At the end of my tether with DH - please help(34 Posts)
DH and I are both in our early 40s, have been married 7 years, own our own flat and have no DC. We also run our own business together, which we set up six months ago (both leaving our full-time jobs to do so) and it's doing reasonably well.
However, over the last year or so our relationship has been seriously deteriorating, partly because DH is just constantly snappy and irritable. An example from this morning:
DH: "Can you answer this question about XYZ?"
Me: [stops the task I was midway through to find the answer he needs]. "Sure, here's the info you need."
Five minutes later:
Me: "DH please can you make X change to this invoice?"
DH: [in an angry tone] "I've got shitloads I need to do today, can you not interrupt me when I'm trying to work? It's really distracting and I've got loads of stuff I need to do."
Me: "But you just interrupted me five minutes ago and I didn't say anything, just helped give you the info you needed!"
DH then storms off and will usually come back and apologise later, only to repeat the exact same behaviour the following day, thereby rendering his apology completely meaningless.
AIBU to be completely fed up with his mood swings and general snappy behaviour? I know the above sounds like a minor incident, but when it's repeated on what seems like a daily basis in some shape or form, it really does start to grind you down.
I've mentioned to him that his moods are really starting to affect me and he accepts that it's not on, but nothing changes long term. It's really affected our sex life - I can count on one hand the times we've had sex in the last two years. I feel like our relationship is in a massive rut and I honestly don't know what to do anymore.
Is this snappishness only confined to the work environment? If so, separate offices or one of you finds a new job.
Could you discuss how you can get info from him without interrupting, eg, emails that he can deal with in his own time?
It's always a risk, working together and living together.
Is it a business you could split if necessary? Who is the more employable out of both of you? Is there one of you that the business really needs?
Would he treat a secretary/PA the same way he treats you? Or to take another line on it, if a boss treated you like this, you'd start looking for another job. Pick a quiet time to discuss this; if he gets aggressive or shuts you down, you don't have a future, either in business or at home.
I would just send him an email from now on. Ask him to do the same as you can’t cope with his attitude.
Or get a new office.
I think the tack you're taking is understandable but wrong. My DH is prone to impatience when he's working, and we don't run a business together so I do get that sometimes I interrupt him with stuff that could wait. We very rarely work from home at the same time but it is a pain in the bum when we do. What works with mine is answers like "I'm sorry, I know you hate to be interrupted, we all do, but this really can't wait".
And these days, when he interrupts me whilst I'm working, I make it clear that he is interrupting. I'm not a complete arse about it but I do pause before answering, pause before turning from my screen, and a lot of the time before I have even said anything he'll realise he's interrupting and apologise. I think your willingness to stop and do stuff for him is not coming across as a good example, frankly, it's just leading him to think that what you're doing can't be that important or pressing because if it was you'd behave the way he does.
What I'd do about it in a wider sense would really depend on what the relationship was like. In my case we get on well, we don't work together very often and when we do we tend to leave each other alone unless we're making tea (silent handing over of cups of tea, biscuits, toast etc happens a lot between us) or have to discuss something that can't wait. So that's fine. If it's poisoning the rest of your relationship or he's like that outside of work too, you probably need to have A Talk.
I don't think he'd be able to treat a colleague in the same way, even if he wanted to - he would get short shrift in an office environment if he did I'd imagine. I've never thought about it in that way before but it's a very good point.
I'm not the perfect wife by any means, but it just annoys/upsets me that he's allowed to fire off questions out of the blue when I'm concentrating on things, but when it's the other way around he goes off on a rant. It's like it's one rule for him and another for me.
Interesting, thanks User. Perhaps we need to put some rules in place, like no talking between certain hours? It just seems odd to me because in an office I was used to being interrupted regularly by colleagues, either about some issue with the job or just with small talk. I think that's fairly normal in an office environment, and DH had that too in his old job, but it seems he now can't stand being interrupted even for one small question.
I think you should get into couple's therapy as quickly as possible. You have a breakdown in communication, and I fear that without help, you won't be able to work through it. I believe there is a chance to save your marriage, but not without putting in a big effort together.
I did consider couples therapy but really can't face it - we've been before after having some problems about five years ago, but only lasted a couple of sessions and we both found it excruciating. I'm not sure it's for us.
Agree that we have had a major breakdown in communication though. It just feels like we're on different planets sometimes.
Living and working together can be suffocating. Can you at least be in different rooms/hire office space?
Probably too much time together not all couples can cope with having home and work life together 24/7 perhaps you both need some time apart and make special time together go for a meal or something really special make time to see girlfriends for a coffee and him to see his mates
It's always a risk, working together and living together
This exactly. I love DH to bits but, couldn’t handle this.
Couples therapy maybe?
He's an arse. He thinks his time is more important than yours, and what he says is more important than what you say. Dose of his own medicine. I would have a fucking fit.
Agree people being snappy is a big turn off, as is your own suppressed rage. Sure lots of men complain about women not wanting sex when they are just horrible.
One of you needs to get a job outside the home if your marriage is to survive.
For the sake of your marriage I would say one of you should get another job....
Mine does it all the time but the difference is he never apologises.
I know that my H is quite a lot like that at work too, but it's an intense sort of IT job and they all seem to be like that so I think he was quite surprised that I was offended!
He treats you like a subordinate at work. Are you? Or are you equally senior?
Does he treat you like a subordinate at home? Does he get away with it if so?
Could that have anything to do with it if he constantly feels you are 'beneath' him?
Sorry, that is just the way it comes across.
Try some ground rules that apply to both of you. Can you interrupt each other whilst working? If so, how?
If I were you I'd get another job and he can hire an assistant and see how long she lasts with that attitude. Would he have treated a co-worker that way in his previous full-time job? I doubt it. There's no excuse for treating you that way just because you're his -doormat- DW.
ok so presumably you don't mind being interrupted. what would he prefer? email? you asking him verbally but saying when you're not in the middle of something?
This is us. Run a small business together. He is great at some stuff but does my fucking head in with his repeated bloody questions about how stuff works. I have zero patience so he knows to shut up when he gets the look. But we are older and on the verge of selling up. Yeah.
We're equally senior in the business. He never treats me as a subordinate in our home life, and can be very caring in a lot of ways. It's just his irritability that really gets to me, and I feel it's very much ground me down after all this time, to the point where I feel quite distant from him because of it.
I'd hate to give up the business as it does need the two of us to run it, and we are both finding it challenging but very enjoyable. I think I might go with Lannie's idea of setting some ground rules - and also Labazs' suggestion of ensuring we do have time apart and also date nights. If that doesn't work then I don't know what I'll do.
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