand up for yourself with your mother.
Honestly, I know you and your H think things are fraught atm, but this is BECAUSE OF YOUR MOTHER AND HER TREATMENT OF YOU AND HIS DS. He can't stand to watch it. He wants it all to go away, and you are putting up all the barriers you can to stop that.
please open your heart to him, tell him you need help getting a grip on a healthy viewpoint. I am sure he will help you.
You CAN say NO to this woman. You owe it to your family to do so.
Worst case scenario: SHE wins.
You LOSE your H, and have to share care of your DC with him.
You know as well as I do that she will get her claws back into you as she did when your previous relationships died.
She will somehow reinforce that YOU failed, and SHE'S the only one that will be there for you, and how you need to be CLOSER to her. She is an emotional
fucking parasite. Sucking the life out of you and your family.
Let me tell you. YOU didn't lose your relationships through mis-deed or character failure, SHE more as likely did enough to cripple you so that you couldn't have a successful relationship. You don't know what one looks like, how could you?
PLEASE, tell H that you know his feelings, but that he is entitled to them and he can speak to you about them. Ask him to listen to you and support your slow journey to a more healthily balanced life.
I can only imagine the irritation that man feels when he sees what she does to you and to your DS. I am surprised she is not buried under the patio.
I hate bullies, I HATE seeing what damage they heap onto others. Your H is hurting watching her do what she is doing to you all and he feels alone in wanting to actually DO something to stop it.
You need to call in the big guns; anyone and everyone to get you to where you need to be. YOUR OWN PERSON.
I haven't much advice with regards to the situation wi your mum I'm afraid but one Inge that screams out at me from your thread is please, please get your thyroid checked out.
You are displaying some of the main symptoms of an under active thyroid - extreme tiredness, anxiety, weight gain - and a simple blood test could actually show that those symptoms are all treatable.
*one thing, not Inge!
In the marriage service it says 'forsaking all other'. This does not only mean that you can no longer work your way through the local rugby team, it means that if you marry then you and your husband put each other first because you are a new unit, a new team and you have to build your lives around each other. That isn't too bad a model.
What I think is that one day your mum will be dead and if you let her you will be left alone with a string of relationships behind you destroyed by her 'ways'. She won't care.
I am sorry if this is a bit preachy, but I hope the point of view will help. Good luck
Thank you for the replies.
I am actually on medication for a very underactive thyroid and pituitary problem (those are my health issues I mentioned upthread) so very good guess! ... but I'm already on the maximum dose that I can be on without it interfering with one another (thyroxine at high doses can be dangerous to pituitary gland etc). I see a consultant regularly at the hospital. I have however off the back of your comments so thank you, booked myself in for a blood test on Wednesday this week to be sure nothing else is going on.
My dh has today off work and both of us have been really making an effort to be nice to each other... it's very hard. We are trying.
Thank you for all your thoughts.
Things just aren't getting better after all.
Mum came round the next day, dh came home from work on a break knowing she would be there. I don't know why he can't just avoid her but he feels that's giving her what she wants. I have no idea anymore.
I spent the whole time feeling incredibly stressed and awkward knowing that dh didn't want mum to hold ds, and knowing that mum was desperate to hold him. When she came in ds was in his highchair having just had dinner and she brought him some toys to play with. I went and hid in the kitchen so dh had to make the decision about getting ds out and handing him to mum for a cuddle. I know that if I did it dh would be angry with me.
Dh then handed ds to mum as he felt he couldn't really say no to her having a cuddle. He then went into a terrible mood and effectively stormed back to work without saying goodbye to me, which annoys me because if we are going to show mum what a strong family unit we are then he's just made himself look like a moody sod as mum is so thick skinned she would have no idea why he would be annoyed.
Mum stayed for an hour or so and then left.
Dh was in a terrible mood when he got home from work (at 10pm) saying that he won't have my mum tell him to pass his child to her. I didn't want to defend her but I feel he's blown it out of proportion. She just wanted a cuddle as any granparent visiting would do.
I feel like because dh hates my mum so much any normal behaviour is perceived by him as wrong etc even when it's normal.
So now we are back to square one again. I really don't see how we can move forward from this.
I'm not inviting mum round all the time. She comes round maybe once a week for an hour or so and that's it.
If he wanted to, dh could avoid seeing her.
I'm not telling dh anything about her. Dh keeps asking me if I've heard from her.
I feel pulled in all directions. I don't want to spend my life arguing about my mum anymore. I'm fed up with it. I need some fucking peace.
By not talking to your H, you are siding against him.
She doesn't need to come around every week. Your H is trying to help you here FGS. Stop pandering to a woman that has wrecked your life and start investing in yourself.
THEN the arguments WILL STOP. You are ALLOWING yourself to be pulled. Stop that. You don't want her there EITHER, so ask H to help you manage her. Stop answering the calls, be OUT, and let your H deal with it if you can't.
Your mum is not thick skinned btw, she is just ignoring YOUR wishes/protestations. She is fighting a war here, a war against whoever she sees as having influence on you, and if that detracts from the attention she demands from you.
If you can move house, please do so, please get away from her. Give your H a chance to be happy with you and your DC. Let him help you grow.
Your H doesn't want that woman anywhere near his child. For good reason. You, sadly, have not shown yourself to be strong enough to protect yourself from her, and he wants to be there to limit the exposure to her poison.
Fair enough. He may not be perfect, but sounds like he cares a hell of a lot for you and your DC.
more than she ever has...
Thanks, I know you're the voice of reason.
The problem is that cutting her out is giving me more emotional and practical stress than just getting on with it. I just wish dh could let me deal with her and stop moaning at me about it. I know he doesn't want her near ds but unfortunately she has a relationship with dd that has been very close for a number of years and I just cant stop that, for dd as much as anything. I'm hoping that as dd gets older she will want less contact with mum and then as she won't have built up a relationship with ds much contact will become less.
I'm getting really annoyed because I feel like dh doesn't trust me to look after ds around mum. I'm not going to leave her alone with him. She isn't abusive. She loves the kids, she just says the wrong thing all the time and has different ways and ideas. I'm not saying she's a nice person, she's a battle axe but dh is acting like she's going to hurt ds and she wouldn't hurt him. She's just really difficult and annoying.
I have thought about everything all day. I just can't trust dh to sort it out because bottom line is that I still feel alone in this. I don't feel a real connection to anyone and I feel like for the first time ever I'm finding my feet without living with my mum.
I'm starting to wonder if maybe I should just focus on raising the kids. I just can't cope with the stress of everything. I am absolutely raging at dh because I just don't feel he understands how difficult it is for me with my mum. He just doesn't really get it and I don't think most people can. Because of this I find myself getting very defensive and frustrated talking to him about it because he will get annoyed and I'm sitting there thinking yeah but you haven't known her for 30 odd years so I know her better than you....
I just feel like I want to run away. I can't because dd is settled at school and whatever else so I really do need to be here for the kids but I really just feel like I want to blow up my whole life and start again. I think when my mum dies I might actually start living.
Your mother ISN'T a good person to have around the DC.
Read your thread. Please.
Read also your last sentence. You're trapped in all this and can't confront the situation. Your H could help you here. He's just telling you things you don't want to hear. Doesn't make him wrong though. STOP fighting him!
The anguish you feel is your childhood fear of her. It's irrational. I guarantee that if you DO hand this over, if you DO create some distance, you will feel some relief fairly shortly.
If you haven't got a toxic mother, haven't had to go through that extra special circle of he'll, then no, it's not easy to understand the torture it is.
All he sees is the woman he loves being treated like shit by someone, and he wants you to stand up for yourself, for him and for your DC.
Get counselling, fast. You need back up, you need to understand just how bad she is, you need to feel that pain, understand it wasn't ever you that caused it, and forgive yourself for putting up for it.
This woman has actively ruined your lives. You CAN state boundaries. You have that right.
I think you are trying to wage war on two fronts and only a fool does that - your mum is toxic. So is mine. So I do get where you are coming from.
Your DH sounds frustrated and angry and fed up.
I don't think you can prioritise your DD's relationship with your mum over your relationship with your DS and your DH. Read your posts, read how you have been firm and then in the face of your mum NOT respecting your wishes you have resorted to default mode. My mum has seen my DC once in 4 months, when she did so - rather than thank me for making the arrangements or appreciate I was dipping my toes in the water of reconciliation - she had a real attack on me for my bizarre behaviour, the impact it was having on my DC and the fact she hadn't done whatever it was I thought she had. I was 34weeks pregnant at the time and I am due #2 in a fortnight - I have no intention of allowing her near my beautiful children until she changes her attitude. They are not missing out on emotionally manipulative behaviour.
Get counselling. I did. 2 years of it via my employer (and you can access it through your GP) and I finally figured it out for myself - I cannot change the behaviour of others but I can change my expectations of them and my reaction to their behaviour
Have a little faith in yourself that you could change the situation
OK, I'm going to take one example which really stuck me, out of what you've been posting, and just try and help you have a look at whether your dh or your mum is being most unreasonable.
In your post on 23rd at 9.30, you talk about dh coming home even when he knew when your mum would be there - and your feeling was that if he finds it so hard, he should have come home at a different time. Ie it was absolutely his fault for precipitating the tension.
Imagine roles are reversed - you work horribly long hours, but have the chance to pop home to see your wife & dc at lunch time, for a very short break. How would you feel if the time that your dh had arranged to see a family member you really, really can't stand during that precious 40 mins? Think about your perspective on this - why shouldn't your dh be able to come home whenever he likes? It's his & your house, not hers. Was it really not possible for you to delay her visit - Sorry mum, dh will be home & I know he likes some time with ds, it'll be easier if you come at xx (I suspect that your dh isn't home at a set time, but given his hours, it would surely be fairly easy to avoid his breaktime?)
My mum isn't anything like yours (although very annoying and self centred) and I seriously cannot imagine how hard it is for you to break away. But I can tell you what you're describing in terms of a dynamic doesn't sound healthy, or normal to me.
You have the capacity to do so much more, be so much more - think of all the amazing stuff you've done so far, and those beautiful children you're raising! Let yourself let go of her & use all that potential.
I realise you feel like piggy-in-the-middle caught between the two key adults in your life. You didn't choose to be an only child, you've dealt with your parent for 30+ years through her illness, alcohol abuse and recovery but now I think you have reached the giddy limit.
Sorry Fairylea I won't repeat the advice upthread - it's all been said - but if you are still enmeshed with M after all she's put you through, how on earth will your DD rationally opt for less contact with Granny as she gets older?
If your M is manipulative and self-centred as she is, what benefit is there to letting her come between you and DH and ultimately influencing your DCs?
Thanks. I've been trying to take on board your advice. Hence the length between replying.
I've been making a real effort to distance myself from my mother. In fact I haven't seen her since the last time I posted. She has asked to come round twice and both times I made excuses. She has phoned once but it was a very stilted conversation. Mainly about her. She made some comment via text about bringing ds to hers (as if assuming we will change our minds) and I didn't reply.
It's so hard.
I haven't texted unless she has texted me, which hasn't been much, and then only minimum replies.
I know that maybe doesn't sound like I'm doing much but it's such a huge change for me. Honestly.
I don't think I will ever be able to cut her out completely or confront her properly about anything. Or if I need to. No idea.
On the other side of life.... well dh and I aren't really getting any better. I still feel very down about everything, and he is very stressed with work, still looking for another job but nothing is about.. so we still seem distant. Mainly my doing really.
I feel a bit paralysed by grief. I hope that's not offensive to anyone, it's not intended to be. I just don't know whatto do with my life anymore as I've spent my whole life making decisions around my mum. So now I don't have to I feel worthless.
Dh feels very distant to me. I don't feel able to share how I feel as I don't think he can ever understand properly and I don't expect him to.
We went round to his family this week, everyone was there, lots of them. I came away feeling very stressed out actually. I don't know why, everyone was nice to me etc. It just felt like they weren't my family, like I was in the wrong place.
I have had a very difficult week with the dc as well. I keep hoping I'm doing the right thing and I feel anxious a lot of the time, especially with ds who is now trying to walk and crawl everywhere. I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing anymore.
When dh comes home from work I leg it up to bed ten minutes before he's due in and pretend to be asleep as I don't want to talk. I know that's not helping but I just feel unable to talk about anything other than how was your day etc.
Our sex life is still non existent really. I have no sex drive. At all. I feel like I now have the two dc I wanted and I just don't have any desire to have sex again. Dh keeps trying to snuggle and be affectionate but I find it difficult because I know he's hoping it will lead to intimacy and I just don't fancy that at all at the moment.
I never used to associate sex just with having babies but I do now and I don't know how to change that. I feel as I'm getting older sex is less appealing. But I feel sad for us that I feel that way.
What a lot of moaning. I'm sorry. I want to be more positive but I need an outlet.
Well, to be frank, you refuse to talk to him, insist on bringing this emotionally abusive toxic woman around him and his children, you've unilaterally shut down your sex life, he's forced to work ridiculous hours in a job he hates - and you wonder why he feels distant. You really need to change your behaviour.
I know I do. Which is why I'm talking about it here.
Or maybe I'm just not very good at relationships.
I'm not wondering why he feels distant. I'm trying to understand why I do.
Unfortunately you can't have everything you want in life. You have mentioned a lot of aspects of it that you don't want to change - you don't want to move to a different area, you don't want to lose your DH, you don't want to cut contact with your mum, you don't want to use childcare. But if nothing changes, there is no way out of this situation for you - except for the 'giving up everything' option you have mentioned where you just run away on your own. I can see, frankly, why that sounds appealing but for most people it just isn't a reality, plus it would lose you all the good things in your life as well as the bad ones.
I second the suggestion of counselling and I also think some time on your own, without having to please either your mum or your husband, would help. I'd really urge you to think about your childcare aversion and think about getting someone else to take the kids at least for a few hours here and there. Could a family support organisation like HomeStart (if you have them near you) help?
OK, have just read the thread you linked in your second post. You know, really, I think, that your mum has too much of a hold in your life. The question is, how are you going to change that?
Thanks. You're right something does have to change. I've seen a different nursery locally and thought I might go and see it... I don't know if I'd go back to work, or even if putting ds in nursery for an afternoon or two a week would give me some time to be able to move forwards with everything. I'm worried something will happen to him at nursery and I'd blame myself... irrational I know.
I have just come up to bed now after waiting up for dh and making an effort to talk, just generally. I am trying. In my own way.
I just feel very unhappy in all aspects of my life. It's not a depression as such because when I do have time alone I don't feel depressed. For example, when ds has a nap I have been doing a lot of gardening this week and enjoying doing that. But when everyone is around me I just feel overwhelmed. I don't think that's very normal is it?
Well, to be honest, if everyone around you is stressing you out then you probably will feel overwhelmed when there are all there. And if in contrast, when you're on your own and it's peaceful and you get to do something nice and fulfilling that you have control over, then both those responses actually seem pretty rational to me.
It says that your depression comes from your dealings with the people in your life. In other words, it's not you in essence so much as you in your current situation. Which is good, because then if the situation changes then your feelings have the chance to change.
I would definitely consider using the new nursery for 1/2 afternoons a week, and spend that time doing things you like and to hell with anything else. To be honest, while many parents have fears about what will happen to their child in childcare, it's very rare anything does, and it sounds to me like this fear is actually fear of a future where you might in some way not be dependent on your mum, because you've internalised the idea that you can never do without her and terrible things will happen if you try. I would really push yourself to trust others with your kids because that will give you more freedom. Plus it would open up the opportunity for you and your DH to have more quality time together and I think that would help, as well as the time on your own.
Fairylea, you're doing well with the steps you've taken to distance yourself from your Mother. I can understand that the minimal contact etc is a big deal for you.
It must be especially hard as it hasn't made you any happier, but it was never going to instantly.
You have to stick to your guns, that's really important.
And now, as has been said in a previous post, your focus has to be on yourself, your DH and DC.
Its no wonder you don't fancy sex btw; you're depressed and not even talking to your DH - when the situation there improves, the other will come. The same applies to your confidence with looking after your DS - you're a wonderful mother to him, I can tell from the way you've said several times how much you enjoy being at home with him.
What happened with the counselling?
Try and let your DH in - he can help you feel happier.
When you see your dh there is no need to "talk" if you are both not ready for that. Just a chat about casual stuff every day is going to start to improve things between you, whereas avoiding the poor man will make it worse.
You need to work hard to get comfortable with your new identity, really make some effort, the "not closely ensnared with mother" identity. I know it is really hard when you have a major life change like this, coming to terms with who the new you is (I have been there myself) but please try hard to look forwards and not back and when you are through the adjustment period you will feel truly relieved, like a new person
I think you should sit down with your husband and talk. Perhaps you might want to show him this thread, or your original post. It seems like you are both very exhausted, very tense people who care about each other.
And it sounds like each of you doesn't know what the other one is thinking/feeling because he/you won't say it. For example, when he gets annoyed because you won't have a snack, have you said something like "I'm trying to lose some weight, because I don't like looking like this and I would feel happier and sexier if I was a bit thinner"?
And I agree that counselling might be a good idea. Having a place where you can talk in front of an objetive third party would be good.
I just read your thread about your mother. Get some counselling for yourself. You are trying to disentagle yourself from your mother's suffocating web, and it's hard, more so if you do it on your own. Get some support.
Do you feel disloyal to your mother for putting yourself & DH first?
I think you're doing well reducing contact.
There is a feature in today's Guardian about people bitten by dogs. Says a lot your mum and how she carries on in her own sweet way when she wouldn't countenance thinking about weighing up risks about keeping a dog that bit the postman when she has GDCs.
I suspect you are feeling raw and need time to adapt. I am not taking sides but I feel your DH might feel like by withdrawing you are punishing him.
Are you punishing him?
I understand that you worry about your mother. But what you are doing is killing your marriage and potentially harming your children. And of course, it is killing you and your life.
"I just feel very unhappy in all aspects of my life. It's not a depression as such because when I do have time alone I don't feel depressed. For example, when ds has a nap I have been doing a lot of gardening this week and enjoying doing that. But when everyone is around me I just feel overwhelmed. I don't think that's very normal is it"?
OP this paragraph struck chord with me. You have a lot to deal with emotionally at the moment wrt to your relationship with your mother, on which I am not going to comment because I feel I would be a little out of my depth. But PLEASE do not feel 'abnormal' for enjoying a little snatch of 'alone time'.
Over the last few years (after changing jobs) I am dealing with constant interaction in my day-to-day life - when I get up, when I travelled to work, a public facing job, then at home in the evenings - and I find it very difficult to deal with the constant stimulation. It has affected my mental health leaving me feeling constantly anxious, paranoid and generally unhappy in my life. Until recently I would find myself sitting in the bathroom(!) with my head in my hands, despairing, thinking 'I just want an hour alone, with no-one looking at me or talking at me' and believing that I must be some kind of anti-social freak who isn't 'normal' because I cannot deal with being in company ALL THE TIME. I would also go to bed early and pretend to be asleep so that I did not have to 'deal with' interacting in the evenings (and then fret about the horrible person I was for doing so - adding to the stress!).
A few months ago I stumbled across the book 'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking' and it has been a revelation. If you are an introvert (seems possible from your posts?) there is evidence that you physically NEED periods of low stimulation/alone time to 'recharge' and help maintain a strong healthy psyche. Over stimulation can encourage anxiety and confusion.
Reading about the possible neurological reasons for the feelings I was experiencing has led to a certain level of self-acceptance. I now recognise that it is ok to structure my life in a way that ensures I have a little bit of 'alone time' every once in a while, alongside the time I spend with my family, and recognise this time as essential to my (now much improved thankfully) mental health, rather than feeling guilty about 'neglecting' the people I love, and labelling myself as 'anti-social'
Anyway - apologies for the massive post that is not really 'on topic' as such, but your post made me think of the self-loathing/sense of failure I used to feel for 'needing' time alone and not being more 'social'. Please DO NOT FEEL GUILY OR ABNORMAL for enjoying short periods of time alone as a part of your life.
Oh no that really was loooong - apologies. I guess what I was trying to say, albeit in a really long and convoluted way, is that you can be a wife and a mother, and your life might be stressful and complicated at the moment, or your life might be really easy at the moment, but in any of these circumstances it is natural to enjoy some time alone if you are an introvert. So please don't beat yourself up about it, or automatically take it as a sign that there must be something 'wrong' with your marriage.
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