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To expect OH to give up the golf clubs for one bloody day?

(98 Posts)
FindingVino Sun 26-May-13 20:36:08

Dd is 7 months old and I do everything at home (cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping etc) which I don't really mind as I am still on mat leave. What is really starting to get on my nerves is OH's lack of interest in dd.

Dd sees her dad in the mornings for a couple of minutes while he's rushing out of the door to work (Heaven forbid he should wake up 10 mins earlier to have a cuddle). He gets back from work really late every night - high powered stressful City job blah blah so doesn't see dd in the evenings at all.

Weekends are always about golf with his friends or there's an endless stream of "unmissable" get togethers often involving weekends away drinking to excess.

On the rare weekend he is around, he has it so fully booked with seeing more friends that poor dd is dragged around to accommodate where he fancies going (apparently it doesn't matter if she doesn't sleep in the day and I get too "wound up" when she cries and should just leave her to it). Then he is always too tired / drunk to do anything useful (has only ever changed about 10 nappies, never fed her, never woken up during the night and was only present at bath time in the first week of her life).

I just feel like he is allergic to being at home and settling into family life.

We're not young parents and after so many years of independence and a marriage filled with fun late nights out, holidays and just doing what we wanted whenever we wanted to, the shock of parenthood has been huge for both of us.

Where I am just getting on with it and focussing on the positives of parenthood, OH is just so negative all the time. "What have we done? Life was so good before" etc etc. This really pisses me off because he has hardly changed any aspects of his pre-dd life. I know he has a stressful job and needs to let go on weekends (as I am reminded constantly) but the current situation is just infuriating.

I am just so annoyed and can't talk to anyone about this as it just makes me feel like a crap wife and like I'm not coping with motherhood. Just needed to vent... am I being unreasonable expecting him to change his life a bit or is this just how it is for others when OHs work long hours in a stressful job?

Manchesterhistorygirl Sun 26-May-13 20:40:57

Yanbu at all! Sounds like he's just carrying on as a single child free man and leaving you to do everything else.

You need to put your foot down and make him see sense.

AKissIsNotAContract Sun 26-May-13 20:42:30

YANBU at all. Life changes when you have a baby, he should have realised that before he had one.

SugarPasteGreyhound Sun 26-May-13 20:44:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ByTheWishingWell Sun 26-May-13 20:46:53

It sounds like you're coping very well, and a lot better than he is.

YANBU at all. Surely he didn't have a child expecting that nothing would change?

I think you're being far too accepting of him being (by the sound of it) a pretty crap dad. He does have a stressful job, but so do you, as he's basically leaving you to be a single parent. 7 months is too long to do this to you, and long enough for him to have started to adjust to not living a child-free life. Put your foot down!

FindingVino Sun 26-May-13 20:48:14

Thank you for the confirmation. Feel a bit like I'm going insane sat here with a teething baby while he's enjoying the sunshine playing a round of golf. I just don't know how to make him see that life does change without him thinking I'm nagging. His answer is "if you're not coping, let's get a nanny". It's not a nanny dd wants, it's her dad.

dreamingbohemian Sun 26-May-13 20:48:15


I'm not sure I see the point in being with someone like this. Does he really think this is normal?

Royalmailer Sun 26-May-13 20:49:08

He's being an arse.

I don't know if you can force a man to become family orientated- actually, I know you can't.

Talk to him, have couples therapy if necessary, but be prepared to leave him if he won't compromise his single lifestyle.

dreamingbohemian Sun 26-May-13 20:49:57

If he takes your well-founded criticism as nagging that just makes him even more of a jerk.

PuggyMum Sun 26-May-13 20:50:47

What would he do if you did split up? He would have to give up his precious weekend time if he wanted to see his dd at all.

When do you get time out for you??


ArtexMonkey Sun 26-May-13 20:51:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Yama Sun 26-May-13 20:52:29

I lived with a golfer once. It made me resolve nver to marry one.

Your expectations are far from being unreasonable.

LindyHemming Sun 26-May-13 20:56:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Startail Sun 26-May-13 20:56:56

YANBU and he's jolly lucky not to have found a note in the cupboard saying his golf clubs are at the bottom of the Thames, he's 'babysitting' and you have gone to the Maldives for a month on his credit card.

Sorry, not only Mothers have children, men who think they do make me very very cross.

PoppyWearer Sun 26-May-13 21:02:38


I've had a bit of this with my DH (also long hours in City job) with his various sporting obsessions over the years, but have "had a word" a couple of times and he has reined it in.

I understand completely that they need to have a bit of time "off" to decompress at weekends, but if they didn't want family, they shouldn't have bloody had one. grin

I do think there is a bit of City culture of the "trophy wife and kids", needed to have nice photos of in the office and paraded out when needed, but the DHs need reminding that we are here and still part of their lives, even if their bosses choose to run their families differently!

acoop1985 Sun 26-May-13 21:14:48


I don't want to come across as too critical to your husband, because I am sure when he does make the effort he is great.
However, there is absolutely no way you are being unreasonable!!!

Yes your husband works long hours, but he should realise that parenthood is a 24 hour job. It sounds like you are acting as a single mum.

My husband works 12 hour shifts, early, lates and nights. After a night duty, he gets home about 7am, and will sleep between 5 and 7 hours, an then he will get up, so that he can spend a few hours with both of us before he has to go back to work. He totally understands that looking after a baby can be harder work then going to work. You don't get breaks being a mum/house wife. Even when the baby is asleep there is always something to do. Sometimes you are lucky just to have a hot cup of tea, or shower for the day!!

Your husband should want to spend time with you and the little one. He probably doesn't realise how much he is missing out on. little things like them learning to crawl/walk/eat, or what makes them laugh etc.
He obviously see's everything as a chore, rather then time to interact with his baby. One day it will hit him that he has missed his daughter growing up.

It can be hard to say goodbye to your old carefree life, where you had little responsibilities, but it doesn't mean he has to give it up totally. He also needs to understand that you need time to be yourself as well, and that you two need time together as a couple.

Being a mum is hard enough, without the stress of your husband not taking an interest in their child.
You need to have a serious talk with him, make him realise how you feel, and make him understand that his little girl will only be little for so long, and that he will always regret not bonding with his daughter at a young age. If you don't speak to him seriously, he may not realise how you are feeling, and it will put a massive strain on your relationship.

Please don't think you are being unreasonable, and please don't doubt that you are a good wife/mother. Just the fact that you are worried that you are, goes to show that you put them first all the time.

Best of luck!!!!

specialsubject Sun 26-May-13 21:18:48

I know a man who has a very stressful city job. He does everything he can to see his child during the week and is a fully hands-on parent at the weekend.

it is perfectly possible to be a good and loving dad in this situation. He idolises his child and pulls his weight at home.

time to ask my usual question; the reason you have sex with this man is.....?

you are a single parent in all but name. Find out if he wants to make it official.

Nanny0gg Sun 26-May-13 21:27:57

It's not only that your DD doesn't have a dad.
You don't appear to have a husband.

Do you want to carry on living like this?

AKissIsNotAContract Sun 26-May-13 21:34:02

my dad was like this when I was a baby. As an adult, I chose to have no further contact with him. You get out what you put in.

Shakey1500 Sun 26-May-13 21:41:06

Oh this was DH and I circa 5 years ago. Older parents, previous high life, holidays whenever, meals out etc etc.

DS is born, we relocate for better quality of life and my life changes WHOOSH. DH meanwhile, found any excuse to go to where we lived previously for the weekend. After about the seventh jolly visit I booked myself a weekend. To where we used to live. Using all the same reasons he did (to visit friends, family). He had absolutely no come back/argument whatsoever. And I went, had a blast. My mum was on strict instructions not to go round to "see how DH was doing". He simply had to get on with it grin

He did, and eventually he realised that it's bloody hard work but also can be lots of fun. Helped him bond with DS better. He's much better now smile

FindingVino Sun 26-May-13 21:44:15

Thank you all.

WishingWell - thank you. I needed that boost today.

SugarPaste - Redeeming qualities were all pre-dd but seem less important now (amazing fun to be around, loving, witty - all the reasons you fall in love and stay for 15 years). Seem irrelevant when you've gone 7 months on no more than 4 hours' unbroken sleep.

Dreaming - I really do think he thinks it's normal. Doesn't help that his colleagues have au pairs etc and are happy to be less hands on / normal like most people.

Royal - I am just holding out hoping he'll change when I go back to work? Though he doesn't see why I need / want to work.

Puggy - I don't get me time! I had one hour away from dd once. I am bf-ing though in fairness to OH but now she's weaning she can go longer.

Startail - made me laugh! Fabulous suggestion!

Poppy - how did you do it? How did you get him to change?

dreamingbohemian Sun 26-May-13 21:55:33

Why do you think he'll change when you go back to work?

stealthsquiggle Sun 26-May-13 22:03:50

Sorry, but what dreamingbohemian said. Why would he change? If he doesn't see why you want to work, any comments about sharing the parenting workload will be met with "well you don't have to work...."

Longsufferingmrs Sun 26-May-13 22:04:53

I never really wanted children but when I met my OH he persuaded me that it would be wonderful to have a family together. He promised me that he would be a wonderful doting Dad and that, actually I probably would never see the children cos he would be playing with them all the time. So we had our first child, I gave up work and everything changed. He worked away mon to fri and had his 'down time' from work at the weekend. He never changed a nappy, never got up at nights (would get really pissed off with me at night if I didn't get up quick enough not to disturb his sleep) and claimed that DD 'only wants her mum anyway'. Things were very difficult between us. I would try and get him to do more with DD but he saw it as a competition for 'who was tiredest' or 'who worked hardest'. We nearly split up over it but I wasn't strong enough to leave. My self esteem was v low. I even had a 2nd DC with him. Things got even worse then as he got involved with another time consuming past time that took him away even more. To cut a very long story shorter; things only changed when I went back to work. DCs were 4 and 7 at the time. OH suddenly regained his 'respect' for me cos I was earning money again. He became more involved with the kids then. Funny thing is now, when people compliment him on his lovely well behaved, polite chidren, he always says 'nothing to do with me; that's all down to Longsufferingmrs!'

PoppyWearer Sun 26-May-13 22:07:41

A) I called him out on it and made sure he knew my feelings on the subject I.e. a bit of time out is ok, but not all day or every weekend

B) I (re-)developed interests of my own requiring time away from the DCs and requiring DH to spend time with them. We set up a family calendar online which requires us to discuss and negotiate plans. I also try to keep our weekends relatively booked with family activities, one day a weekend is generally "booked" for something or other. If not, it's give and take. If he wants to go to the gym, sure he can, but I will go for a run when he gets back and he will look after the DCs for the next hour or so.

C) DH is a decent bloke and did curtail some of his sport voluntarily (spectating). Likewise I put major dates for his chosen sports into the family calendar and don't book things on those dates where possible.

D) I let him off the leash and don't always say "no" so that he doesn't resent me/the DCs for standing between him and fun (this was advice from my MIL - FIL was the same).

(((hugs))) it really isn't easy, OP. My DH was training for a marathon when my DC1 was 7mo and I remember being extremely pissed off and upset when he disappeared for 4 hours at a time at weekends!

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