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wife strike!

(12 Posts)
Artypants14 Mon 03-Jun-13 14:30:13

This is the first time I have ever looked at Mumsnet, and the Relationships forum. I am struck and saddened at how many women are out there struggling with loneliness and despair in their relationships which are supposed to support them.

I have decided to write here because I have long recognised that I am at my absolute wit's end in my own relationship, and though I love my husband, I honestly am at a loss as to what I am supposed to do now. I have to give some background to lead up to where I am now.

I married my very best friend, and until I suffered with PND and an anxiety disorder 10 years ago with our first child, we shared the most wonderful, loving relationship anyone could wish for. Despite being two very different people, we always found a way to compromise and support each other. Dragging myself through depression and anxiety was one of the hardest things I have ever done, and one of the absolute loneliest. My husband was furious that I couldn't get my act together. He resented the fact that it was so difficult for me to get through the day, to sleep at night, and to function. I think I survived by pouring all my love onto my son, and I truly believe it was the love I felt for my baby that ultimately gave me the strength to recover eventually.For the first time ever, I felt utterly abandoned by my partner. Later on, somehow after all my repeated attempts to communicate with him, he eventually came to see how unreasonable and unsupportive he was.

This experience was the very beginning of all our problems which continue in cycles. Eventually, he decided we needed to sell our house. So I packed everything up and handled the selling and moving on my own with our son who was 2.

We moved into a house where we continued to argue, mostly because I was forced to spend hours at night catching up on my own work that I couldn't get done during the day with all the stuff I had to do as wife and mother. I had also returned to study and eventually went on to do a Masters thesis. Unfortunately, his father became very ill and died after a long illness. I tried everything I could to support my husband through a time which was incredibly painful for all of us. While my own parents and my sister were fighting amongst themselves and either taking it out on me, or ignoring me altogether. My husband was gone for extended periods of time to be with his father and his own family while I stayed alone at home with pour son and struggled to finish my study. Most of our time together was difficult, and we found it difficult to communicate. He admitted that he was not available to me emotionally. I tried to understand and kept going, trying to be there as much as I could despite the fact that I was grieving myself, and finding the issues my side of the family were having, very difficult.

After our loss, husband took over the family business and found another house for us to move into. Bigger and more expensive. So I packed up house and even found myself left behind at the old house frantically trying to move everything out while everyone else was at the new one. We thought this move was going to be a new start. Things got worse.

After years of difficulty, I became pregnant. And then I miscarried. No one called to ask if I was ok except for my mother. He could not acknowledge my grieve and loss until a counsellor pointed it out to him. He couldn't hear me say how sad I was. Life went on and I learned to deal with it.

For an extended period of time he worked away and I felt left behind. Our communication suffered even more, and I eventually came to feel as though he wasn't there when he came home on the weekends - he talked about his new friends up there constantly. And he formed a close friendship with a younger girl which caused enormous issues for our marriage, given that he spent so much time talking to her online and messaging her. Even through my pregnancy and birth of last child. I did everything I could to support him, and tried to accept the friendship. It all got too much and I told him I could not tolerate it any longer. Long story short, he cut right back on the friendship and they do not talk anymore. She appears to be out of the picture. But he can not understand why this upset me so much. Since becoming a parent, my own social life has deteriorated and he seems to have the most fun with his mates. I used to be one of them.

I eventually realised the business was in financial trouble and have spent the last 3 years doing everything I can to help out and support him with everything. (I have even paid some of his traffic fines! )While raising our two gorgeous children and working full time. Again we are selling our home to reduce the stress and debt. So I am working myself to exhaustion and felling a very distinct lack of support emotionally from my husband. He helps a little around the house, but I do the vast majority of everything. He rolls his eyes when I get upset and tell him I am at breaking point. Whenever I need help for myself, it is not there. I do not feel appreciated and I do not feel supported. HIs idea of quality time, of time for us, is for me to give up what I need or want to do, and to go to him and do what he wants. I have no time for myself and I am always tired. I go without for the sake of everyone else.

I feel that he has lost respect for me and his expectations and demands of me are those of a manchild. Many many times I have tried to communicate with him, and he either tells me that I can not organise my time properly, etc etc and refuses to acknowledge responsibility for anything. Often, he turns on his heel and walks out on me, while usually swearing or calling me names (or even goes to his mother's house!) rather than stay and sort it out. I have had it with his tantrums and feeling alone and angry. I have had it with the double standards and lack of support. Enough of the unfair lack of balance and equity. I have decided to go on a wife strike!! I am not doing all those wife things anymore! I am taking back all those things I have given up and sacrificed over the years and reclaiming myself as a person!

I realise this is an extremely long post and I do not expect anyone to read it. I just needed to say it in a place where I can not be silenced and walked out on.

Dahlen Mon 03-Jun-13 14:37:11

From where I'm sitting, he appears to be spoilt, entitled and abusive. Calling you names, swearing and refusing to talk to you is abusive behaviour, not just bad behaviour. There are also lots of other red flags in your relationship. What are you getting out of it, if anything?

In your shoes I'd make the wife strike permanent and file for divorce. But I'm not you, so I'll ask you instead what you want to achieve from this and where do you see yourself going. Are you hoping he'll see the light and return to the loving, supportive husband he was before your first child? (How long were you together before you conceived BTW?) Are you hoping he'll have a road to damascus moment or agree to counselling?

blue2 Mon 03-Jun-13 14:39:49

Hi Arty

From what you've written, you have just offloaded years of anger onto MN - well done! (Step One - Tick!)

Now what do you want to do? Do you want to leave the relationship? I would strongly suggest marriage guidance before you decide go your own ways.

Do you have any friends or family to help out?

FWIW, I think a lot of marriages border onto this 'lack of communication' issue. A lot of men (my DH included) just don't 'get' what we are trying to say sometimes, especially when its a very emotional time for us. I know that's not helpful, but what I'm trying to say is that you're not alone.

arty I'm sorry you are going through this. Your 'D'H sounds like an abusive and entitled twunt. You are worth more than this!
I don;t have any advice, sorry, but here is a hand to hold til the wise ones arrive flowers

Lweji Mon 03-Jun-13 15:02:57

I am not doing all those wife things anymore

You mean slave things?
wink

Stay strong!

Hey, OP, that coffee you've just woken up to sure smells good, eh?

You are an Angel to have not buried him under the patio already

So what next?

I note that you mention being raised by difficult people. Unfortunately it's fairly common for people who have bullies in the family when they are growing up, to go on and marry another selfish bully. I think you can do very well without this man - for one thing, he won't be able to drain you financially any more.

AnyFucker Mon 03-Jun-13 15:48:14

I think you should divorce him. What other solutions could there possibly be ?

frustratedashell Mon 03-Jun-13 16:17:48

I don't know how you have kept going for so long! He sounds awful. Certainly not a loving supportive husband. If I were you I would get rid of him. You can only be a victim if you allow his behaviour to continue. Sorry if that sounds harsh but it's true. You deserve so much more, as do your children.

Darkesteyes Mon 03-Jun-13 16:38:38

Welcome to this board OP You will find some very wise and incredibly supportive people here.
Your H is an abusive sexist mysogynistic arsehole. Im with AF. He deserves no less.
You have already done all you can and marriage guidance/ couple counselling is NOT recommended in cases of abuse.

Bogeyface Mon 03-Jun-13 17:30:40

So your marriage was perfect until you needed him, and then he was no where to be found? But when he needs you he expects you to be there no matter what the cost to you?

Sounds like divorce would be the best option tbh.

Phner Mon 03-Jun-13 18:41:35

He's missed some fundamental lessons about how to respect and care for others. It doesn't sound like he's got anything like redeeming qualities.

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