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I am almost certain IANBU, but what do I do about it because there is no way he is going to change his mind?

(54 Posts)
mameulah Sat 08-Feb-14 01:31:05

So as not to drip feed, the back story...

My dh works for himself. He has worked long, long hours almost every day for the last four (more than four) years. I have occupied myself at the weekends holding out for when we would get time together.

We now have a pfb ds who is 14 months old and I am pregnant. My dh's workload is HUGE and because of the nature of his work he can never tell me when he is going to come home and we NEVER have any plans for the weekend. Well, none that are made up more than one evening before and they, at the most, involve a couple of hours doing something together, something like supermarket shopping or swimming. Very occasionally a morning or afternoon together. Without going on our ds was 8 months old before we were all in a shop together.

My dh has now taken it upon himself to have organised, last month and this month,a whole day for his long forgotten hobby. He deserves it because he is so stressed and it helps him chill out. So he says.

Whilst I do see this I am beyond hurt that he can all of a sudden organise time off for his hobby and not for me and our ds.

I have tried to say my piece but basically get accused of, and in fairness I suppose it does look like, emotional blackmail.

Please. Any hints of what to say or do to make myself understood. Or what to do to make him choose us?

Or how to handle it?

I am half tempted to do something awesome when he is away for the day just to show him how much he is missing but I cannot be bothered with games. And think it is a slippery slope.

Please don't say 'keep busy' or 'find your own hobby' I have done really well being gainfully occupied during the last four years and am frankly sick of it.

Also, I am getting to be a sahm because he is working so hard, I am of course very grateful. But I do resent that it is never acknowledged that I have given up a successful career and it is all about his hardships

Please don't say LTB. I won't.

I just so want him to understand.


Or do you reckon IABU?

AgentZigzag Sat 08-Feb-14 01:53:53

Of course YANBU, how can you help feeling hurt when at last he has the chance to choose what to do with some of his time and he's chosen to spend it on himself.

It could come across as him not wanting to spend time with his family, although he might see it as the only way he can get a bit of time when he's not under pressure to 'be' anything but himself.

Could he be defensive about elbowing a bit of room to breathe? I know I have to be pretty firm about getting some time to myself, well at the start I did, I just growl now grin

How much time do you spend together in the week?

Does he understand that you need him at home at this particular time? You may have been ok before and will probably be ok in the future, but at this moment in time you're struggling and he needs to support you?

It's not about him having time for him, it's about the fact that you're feeling neglected and isolated, and you've put up with that so far possibly because it's part of the role of being a SAHM?

mameulah Sat 08-Feb-14 02:00:31

Thank you Zigzag. I really appreciate your response.

I think you are exactly right and that it is about him having down time for himself with no pressure. And as things go I don't particularly feel neglected or isolated. It is just so hard to take it that his idea of fun is not being with us. He just absolutely does not understand and definitely thinks I am being unreasonable.

I don't at all want to get in the way of his hobby. But I also don't want to be second best to it. He of course thinks I am making a big fuss over nothing. I have asked him to schedule time for us and then I get a heap of hassle about hard he is working for us and that if I want him to take time off work then we won't be able to afford anything.

I am totally, totally pissed off and hurt

AgentZigzag Sat 08-Feb-14 02:16:14

Him working hard doesn't give him the right to act like an arse as he likes. It's devaluing the hard work you put in as well.

You're acknowledging that he wants/needs to do the hobby for himself, he needs to acknowledge that you're not a lodger or someone who has to make an appointment to see him. (Only IMO) wanting to spend time with your family should be the default position.

Wanting to spend time, not forcing your hand so you have to remind him that you exist and are human, with emotions and everything, not a robot.

Can he really go to do this hobby comfortable in how unhappy you are? Don't let him turn it round on to making you responsible for fucking it off for him, the alternative is that you can't speak your mind and he's pushing it like this to make you STFU.

Fuck that.

Onefewernow Sat 08-Feb-14 02:29:41

He thinks he is more important than you, in reality. Also, he chooses to work quite such long hours. Yes, he chooses.

As the long term wife of someone who spent years doing similar, I've been there.

Such long hours are a choice and the counsellor we saw about it thought the same.

Sure he believes he is doing it for you. That is the story he tells himself. And it is a great story too, isn't it? It enables all sorts to flow from it, such as reward time off for himself. Been there too.

You may not choose to LTB now, but you are both heading for a world of crap in the future if he carries on putting himself first like this.

Mine moved on to OW eventually in order to relieve the stress, apparently. That's common amongst workaholics too.

bolak Sat 08-Feb-14 02:51:43

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

AgentZigzag Sat 08-Feb-14 02:59:20

Hahahahaha bolak, the acronyms getting you down? grin

You should KTTTK wink

bolak Sat 08-Feb-14 03:04:56

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

caruthers Sat 08-Feb-14 03:08:15


AgentZigzag Sat 08-Feb-14 03:11:14

Mental as in you don't get me so I must have mental health problems, or mental as in unusual?

bolak Sat 08-Feb-14 03:22:38

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

AgentZigzag Sat 08-Feb-14 03:30:02

'How is your carb lag tonight? Lavender flavoured>?'

You're kidding, right? I only have organic steam confits.

I fly them in from Blackpool.

I've never understood the feeling behind KTKTK, it's too slimy for me.

JapaneseMargaret Sat 08-Feb-14 03:31:11

He of course thinks I am making a big fuss over nothing.

And he always will.

This is how you feel now, after 4 years of same. How will you feel in another 4 years? In another 8? 16...?

You know what they say about resentment. It's like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. They won't. They go on blithely doing as they've always done, whilst you get more and more bitter.

AgentZigzag Sat 08-Feb-14 03:34:17

Shit, I didn't mean to derail your thread OP, sorry, I'm on another thread with bolak and didn't check which I was posting on.

roweeena Sat 08-Feb-14 04:00:18

Fine he can have his 'hobby time' if he is able to find time for you to have 'hobby time' completely separately. Yes he is working all those hours which means so are you too as a SAHM. you deserve free tone just as much as him. You have to remind him that you gave up a career and that you are a team.

Tough shit if he wants to do a hobby, he has a 14month old. Tell him to get a grip and that for the next couple of years hobbies may need to be on the backburner

roweeena Sat 08-Feb-14 04:01:42

Ps once you have two its likely he is going to need to be around more to help (& stop you going insane!)

Custardo Sat 08-Feb-14 04:04:49


daisychain01 Sat 08-Feb-14 05:34:52

<thinks custardo's keyboard only has 3 functioning letter... Or is it deja vu?> grin

bearleftmonkeyright Sat 08-Feb-14 05:54:50

Yanbu. You also need time to yourself. I don't know how to get him to listen as you have clearly tried and he has refused to see your POV. You have to think of yourself at the moment. What do you need right now? Doing something awesome without him is a good idea. Why should you wait for him? Also I was a sahm for years. I had every respect for my dp going out to work to keep a roof over our heads. But he had respect for what I did also.

maparole Sat 08-Feb-14 08:35:00

Well, IMO, his time priorities ought to look like this:

- family
- work
- self

I'm afraid I have very little patience for this "I need to work 20 hours a day" nonsense. To me, it is just self-aggrandisement, macho bullshit. I used to work in an industry where silly hours were the norm ... in one instance, one of the partners had flown to New York, worked for 48 hrs without rest, flown back to London and then immediately called a meeting to "debrief". Frankly, he could barely string a coherent sentence together and it was a joke.

I don't think it's his hobby that is the problem; it is his untenable working routine. You need to sit him down and talk through exactly what effect this is having on you and your children and make him realise it is not sustainable long-term. The you should put your heads togtehr to work out how to shift the emphasis and allow him to work less.

If he won't take this seriously, then it will, sooner or later, wreck the relationship.

diddl Sat 08-Feb-14 08:38:46

How convenient that his hobby helps him destres, but not family timehmm

FlirtingFail Sat 08-Feb-14 08:47:53

The reality is that he is choosing to spend his time working - and now doing his hobby - rather that with you and your DC. I completely agree with those who say that working long hours is a choice. In my job, lots of people work 70 hours a week, and it's utter bullshit. I squeeze 40-45 in around childcare etc. and I get as much (or more) done than them.

I know how much this situation hurts - I have been there myself. Your feelings of hurt and anger are completely understandable. But in reality, you can't change things. You can't make him choose you. (Sorry, I wish you could.) You either have to find a way to accept it, or you have to leave (which you don't want to do).

My suggestion: find people to do things with at the weekend. A couple of my friends are in similar situations to you. We often get together at the weekend and do things (I am a single parent). We have a really brilliant time - in fact it is much more fun that trying to do things with a grumpy DH/P who doesn't want to to be there. "Family time" is often overrated, IME, esp. routine things like going to the supermarket. As your DC get older, it will also be a lot more fun doing things with them. DD is 5 and she is a brilliant companion.

pianodoodle Sat 08-Feb-14 08:50:20

It definitely isn't fair and YANBU.

I don't know how you make someone want to spend time with their family though.

If I had to nag DH to spend time with us I wouldn't enjoy it as I'd feel he'd rather be doing something else...

It's his whole attitude towards being a husband and father that needs to change and he sounds quite selfish.

He needs to realise the effort you put in especially before you have two to look after, but in order to see how difficult it is he needs to spend time with you all in the first place!

Brittabot Sat 08-Feb-14 08:59:56


I would be very hurt if my DH was rarely home and chose to set aside time for a hobby with his rare spare time.

I'm not sure how you can help him understand but I think it's perfectly reasonable for you to have equal time to him to do what you want. Then he will get to spend time on his own with your child(ren), hopefully enjoy it and if not that's a starting point for you to point out how much you need another adult around sometimes.

3littlefrogs Sat 08-Feb-14 09:01:29

You can't change other people. You can only change yourself.
I agree that in this situation the only thing you can do is start building a support network for yourself. Family time isn't a priority for your husband and you can't make it so. You can't make him understand.
It may be the case that as the DC get older he will take more interest.
You need to decide if you can wait that long.
I would also recommend that as the DC get older you look at ways of getting back to your career.
I know a few men like this. All working in the financial sector. I think it is a personality type thing as much as anything else. They often don't appreciate what they have until it is gone. sad

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