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At a loss as to what to do about childish dh

(27 Posts)
Peanut1983 Fri 22-Feb-19 20:21:20

I'm finding my marriage really hard work. We have three children under 5 and I'm currently on maternity leave.

He's self employed and spends a lot of time on his work, often working weekends and evenings. He's constantly on his phone replying to emails. We rarely speak unless it's work related or about kids.

I don't think we are compatible and I don't know after 7 years of marriage how to cope with it:

-obsessed with work
-doesn't see point in diy, cleaning, etc. Won't change batteries in kids toys, change lightbulbs, fix broken stuff, mow lawn unless nagged repeated times
-needs to be reminded on everything (family birthdays, Mother's Day etc)
-is a hoarder (comics, sci fi, comic toys, dvds, books... all items must be on display and he has thousands of collections of stuff, every cd by a certain band etc) he spends hundreds on these hobbies
-no aspirations unless work related... so no desire to move house or decorate or buy anything for house

-family obsessed
-doesn't like things on display, doesn't own much, my hobbies don't involve collecting things
-wants to move house (currently in our first house we owned, small terraced house, it's literally full and has no drive and a tiny garden)
-spends money on kids/saves
-always makes sacrifices for family members

This week it's the diy thing that has bugged me. I nearly got electrocuted by a broken plug and he would have left that until he died! In the end I fixed it. He's just not interested in that side of life. He often gets grumpy as he wonders why his mates won't go out and enjoy his hobbies with him. It's because they are all being proper husbands at home I expect!

It is like he doesn't love me too. He's thoughtless towards me. Never thinks of me. Recently I've been poorly and whilst I had my head in a bucket he asked me to look after one of our kids! When I ask him to step up he says it's my fault as he can't show me care as I'm always annoyed at him. But trouble is, I'm annoyed at him as I feel unloved.

What is the answer here? It's like a married a man child. In our 20s it was fun, now it's not. My house is overrun with his crap and kids toys. It makes me stressed and others have commented on it too. I feel unhappy that no progress is being made to improve our life. It's all about his work... and his hobbies and what he likes.

Anyone had this before? Aibu to feel like I'm trapped!

Winchestermom35 Fri 22-Feb-19 20:33:58

No advice but I didn’t want to read & run.
I struggled with my partner for a while with wanting different things. He felt like some things were out of our reach so he didn’t want to change anything. I felt like if we didn’t change anything that they’d stay out of our reach.
It was frustrating to say the least

TowelNumber42 Fri 22-Feb-19 20:34:01

Yes you married a man child. You can't save a marriage alone. If he's only interested in himself and is very selfish then there's no hope. The marriage will end eventually.

Why are you trapped?

Aprilshowersarecomingsoon Fri 22-Feb-19 20:37:53

3 dc and a teen eh? My teens contribute more to the running of our home!
He needs binned op.

Peanut1983 Fri 22-Feb-19 20:38:05

Financially trapped. Would like to make it work for children. Would be in worse situation alone. I guess that's what I mean by trapped.

PalmTree101 Fri 22-Feb-19 20:40:53

Couples counselling?

Peanut1983 Fri 22-Feb-19 20:45:23

Tried a few sessions of couples counselling. Didn't get anywhere. The therapist said we should tackle his lack of help in house in baby steps. And together. E.g make a plan to paint shed, but paint together and tackle it together. Well... the shed is still not painted. She wanted me to baby him further but I found it quite frustrating. I just want a man that says "I'm going to paint shed, see you in a few hours"

TowelNumber42 Fri 22-Feb-19 21:03:43

How can you make it work if he has bugger all interest in stepping up.

See a solicitor to find out more about what your financial position would be if you divorced.

Aldilogue Fri 22-Feb-19 21:08:20

I think the fact that you say in your list family obsessed and always puts family members first stands out. Making a huge assumption here but when your kids were born you probably did everything because you wanted to be in control and your husband probably didn’t do it exactly as you wanted. Time has gone on and he has given up trying to help because it’s going to be wrong any way.
He said he doesn’t feel affection towards you because you are always annoyed at him and he’s probably really annoying, so rightly so.
He would have had those hobbies and collections before you were married so it’s not fair to ask him to get rid of that stuff.
I don’t have any huge answers to your questions because loads of us go through this in our marriages but trying to understand each other is the key. Also doing something for yourself is essential whatever it is as you are just as important as every other family member.
So no advice just letting you know you’re not alone.

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 22-Feb-19 21:13:16

He might only realise that he needs to put in some effort when he has lost you.

You've tried counselling, it hasn't helped. I would start to plan how to separate from him, even if it takes a while. If you're working towards your plan then it may help the feelings of being trapped/helpless.

Peanut1983 Fri 22-Feb-19 21:18:06

Agree with lots of your comments. He did indeed have those hobbies/collections before. His collection took over his entire flat!

I too had hobbies before kids, 5 nights down gym, boozing at weekend. Now I do not do that. I'm lucky if I find time to go running once a week! I unintentionally did dry January! It's just not compatible with family life that style of living, like I did in my 20s. He wants to live like he's always lived... spend the same money, hours and take up more room in house. I'm saying it can't go on like this. Don't throw it away but store it in loft.

Agree that he's had me do things for him and he now feels he gets it wrong when he tries.

I'm glad I'm not alone!

Haggisfish Fri 22-Feb-19 21:18:24

Why did you have three children with him?!

sweeneytoddsrazor Fri 22-Feb-19 21:18:43

So why is the shed not painted? Because he didn't want to help you or because you wanted him to do it alone? I would expect him to be able to step up and help with child care and household tasks but I wouldn't be expecting him to get rid of his collections which you were obviously aware of before you moved in married and had kids together

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 22-Feb-19 21:21:05

"^Agree that he's had me do things for him and he now feels he gets it wrong when he tries^. "

This to me is an excuse for laziness and disinterest. It places blame on the person who is doing all the work, and tries to justify an unjustifiable position.

If he's got 3 children and isn't prepared to make any changes to his lifestyle at all, whilst you have changed everything, he is living in dreamworld.

bibbitybobbityyhat Fri 22-Feb-19 21:24:51

Yanbu. Such a shame you married him and had 3 children with him.

Peanut1983 Fri 22-Feb-19 21:30:18

I always wanted kids, admit it was my idea that he seemed to agree with. He's very good with the children actually (plays a lot, clearly loves them). If I was waiting for him to decide to be ready to start a family I would still be waiting. He says that's not true but I negotiated both times... he wanted to wait a few more months both times (we have twins and a singleton). He's really not proactive when it comes to family life. I said we should save for house, he agreed. He's done that now and doesn't see need to move again. I think this is not my forever home!

Imperfectsusan Fri 22-Feb-19 21:30:30

Yes it's not going to get better. It takes two to fix a marriage. What are your options?

Peanut1983 Fri 22-Feb-19 21:36:10

Now I've written my thoughts out I think in summary the thing I really get cross with is the lack of proactivity and initiative. He will only do stuff if I beg, nag or if it's my idea. Whether it be putting clothes away or having a baby. He's satisfied with what he has. I only ever see his eyes light up when he discusses work or hobby. He has plenty of dreams for his business. He doesn't have any dream for family other than to visit disneyworld and have a room dedicated to his hobby. And I don't really see either of those as a priority.

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 22-Feb-19 21:38:39

Playing with the children and loving them is a bare minimum, not "very good".

BestZebbie Fri 22-Feb-19 21:42:09

Well, at least you know up front that were you to split, he would have no room to take the children for overnights due to his hobby stuff taking up the spare room, but would be a literal Disney Dad...

RavenousBabyButterfly Fri 22-Feb-19 21:50:27

You can't change him. Love him as he is or plan a way to leave him.

It is really hard work when children are small but it does get less intense as they get older and you will get more time back to get stuff done and not feel like you need to rely on him to do it. Only you can decide if his redeeming features (I assume he must have some) are worth the stress.

DailyMailFail101 Fri 22-Feb-19 21:50:57

Encourage the housemove, if you feel on top of each other and it’s too small you will feel worse about things, if you live in a hectic house your mind mind will be hectic.

Tell him you want to move so he can have an office for his things it will encourage him to look at new houses and save for one if there’s something for him in it, not a great plan and no you shouldn’t need to bribe him but it’s the best advice I have.

Least if he has an office all his rubbish won’t need to be around the house it can be contained to one room.

Sparky888 Fri 22-Feb-19 21:55:42

I can empathise with the lack of initiative. But some people just don’t have much. It doesn’t sound like he’s changed, perhaps more like you want him to now that the kids are here. And some people do I suppose.

Re tasks like the shed. If he’s good with the kids, why doesn’t he have them and you paint it? I appreciate it’s not about that one task, but maybe you could swap the tasks around - he does swim class, make lunch and playground, while you get other jobs done. Have you tried the list of tasks for the week where you both agree who will do what (but you can’t then complain when you don’t like how he does it to a degree!).

More generally though, it sounds like you might not respect his desires (Disneyland etc), and it doesn’t sound like he’s on the same page with yours re a new house. That’s what perhaps needs talking about too, what is your next step/move as a family, so you have the same goal.

Lots of kids and tasks can totally affect communication so it becomes only task driven. Some fun times for just you two might help with respect and communication and love/fun. Communication can be improved but it does take work. Did the counsellor say anything you found useful?

It’s not easy at all! X

Sparky888 Fri 22-Feb-19 22:00:26

My husband never does the following without being told/directed:
- putting clean clothes away (rather than just on the bed)
- taking off the bedsheets to wash them
- putting clean sheets on the bed
- hoovering
- booking a bloody gp/dentist appt for the kids! (but will take them to the appt)

But he will initiate other jobs: cleaning kitchen, doing the washing, making dinner etc

I think there are some jobs that individuals really hate, so splitting the task list for the whole week can help each person avoid those, but feel responsible for others.

poglets Fri 22-Feb-19 22:02:53

Do you want to spend the rest of your life like this?

You're not compatible. Either you meet on common ground or part ways.

In all fairness to you, he sounds awful. If you split up then you are free. Be free, be happy.

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