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To feel used and taken for granted

(50 Posts)
SmilingHappyBeaver Sun 24-Feb-13 22:24:55

I have 3 DS's, aged between 2 and 6. DH works abroad a lot, and has been out of the country most of Feb.

He returned home late on Friday after a week away in Europe, and left early today to go out to the US on another business trip. He brought presents back for our sons, nothing for me (not that i expect it, as he never usually brings anything back). It doesn't usually bother me but this time it has really grated. It was only after he left again today that I realised how angry i am.

I have been struggling with some work issues, and I have mentioned that i have a project due to close this week which has been stressing me out. But he didn't even wish me luck with it. He isn't interested in my work issues because he thinks I am crazy for wanting to work when he is away so much and we have 3 young sons, so his answer is always "if it's too stressful and clearly making you miserable, then quit. Simple". We would have no financial issues if i didn't work.

He is training for the London Marathon so when he is at home he is usually out running most mornings and I get no help then either.

I just feel totally on edge all the time, right now I just want to walk away and get in the car and drive somewhere and not come back. But I love my kids too much to ever leave them. I just feel so trapped.

DH thinks that all my problems would be solved if I became a SAHM, but I think then i'd feel even more trapped.

I am going to tackle how I am feeling when he comes home, but I need to know whether I am being unreasonable or just a spoilt cow! I don't trust my judgement anymore.

Suchabody Sun 24-Feb-13 22:30:08

YANBU x 10000000000000000000000000000

He has not twigged that you LIKE your work. Not sure how though.

Sit him down and tell him that you are not something there to make his life easier and look after the kids. Make sure he understands that this is supposed to be a partnership. I'm not surprised you feel the way you do, he sounds terribly insensitive. I would feel horrified and trapped and ground down too.

SOmeone will be along with better advice soon I am sure but just wanted to say I didn't think you were BU at all.

SarkyPants Sun 24-Feb-13 22:44:15

Totally agree.
He is not treating your marriage as a partnership.

I would write him a letter explaining how you feel.

SarkyPants Sun 24-Feb-13 22:45:49

And he has no more right to work than you do.
You have the right to expect him to support your career.

grobagsforever Sun 24-Feb-13 22:46:10

He's being a nederthal.

carre Sun 24-Feb-13 22:46:35

I know this one although I am a sahm. Your dh needs to start looking after his kids and give you a break. He needs to be told to do this. He needs to value your work as it's an activity you do. It sounds like he can only do his running as you look after the kids then it's fair that you have time off to do what you want. If he doesn't agree then you are't available for childcare when he runs.

DorisIsWaiting Sun 24-Feb-13 22:47:18

YANBU (at all!)

What would happen if you disppeared off every morning to go to the gym? Did he discuss it with you before he decide to enter the marathon or was it presented as a fait acompli?

He has told you he wants you as a SAH wife, now you need to decide what YOU want to do. (and from here it sound like you certainly do not want that!) he needs to step up to the plate and understand that parenting is a shared responsibility -and he isn't sharing.

TheSkiingGardener Sun 24-Feb-13 22:48:30

He's being utterly thoughtless, patronising and condescending. Ask him why he bothers to work. Can he not understand that you are not a robot.

Good luck with the conversation. I think you need to make it quite a hard hitting one!

aldiwhore Sun 24-Feb-13 22:51:29

From his PoV he sees the problem and a solution. He sees stressed out wife, who's juggling a LOT mostly alone, when she doesn't need to... he's not a twat for that, but he's obviously missing the very large point that your work is important to you. HIBU.

I like the letter idea.

I guess he DOES have a point, why stress over something that you don't need to stress over? I'm certainly not saying give up work, but you could take the psychological pressure off yourself by reminding yourself this is your choice... I do that when work gets me down, just by saying "I don't need this, I want it" seems to help me.

You do need to bring this up... I once did a diagram on a flip chart simply showing why I was pissed off. My DH works away, and he works hard, but when he's home he's home for a long stretch and has the attitude that he's 'on holiday', he does a bit round the house, he does a few school runs, but the stressy parts, the planning of school holiday activities, childcare arrangements, planning the weekly meals... that is still down to me, so evey couple of years I explode (with my flipchart and felt tips) because I wouldn't be able to argue rationally, because by the time it comes to saying something, I'm not rational.

YANBU at all.

aldiwhore Sun 24-Feb-13 22:52:55

I should add his face was a picture when I launched into my presentation... he was about to take the piss I think, but on page one, he'd lost. smile

NumericalMum Sun 24-Feb-13 22:56:41

I have been there, done that and we nearly split up! A long and expensive few months at counselling and he finally realises how he was taking me for granted. He now takes more responsibility for childcare so, accepts my job is important to me too and most importantly schedules sporting events so they don't eat into family time. Training is done before work or at lunch and early on Saturday or Sunday mornings to enable us to enjoy our family time still. We were so close to splitting though as I figured I took the brunt of it all anyway so how would it be any different.

ballstoit Sun 24-Feb-13 22:56:51

YANBU to expect a little more consideration, but I can kind of see where your DH is coming from, as he isn't in a position to do much else to help.

If you have free money, then spend it on making your life easier. Have a cleaner, pay for regular babysitting/an au pair/nanny, etc, so that you do get a break.

I'm probably less sympathetic than some as I'm a lone parent of 3 who does what you do, without the bonus of an extra salary to ease the strain.

NumericalMum Sun 24-Feb-13 22:57:47

A presentation aldiwhore <bows in awe>

TheFallenMadonna Sun 24-Feb-13 23:08:34

I'm assuming that while the job is the OP's choice, being the one who has to manage the children and the house while the other partner works away is not.

When I went back to work after a SAHM stint, my DH changed his job to one with less overseas travel so that we would both have a fair domestic workload in addition to our paid work. He also organised a cleaner. He did not suggest I just give up work again...

AnnieLobeseder Sun 24-Feb-13 23:16:57

Your DH certainly need reminding in the most uncertain of terms that you are not his paid help, you are not there to make his life easier. You should both be there to support each other. You should both get the same amount of downtime.

I'm a runner. When I am training for a marathon I make sure my training has a minimal impact on my family - I go out very early, or run to work, or go out while the DDs are at activities etc etc. I don't just pop out when I feel like it and expect DH to cope.

How dare he suggest all you problems would be solved by you just not working. No, that would only solve his problems, as there would be less reason for you to expect support and help for him in running his own home and looking after his own children.

If he respected you at all, if he knew you at all, he would understand that his proposed solution is no solution at all, except to him.

Pilgit Sun 24-Feb-13 23:17:04

He is trying to 'fix' what he sees as the problem. The real problem is that he wants (and seems to be expecting) a cross between a housekeeper, nanny and a prostitute, not a wife. If you were in his employment his 'fix' would work. However as you are an equal human being who's work and life balance is just as important as his it doesn't. On the other hand when you had children did you discuss as a unit what you were both going to do work wise? From what i've seen on here (and in RL) people seem to fall into roles without ever discussing what they want and their expectations. He may have assumed that the SAHM life is what you wanted. The tension seems to be a product of this mis match in expectations. We are all able to change our minds about what we want and our partners should support this - however (and I am clutching at straws here - hopefully) could he have fallen into that assumption? Does he know how important your job is to you? Could he not have noticed that your expectations have changed?

SmilingHappyBeaver Sun 24-Feb-13 23:18:55

Thanks for all your responses. I am trying to channel my rage so I don't completely lose it when he comes home, I want to be able to talk about it rationally. This is really helping.

I have been so up and down, that I really don't know what my reality is. One minute i feel on top of the world, as if I can cope with anything, then the next i feel like a complete waste of space, like everyone would be better off without me. I am not suicidal but I think a lot about not being here.

SmilingHappyBeaver Sun 24-Feb-13 23:24:26

Piglit - no we didn't discuss how it would work with kids before we got married, as i was very ambitious then and could never imagine wanting kids. I got off the career ladder when DS1 was born. Now I am retraining in something i enjoy but it's hard because it also involves professional study which is another demand on my time. And as I have taken a paycut, and now earn a fraction of DH, I think he sees it as even more ridiculous that i want to work...

McNewPants2013 Sun 24-Feb-13 23:25:59

You both need to get the balance right, it's not equal if he can flourish in his career while yours get side tracked.

AnnieLobeseder Sun 24-Feb-13 23:28:52

OP, when you talk about "not being here", do you just mean away from your situation, family, children, DH etc?

There was a thread a while back, kinda lighthearted on the surface but quite serious underneath, where a few of us were talking about sometimes wishing for a serious injury or even death, just so we could have a break!!!

Is that what you mean?

You have a lot on your plate, trying to run a household with a partner who is in and out on business, so you never quite know when you'll have support or how much, plus trying to also cope with a high-pressure job of your own. So I can see why you would feel like you need a break.

You need to talk to your DH very seriously. You need to make sure he hears you. You need to make sure that the two of you come up with some solutions that make life better for you apart from you "just giving up work".

ClippedPhoenix Sun 24-Feb-13 23:31:06

well i hate to say this OP, he is what he is and i doubt he will change, you can try but he is of the ilk that his life/work is more important than yours. What you do about that is up to you really.

a short sharp shock?

OhLori Sun 24-Feb-13 23:35:01

Three DS between 2 and 6 require a lot of commitment. Starting a career on top of that seems highly stressful unless you have a large amount of personal support from family and friends. Did you talk it through with your DH how this would work a priori? Perhaps good to start that conversation now ...

The "presents" issue, not getting you one, that would make me very sad. Perhaps you could express that sense to your DH, see his reaction?

SmilingHappyBeaver Sun 24-Feb-13 23:38:02


I'm not sure. I think I just need a break. I never get a break. 2 years ago I had pneumonia (spelling?), no idea where it came from as I am a healthy non smoker. Anyway, I was quite pleased because although I couldn't breathe properly my GP wanted me hospitalised so they could give my IV fluids - time in bed getting some peace would have been bliss. But we have no family nearby, and DH was away with work and couldn't/wouldn't get a flight home so in the end my GP prescribed oral AB's and I just had to go home and get on with it. DS3 was only a tiny baby at the time so I couldn't leave him with friends.

My kids don't appreciate anything i do either, I just get constant demands all the time. Then I shout at them, so they much prefer Daddy because he's always the one with all the presents.

Annakin31 Sun 24-Feb-13 23:40:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Annakin31 Sun 24-Feb-13 23:45:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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