Am I being a jerk?

(27 Posts)
DionysusUK Wed 21-Jul-21 16:44:29

Gosh, this is going to sound like a right moan but if I don't get this off my chest it will only fester. So, we have been married now for 8 years, she is a wonderful mum to our two children, amazing. She is a caring and loving person to everyone, our neighbours say she is the most gentle soul and I am so very lucky to have her.

We have always supported her family "emotionally" and her dad was and is still a bully to her I think despite me having a very frank and robust discussion with him. her brother is a weak-willed lettuce of a man-boy who is scared of his own shadow and like his dad, is a free-loader who doesn't think of anyone but himself. We have spent our entire married life pandering to her family to (I now see) the detriment of our relationship and try as I might, I am at the point now where I just feel detached from her.

I am basically a cashpoint, childcare and home help and am about 5th on her priority list behind her dad, her brother, the children and her friends. I work full time in a high-level executive position (but never at the weekend or late evenings), we have a nice house, nice car, very comfortable life. I get up at 4:30 am so I can give her as much sleep time while I breakfast with ankle-biter #2 then head to the gym 4 days a week, I get back in at 5:30 pm, she is a full-time mother and so I get we are both tired but it's like a desert now. We are in bed for 9:30 pm and she is always tired. We still make each other laugh, we still hold hands, we still chat but it seems so superficial. To top it all off I feel like I have been supporting her, her mum and dad, her brother since we got married and now her ogre of a dad is moving to be nearer and I suspect she will end up doing more than the current all day Saturday visits (after her piano lesson of course).

I do as much as I can for her, I do dinner almost every night, I run her baths, I read with the kids at bedtime, I make sure she can go for dinner with her friends, go to classes that she wants to, I iron, I clean, I taxi everyone around, I buy her flowers, clothes and generally (I hope) make her feel wanted but now, I think I am just being taken for granted. Try as I might, every conversation always ends up with her crying and, our physical relation (which was never fantastic as I genuinely think she has a trauma she has never shared with me) is almost non-existent.

What can I do? I am honestly at the end of my tether. I love her and we have made a home together but I am not dead from the waist down and am much more than a wallet and home-help.

Sorry, just wanna get that off my chest. Does anyone else ever feel like that or am I being a jerk for wanting to be a slightly higher priority in her life?

As you were smile

OP’s posts: |
Babyiskickingmyribs Thu 22-Jul-21 09:34:43

Can anyone in her family be trusted to babysit? It sounds like it’s time to call in some favours you and your wife are owed and have someone babysit the kids while you and your wife go on a date together. It sounds like what you really want is a bit of recognition for how hard you’re working (at your job and at home). If your wife is looking after preschool kids she will also be working really hard, which reading your OP. I think you know and appreciate already. But if you tell her this explicitly, she may well take the opportunity to do the same for you too. I think you should tell your wife you’d like to spend more time with just her, perhaps remind her of nice dates you had pre-kids. Then ask her to organize something in the next week or two. Once you’ve had a nice experience or two then bring up sex - frame it as wanting to make her feel good and rekindle your shared romance rather than a something you need that she must provide - sex should be something fun you do together and not something she provides you with. Also I’d try to make date night a regular thing. Maybe you can only do once a month or once every two weeks but it will help. If her family are not suitable babysitters then try to find another local family you trust and trade babysitting - say one week on a Thursday or Friday you and your wife look after all the kids and the next week they do.

DionysusUK Thu 22-Jul-21 09:54:09

@Babyiskickingmyribs Thank you! Just reading your response has made me breathe out. I will take your advice and speak to an amenable and supportive relative who knows our kids and, I will organise the first night out as a "just a relaxed evening" meal out - no agenda because to be fair I just want to spend time with her - everything else will come I am sure. Thanks again smile

OP’s posts: |
DonLewis Thu 22-Jul-21 10:00:32

I am getting a weird vibe from this post. You say you're a cashpoint. Then you list the things you buy her and can't understand why it doesn't translate to sex.

You also say you do things for her, like reading the kids stories. That's not something you're doing for her. That's called being a father and giving your kids a head start in life and a love of books.

What's with the dig about piano lessons? The time or the money or the fact she does something on her own?

Maybe you need to change how you think about things.

If she experienced trauma, no amount of flowers, or pulling your weight is going to make her want sex with you.

pinkyredrose Thu 22-Jul-21 10:03:49

cashpoint, childcare and home help

Did you not jointly agree to her staying home? If so then give it a rest about being a cashpoint. Do you resent looking after your children or doing anything in the house? If not then stop bleating about 'childcare' and 'homehelp'.

I am honestly at the end of my tether. I love her and we have made a home together but I am not dead from the waist down and am much more than a wallet and home-help

You've listed all the things you do in the house and then moaned about lack of sex. It's not a transaction. Maybe she doesn’t want to shag you because she senses your resentment of her.

How about going for couples therapy? It seems like each of you have a lot going on that the other doesn't understand.

Babyiskickingmyribs Thu 22-Jul-21 10:06:00

Glad to help! Don’t give up if the first evening is not exactly as you picture it. If she’s not used to leaving the kids with anyone other than yourself she might be quite anxious about how they are doing the first time. When she sees the kids are fine she’ll be more relaxed the second time you try it, especially if you use the same babysitter. Another helpful trick for finding time together if you use a nursery or crèche at all is to book a day’s annual leave and leave the kids in childcare that day. So the adults get a day off together and the kids have a normal day in their usual childcare.

pinkyredrose Thu 22-Jul-21 10:06:11

Then ask her to organize something in the next week or two. Once you’ve had a nice experience or two then bring up sex - frame it as wanting to make her feel good

hmm ffs.


MissyB1 Thu 22-Jul-21 10:15:18

I think a lot of relationships can descend into this rut if people aren't careful. Yes to the night out, but also a calm loving but frank chat at some point about how as a couple you can improve your marriage. Don't make it about her, or about failings, make it a positive thing that you would like to improve the relationship with her help.

Maybe even consider some counselling sessions together?

Well done to you for wanting to address this. Lots of couples bury their heads in the sand until it's too late.

KatySun Thu 22-Jul-21 10:30:39

Well, to be honest, you don’t do dinner, ironing, cleaning, childcare for her, you do it because it needs done in the house you share and the children need looking after. Now whether there is a fair distribution of tasks is a different matter but you are not doing domestic tasks for your wife. They would need done anyway. So reframe about whether the split of tasks/workload is appropriate and why/why not.

That is a separate issue as to whether there is physical intimacy in the relationship. At the moment, your comment suggests to me that you are viewing this marriage in quite a transactional way and you feel you are being short-changed. So you pay the bills and everything, do x, y and z and you expect sex. Which is a bit of a turn off, to be frank. You also cannot force/persuade/coerce her into having sex with you, so I think this is a separate issue and you need to decide if it is a dealbreaker.

It also sounds like you don’t like your wife’s family, and resent the time she spends with them, and doing things for them (which detract from the time she could spend with you/ on household duties).
I don’t think you can tell her not to spend time with them, to be honest, as that would also be controlling.

The suggestion of couples counselling is a good one. Do you think this would help?

Not sure if that is any help. But just to say, as a working single parent, with my DC full-time, I would love four hours a week in the gym.

MotionActivatedDog Thu 22-Jul-21 10:34:27

I knew this would be about sex. It always is. It was a very long winded way of asking how to get his wife to have sex with him and justifying why she should.

MissyB1 Thu 22-Jul-21 10:36:06


I knew this would be about sex. It always is. It was a very long winded way of asking how to get his wife to have sex with him and justifying why she should.

I'm female and sex is important to me too - is that totally unreasonable in a relationship these days then?

MotionActivatedDog Thu 22-Jul-21 10:37:40

who said it was totally unreasonable?

summersolstice43 Thu 22-Jul-21 10:51:35

So if she's a SAHM and you're out working all day but you still have to do most of the housework then look after the kids what exactly does she do all day? I get she's busy with the kids but surely she can do some of the housework thats needed. As a lot of people have pointed out on here, it is a joint thing owning a house BUT you are doing the main part of the work, she isnt.

Also, I think the cash machine jibe is about partners family NOT her. OP seems to be doing everything he can to sustain a good relationship but she's using him to support everyone around her.

Sound like you need to have a good discussion about what YOU want from this rather than everything you are giving. Good luck OP.

HappyBlueBird Thu 22-Jul-21 10:51:52

There isn't enough info for me to know of this fully applies to you OP. But some of it at least may be helpful.

worktrip Thu 22-Jul-21 11:07:12

I would also suggest couples counselling. Her concern for her family over and above her relationship with you (no idea why people think it's normal for a married couple not to have sex?) is not normal. Her commitment to her father and brother is not something she should have to bear, as it doesn't appear to make her happy. I would also suggest to her she has some psychological counselling to see why her father has such a strong hold over her.

DionysusUK Thu 22-Jul-21 11:10:42

Well, this certainly took an interesting turn. I appreciate all your comments.

Thank you smile

OP’s posts: |
Hoppinggreen Thu 22-Jul-21 11:14:15


I knew this would be about sex. It always is. It was a very long winded way of asking how to get his wife to have sex with him and justifying why she should.

I read the first paragraph and thought that this was going to be a lack of sex complaint
Why do men feel the need to list all the things that make them a hero and then complain that they dont get enough sex. It’s very transactional.

ahola Thu 22-Jul-21 11:15:35

What type of "high level executive" role knocks off at 5 every day? grin

ahola Thu 22-Jul-21 11:21:15

And if I was feeling ungenerous, I would say running a partner's baths, and keeping them reliant on you for lifts could be controlling behaviour, just as much as it could be caring behaviour.

Babyiskickingmyribs Thu 22-Jul-21 12:28:30

The title of this thread is ´am I being a jerk’. The OP already KNOWS that he can’t go and dump all these feelings on his wife and make it her responsibility to make him feel more appreciated on top of dealing with her needy sounding extended family and everything she does to keep their home running and their kids happy and safe. It sounded to me like OP cares about his wife having downtime and that’s why he’s listed all the things he does at home. I stand by my idea that a bit of time reserved for just the two of them is a good plan - it will make the OP feel more appreciated, which is the real problem here. I only suggested she organize the first date because then she will organize something she will enjoy and a babysitter she feels comfortable with. OP has since said he is going to organize it himself. Great. She doesn’t have to deal with the mental load of that. Ideally they will end up taking it in turns to organize time out together. Their sexlife may well improve too. Or not. Or it will improve a bit but won’t be perfect. There isn’t always a villain in these situations. Sometimes their is just too much to do in life and not enough time to sit back and enjoy it.

Greenwateringcan Thu 22-Jul-21 12:30:21

So you want transactional sex and you view parenting and housework as “helping out”?

MissyB1 Thu 22-Jul-21 12:55:33


who said it was totally unreasonable?

Well apparently it’s not something that one half of a couple should be allowed to be concerned about if sex isn’t happening- according to mumsnet anyway.

MotionActivatedDog Thu 22-Jul-21 12:58:57

It’s funny how some people choose to twist what others write.

Wavingwillowtree Thu 22-Jul-21 13:01:02

Maybe she actually wants to have a job outside the home, and not be a home help herself?

Definitely need to find some time to TALK.

[AUTO]yhcrykm39b002 Thu 22-Jul-21 13:09:59

Wow poor Op. Getting absolutely slated just because he has feelings and wants to be intimate and have some affection.
OP I wish my partner would take a few leaves from your book!
He does very minimal for me, for the house, or the kids and still wants to get into bed in the evening wanting me to be a pornstar!! Not going to happen! To be quite honest with you I don't find him a turn-on anymore as all he does is work and act like I'm his mum... Complete turn off. And before I get jumped on I have spoke to him numerous times, I can't just HAVE sex it doesn't work like that you need some sort of it affection/help other stuff to go with it and my partner does sweet fa! So that's why i don't particularly want sex from him
You need to speak with her, book the date and talk about it.
You sound an amazing DH btw smile

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