AIBU to ask your advice on how to make my marriage work.(7 Posts)
I don’t really know where to start so apologies if this ends up a jumbled mess.
Dh and I have three children, 11, 5 & 3. I briefly went back in to education when our eldest started nursery as we gave up on the idea of a second child after two years of trying with no luck and then a few misscariages im a row.
Obviously as life usually gets you, I fell pregnant accidentally at the start of my course after the initial four month intro.
We decided I would pull out of education again as he was also pursuing a new career. He would get where he wanted to be and by the time our youngest (we hoped for four at that time but are done with three now) was in school and he’d be in a position to relax a little more and co parent with me to enable me to once again go back in to education.
The plan was to have no more kids after 30 and for me to be fully qualified and in a good job by the time I’m 40.
We’re now in to our 30’s and our youngest starts school in September.
His career took off quicker than we anticipated and he’s in a great position from a work perspective. But his job is consuming our lives. Literally. He’s away for at least a week a month and the odd couple of nights between too. He’s up early and home really late sometimes.
We have no routine, there is no co parenting and the thing I struggle most with is he’s just useless when he is home. He’s emotionally unavailable and does bugger all around the house unless I ask, and don’t get me wrong he doesn’t complain when I do ask but its like having an extra child not an extra adult in the house when he’s here.
We’re in a weird place financially where he earns enough for me to not work, but not enough to cover childcare for me to either work or go back to college then uni (no family support). And I’m struggling to find any work that would pay enough to cover the three kids out of school hours plus travel etc. More to the point, the agreement was my education not that I would work but at this stage I need to escape and do something because I’m drowning.
It’s making me really resentful and I really don’t like the person I’m becoming.
When middle child was a toddler he agreed to come home early (5pm) twice a week to take the heat off of me as toddler 2 was a very demanding child and enable us to eat a meal as a family twice a week (he works weekends). And we’re 5 years later and this just never happens. He almost always rocks up an hour late, if we’ve waited for him he’s on the phone the entire meal and if we haven’t waited, well, we haven’t achieved dinner together.
I try to escape in the evening but unless I leave him a list he’ll do nothing. My neighbour stuck her head in last night around 7pm while I was cleaning up the kitchen and said she’d told dh she was whisking me off for a glass of wine and a break. But when I got home (11pmish) the kids were all in bed with their blinds and curtains all open still, he'd fished himself up dinner and washed his bowl but left all the kids dinner wears on the table, pans on the stove, hadn’t swept, left wrappers and a glass on the sofa etc.
I know it sounds petty but I’m overwhelmed. I had a breakdown after our third was born and ended up extremely poorly both physically and mentally and I have no reserves at all.
I’ve begged him to change jobs and he won’t. I’ve begged him to hire a PA to help with the load and he won’t. I’ve begged him to lessen his workload in any way and he won’t and I’ve begged him to please be more present when he’s home and he’s just not.
We tried couples therapy and it was a colossal waste of time and money. It was costing £70 a session per week plus babysitting fees and he missed so many due to work that I ended up attending most of them on my own.
He’s also not coping. He wakes up crying, he gets blinding migraines and panic attacks on occasion from the pressure and in all honestly I think he’s on the road to some serious depression himself.
I feel like a failure. I want to be angry with him for everything but I can’t any more because it’s taking too much energy from me and making me bitter and I’ve fallen in to some kind of dispair. Why can’t I cope with this? This must be many people’s lives, I’m aware I’m not special. I just don’t know how to make myself strong enough to deal with basically being a single parent to three children and accepting that he’s not going to be there for us emotionally and probably won’t ever be a productive member of the household at home without me having to parent him through that also? I’m gutted that my career plans are going to end up flushed down the loo. I also desperately wanted success of my own.
I keep running over figures and checking different courses and jobs and I just can’t make it stack up. I feel really trapped.
Is he working for himself or for a company?
Does he have any will to change? It doesn't really sound like it, which would lead me to think that you won't be able to get him to co-parent and hold any of the load. You could, theoretically, get a lot of household help. Maybe a nanny or a cleaner or both; and a babysitter who you can rely on to get out and about by yourself once in a while, and try to reduce the stress on you that way - but you won't be able to force him to be a better parent or a better husband.
Leaving their curtains and blinds open is stupid; not cleaning up after their food was lazy. He's clearly neither of those things if he is holding down a busy, high-paying job. He just can't be arsed, and sadly you can't force effort.
So the choice then becomes, get help at home so that the pressure isn't on you as much and build a career around that; or leave him to build your career and at least you won't have a frustrating extra child around who could make your life easier but won't.
It sounds like you're already passed last-chance conversations and counselling.
We’re in a weird place financially where he earns enough for me to not work, but not enough to cover childcare for me to either work or go back to college then uni (no family support).
Would an au pair be cheaper?
We live month to month. There’s probably £100 extra left at the end of the month if there’s been no unexpected expenses and to be honest, whilst we could probably re shuffle to make room for an Au pair, there would be little in the way of privacy for anyone.
What do you want to train in? Are there evening courses? Could that be an option?
sounds like you need to look at your outgoings and save enough for say a years time to pay for childcare so you can retrain.
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