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help please - need a male perspective - what is going on with my DH

(58 Posts)
thatlldonicely Sat 28-Dec-13 12:35:25

hi - i have been posting in relationships but thought a male perspective may help - i'll try & keep this brief - 2 days before xmas dh told me he wasnt sure what he felt for me anymore and had been feeling this way for at least a year - completely shattered my world - came about after a week without kids and me feeling as though i was being ignored again - he admitted he had been avoiding the issue and deliberately trying to keep the peace to avoid any conflict in the past as didnt want to tell me what he was feeling -and said he was hoping it would go away. His mum died in July after being ill for 2 months - he was very close to her but did say that he had been doubting his feelings before this. He has said he is not depressed although runs his own business which is stressful. Our sex life is non existent mainly due to me being on ADs but i thought we were both ok with this - we also went through extensive fertility treatment resulting in twins - one of whom will not sleep on his own - which means we are now in seperate rooms. He has said he will go for counselling after xmas. After spending 2 days doing a lot of talking we now seem to be communicating but not actually talking about "us". I am trying to give him space but it is doing my head in - i originally wanted him to leave but managed to get through xmas day for the kids and his dad who was with us but now that the initial drama is over i am concerned what will happen next. normally this time of year we would be planning what we would be doing next year but obviously arent. He appears to be functioning fairly normally whereas I cannot get out of my head what is going on. is he having a mid life crisis or am i just trying to cling on to something that is over - any advice greatly appreciated

thatlldonicely Fri 03-Jan-14 15:03:19

thank you for your continued support - it does help to have guidance from someone who understands and knows what they are talking about.

I am not sure whether i should laugh at it being a huge coincidence or be suspicious of something more but the computer - & im talking a large mac - has been taken to his other office today as there is a programme he needs of it - i asked him last night for details of all the accounts etc.

the point of him talking to his dad was that he needed someone to talk too but more importantly that his dad had an affair when he was young so may have gone through something similar & would be able to possibly understand what dh is going through and tell him how he & his mum got through it.

the advice from his dad seems to be to take things slowly but i have no idea what was said & how honestly DH spoke up. i think i was more annoyed that i had to kick him awake to tell me what had gone on.

I did say to him last night i think he should go - he has said we can talk somemore if i want when he gets back from work - i have sent him links to all the threads i am on so he can see what this is doing so not really sure what his mood will be when he gets back

i have spoken to my dad again today and told him that im not sure we are going to be able to work this out. i said that if DH continues to stay i think it will make me ill - suffered with depression in past- and he was v supportive & understanding.

i really dont know how much longer i can give him but i do know that once he is out there will probably be very little chance that i will let him back in regardless of what he says or does.

Pan Fri 03-Jan-14 17:42:11

The purpose of talking to his dad seemed a little confused, esp if he didn't know if he was supposed to know about the infidelity.

Linking to the threads seems a brave step, though I haven't seen any others and haven't looked for them at all. From your thread here, I'm confident in explaining anything I have written to you if needs be.

thatlldonicely Fri 03-Jan-14 19:34:59

well he didnt like all that he has read - i wasnt actually aware that his dad didnt know he knew - so yes can see the confusion - could you give a professional slant on something please -this is a sticking point - i see him not telling me about his feelings when i have been questioning what has been going on as lying - he sees it as protecting me & the family. I have said it is not his right to decide what i need protecting from - he should tell me the truth and i can then decide how i deal with it. i say i am upset because he has not told me how he feels and has been covering it up & am now suspicious of other activities. He doesnt see that i should be suspicious as he hasnt been lying. at this point i did say this is why we need joint counselling so we can both say our piece & somebody impartial can quantify - his reply - well book it up then. i told him that it is him who is in the wrong and needs to be doing all the running - not me - i dont think he gets this. - the "protecting" thing is obviously a result of his upbringing - his family have had lots of situations that werent completely open before i married him & since and you are never sure who knows what - hence the situation with his dad -

Pan Fri 03-Jan-14 19:45:24

tbh in 99 times out of 100 the person doing the 'concealing' their feelings are protecting themselves from honesty, hurt and difficult sharing not protecting the person who is being kept in the dark at all. This will be done through a sense of denial, selfishness or lack of care. There is nothing noble or self sacrificing about it.
imo you're exactly right. He needs to get stuff organised, show some commitment and effort if he wishes things to improve. From what you say he still isn't getting that.

Pan Sat 04-Jan-14 11:30:21


Any movement at all?

thatlldonicely Sun 05-Jan-14 15:48:45

pan not sure if you are still around but could use your help
this morning he said he will move out as realises he is being unfair juat as i am thinking maybe we can work at this. we have talked somemore and i have said again joint counselling but he has said he will just repeat what he has already told me - i have said that maybe he has talked himself into feeling this -because he hasnt actually asked for my view - he has mentioned in the past that he doesnt think i support his work but i have said everything i do is to support him - maybe if we had talked more he would've realised this - if you think something can you get stuck with that thought - whereas if you had imput from someone else it may have led you down a completely different path? dont know if this is too deep - anyway after a while i got angry saying what gives you the right to bale out when you are unhappy - we made decision to have kids together -ivf - and they are going to be teens v soon - so a particularly difficult time - he said he will not be a part time parent but would want 50/50 so i asked him if we could afford another 3 bed house and whether he thought he could manage the kids 3 days on his own baring in mind the most he has done is look after them when ive been ill - i found this quite amusing and his reply was hadnt really thought that far ahead.
it is all so confusing - have been putting xmas decs away & he has done more today than he has in ages - why is he doing all the things he needs to be doing now without being nagged - is it guilt - i wouldve thought now is the time he could really get away with doing nothing- im all over the place with my thoughts - one minute im thinking one thing then completely swing back the other way -somebody v kindly said on another thread that i was being a doormat - this made me laugh - i do hope i am not!

Pan Sun 05-Jan-14 16:21:34

I saw that 'doormat' thing, and hope you ignore it. You're actions have been in good faith along the lines of 'working as a team' as you say. Unfortunately you've been working as a team on a false assumption and dh has been okay about you labouring under that false assumption because it suits him i.e. it's a joint venture and you deal with obstacles together, but dh has wandererd off on the job.

I'm afraid that nothing is changing to alter the moving out initiative. One can speculate as to why he is 'doing more' but it looks as sure as eggs is eggs this will be short-lived - there is nothing more enduring to attach this to than "it makes me look more reasonable right now (esp to dd?) than 'helping out a bit' ". It appears to me at least you are both clutching at ever-diminishing straws. Moving out need not be the end of everything, though I noted you said if he left there would be little chance of a return and I don;t know why that would be the case. Moving out can be the swift kick to re-evaluate priorities.

50:50, yes a bit risible for all the reasons you say. IN addition it would be tough on dd at least, having to prepare for and set off for school from two different places. She would also have keep negotiating and re-negotiating arrangements with her friends which will def make her feel self-conscious. The 50:50 never actually works out in RL as it is sooo impractical. an NRP of an early teen myself, we know that esp once at Big School they want to spend less time generally at home in any case, and me and dd's mum just work round that fact.

thatlldonicely Mon 06-Jan-14 14:08:00

Hi pan i get what youre saying about dealing with obstacles together and that he has wandered off -im not sure if its a case of stick his head in the sand for as long as possible - he would be the first to admit that he will do anything to avoid a confrontation - we have done a bit more talking - i think i said before that he runs his own business so it means he never switches off even on holidays - i think this causes a conflict for him which he somehow reflects and can affect the mood of everyone else. I have said he should still consider talking to someone - he is still v raw about his mums death & as his business is our only source of income i need to make sure that he is really doing this for the right reasons - when i had spoken to my dad previously he said DH still needs to grow up & somehow i think this may be part of it - do you get what im saying? does a counsellor try & get you to see things from a different perspective - i gather from what he said about his talk to his dad that he just listened and said hell support whatever he decides. he is now working from his other office so not here during the day and is away with work one night this week - we are just trying to coast this week but will see how it goes

Pan Mon 06-Jan-14 18:55:35

Yes, any professional counsellor or therapist would rather cleverly tease out his motivations, perspectives and force him to see the consequences of the resultant behaviours, which as I'd said upthread appears as "lazy cruelty". People change how they feel about things all the time, but sometimes need the cognitive behavioural intervention i.e. the thoughts-feeling-behaviour process. That would assist him in 'growing up'. BUT all of that really should be done off his own bat, and certainly not on your time and at your expense.

In between time though I'd repeat from what you have said he needs to move out, ideally. You can't ignore what he has said, and living with that will drain you and leave you least able to pay attention to your needs and those of the rest of the family.
fwiw as I see it you're contextualising what's been posted to you really, really well - others with less resilience could have their heads lowered and take on the 'add water and stir' solutions. So do please continue to have faith in your own standards, motivations for behaving the way you are, and resources.

Pan Mon 06-Jan-14 19:01:47

IF at all possible, have a further word with your dad. You don't have to argue or justify anything to him - just try to recruit his support again. As I'd said he can be a valuable source of support, if you feel you can offer him a second invitation to be.

thatlldonicely Tue 07-Jan-14 09:00:44

im thinking on this but im not sure - my DM died 5 yrs ago & my dad actively looked to meet someone else- dont have a problem with this per ce but we had a falling out as he didnt tell me and actually hid all the evidence before being taken into hospital by ambulance with heart problems. it all got v hurtful and i had to get DH to intervene as i thought some of the things he was saying was unreasonable but was doubting my own mind. that relationship didnt last but he has met someone else he is happy with - and i am happy for him - but he has gone from seeing lots of the kids and saying he will always be there for them to spending months abroad with this person with no contact. My Db has also had a stressful time and he played the same card with him and that relationship has also been damaged. i thought he may have phoned but i think he is probably thinking my reaction justified what he already thought and this has given him enough substance to have even less contact with me/us

Pan Tue 07-Jan-14 13:36:30

Ah, wasn't aware he was so absent. Sorry. Scrub that.confused

Still admiring your reslience You appear to be much clearer in thought than you seem to be giving yourself credit for.

Just thinking on that, when was the last time someone gave you a positive stroke, said how well you do stuff, how well you look, pointed up your positives and generally appreciated you fully. ( kids, if relevant, don't count grin)


thatlldonicely Tue 07-Jan-14 17:49:46

do you know what - thats not a nice question to think about because i dont know - the only person who recently shows any appreciation is his dad - his mum did too and the dog - kids never do do they?

Pan Tue 07-Jan-14 23:59:02

I'd suspect strongly the esteem thing will come along as you make decisions and remain by them. You will not be someone to be trifled with.

and no, ime at least the children see us atm as a means of food, acquiring things, boundary-testing for the future and as a source of embarassment. And it's our job to ensure that last one!

thatlldonicely Wed 08-Jan-14 08:58:33

yes i can always remember my dad saying he couldnt wait for us to get older so he could really embarrass us - sadly he is behaving like an old fool!
i think there have been some v subtle changes in DHs attitude - i know the perspective on the other threads would be i am fooling myself but the info on the accounts has appeared he has ordered me a new laptop (something i have been asking for ages as this one is dying & dd was constantly nagging him to get me one for xmas - off her own back no prompting from me) and he said yesterday he will sort out a counsellor today. I did ask him if he was doing all these things so he could leave with a clean slate - he said he didnt think he was doing anything different but i think he knows he is. i mentioned somewhere else when someone mentioned that he was tarting himself up that he has lost over a stone and ahalf in weight in about amonth - and this morning he was complaining that his trousers were falling down - i asked him if he has lost more weight & he said yes - he said he could write a book and make a million and i asked him what the answer would be & his reposnse was "f**k everything up" - i see this as something is finally getting through his very very thick skull - i do hope i am not wrong.

Pan Wed 08-Jan-14 09:12:44

Morning you.

Please be v careful about that last remark. It's heavily laden with "poor me" and is very, very common.

<the obvious observation is that you should be able to order your own lap top without 'nagging' anyone. You're not a child.>

thatlldonicely Wed 08-Jan-14 09:33:00

pan i just wanted to say thanks for sticking around - your support is greatly appreciated - i dont know what your motivation is for doing this but it obviously comes from a good place. There are a lot of posts on some of these threads were people are supposedly giving advice and support but it seems to come from a very bitter and unhappy place not that they can see this or would perhaps admit to it - so thank you

thatlldonicely Wed 08-Jan-14 09:35:35

hadnt seen your reply - lol ok which remark do you mean - is it poor me from me or from him

thatlldonicely Wed 08-Jan-14 09:37:38

and yes i could order my own - its just easier to get him to do it as he does this day to day

thatlldonicely Wed 08-Jan-14 09:59:17

ok i get it - so that i start to feel sorry for him- so if people behave in a certain way - not necessarily deliberately but perhaps in way they have always behaved say from childhood how do you get them to see things differently

funny - i just googled "poor me behaviour" and it mentioned the celestine prophecy which is something i read when i was going through my previous problems - do you know it - think ill dig the book out

Pan Wed 08-Jan-14 10:52:09

yes, it's a tremendously effective controlling device and used to manipulate someone into pity and so change their own way. (abusers use it a lot.)He may be feeling genuine regret and sorry right now but he can process those feelings in his own time and not weighing you down and sucking your energy.
< the laptop thing just reads strange re 'asking' for some thing>

Pan Wed 08-Jan-14 12:10:06

It's nice to read a comment of appreciation, so thank you v muchly! I'm just content that you can make use of anything we 'talk' about.

There's something in the 'advice world' that folks sometimes miss, and that is you are giving advice. You're giving it away (rather like a present?) so you musn't get at all huffy if the intended recipient doesn't use it in the manner you think is best. You have no 'control' over it any more. iyswim.

Motivation? Exactly, it's good to assist someone IF you have something to offer isn't it? When I was a 'client-facing' professional I was v much an interventionist by nature - now as a team leader and trainer of others that's still a theme, and talking with you is a challenge to 'do some good' and (selfish for me)refresh values and skills.

Pan Wed 08-Jan-14 18:37:54

Celestine Prophecy? No, I recall it as a bit of fiction and a bit woo'ish, for my tastes anyway, for the 1990's ( I think?). Don't really know anything about it. But that won't stop me having an opinion on it.grin

thatlldonicely Thu 09-Jan-14 17:40:05

not had a good day today - felt particularly down - DH has organised to see a counsellor next week and whilst yesterday i felt that this may be a step to sorting things out today it dawned on me that this could be a step closer to finnishing things. also thought my DF may have phoned but i guess if you think you are right theres no reason why you would want to say sorry - so now i am also questioning the relationship i thought i had with him to what exactly i do have. yes that book is fiction but does cover some of the different personality types and how some people give you energy & others drain you and also how you think you are going down one path & it turns out to be completely different. i now have a pile of books to read but have not felt up to what they may reveal. I have another question for you - if you meet a group of people for the first time and 4 out of 5 seem pleased to meet you and want to talk to you but one doesnt and you get the feeling for some reason that they may not like you - what is this and is it in anyway reliable?

The1stTimeEverISawYourPan Thu 09-Jan-14 19:00:22

Yes, it will hopefully be a step toward 'sorting things out', and the end of things as they are. Which is surely what you want? It's cruel to yourself to go on as you (collectively) have with a plain lack of honesty and a deception over recent times. THAT is not a healthy relationship to be having. Would you actively choose to live like that?

'Finishing things' is not the end of the world by any means. You can be fearful of it, yes, as it is a potentially scary prospect and it means unbidden changes, BUT it brings opportunities too, and people often forget that in their sorrows. Ideally he should be out of the house prior to counselling - is there any movement there? I ask as your concerns about him just dragging stuff out with absolutely no cost to himself whatsoever remain, and become more evident. From what you say so far, his life hasn't altered one iota whilst yours is being compromised. The cruel selfishness continues.
DF - did he call? You have no way of knowing what he may say. Perhaps he has spoken to his partner and she has replied "You said WHAT?? You eejit."

Those books? Why are you reading them, and putting further pressure on yourself? (obv with no idea what they are.) You demonstrate a firm grasp of what is happening and how you feel about things and what your decisions should be, and for me I'd be dubious about the value-added of stacking up on books. You have all the necessary tools at your disposal already. Using them is where there is a hold up, I'd suggest. Again, rely on your own resources and resilience. Make your decisions and stick to them.

I'm not sure about the 4/5 people. As anyone would say, focus on the benefit of the other 4. Place the 5th one in a mental drawer labelled " Unexplained phenomenon which may become clearer over time." That would otherwise pointlessly drain you.

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