Husband Walking out on Conversation.(19 Posts)
It's been a tricky time with family over the last few months.
This has mainly been because of my elderly father's increasing dementia and physical frailty. My husband and I have been the main people responsible for ensuring his care requirements have been met.
This has involved moving him from sheltered accommodation to a care home and also liaising with hospital staff during three recent admissions. I've given my husband a great deal of practical support and done a lot of visiting my father in law - including during an occasion when my husband had decided to go abroad despite his Dad having been admitted to hospital.
It's possible that what I have ended up doing was a little too much 'wifework'. But I suppose this was a) because I am fond of my father-in-law and also b) because of a general belief in partners baling each other out.
I think I was vaguely conscious this morning of feeling under strain. My husband just generally was feeling sorry for himself because of various bits of financial admin he's having to do for his father. He's also talking a very great deal about stuff like assisted dying, which is a topic I find difficult. His father is so very very old and frail it really is unlikely he'll be alive in 6 months time.
As it was my day off I arranged an outing this afternoon, which I thought might cheer him up. We had got back around 4 and he'd mentioned wanting to go and buy some razors- again tan item for his father - while I did some cooking. As there are loads of nearby supermarkets open till late I just started chatting while I was cooked, thinking there was no rush.
I started saying that all the business to do with his father had made me reflect on my mother - who is also elderly. I said that I felt I was gradually feeling very very separate from her, and this wasn't something I could discuss with my brothers.
I'd finished a sentence and to my surprise my husband started leaving the room. I had felt we were in mid-conversation so said, 'Where are you going?'
'I'm going to the bank?'
'Why do you need to do that?' I asked.
'Because I want to pay in a cheque before it closes?'
'Is it urgent?'
'No, but I've been meaning to pay it in for days.'
I suddenly felt really really upset. It felt to me that for the last two months I have done almost nothing (apart from my job, chores at home etc) other than listen to my husband talk about his Dad.
For the first time in many weeks, I mention my mother and instantly my husband, who is retired and has loads of free time, discovers an urgent need to rush off to the bank.
I challenged my husband on his return, and his defence is 'Oh I hadn't thought it was an important conversation because you were cooking. I thought you'd finished.'
I am so pissed off...
Not sure what I can do really.
Honestly, I think you are over thinking things. It sounds genuine to me -you finished a sentence, he got up to leave; I don't think it sounds like he intentionally hurt your feelings or meant to be unsupportive. Sometimes people just don't think, we are all guilty of that. Sounds like he isn't quite with it at the moment anyway with lots on his mind.
Be kind to yourselves. You are both under a lot of strain and bound to be sensitive.
I agree with the previous poster. However, I’d be pissed off. Sounds like you think you need to readdress the balance?
I do need to readdress the balance.
I suppose the topic I raised (my mother) was one that I find painful and which my husband knows is a painful one. I had probably raised it because I felt we were having a relaxed time together and my husband was paying attention. So it jarred that he behaved as if I'd just spoken about the weather.
The thing about not being listened to is hard because of childhood. I had a very absent father and a mother who was obsessional about chores, but not interested in me.
Bit annoying but you are over thinking hugely. Let it go. If otherwise good polite partner then don’t give it another thought
Maybe the strain of the situation is getting to you but, it sounds like you’re overthinking this
I remember your previous thread, and honestly think you've just reached the end of your limit of being there for everyone else, and not having the same care/attention from others around you. Understandable on both sides. I think you're jumping on dh for misunderstandings/miscommunications which you normally wouldn't have. You need some time out. Go see your mum for a bit.
Definitely end of tether. Because my husband is so operational if I want things to change I have to try and be very specific. (A bit like a work place with smart objectives.)
So over the last few months, I've made a number or realistic suggestions about ways in which he could make our shared life easier/more enjoyable. He agreed to all of these.
For example, one lot of domestic suggestions was to do with clearing out out of date rotting food from the kitchen.
The second related to the business he set up which is based from home and which he has started to neglect. I had suggested some very minimal stuff he could do using social media/updating the website - on a weekly/monthly basis. These actions would only take less than an hour each week, and I made it clear I would offer him support with doing them. But I said I would also find it very helpful if he would do this without being constantly prompted and reminded.
The third set was social. My wifework included making any arrangments for us to go out - eg films, trips outs of the immediate neighbourhod etc. He would take part in identifying outings.
He made one or two (token) gestures immediately after I made each set of suggestions. But has then just drifted off/forgotten all this.
Meanwhile I've been carrying on with chores, my own work, taking care that the areas of the house that are visible when clients come are in good order, and supporting my husband in terms of his elderly father.
So I suppose it is in this context that I was so upset by his wandering off when I thought he might reasonably be expected to be listening to me.
Things just don't seem to improve. I suppose I genuinely don't know how much I can get him to make minor changes. Or how much is about me inwardly giving up and making my own life so that his thoughtlessness bothers me less.
Understandable. I've also been in the position of pointing out where workload/mental load needs to be shared more equally, only for dh to make a few token efforts then forget. While I carry on. Some of them are real lazy bastards, because they just don't give a shit, and if you do, well, that makes it your responsibility, right? I can only sympathise and advise you to take a break and a step back if you can. Let him do it by himself for a bit and he might appreciate you a bit more. You've been taking a lot of the strain for him, I dont think he realises it.
I think from his point of view, seeing as it is his father dying, it might be difficult for him to listen to how difficult it all is for you and how tough you are finding it. And perhaps a little insensitive of you?
as it is his father dying, it might be difficult for him
Well if it was that difficult for him why did he fly to Switzerland, while his Dad had an emergency admission to hospital, leaving me to do visiting and try and extract information from staff who wouldn't talk to me.
It is more a case of his father having a long decline with various crises that are then dealt with and which subside. I've been pretty supportive for the last two months, but the situation is currently relatively stable, and I might occasionally have one or two small insignificant needs of my own.
Two months? Wow, you've had to support your husband with a sick family member for two whole months? Wow! You do realise sometimes people support sick in laws for years because they love their partners and are a team and work together?
I don't know why he went to Switzerland, maybe it was for work, maybe it was something he couldn't put off indefinitely. But it's out of order for you to say that because he went away he mustn't care about his father and it can't be difficult for him that his Dad is dying. Maybe, just maybe, he thought he had a supportive partner who could hold the fort during a tough time? You know, like spouses are supposed to.
Your post is all about 'me, me, me, me'. If you've decided your husband doesn't give a shit about his father and therefore your trivial tiff with your mother is more important I don't blame him for not wanting to listen to you. You sound totally unsympathetic and really quite self absorbed.
I understand you perfectly. Without wanting to sound sexist,mits been my personal experience that many men find this whole situation too hard to cope with so they cut off emotionally. Ok , they do the practical tasks but the whole business of talking, planning and discussing our feelings is so hard they won’t do it.
I would sit down later, face to face and explain he really upyyou by walking out on you. Say you do need his support as well as you giving to him all the time.
And remind him that ‘assisted dying’ in regards to someone with advanced dementia is also known as ‘murder’. I get it that he doesn’t mean it seriously but it’s a 100% No. Although having a discussion with his care team and requesting end of life care would not be unreasonable.
And Elton’ why so bloody mean? OP has been dealing with this for much longer than 2 months. It’s the recent stuff that’s especially upset her.
Did you post about your husband jetting off while his DF was in hospital recently? It rings a bell.
If so, yanbu. Life is tough for both of you at present and your DH isn't acting as part of a team.
It sounds really upsetting to me. I suppose your husband may well be deeply distracted and unable really to focus on anything but his own experience of his father dying. Grief can make monsters of us.
YANBU to be v upset though with him. Not sure what you can do about it though.
Thanks to most/may of you. I could clarify that for most of the last twenty years - really the entire duration of my relationship with my partner - I have been supporting my father in law, who was then in hi mid-seventies. When we first met he had a poor memory and needed general ferrying around and visiting and regularly inviting to lunch. He was a widower. When his memory problems increased we moved him to sheltered accommodation. As they have increased further - soiling himself etc - we moved him to a care home.
My partner, who is retired went to Switzerland to buy a painting. Buying paintings is his hobby. It is of course very necessary to pursue one's own interests and hobbies and have some downtime. But I didn't particularly enjoy juggling work, dealing with health-related matters over the phone and hospital visiting in his absence.
I dont think you are over reacting at all. You mention "wifework" and it is exhausting, unrecognised by anyone. I would step back from the day to day tasks regarding FIL. If hubby is retired then he can pick those up. if they dont get done then that's his fault. Focus on your work, family etc.
Maybe if you walk out the room while he is mid-sentence about something important to him, he might realise that it can seem rude and uncaring to do that.
Yanbu however your dh is probably acting a bit unusually due to stress, upset about his dad. Maybe have a gentle discussion about how you need to talk about your mum too. Hugs im sorry to hear about your fil
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