To think this isn't great news for our marriage?(25 Posts)
DH and I about to celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary. Only DH who is a musician said "yes" to a gig on our anniversary night, without checking it with me. Meanwhile my parents are coming to look after kids and I have booked an Airbnb for the weekend. Things haven't been great tbh and DH battling with serious depression. Has said he will cancel gig that he apparently said yes to when "there was not much else happening for me (i.e. him) work wise." But cancelling it for me isn't really the point - the fact that he booked a gig on our anniversary night feels massive especially as he has stormed out when I said how I felt about it. The last six months have been really tough - his behaviour v erratic with me and the kids. And that comes on the back of some very difficult issues with him not managing money/his tax affairs/ his career over the last 10 years to the point where we nearly lost the house on two occasions. I am a controlling b****, apparently. I am certainly not perfect but I have had to hold things together during the various crises he has created. As a result I have really struggled with being supportive of him especially with this latest bout of depression. He massively holds this against me. I don't think booking a gig on our wedding anniversary was an act of malice in his part - more bad judgement. But it feels very symptomatic of the place we are in right now. We have 3 DCs. We have been to counselling sporadically but I feel I need one to one support to figure out how I feel about the marriage b4 going as a couple. I am wondering if he has some sort of personality disorder. He is getting some help with his depression although he has not been great at going to the counsellor sessions. Are we at the end of the road romantically?
Sorry I don't have advice but understand your situation and really hope it improves for you soon
As a musician who is struggling financially, maybe he thought he was helping by accepting the gig?
My DH is often away working on our anniversary night. We choose a different day when we are together to celebrate ...
I think the state of your marriage and his accepting the gig are two different issues. Only you know about the former. As for the latter, it sounds to me like a part of his depression could be the lack of income / work and not supporting his family despite wanting to. Taking it doesn't mean he's putting his job before you but that he wants support you and contribute to the family. You should be pleased he does.
I think the state of your marriage affects your feelings about the gig/anniversary. I've been through this (several times, argh) myself. You kind of set markers in your mind: We'll have a lovely anniversary weekend that will give
him us a chance to reconnect with what we're all about ... Same with other seemingly not-massive things, like birthdays and visits with friends, etc.
I belatedly reached the obvious conclusion that I was setting so much store by these things because I was working on the relationship, really hard if not altogether smartly, and had become desperate for credible evidence I was getting somewhere.
In my case, I was working on a relationship that didn't exist - trying to turn my reality into something else. I was in the marriage (the one I wanted) by myself - and I didn't like the real marriage we were both in. I still feel sad thinking back on it, but mainly for my idiocy in marrying that particular husband in the first place! Or second place, actually: I'd already made a similar cock-up.
I'm not telling your relationship's dead in the water. Only you know that - and you do, somewhere inside, but it might take more time and a different kind of effort to feel sure of yourself. I'm saying the anniversary/gig thing is a symptom, not the problem.
If you feel like hashing it out some more on here, I'd suggest a thread in Relationships rather than AIBU. Because, basically, YABU but it isn't the real story.
I hope you have a nice time anyway, whatever you end up doing.
It all sounds a bit miserable 🙁
I'd tell him that I don't want him to cancel 'for me'. I'd then go on my own & spend the time thinking/relaxing. You can't change him, only your reaction to him, unfortunately.
I am a regular lurker on MN but felt I had to reply to your post. OP I really feel for you, sounds a lot like my OH which is why I'm going to suggest whether your OH may have ADHD.My OH , mid 40 s has been referred and is going to have his appointment shortly , but we both sort of know that he definitely has it! It's a bit of a relief to hopefully know the reasons behind his behaviour which I have found impossible to understand and really frustrating to deal with during our 15 year marriage.I feel ground down by it. Hugs and to you. I think even if it is ADHD it's still going to be a struggle for me personally to cope with his behaviours, lack of sensitivity etc etc.
Go to the gig with him.
Almost lost your home twice, who was in charge of the household finances.
Did you marry, have children with him because he was 'famous'?
Are you spending money that does not exist but you were used to spending?
Thanks all for your answers. He is not famous no although he'd like to be. And yes there is an issue over the finances however these are tricky to manage when nasty surprises emerge like unpaid tax bills. MrsMama - yes I have thought ADHD but not sure how to raise it - GP said it was v unlikely and DH went ballistic when I suggested it although it was a while ago now. Garlicsteak thank you for sharing that - what you say really resonates. He is a lovely person but it does feel we have thoroughly explored the "for worse" side of our vows without any prospect that things will get better. And I hate the hostile resentful person I've become. DCs are happy miraculously but we are not modelling a v happy relationship for them. You are right it's just one evening and yes he is trying to help with the finances. I think if he'd asked I would feel differently.
Is he a full time musician or does he have another job to bring in money? Does he make enough money to contribute to your finances? Is he ever likely to make it? I only ask because living with a musician, especially as even quite successful musicians find it hard to make a decent living these days.
Sorry that last sentence made no sense. It should say:
I only ask because living with a musician can be very tough, especially as even quite successful musicians find it hard to make a decent living these days.
Fireside chat - it's ab important point. He is a professional musician RA trained but had always had to have a day job to fill in gaps. This used to be teaching but 2009 recession put paid to that. He also didn't really manage cash flow so he ended up getting an admin job which he hates. He lives for the gigs. He prob has the talent to make it but we can't afford for him to just concentrate on that unless we move out of London which he doesn't want to do. We are working on ways for him to raise his profile.
Personally, I'm not someone who celebrates anniversaries very much, so I don't really see it as a big deal (particularly as it isn't a landmark anniversary, like 20 years and so on). Saying that the fact that he booked a gig on your anniversary bodes badly for your marriage is a bit over the top, IMO - particularly if he hasn't had gigs for some time and they are so important to him (personally and financially). You could celebrate your anniversary some other day.
Having said that, it seems quite obvious that there are problems in your marriage. Counselling or therapy sounds like a good idea, yes, either on your own or as a couple (or both).
he sounds like a self absorbed jack ass and i'd wonder why you were with him?
he chases his dreams and you "hold it together"? sounds fair...
Just checking but - is he the sort of man who would actually know it's your anniversary?
I ask because my Dad never remembers and my parents have been married more than 40 years. It's been my job for as long as I can remember to remind him because otherwise he completely forgets and only finds out when Mum hands him a card that morning. It's not malicious. He forgets his own birthday too! Just these things aren't as important to him as they are to Mum.
No advice, but as someone also married to a depressive who "works" in the arts, I sympathize and hope you're OK, please feel free to pm if you want to chat.
It sounds grim, although the anniversary isn't necessarily a huge deal IMO. If you have big relationship problems weekends away on milestone occasions can just add to the pressure sometimes.
If you still love each other you could try counselling. If you don't or there's too much pain there to resolve you might be best separating.
unfair of him to resent you for money stuff when that's more likely down to his career choice and poor money management. I know many talented people in the creative industries who in order to support a family (or indeed just themselves) had to get other jobs - just how it is.
You mention "we're trying to raise his profile". I wouldn't be getting involved in that: his career, his stuff to sort out.
I agree, the anniversary isn't a huge deal in and of itself. However, what the anniversary symbolises - the way it is standing in for a lot of other negligent, irresponsible behaviours that are making your world less certain and more stressful - is very much a big deal.
It sounds to me like you're doing all of the heavy lifting in this relationship. Carrying the burden for one person is enough - carrying for two, plus kids, is backbreaking.
I understand that your DH is depressed. I had the same situation with my exP, and I stayed and stayed thinking it would be 'unfair' of me to leave someone who was ill. Actually, I ended up wasting a ton of my life pandering to someone who was depressed but was also a total asshole! Don't let the illness cloud your judgement. We can all give people with MH issues some serious leeway, but there come a point where behaviour just impacts too negatively on those around them to be endured. You are entitled to pursue your own happiness, you know.
As a person who suffers from depression and feels massively overwhelmed with tax stuff, I have some sympathy for your husband ... but if he is so inable to manage those things, he should ask you for help.
What others say, his illness is not an excuse for everything. The least he can do is admit that he can't manage things and ask for your support ... which apparently he has not done as you were surprised by the unpaid bills.
Any particular reason why he doesn't want to move out of London? Do you own the house there, and if yes, did you buy it with him? Has one of you inherited it?
For a freelance artist, I should think living in London is a massive financial risk, as it is so expensive, but if he inherited the house, I could understand it ... also, if the house is paid off and the risk of losing it was temporary.
I don't think that it's necessarily bad that he booked something on your WA.
It's more that he's happy for you & the kids to struggle whilst he tries to make ends meet with his music.
Will he ever say "enough"??
What teaching was he doing-at a school or private lessons?
I mean he stopped that 7yrs ago!!
Has he looked into it again?
What sort of music/gig?
Can he realistically make money from it?
How did the recession put an end to teaching?
I think him accepting this gig given the other circumstances was the right thing to do but it does all sound a bit 'his way or the high way.'
The anniversary thing is very minor - believe me in 40 odd years my OH has forgotten many things he should not have!
It is likely that as your marriage is going through a rocky patch that makes this loom larger in your mind than it should. I hope you manage to get this sorted.
If he's struggling to find enough work, turning down a gig (for what is ultimately a non- sigificant anniversary) is not a good idea - fixers will go to players who are always available / bands require full commitment. As to those who query living outside London - I'm guessing he is a classical player, and guess where the orchestras are? there have been brutal cuts in the regional BBC orchestras in recent years, lots of work going to ex UK orchestras (because of MU policy in part) and gigs come up on short notice / are at antisocial hours - it's incredibly hard to commute too far home at 11.30pm on public transport with a giant instrument in a case and even an uber could wipe the evening's fee.
It sounds like after many years of trying he can't earn enough from music and should do something else to contribute to the family income.
Thank you all - found support and solace here - it's much appreciated.
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