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Disappointed with DH - what to do(38 Posts)
Hmmm, not sure how to deal with this.
DH has been working away 2 nights this week. Also went out one evening to a concert which he'd bought tickets for a while ago, so I didn't mind that. I also don't mind him working away, it's not ideal but it's necessary sometimes. We have 2 DC aged 5 months and 3, the 5 month old doesn't sleep very well, so as you can imagine I'm fairly knackered.
He's away for work tonight and when I spoke to him it was a bit chaotic so we didn't get chance to say much. So I texted him later and asked what time he would like to be picked up from the station tomorrow. He replied saying he was going out drinking on the way back from his meeting tomorrow so doesn't need a lift and will be home late. He also said he wants to shag me when he comes home! He hadn't mentioned that he was going out up to that point. Also, this might sound petty but I've got a really sore throat and he didn't bother asking how I was feeling. And his chance of a shag is clearly a big fat zero!
I just feel so sad that he thinks it's ok to treat me like this. I don't know what to do. I do love him and he can be so lovely but times like this I feel like we are pretty low on his priority list.
I have been out a total of 3 times since our youngest was born (one of those I had to come home very early because she wouldn't settle). It seems massively unfair. He has barely seen the kids this week and if I was him I would be moving heaven and earth to see them tomorrow.
I'm not being unreasonable am I??? I just don't know what to do about it.
Explain you are booked to go out, as you had no knowledge of his social plans, so he needs to be at home with the children- he must have missed them.
Plus you might shag him when you get home.
You are not the default parent 24/7.
Diaries need to be planned with dc.
Then get dressed up, and go out.
Honestly - I think you just need to say to him frankly,
'I'm very disappointed that you're going out when we haven't seen you for days.'
I would be upset at that too. I don't really have any advice other than I would let him know I was upset.
You are not BU. Some "family man" eh ?
Does he have a drink problem, btw ? That seems to be the only reason I could think of why a father of young children would prioritise a sesh over seeing the babies he has had to be apart from for a while.
Not unreasonable at all, I'd be disappointed if DH did that and we don't even have DC yet!!
Surely if he's been working away he's had several free nights out on the piss already? Why does he need another one?
And as for what to do about it, I'd have said straight away you've been away for two nights, I'm disappointed you're not coming home! Just be honest and clear about it
How can he just make plans like that and assume that you will do all the childcare? I would reply and say - 'I'm going out so you need to be home, assumed you would be here because you didn't bother to tell me your plans'.
I do think working away can be very detrimental to a relationship. Your lives get disconnected, and if his workmates are single or arseholes that don't give a shit about their families then is it easy to get into the single-man mindset.
He doesn't have a drink problem. It's not so much the drinking but the seeing his mates that he's putting first I think. Drinking just happens to be the activity they do when they see each other. He went on holiday with his mates for a week when I was pregnant with a toddler to look after and working full time. I think I have been a bit of a doormat.
We're having people over for dinner on Saturday and I was going to do all the shopping and cooking because I felt sorry for him being busy at work. Fuck that I'm going to go and get my hair done and he can do it all himself, and look after the kids too. Hopefully with a hangover.
He used a week of his holidays when you were pregnant and have a small child on going on the piss with his friends while you were at home by yourself?!
Hes a selfish sexist bastard who sees housework and childcare as womens work.
"He also said he wants to shag me when he comes home!"
How did he phrase that, exactly? Because DH would know that telling me he was out on the lash after leaving me to look after DD on my own for days, he would not be on a promise.
If it was, I've missed you darling, I'd love to make sweet love to you, that's one thing. Coming home pissed, legs open, love, quite another.
You think you have been a bit of a doormat ?
Indeed you have. It's going to stop though, isn't it ?
To me it sounds as though you've fallen into the age-old trap of trying to be the cool understanding wife. It comes from a good place, but unless it is balanced with the same attention to your needs, you simply end up feeling completely taken for granted - as you're discovering.
The trouble is, even if your DH is a lovely guy, this has now become an established pattern. It's amazing how even the nicest people can take a mile when given an inch and never called on poor behaviour.
Have you spoken to him about this before? If not, you need a calm chat about how much time you give each other and how it is only fair that your social life is given as much priority as his and that family life is more important than either.
If you've spoken about it already, you may need some dramatic shock tactics to reverse it, such as him coming back to an empty house containing a well-written letter explaining how you feel and what the consequences will be if change isn't forthcoming (i.e. a devastated wife who has decided if she's going to be left carrying all the responsibility anyway she may as well be single). Hopefully that won't be necessary though.
FWIW, unless he has form for making you feel like a convenient 'hole' I wouldn't be offended by the wanting a shag comment, as that's probably his clumsy way of saying he's missed you and trying to demonstrate that he doesn't value his friends more than you. If he treats you like a sex object though, I'd say completely different.
Hope it goes well.
YANBU he is being unreasonable. Not quite sure what your dynamic is like but you either need to explain this to him as calmly and rationally as poss given how knackered you are, or arrange plans and tell him tough you're going out if that's the only way it will register with him.
You need to stop the rot, OP. It won't get any better unless you point out it is not acceptable to treat you like the home help. Am angry on your behalf. Please tell him how you feel ASAP.
I think you need to step out if default always-at-home mode I.e. say something like "what do you mean you are out? You didn't tell me and I have made plans, and I had assumed you would be in after being away".
It's hard with a young baby as inevitably you are always at home at night but now baby is a bit bigger I think you need to reset the balance.
OP, have you told him ? If he thinks your ok with it all nothing will change.
Op you are not being unreasonable at all. I cannot understand why he isn't rushing home to 'shag you'! He's not seen you for a few days.
My husband works nights sometimes and we miss each other so much he jumps me as soon as he gets in! He never puts his friends or himself over me or the kids.
Your husband needs to get his priorities straight, he's part of a family, his single days are over and I'm sure him having a hangover tomorrow will be lovely when the kids are screaming for attention. I think you need to go shopping on your own tomorrow then, let him look after the kids!
Tell him how disappointed you are. Hopefully he will realise he's behaving like a singleton, cancel his drinking plans and come home.
If he doesn't cancel then you need a serious chat.
Thanks everyone I appreciate the support. I am going to speak to him, it's the staying calm bit I have the problem with...I tend to get emotional and cry/shout/swear when we have any kind of confrontation, which doesn't help with getting my point across, and makes me end up being 'in the wrong.' I know this is something I need to work on if I want to start asserting myself more.
I think I have tried to be too 'cool and understanding' - he has had friends with very controlling partners and has always said how awful that is. However in trying to not be the controlling wife I seem to have gone full circle and become a mug. When he says how brilliant I am for not moaning about him going out and things I take it as a compliment, but it isn't really is it? It isn't a partnership when your wife has told you she's not feeling well and you don't even check in with her to see if she's better before you make plans to go drinking...
What makes it more difficult is that DD is EBF and doesn't like the bottle, so I am almost literally tied to her in the evenings. So I can't just take myself off out, as much as I would like to!
I'm not some sort of Cinderella, we do have a nice family life together and things are usually much better than this. He does plenty around the house and we go on days out together etc. I suspect he will say it's just been an usual week, it will be someone's birthday or some other occasion why he needed to go out, he will say how much he's missed us but make out he had no choice. Not good enough. I have to have a serious talk with him before things slide any further.
Jem good for you for not letting things slide further.
Regarding 'keeping calm' during the discussion, I used to be the same (it goes back to childhood and never being allowed to 'answer back' I think. So I didn't know how to 'discuss' issues).
Before the discussion, tell yourself you are not going to swear or shout. Try to keep very calm and if you start to cry, say 'I just need a minute' and calm yourself down before continuing.
If your H starts shouting and swearing, say very calmly 'I don't think that's necessary, can talk about this maturely'.
This worked really well for me. I can now discuss issues with DH, without bursting into tears and feeling pathetic.
That all sounds very reasonable, Jem. Good luck x
When you stop breast feeding then I think you should start to reclaim some time of your own. I know it can be difficult but it's really worth the effort. If your DH has to go away at short notice it can be difficuult to get regular things for you in the diary, e.g. evening classes, but I think you will need to make an effort. Will you be returning to work outside the home soon? If not, I think it's more difficult as economic power is often linked with other power in relationships and your DH may view your domain as the home and children while he goes out into the world to work and socialise.
Also, there is no reason why you shouldn't go away on holiday / weekend break alone while he looks after the children - it's things like this that deliver the message most effectively I think.
I will be going back to work next year. I have a night away with friends planned in December. They are going for 2 nights but I am only joining them for one because I don't want to be away from my family for longer. No way would he make that choice if it was him. That's the difference.
Hello Jem. Another one here who think YADNBU.
I think the bit you said about trying so hard to be the accommodating wife that you've become a mug bit was spot on. And I think that would make sense to him iykwim
Good luck with your talk. Hope it goes smoothly and calmly and don't forget to book your hair appointment for tomorrow
I don't think you are being unreasonable but equally you will sometimes have different priorities and were he to go away for two nights it doesn't necessarily make him a worse parent. When he's not working away what is he like on a day to day basis - does he come home from work and share the work or does he sometimes stay late when you know it's not necessary or come home and put his feet up?
Update - he has just sent me a text saying he's no longer going out tonight and will be home at 6. Which means either he's thought better of his plans (I hope it's this), or he's realised from my lack of response to last nights message that he's in hot water. Or his plans have fallen through and he's got nobody to go out with!. If it's the latter he is getting a serious talking to. Otherwise a more gentle but firm chat I think.
I would keep it definitely firm, tbh
You are feeling shit because of a pattern of thoughtlessness, not just over this one night out.
Focus now, come on
And get your nails done, too!
We have had the talk. He had come home because he was tired, not because he wanted to see us. He is sure that he had told me about his night out, but I'm sure he didn't. As predicted it was a 'special' night - some people he only sees once a year were out. but as i pointed out it wasn't special enough for him not to miss it when HE felt tired, but special enough to take him away from his family....
Anyway I stayed very calm and just told him how hurt I felt at him not wanting to spend his free time with us, and his lack of thought about me needing support especially while i was feeling unwell.
He argued a bit. Irritatingly he asked me what was 'really the matter' because he couldn't believe i would be upset about something so minor! But once I'd set out exactly how I felt he then went very quiet and has now gone to bed. Hopefully to think things over and not to sulk. I think he was expecting me to start getting hysterical and he was a bit shocked that I didn't.
Anyway I am really grateful for all of your advice and support. We have some work to do but he is a really good guy at heart and I am really glad I've had a calm rational discussion with him about this. I feel stronger already. Thanks x
Make sure you start to get out in the evenings, even if its only for an hour. Feed baby, go, return. It breaks the 'norm' of you always being available and it's good for you
I was in this sort of situation for years, although it was DH's working hours that were the problem.
I found that it was impossible for me to go out in the evening, ever - DH not home till about 9pm, me too tired to do anything but fall into bed.
What I did start to do though, was to leave the DC with him for a couple of hours on a Saturday morning and just go out for a walk by myself.
It gave me a bit of peace, and more importantly, it gave him the experience of what it was like to look after 2 under 3s.
Wen you are breast feeding it is difficult, but you could start by making him get up Saturday and Sunday mornings, leave him with both DC once you have fed the baby and you go and have a coffee somewhere - take a book or read the paper. Let him sort out the DC and make the lunch.
My DC are grown up now. DH and I are beginning to reclaim a social life
Wow, what a positive update. Good for you!!
Positive how? He argued, went quiet then stropped off to bed...
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