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To think DH is starting to take the piss now?

(165 Posts)
BionicEmu Thu 28-Nov-13 12:46:31

DH is now in 2 bands. This means he's off at band prac 2-4 times a week. One of the bands he comes home from work, wolfs down dinner, then goes straight back out. He eventually gets home about midnight.

The other band he goes to practice straight from work, and usually gets home about 9:30pm.

Last night he was at practice with band 2 - he went straight from work, told me he'd be back about 9:30pm. Well, at 10pm he still wasn't back. I call his mobile, no answer. At 10:30pm I tried again, but no answer. Sent him text, no reply. Was starting to get worried as was expecting him home an hour previously, & his journey home involves dark, twisty lanes.

I finally got through to him at 11:30pm - 2 hours after I was expecting him home; 2.5 hours after he should have finished practice. He said "yeah, sorry, we decided to do some recording while we were here, we're just packing up now."

Well why the hell didn't he just ring me to tell me that, or even just drop me a quick text?! We had a bit of an argument & apparently it was just one of those things that I know can happen, & I need to chill out & be more supportive. I said that I thought i was being supportive, but he takes the piss! I did back-track & ended up saying" fine, ok, just let me know in future." I hate confrontation & DH sulks for days.

I think I am bloody supportive though! He works full-time in a demanding job, I get that one of the things that keeps him sane is playing with the band. We have 2 DCs, 3yo DS & 10mo DD. Both are a nightmare at bed-time, when I'm by myself with them I'm lucky if they're both asleep by 9pm. DS has some medical issues too (although is ok most of the time). Despite this, I am happy for him to go play with his bands as I know it makes him happy.

My psychiatrist has even spoken to him before, saying that having both kids by myself for so long is something I really struggle with - sometimes the evenings are that awful me & the kids end up all sat on the sofa, all crying. At that time he was only in one band, & cut back to just 1 practice a week. That lasted for 3 weeks, then he joined another bloody band as well as increasing practices. (I have been struggling badly with post-natal depression - I was admitted into the mother & baby unit for 6 weeks when DD was a few months old, & I'm still struggling now. In fact, I'm really, really struggling. Having confusing thoughts.)

So AIBU to think he should have just bloody told me he'd be back late last night?

I know it's a tiny thing, but it's annoyed me lots. I don't know if I overreacted a bit to just a little thing?

lottiegarbanzo Sun 01-Dec-13 14:49:51

Trying to understand how a previously decent person could possibly behave the way he is, it could be that he feels very helpless in the face of your illnesses and feels that there's nothing he can do that really makes any difference, everything is always grim, difficult and awful at home whatever, so his only option is to disengage and find normaility and happiness elsewhere.

So, what he needs to know is that there are things he can do and you can do, if he supports you, that will make a real difference. Not immediately but over time. You can't make promises or feel pressured but if he understood your illnesses better and what exacerbates them and what relieves them and aids recovery, he can help create a positive environment and gain a happier family life.

lottiegarbanzo Sun 01-Dec-13 14:35:26

Yes, definitely reinstate the chld benefit, it covers your state pension contributions, you're not getting them otherwise. You gain that and lose nothing by claiming and repaying.

Yes, keep your money for yourself. Or pay into the joint account what you think is an equal proportion to him - so if you think he's paying in a quarter of his salary, do the same. Carry on using the joint account for groceries and diesel and say 'well, my job just pays pocket money really and where else am I going to get money for clothes, haircuts, swimming and other basics?

From what you've said you are skimping on grocery shopping while on mat leave, rather than ask him to pay in more to cover esssential household expenses because you're scared he'll react angrily. That's crazy.

It would seem fair for you to do a bit more cleaning than him, according to what you can fit in on your two days not at work, depending on what it's possible to do around the dcs. That's all, that's your work time. Everything that happens in the evening and at weekends is joint leaisure / domestic tasks / enjoying and taking responsibility for the dcs time and needs to be negotiated accordingly.

I think you should suggest he accompanies you to an appointment with whoever you see for your back and one with your mental health people. He needs to hear from them how serious the problems are and what treatment is needed.

You could also suggest he sees a councellor by himself, to get to grips with his feelings about your depression and other illness. He may be having real difficulty with this and is trying to pretend it all away by sticking his head in the sand and running away. You can certainly tell him that is how it appears.

Would it help if his parents sat him down for a chat and said 'look, we can see that your marriage is in real trouble. We're scared you're going to lose your family and, in the meantime, we can't bear to see your wife suffering and your dcs being brought up without a father in their lives.'?

I've responded to posts before where there are clear imbalances in relationships and have suggested considering a hierarchy of needs e.g. everyone's health and having enough money to eat and put a roof over your heads is of topmost importance. Having friends and family close by or other support might be next. Having more interesting jobs and a higher standard of living might follow, and so on. Expensive hobbies are a very long way down that hierarchy. I'm not sure I've ever seen a thread where the imbalance is so extreme - between your 'health and basic ability to function' and his 'vast amount of time devoted to expensive hobby'.

SomewhereBeyondTheSea Sun 01-Dec-13 13:51:27

It really really is bad OP. I am so sorry.

Get a cleaner (he can pay extra money into the joint account to cover it).
See a solicitor (drop the kids at his parents; don't let him know you are seeking legal advice though).
Tell him he is doing half the bedtimes each week, he can pick which evenings, and you will be leaving the house for the duration of those evenings, with your mobile off (even if you just go sit in the car somewhere! He HAS to start learning to do this stuff).

Oh and have a look at a benefits calculator and the Child Support Agency to work out what you'd be entitled to if you were single. You may find it's not too bad.

That's just for starters.

MrsAmaretto Sun 01-Dec-13 13:31:06

Start off by getting child benefit again, he can just do a tax return.

When you go back to work don't stop paying for food etc from the joint account. Save your wages. If he questions, suggest he's right, it's time to sit down & look at household earnings & outgoings.

But really your life & marriage suck, I hope things improve x

RandomMess Sun 01-Dec-13 12:43:44

He is being very unreasonable I'm afraid.

I would TELL him "I am not coping with looking after the dc from 7am until 10pm by myself 4 days per week, it is making me ill. What are WE going to do about it?"

He could pay for help to come in and give you the practical support when he is out rehearsing or he could stop rehearsing and help himself. It is not forever - the dc will grow up and it will get easier.

I would try this approach for now and talk a long hard look at what you want in the future when you are feeling better.

Where are your parents/family? Could you go and stay with them for a while?

lottiegarbanzo Sun 01-Dec-13 12:41:18

You could also tell him what is going to happen to support you through your back pain and depression. Don't ask, tell.

'As you know I'm really struggling with serious back pain and depression at the moment. Both are getting worse and there's a real danger I soon won't be able to look after the DCs at all. So, to avoid that happening and allow us to function as a family, here's what's going to happen:

We're going to get a cleaner for a few hours a week.

You are going to do these pick ups, bed times and take charge of this regular weekend time with the DC.

I am going to see my nurse / doctor / physio, go swimming once a week and have some time off at the weekend. That may I might start to get better, at least I should be able to prevent myself getting worse.

I've contacted the cleaning agency and everything's ready to go. You'll still be able to get to one band practice, it's up to you to organise the other one around being a dad.'

You could talk to his parents first, involve them in your plan and get their support. E.g. He could see them with the DCs at the weekend. There's a risk he'll feel ganged up on if you present it as joint plan but it also shows how desperate you are and how much everyone else agrees that things need to change. You can present it as your plan first, let him respond, then say you've checked that they are willing to play a part to make it easier all round, he just needs to play his part.

On th previous 'straight questions' theme, I'd ask if he really wanted DCs? It's not apparent from his behaviour.

NoobytheWaspSlayer Sun 01-Dec-13 12:34:23

Fucking hell.. I've read some eye-openingly awful things on mumsnet, but really really this is terrible!

Yes, yes it is that bad. And then some.

Ask yourself this - if you split up, how different would your workload and life be? It sounds like you do all the kids/house/life stuff anyway, and all he does is add to the burden. Does he bring anything other than money to your relationship? Because if that is all he brings then he would still have to pay maintenance.

Do you love him? What do you love? Do you think he loves you? How does he show it? Because it doesn't sound like he cares very much about anyone other than himself.

He lets you be in PAIN, both physically and mentally because he rather go and play music with his mates.

What. a. cunt.

lottiegarbanzo Sun 01-Dec-13 12:27:22

Well, you can get tangled up in details of exactly who does what housework and when, which will probably take you round in circles, or you can:

Tell him you will be taking time off, go out and do it, as suggested above.

Ask him whether he loves you. Just hit him with that and let him answer freely. That's not a question anyone who does love someone can get defensive or unhappy about answering.

(I bet you get some sort of defensive, accusatory riposte, 'of course, why would you even ask? What do you want? Oh, am I not lovey dovey enough for you, did I forget the flowers? You're not a bubbling bundle of romance yourself, are you?')

BionicEmu Sun 01-Dec-13 11:57:17

Firstly I just want to say thank you to everyone who's replied. I really appreciate it, I don't really want to bother anyone I know in RL, so it's good (& a bit odd!) to see what other people think. And at least with it being here I'm not bothering anybody - if you don't want to read & respond then you don't have to!

When I'm back at work I'll try & save some money up. I'm not going to be able to save that much every month though.

I think I need to talk to DH. I have no idea how to or what to say though. I don't even know what I need to get across to him, never mind what the best way to say it is. I guess really, I'm scared to. Scared of what he'll say & scared of the repercussions. Oh god, I'm so pathetic.

I don't really have any hobbies. I can't really think of anything I can do.

Re: money etc. DH is technically an employee as he's under an umbrella corporation. So he just gets a salary & pays ridiculous amounts of tax & NI on it.

Mia4 Sun 01-Dec-13 11:34:34

Please dont stay for the sake of your kids having that OP, I wish my parents had divorced early on rather then watch emotional abuse throughout my life. The guilt as an adult thinking mum felt she had no choice but to stay for us is horrible. I feel it's my fault (ours with sibs) that she was trapped, although tbh I'm getting over those issues now that we're all adults ourselves (some with kids) and she's still not leaving him.

Nanny0gg Sun 01-Dec-13 11:25:34

Is it really that bad? I don't really know how other people behave I guess - I have no basis for comparison.

That bad? Oh, it's much worse than 'bad'. I'm so sorry. He is treating you appallingly. He has no care, kindness or thought for you. Let alone love.

Please seek legal advice and start making plans to improve your life - no-one should live with someone who treats them this way.

Would his parents support you as they seem to clearly see what he's like?

TheDoctrineOfWho Sun 01-Dec-13 11:24:49

Yes, it is that bad.

If you saw someone at the park on crutches struggling to pick up dog poo, you'd probably help them. Your husband gives you less consideration than you give a stranger.

By the way, it is really tax inefficient for your husband to draw over the higher rate tax and and over the child benefit cut off out of his business when you are not earning (assuming he is set up as a company rather than a sole trader). If he is a company and you were both shareholders, you could utilise both your tax bands and keep your income such that you still got child benefit which then increases the household income.

I wonder how he'd react to that suggestion.

5amisnotmorning Sun 01-Dec-13 11:22:17

And by the way, you are happy for him to go to his bands as it makes him happy..that's great - that's what people who care about each other want for their partner. So you need to ask yourself what is he prepared to do to help make you happy?

5amisnotmorning Sun 01-Dec-13 11:19:34

My heart is just so sad for you.

What a partner should do is listen, support and work things out together.

I have ante natal depression at the moment and whilst I have been coping, was starting to get a bit down again. DH has taken a week off work to just do fun things together and help with DD which has made all the difference.

It doesn't matter if you are being unreasonable or not (and most definitely you are not) but the fact is that you feel that you need help and you can't turn to the person who is supposed to care the most about you.

I don't know what to advise you to do but on a practical level, what I would do is start allocating free time and free money between you. Ie. any money left after bills gets transferred to a joint savings account or gets a spending amount agreed. This could include getting a cleaner to help you out.

I would also say that you get as much of the washing etc done during the day both DC are in nursery (I had a high needs baby so know how difficult other times can be). Then evenings get divided between you both 2 nights off each and 1 to share. You can do whatever you want on your nights but I would suggest getting out of the house and letting him cope. Let him know what time you will be back and switch off your phone.

Same on the weekends - he needs to spend either Saturday or Sunday morning looking after both kids while you do something for yourself. Again, I would suggest getting out of the house, going sitting in a coffee shop, shopping etc. just leave him to it - the DC won't starve in that time.

I think the key here may be NOT to tell him what to do, just tell him what you are GOING to do for the sake of your health. Ie. understand the money situation to know if there is any money for a cleaner, get a hobby to give yourself an identity outside of being a mummy.

He will then need to sort out his band practice around those requirements. It may be possible for you to be able to do the housework on the day that both DC are in nursery then he can see that there is no 'free time' in the week and any other time needs to be shared between you.

TheBitchesOfWeestick Sun 01-Dec-13 10:44:21

All of that means nothing without happiness and loving respect, Bionic. Nothing at all. Your children are seeing one parent abuse and disrespect the other on a daily basis. Your health is at risk. You sound like someone who is being rubbed out, and that is so sad. This is not a partnership in any sense.

You deserve care and joy and kindness.

Those are valid feelings.

Can you maybe start making small changes?

You need a. "Running away fund" ( some money of your own he can't touch) even if you never use it, so you don't feel trapped, ever, and just stay for financial reasons.

You cannot stay this helpless.

Get your financial independence sorted!

BionicEmu Sun 01-Dec-13 10:33:44

The thought of him leaving me terrifies me too though. At the moment my children have a nice, warm house, food to eat & lots of toys, craft stuff etc to play with.

It just seems a bit selfish to risk all of that.

BionicEmu Sun 01-Dec-13 10:29:43

Oddly enough, I've spoken to his parents about him quite a bit. They're really lovely & pissed off at him too. MIL keeps saying that I can't go on like this, but I said to her what else can I do? They've called him selfish too.

Example: DH rarely sees his parents. They live a 20min drive away & have DS on a Fri and sometimes DD as well. In-laws keep saying to get DH to pick the kids up from him, but he never does. If I ask him to then he's always got something that needs doing so he can't. Or sometimes he'll just say a flat "No."

MIL has been in hospital a few times now. When she's there DH will visit her every single day. Yet when she comes out he'll go months without seeing or even talking to her.

When we were trying to do the DIY stuff to make DS a bedroom DH took that long doing it (an entire year) that his dad came round and finished it off.

I'm just confused. And I don't know what to do. I'm struggling very much right now, I don't think I'm doing very well mental-health wise. That's why I'm stuck I guess. I feel at breaking point, but I know that I can't really ask DH to help more. Whatever I say I'm sure he won't like & will think I'm criticising him, so then he'll get all defensive & be in a right mood for days. And that will just tip me over the edge.

Mia4 Sun 01-Dec-13 10:24:45

OP he is being VVU. Suggest you reread your posts, imaging that it's one of your DC telling you their partner is like that. Do you still think it's acceptable and not that unreasonable?

Sounds to me like he's eroded you over time and continues to tread you down to keep you there. Have you looked into counselling?

How can 2 people be in a relationship where 1 of them is quite hard up, and the other is rich and spends happily on himself.


Itstartshere Sun 01-Dec-13 09:59:22

This is a really sad thread. You deserve so much more. His behaviour is appalling - very, very selfish.

Pain is awful, it wears you down to a nub. He should be cherishing you and helping out where he can. He's doing the complete opposite.

BionicEmu Sun 01-Dec-13 09:51:20

Oh, & I don't think he's having an affair.

In some ways I kind of wish he was. Then he might stop badgering me for sex! Plus then when I found out I would just leave him/kick him out.

BionicEmu Sun 01-Dec-13 09:47:12

I don't have any savings at all. The way we're set up at the moment is that DH gets paid into his bank account, then transfers a big chunk into the joint account. The mortgage & all bills go out of the joint account.

At the moment, as I'm on mat leave, I am bringing in no money at all, so all food shopping, my diesel etc is coming out of the joint account. I'm trying to spend as little as possible.

When I'm at work, I buy all the food/household shopping & my diesel etc. If I've spent all my money before the end of the month (usually due to an occasional expense like buying kids clothes) then I dip into the joint account.

Thinking about it very hard, I think maybe some of these problems started when DH started earning a lot more. He used to earn about £32k as a permanent employee. Then he was forced out of his job (local office closed so ended up being based at different office 100 miles away.) . We decided he would give contracting a go. So overnight he went from earning £32k to £60-80k. (As I said, I'm not sure exactly but am 99% sure it's in that bracket). Although of course he gets no annual leave, sick pay or pension.

This all happened when DC1 was a couple of months old. So I wasn't earning much & was at home all the time anyway.

I think sometimes he maybe has the attitude of "I bring in all this money so that's my job done." When I've spoken to him before about buying expensive music stuff he's had the attitude that he brings in all this money so he should be able to spend some of it on himself. I guess because I'm on a low wage (I work 3 days a week & my gross salary is about £10.5k - full time I would be on a salary of £18k.) I have to make up the difference by doing all the housework. I've not really thought about it before.

lottiegarbanzo Sun 01-Dec-13 09:34:10

Yes, it is that bad, it is very, very bad.

He doesn't care about you and treats you like a servant.

People in normal relationships care about the other person and try to make them happy. They can be selfish too but usually only within limited boundaries and they'll recognise when they've gone too far.

Partners can adopt rigid roles, often quite traditionally 'gendered' ones, which may be where some of your confusion comes from. You see other wives doing a lot of home stuff and husbands who have more defined hobbies. That's usually happened as a process of negotiation over the years though 'I prefer doing this, could you do that? I'll cook if you wash up, I'll make dinner while you put the kids to bed, I'll do the night shift if you get up with them in the morning, I'll do laundry, you deal with the dishwasher, I'll plant flowers, you mow the lawn' etc.

Men often do have more defined hobbies 'band, football, cricket' whereas women have social lives, consisting of lots of different activities. Most of us are able to pursue these activities for a similar amount of time each week.

FutTheShuckUp Sun 01-Dec-13 09:30:28

In what ways does this man child show you he loves you? Because most of the basic ways someone could show love and compassion for their partner for instance not wanting them to struggle when unwell he certainly doesn't

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