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to be distressed about husband's forgetfulness?

(26 Posts)
plurabelle Mon 08-Feb-16 09:24:31

The latest instance occurred first thing this morning when he asked me whether I would be working my normal shift pattern.

In fact I am on annual leave this week. At the New Year we'd had quite a long discussion about the leave I was due and when I would take it. There was some glitch about my entitlement and I kept him up to date on that and how it was resolved. I marked my leave in pencil in the paper diary we both keep.

This last week was a particularly busy one when as well as working additional hours, I was giving him a lot of support with the business he runs from home. (This is something he set up since he retired.) I also had a heavy cold. At various points during the week, I mentioned that I was finding getting through everything tough - but at least I would be off next week.

(I had vaguely noted last off that he'd never once asked about whether we might have some days out while I was off, but had just assumed he was waiting to see what the weather was like, etc etc.)

It upset me that he seems so preoccupied with his own concerns, that he simply forgets what I am doing.

lougle Mon 08-Feb-16 09:39:51

How old is he? Have you noticed a general forgetfulness or only forgetting things that are important to you?

cozietoesie Mon 08-Feb-16 09:40:58

How olds is he? ( You mentioned retiral.)

cozietoesie Mon 08-Feb-16 09:42:26

*old - and X post.

firesidechat Mon 08-Feb-16 09:44:47

Has he forgotten though? Just because he didn't mention it doesn't mean he's forgotten.

plurabelle Mon 08-Feb-16 09:46:52

He is 66 - 67 before too long.

I think he would describe himself as 'scatty'. However, I don't think there are general signs of memory loss and confusion. It's more that he gets caught up with his own thoughts and projects.

plurabelle Mon 08-Feb-16 09:47:57

Oh, and I think the Annual Leave thing hadn't really registered properly in the first place - and had certainly slipped from his mind for most of the last week.

cozietoesie Mon 08-Feb-16 09:52:35

It's a very heavy sort of forgetting though, plura. I know that I have a memory like a steel trap but I still find it difficult to conceive of forgetting such a thing, especially when it had been discussed often beforehand.

WizardOfToss Mon 08-Feb-16 10:07:24

Sorry you're upset. Seems like there a few possible causes of his 'forgetting':

He wasn't really listening properly/engaging when you discussed it, because it wasn't important to him.

He is experiencing genuine memory loss as a result of a wider health issue.

He had a genuine 'brain fart' moment!

Only you will know which and what to do next, if anything.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 08-Feb-16 10:19:00

On the one hand you have a lovely week off with no obligations or expectations of you. Sounds bliss to me.

On the other hand, because your scatty husband doesn't pay a screed of attention, he has presumably planned his usual week and not planned any time in to spend with you.

If you are pissed off then suggest to him that perhaps there is a medical issue with his memory grin.

I'd just be taking full advantage of the free week and not get sucked into any thing related to the new company.

acasualobserver Mon 08-Feb-16 10:24:26

Have you told him that you're upset about him forgetting these things? He may be scatty or preoccupied with his business but he might also be genuinely sad to affect you in this way.

sadie9 Mon 08-Feb-16 10:27:22

I think some people are just like this. My husband is the same all the time. If his letter needs a stamp the whole house has to be turned upside down, but if a decision has to be made on picking the family holiday no interest is shown and then it's 'no one told it me it was next week, and I didn't know we were going there'.
My husband has a very stressful job. In his mind all his 'stuff' takes priority and anything to with my schedule that doesn't directly impact him is further down his list or not on it.
Stuff is sorted into two categories - directly affects me-my ass on the line-puts me into possible difficulty OR doesn't directly affect me-is not a threat to me personally-stuff she waffles on about. The latter category is instantly forgotten or there is an avoidance of thinking about it.
If his brain was like a computer, it is like all his memory is taken up with managing what is on the screen right now this minute, and that goes on all the time. So other people's stuff is not on his radar unless a reminder blip appears on the screen. Then he is constantly surprised by events that seem to suddenly appear, even though he has been told about them.
So I can choose to take offence at this and see it as an attitude of his and/or I can remind him more. And also remind him of how this behaviour pattern affects me also.

TyrannosaurusBex Mon 08-Feb-16 10:30:19

DH forgets stuff like this and it's very difficult not to feel like he just doesn't give a toss. He certainly seems able to retain information pertaining to his work and interests, so I do feel that the reason 'my stuff' doesn't register is because it's not all about him. He's a great husband and dad in all other respects, but as far as the day-to-day organisation of our lives is concerned, it's impossible to rely on his remembering ANYTHING. I realised long ago that asking him to make a phone call, post a letter, submit a form, make an appointment, pick me up from somewhere, buy some milk on the way home etc etc etc is a complete gamble. It may be done but it probably won't.

plurabelle Mon 08-Feb-16 10:34:14

I've told him that I'm upset.

He used to have a stressful job, so I accepted then that there was a lot of stuff I just had to get on with myself. Or that I'd have to remind him of things. Because dealing with his workload was the number 1 priority.

I think what's happened is that I no longer afford him the same tolerance now that he has retired. The new business is more of a 'hobby business' - so although it does take up some time, he is not responsible to others (colleagues/clients) in the same way.

I think he means well. But he does keep doing this, and I just have to separate myself off as way of dealing with the feelings of unhappiness.

Which makes us less close at a time which was supposed to have been a bit more about togetherness.

Ed1tY0urPr0f1le Mon 08-Feb-16 11:07:41

I get you, op. My DH does this and then doesn't understand why it upsets me. In fact he gets annoyed with me for being upset sad To him, there is always a 'reason' why he forgot, a 'stressful day' or whatever. But when it keeps happening and it's always my stuff that gets forgotten (stuff that we had a full conversation about the day before) it does make me feel that I come a long way down his list of priorities.

Sorry, I don't have any answers but flowers

WhereYouLeftIt Mon 08-Feb-16 11:30:26

That's not simple forgetfulness - there were so many reminders that frankly it's a worrying level of forgetfulness.

I think I would suggest to him that he should see the GP about his forgetfulness. It will either encourage him to buck up his ideas, or maybe catch something at an early stage?

shovetheholly Mon 08-Feb-16 11:37:07

I think many men have a kind of single-minded focus on one task at a time, to the neglect of everything else. This can manifest as forgetfulness. It's not really on, because in this day and age people of both genders need to be able to multitask, and it's often the woman who ends up having the bear the burden of the forgetfulness, in terms of extra running around. When you add that to a situation of unequal housework and childcare, you pretty much have a recipe for career high-achieving but practically useless men, and career low-achieving but practically brilliant women. grin

You sound like you're getting isolated and neglected in this situation - he's not pulling his weight emotionally on top of everything else. I would be disappointed in your shoes, too, if I'd looked forward to retirement as allowing more togetherness and then been pushed away like this. It is hurtful.

I wonder if he realises what the impact of his behaviour is on you? And whether he is struggling a bit with the change in status and priorities that comes with retirement? Are there things you can do to 'schedule' more time together, for example meals out each week, cinema nights, trips away?

Mughalswife Mon 08-Feb-16 14:12:47

My husband is exactly like this. it's particularly annoying when we have an actual conversation about something which he later claims not to remember. Yesterday I asked him to get me some deodorant as he was going shopping. I told him to get cream or solid deodorant. I explained that I didn't want an aerosol one. We had a conversation about it and he said he understood. What did he bring back? Two aerosol cans. 'Oh, I thought you said you wanted the non-staining type.' Er, no, I never said anything about that. Happens all the time. I think whatever I say is downgraded somehow in his mind. Only work things get remembered perfectly.

OzzieFem Mon 08-Feb-16 16:09:10

Why men don't listen & women can't read maps by Allan & Barbara PEASE. It's quite a humorous book and worth a read.

In brief, men can't multitask while women can. Apparently it's because our brains are wired differently. "While 15% to 205 of men have feminised brains, 10% of women have masculinised brains".

So it's not your husband being deliberately difficult, he's just being a man.

OzzieFem Mon 08-Feb-16 16:10:06

* not 205 of men 20% of men

helenahandbag Mon 08-Feb-16 16:17:42

My DP is only 25 and sometimes I feel like I'm talking to a turnip. The most recent example is he has asked me three times since 7pm last night what time I'll be home this evening angry

Sometimes I get really angry when he asks me something that we've discussed at length previously and then he gets angry and defensive but I've realised that this is just him. I can take him as he is or leave him.

LordBrightside Mon 08-Feb-16 16:22:53

"At the New Year we'd had quite a long discussion about the leave I was due and when I would take it. There was some glitch about my entitlement and I kept him up to date on that and how it was resolved. I marked my leave in pencil in the paper diary we both keep."

Sounds fascinating, how COULD he forget this enchanting exchange? 😆

I can understand frustration, but to be upset with someone for forgetting something is ott. By definition, it's not a deliberate act.

helenahandbag Mon 08-Feb-16 16:25:15

I can understand frustration, but to be upset with someone for forgetting something is ott. By definition, it's not a deliberate act.

Of course it's not deliberate but I can't even put into words how frustrating it is to live with a person who doesn't retain a single word you say. I have to have the same conversation over and over again without a glimmer of recognition in his eyes and sometimes it's really difficult to keep my cool about it.

Quoteunquote Mon 08-Feb-16 16:26:55

My friend has rigged her DH's iPhone so siri, continually reminds her husband what happing in his life and what he is meant to be engaging with, she records it's saved his life as she felt she was going to kill him.

Do get him to have a health check up.

BackforGood Mon 08-Feb-16 16:32:29

I think this depends - at first I thought you were worried about his memory loss, in terms of 'is this dementia'? Reading on, I'm now thinking it's more of a "He doesn't take any notice of what I say" thing???

So, when my dh tells me he's going here or there, as long as it's on the calendar, I don't save a space for it in my memory, as I don't actually need to do anything for it to happen. That's different from if the dc tell me of a date something is happening, as, with them I need to get them there / collect them / maybe have the right equipment / etc. He often seems surprised I don't know he's flying off somewhere next Tuesday or won't be here the coming weekend, but, as I've not had to book anything for it, or make any arrangements, it just doesn't get to the top of the list of things I retain in my head. Doesn't mean I don't love him or don't respect him or anything, just means I have a finite capacity so can't remember everything somebody tells me.

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