Is DH too high-maintenance?(555 Posts)
I have no idea if IABU given the wider scheme of things.
Basically, DH is an extreme workaholic and I had to accept long ago that there's very little I can do about this because he becomes highly defensive and I feel out of my depth. He runs his own companies and has no concept of any division between work and family time, but again, this has become normal to me. Also I appreciate it facilitates our lifestyle, so can't really complain.
We have DS1 (12), DD1 (11) and DD2 (9).
My main AIBU is about DH's "moods" which can be quite volatile and very much influenced by frustrations at work, etc. At times, it seems like his mood fluctuates in line with the FT Index, it really does! So because he is so highly strung, I feel like I can't criticise him at all really. He doesn't take critcism well at all, unless I'm really careful. I also have had to compensate for his stress levels at home because I'm aware of the impact it could have on the DC. So basically, I do my best to keep him on an even-keel.
I tend to give him info about the DC on a "need to know basis" and choose a time when he is likely to be receptive. In contrast, he will almost daily want to offload about work to me and will expect me to drop everything at any given moment and give him my full attention for the duration. He gets annoyed, for instance, if he feels I'm not looking at him, even if I'm obviously in the middle of doing something else.
When he's stressed he tends to "nit -pick" about ridiculous things and it wears me down. For instance, yesterday he went on an 8 hour bike ride (one of his many hobbies) and as as he was on his way out he said to me, "There is dust in the top of that door frame" . Or this morning, DD1 was close to tears about going to school because her friend is being mean to her and it was the general bustle of trying to get 3 DC out the door - meanwhile, from him, it's "Where did you put xx shirt" (when it's in the wardrobe in front of his eyes) and "Did you not have time to do the windows?" and other pointless questions which feel like digs and could just wait.
I should add that the house is NOT dirty or a mess. I have a cleaner twice a week and I clean / tidy up in between. I never ask him to take any house related stuff on, but when he's in one of his moods he will find the one thing I forgot to do.
In contrast, I know DH would do anything for me. He's very kind and extremely generous, very affectionate, always tells me he loves me and so on. All my friends think he's fantastic.
AIBU because, on balance, I'm very fortunate. Should I continue to let a lot of things go over my head or should I start to challenge him more?
Challenge him more, he's treating you like a servant who expects everything to drop when he says so.
I'm sorry but "Did you not have time to do the windows?" would make me murderous..
He's not kind at all.
He's self absorbed at best and a selfish (maybe abusive) cunt at worst.
"There is dust in the top of that door frame" chuck him a damp cloth and tell him to fucking wipe it.
He's a twat to you, make sure you tell him you've had enough.
"There is dust in the top of that door frame"
I never realised you could cycle for 8 hours with two broken legs
I don't think that it's you need to challenge him more - you need to sit down and calmly explain how you feel once and for all. Stress the good things about him too, and how you appreciate the pressure of work etc. but give him examples (like the door frame!) of what you don't appreciate & why.
Op please Google the phrase "walking on eggshells". You've just described my life with my personality disordered mother (not that I am suggesting or armchair diagnosing that your husband is the same).
So because he is so highly strung, I feel like I can't criticise him at all really. He doesn't take critcism well at all, unless I'm really careful. I also have had to compensate for his stress levels at home because I'm aware of the impact it could have on the DC. So basically, I do my best to keep him on an even-keel.
I tend to give him info about the DC on a "need to know basis" and choose a time when he is likely to be receptive.
AKA you're walking on eggshells.
I don't entirely get sahp (with high earning partners) who expect to live a life of relative luxury (school aged children, cleaner twice a week) but little/no expectations in return.
Firstly, OP, did you sacrifice a high earning and interesting career to stay at home? Are you at home because you want to be or because your husband wants you to be? The answer to these questions is important to how I would see things.
How would you feel if he cancelled the cleaner because he 'forgot' to earn the money that week? Would you feel the right to question him?
I think that if you have willingly and happily contracted to be a sahp to school aged children, you have to do the shit work as well as enjoying the privilege of a comfortable lifestyle with a lot of free time. All jobs have shot elements and there is no reason that ruining a home should be different.
Clearly there are ways and means of discussing things but, ultimately, if you are not happy, you can get a job and pay for more cleaning/housekeeping out of your earnings.
No he's not "high maintenance"
He's a selfish, self absorbed twat
I don't think he's high maintenance. I think he's abusive.
I was going to say exactly the same thing as the others. You're walking on eggshells, it must be exhausting.
I could'nt do it, it sounds miserable and an awful way to exist.
Thankyou. It's not that I don't expect any stress for myself and I do recognise he has a lot on, but yes, I do feel like it's walking on eggshells sometimes. Also, it's the timing of his comments as much as anything else.
Have you thought about looking for a job out of the house OP?
Do you get chance to fuck off out for 8 hours a day doing a hobby?
Don't kid yourself that you are anything other than a housekeeper to him
If you are happy to be treated like an employee, who needs reminding of her duties, being reprimanded for inefficiencies such as windows and dusty door frames and being rewarded when it suits him then you just crack on
What a shit relationship example to set your children.
I think he sounds awful, all that money he earned (because you enable his life by looking after his children and running the house) does not mean he is your line manager ffs.
It sounds awful.
Well, he sounds like a self-important twat to me.
I disagree that the pay-off for being a SAHP with school age DC to a high-earner is that you should be treated like a skivvy about matter such as dust on doorframes. That's fucking massively disrespectful.
I think I'd prefer to divorce him, myself. An 8-hour bike ride at the weekend, when you don't see much of him anyway? You wouldn't miss his presence in your life, now would you?
But perhaps he is genuinely is "very kind and generous, very affectionate". He doesn't sound any of those things from your post though. Generosity comes from the spirit, not from the bank balance.
He sounds like an absolute twat. Why does he give a shit about dust on top of a door frame? Surely he's only commenting on it to make you feel like shit.
How do you tolerate a wanker of this magnitude in your life OP?
I know DH would do anything for me
Would he? Would he, for instance, delay or shorten that 8 hour bike ride to dust the top of the stupid door? Or put his work aside if you or the children were having a crisis?
I think that if you have willingly and happily contracted to be a sahp to school aged children, you have to do the shit work as well as enjoying the privilege of a comfortable lifestyle with a lot of free time. All jobs have shot elements and there is no reason that ruining a home should be different
Lack of holiday/sickness provision, 24 hour on call, the fact that her partner seems to think he's her boss, that she can't really give notice and quit.
Those all make it rather different to a paid job don't they larry?
To me, it all boils down to equal leisure time. OP, do you, similarly have the chance to go and do something, undisturbed for 8 hours? Perhaps you should start? What would happen if you decided that he had to pay attention to you right now? If you needed him to take on some responsibility so you could go out to work?
"There's dust on the top of that door frame."
Is that so? Duster's in the utility room, darling.
"Did you not have time to do the windows?"
No. Did you?
He doesn't take critcism well at all, unless I'm really careful. I also have had to compensate for his stress levels at home because I'm aware of the impact it could have on the DC.
This just makes it sound like divorce would be better, really. Not being able to have a differing opinion on anything is no way to live.
Your post sounds familiar. Is this the same guy who brings large contingencies of friends back from rugby for lunch?
I struggle to believe that a man who can object to your not sorting dust on top of a door frame could at the same time be kind & generous.
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