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I know I am unreasonable... But why???!!!

(42 Posts)
readyornot2011 Tue 10-Dec-13 09:56:18

Middle class angst alert!

I should start by saying I have a lovely life and a lot to be grateful for. I've been with my DH for 13 years, married for 4, we have struggled for many years to create the life we wanted and now in many ways we are living the dream. He has his dream job, we have just bought a beautiful home, one fabulous dd and another child on the way.

My DH is a wonderful husband, he treats me beautifully, helps a lot with our daughter and around the house and despite the fact he is now the only wage earner, he lets me wear the trousers in most aspects of our life including complete financial control.

I love him dearly and know I'm lucky to have him.


I'm mean to him... And I don't even know why. I'm sulky and quiet, I seem to take everything he says the worst way. My mind finds a way to make myself the victim in any situation. Eg. Yesterday dd was having a tantrum over dinner and he stepped in and calmed her down and then bathed her and put her to bed even though he'd had a terribly early start at work. Somehow I took this as an insult to my parenting and then got annoyed because it took him ages to get her bathed and so our dinner was 'spoiled' (it was fine).

Why? Why? Why? Why can't I just say gracious thank you and compliment his parenting skills as I should've. I'm not an insecure person, I'm confident and strong.

We have had quite a shift in our roles. I supported him for nearly 5 years while he retrained for this job and then we moved abroad for his dream job meaning I gave up my job and am now a SAHM. So I used to be the sole breadwinner and now he is but as I said he still leaves it to me to run our lives. Our life now is immeasurably better but I do miss having a job and my world can be very 'small' these days. He is at home with us a lot of the time because of shift patterns.

I should also add I have tried to talk to him about it although I don't think I've accurately represented to him what goes on in my head. He doesn't seem to recognise the behaviour I describe and just reassures me that I'm a wonderful wife and mother and that parenthood is tiring and I need to rest more and take more time for myself. Which is kind and probably true. I think a lot of my frustration happens in my head and all he see's is that I'm quiet and short tempered and assumes I'm tired. Plus, I suspect he likes that I'm quite feisty and he would hate it if I was the stepford wife full of false smiles and enthusiasm.

Finally I'm not always like this, sometimes I can see things quite rationally and enjoy his company (or not) normally. I know I sound pathetic, spoilt and brattish. I should pull my socks up count my blessing and treat my DH with the love and respect he deserves. I have tried, really.

Most worryingly I recognise my behaviour from my Dad. He, like me, only behaves that way with certain people and to everyone else he is sweetness and light .(he was always wonderful to my sister and I) It drove me crazy growing up and now I'm doing the same thing.

I know it's a trifle compared to other problems but I've seen my Dad destroy relationships needlessly and painfully because of this and I don't want to do the same thing.

Any idea as to what my problem is and what I can do about it would be gratefully received.

FrauMoose Tue 10-Dec-13 10:04:59

I think however good your lifestyle, and however lovely a person your husband is, it is tough being a stay at home parent in another country.

You don't say if you have your own friends or are able to follow some of your own interests. Just being dependent on a small child and a partner is very very limiting and intense.

Obviously there's the issue about your father too. I think it would be good if you were able to talk to your husband about this - and for him to listen and offer honest feedback, not just say a) you're tired and b) you're wonderful.

I dont know what to say, of course you know YABU!

Your Dh sounds like a doormat, lovely but a doormat. Do you actually respect him?? Would you respect him more if he put his foot down and rebelled against you sometimes?

The problem you have is one day he probably will get pissed off with your behavior.

MistAllChuckingFrighty Tue 10-Dec-13 10:37:19

I too think your husband should stand up to you. I would say that although it might look like I wear the pants in my marriage (as I am more forward in stating my position) I absolutely know where to draw the line wrt respect and not taking advantage of my H's easy-going nature.

Also, perhaps you should get a job ?

mrsjay Tue 10-Dec-13 10:46:11

you sound a terrible nag sorry but you do have you always been like this defensive and over react to everything, your husband sorted his child and you got angry and annoyed at him , are you a perfectionist by any chance you sound it you want to be able to do everything your way and don't like it when you don't get to be in control have you always bossed your husband around like this, let some of the control go and I think you will get on a lot better, you say he lets you wear the trousers seems to translate as he can't be bothered to argue with you, I know my posts seems harsh but I think you need to sort this before your husband gets sick of it,

Joysmum Tue 10-Dec-13 10:56:31

I think you might have the same problem as I have at times, I don't value the importance of my place in life. I don't feel like I'm contributing enough to the household. I feel I ought to be happy as I have it all, fab hubby, wonderful daughter, lovely house, great lifestyle. At times though, I don't feel like I've earnt any of it and the role it have in life is unskilled and I don't value it as much as my family values me.

I assume my hubby thinks I do nothing and imagine how I'd feel if my hubby wasn't earning and was sat in his arse all day. In reality, I am valued and I'm projecting unfairly. My family know and appreciate that what I do allows them to have more time and less chores and a simpler life.

When I feel low like this, I take up a new challenge so I feel like I'm achieving and do something I place value on. It works for me.

redexpat Tue 10-Dec-13 11:14:59

Is there some underlying resentment on your part? Because you had to give up your independence for him?

I do know what you mean though. Could you get any couselling to talk some things through? If that sounds a bit scary then perhaps start with some self help books. The book depository ships worldwide.

mrsjay Tue 10-Dec-13 11:22:31

OP do you see your role as a parent as a job because that is unfair on you all to think like that a parent is a parent regardless if their partner is bringing in the money

dreamingbohemian Tue 10-Dec-13 11:32:25

It doesn't matter how great your life is in on paper, if there is some kind of internal dissatisfaction. You may feel like you should be happy with such a great setup, but if it's not what you ideally want then you should try to face that rather than keep talking yourself into being happy.

I live abroad too. It's been okay because I can work (online), if I couldn't then I would pretty much go insane.

Being irritated with your DH is probably just displaced frustration and resentment. You supported him for five years to get his dream job -- which now he has -- but now it means you can't work at all. That's actually not really that fair when you think about it.

I don't think your DH sounds like a doormat. It's possible he understands better than you that you are frustrated with the new dynamics and he isn't taking it personally, which is great.

I guess you are pregnant now but is there any way you can work again down the line?

Penny6Pence Tue 10-Dec-13 11:33:05

I recognise myself in a lot of what you say. I too have a very charmed life. Lovely, attentive husband, beautiful home, beautiful, healthy children and I find myself being miserable and snappy with my husband too much of the time. I am grumpy with him and despite the fact that he is a great and supportive husband and father, I let the little imperfect things that he does such as burping/farting etc. wind me up to a ridiculous degree and I end up getting really angry with him for not 'showing me enough respect' - even though these really are the extent of his flaws. I'm also not affectionate enough to him even though I do love him and think he is lovely looking etc. I just feel very cold and frigid most of the time - probably due to the fact that I have young children and a job and a busy life. I wish I could be kinder to him too and more understanding and I don't really understand why I am not. I also link my issues to my father, who has a very Jeckyl and Hyde personality and is very nice and gregarious to some people and very short-tempered and nasty to others (e.g. me). I can see myself making the same mistakes that he made - the mistakes that make me really resent him now - and yet I cannot stop myself. I keep hoping that once the kids get a bit older and I get a bit more sleep (or any sleep!) that everything will settle down and I will become a good wife again but I don't know if that is true.

So no advice really - but certainly a sympathetic ear because I think I know exactly how you are feeling and it isn't nice.

Phalenopsis Tue 10-Dec-13 11:38:16

I do miss having a job and my world can be very 'small' these days

There's your answer.

ElleMcFearsome Tue 10-Dec-13 11:39:11

I was going to say something similar to PPs. Does he ever call you on anything? Or does everything go your way? SIMO, some people (my DS is one of them,as she freely admits) don't do well with being put up on a pedestal. She had a DP who adored and idolised her and it turned her into, not to put too fine a point on it, a real bitch. They broke up because she couldn't deal with what she turned into when she was uncritically worshipped.

ElleMcFearsome Tue 10-Dec-13 11:39:32


Yellowcake Tue 10-Dec-13 11:41:07

OP, no matter how ideal it looks on paper, your life clearly isnt making you happy. I've seen enough SAHM expats to be able to see how dull and isolating it might be. Make some changes in order to live in a way that is more fulfilling for you, and remove the underlying cause of the resentment. It sounds as if you need to work outside the home, and that you're not so much tired as bored and frustrated.

MissMilbanke Tue 10-Dec-13 11:45:43

you know you have a problem, writing it down here all helps.

Now you have admitted it to yourself you can take steps to change.

WilsonFrickett Tue 10-Dec-13 12:13:30

What Yellowcake said. You need something for you, something which will take you outside of the home. As you have another baby on the way and are abroad, perhaps it's not the right time for you to work or volunteer, in which case I would recommend studying or something like that?

I think you're probably terribly isolated. Do you see other people at all? Certainly when I was on mat leave and had a bad day, if DH came home and so much as looked at me the wrong way I'd rip his head off. Because we didn't build a relationship based on him being the only adult in my life.

And ignore the 'he needs to stand up to you' stuff. You need to work out what is behind your own behaviour. I think separately the stuff with your father is worth thinking about - you are reverting to 'type' because that is the pattern you were taught by your father. But that's OK, just because it's what you know doesn't mean it's the only thing you know, IYSWIM. You can make changes.

I think first stop is thinking about what would make you happier, then properly talking to your DP, who sounds so desperate for this move to work out that he's brushing a few things under the carpet himself??

BabyDubsEverywhere Tue 10-Dec-13 12:25:50

I used to be like this a lot, and I am like it again now too. I know what it is - BORDOM! you are chasing a bit of drama, I was like it when I became a SAHM and now I am again I am doing it again. I recognise it, and try to keep my mouth shut, but I wear my emotions on my sleeve (and with my MH issues its hard to do anything but sometimes!)

You don't need more 'me time', you need a purpose, you need to be busy, you need something else to focus on... and dare I say it you need to appreciate your DH and your life with him. You say he doesn't know whats going on in your head, well the same goes - you have no idea what he is really thinking, perhaps behind his calm exterior he is thinking 'fuck it, I have had enough - next time she snaps at me I am gone!' Honestly if you keep being a big old bitch bag to him it could very well happen!

{BabyDubs nods sagely and takes own advice!}

Plumpysoft Tue 10-Dec-13 12:31:00

I have just written the same thing on the relationships board! I just don't understand it

revivingshower Tue 10-Dec-13 12:39:13

Op could you be a bit depressed or hormonal. Your post reminded me of an article I read by Jennifer Saunders about how she became depressed after recovery from cancer. She was staying in a beautiful hotel in a lovely area but got so angry about little details and blamed her dh for picking a bad hotel.
This could be part of your problem.

Plumpysoft Tue 10-Dec-13 12:41:06

Yes, that sounds very familiar. I do take seroxat for anxiety and have done for years

Loopytiles Tue 10-Dec-13 12:41:45

Maybe expat life / being a SAHM long term isn't right for you?

revivingshower Tue 10-Dec-13 12:41:46

I also agree with needing your own life and "thing" now you are not working.

MyNameIsWinkly Tue 10-Dec-13 12:48:00

You sound like my ex after we left uni.

At uni she did very well academically and in a sport, and had loads of friends. I was shyer and struggled badly with my degree. Afterwards we moved in together; she did a non - residential professional development course that was far too easy for her, I did a residential training course for my current job - I was stimulated, well paid, and made friends easily.

My ex started picking fights regularly. Everything was my fault. In fact, she was lonely, bored and jealous of the role reversal and I suspect you're the same. You need to find a way to stimulate yourself, a group to be a part of, and to help yourself feel worthwhile again. You also need to stop and really really think when you're getting pissy - ask yourself what the cause of your anger is. And swallow it. Good luck.

3bunnies Tue 10-Dec-13 12:52:59

Could it also be hormones? Did you feel like this before this pregnancy? I would talk to your health care provider. You can get prenatal depression or it could just be a combination of tiredness and hormones so don't beat yourself up too much.

revivingshower Tue 10-Dec-13 12:55:59

Is there anything about you could get involved in that would seem worthwhile to you? Like a charity project. Teaching English? Something using your jobskills?

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