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Feel like I am drowning while DH is oblivious

(96 Posts)
sickfeelinginthepitofstomach Fri 24-Jun-11 10:22:23

Recently I told DH I wanted to get fit and restart exercising and asked please support me, pay attention, give me a kick up the bum etc. I know the responsibility is mine but I was asking for a little support. Instead, as usual, what has happened is that he carried on with it almost obsessively while I gave up due to the usual reasons - difficult to find time, no energy due to depression, DC both off school sick blah blah.

He now gets up and goes to the gym before work, does his triathlon stuff. He never ever once said, hey I'm going to the gym. He just did it. If I left the house at 6am without telling anyone, there would be no one to look after the DC, he would probably not notice I was out and go to work oblivious.

A few times before I found out that he was not going straight to work I have bumped into him on my way back from the school run and he looked very guilty - I did wonder if he was having an affair (almost with a sense of relief actually) but he was coming back from the gym and lied about it. He later said he lied because he thought I would get pissed off with him having that time to himself and ask him to take the DC to school or something. I'd even noticed his muscles changing and his hands had callouses from gripping the weights, so I know it was the gym rather than an affair. He's become very fit over the last year, while I am a blimp with zero self esteem.

He has tailored suits and handmade shirts because of his important job, while I have old T shirts and jeans. I don't want to buy new clothes in a size 18 because I want to lose the weight, so I buy crap in the sales that I don't wear and always end up back in the jeans and T shirts.

I'm fucking miserable. I gave up my job gave to be a mum, I wanted to. But now I'm a wreck. I'm worried about the unspoken lessons I am giving my DC. I feel I'm subsumed in (usually not done yet) washing, cleaning, sorting mudane boring shite. Remembering all his family birthdays, sending cards, doing the bills, doing the shopping, making sure we have dishwasher tablets, taking DC to school, reading, checking homework etc. When all that is done I feel like there is nothing of me left.

DH works every night. He sits at the PC or laptop working away, phone conferencing. He does have a very all consuming job and I accept that, it is part of the deal for the moment.

But I am so very pissed off that he never gave any time to me or DC, that time that he has now magically been able to produce out of nowhere for his fitness regimes. He never took paternity leave. He has never got up in the night with the DC. He does not do any housework - but he will wash his own clothes, iron his own shirts (his clothes are special and they need special care etc and I'm not consistent enough to be entrusted with it hmm)

I feel like he is living a separate life within our family. I just don't know what to do about it. I think I'm a bit depressed - I have a history of it due to terrible family background. But he isn't noticing, he is just picking his way though the debris and ignoring it.

I feel like I'm in a dissociative state and I'm losing my fucking mind.

I guess there is other stuff (financial control elements etc) but when I start to think about it I get the sick feeling in my stomach. Not sure I can take all that just now sad

JudysJudgement Fri 24-Jun-11 10:30:46

you cant change him, you can only change your attitude to stuff

if the kids are school age, no reason why he cant be in the house with them in the evening while you go to gym, or you can go while they are at school

of course, if you think up excuses not to go, thats up to you, not really his fault

sickfeelinginthepitofstomach Fri 24-Jun-11 10:36:06

Yes, I know. I've been sitting here this morning thinking that very thing...but there's a fine line between it being me not having "the right attitude", and emotional neglect.

sickfeelinginthepitofstomach Fri 24-Jun-11 10:40:11

As for DC, one is not at school yet.

Anyway I'm beginning to think that I should have posted this on the mental health board, since really it's about my overwhelming feelings of hopelessness which make it impossible for me to do anything, and leads to me being dissociative etc. The fact that DH doesn't seem to care much about it is probably secondary.

OTheHugeManatee Fri 24-Jun-11 10:41:32

It sounds as though you need to make some time for yourself, and that you need to demand that your DH take some of the childcare pressure off you. You do sound depressed, if you're resenting your DH working hard and getting fit but struggling to find the energy to do so yourself.

I suspect that your DH isn't oblivious to your state of mind, but is actually avoiding you, as you sound unhappy, clingy and resentful. BUT that's not to say you're to blame; he could - and should - just as easily ask you what's wrong and helping you to find a more positive state of mind. But it sounds like he's avoiding you instead. No doubt that's making your unhappiness worse.

But waiting for him to ask what's wrong won't get you anywhere. Can you perhaps have a talk to him, explain how you're feeling, and try and find some solutions together? Counselling, more time for you, more help from him in the house, time together for you as a couple without DC around? It's in everyone's interests for you to feel happier in yourself, but you may need to have a long talk and ask for help before he understands.

mumblechum1 Fri 24-Jun-11 10:43:44

tbh, although Iknow it's hard to get motivated, once you start exercising you'll feel so much better.

I presume that as your dh is in a high flying job, money is no issue, so if I were you i'd join the gym today. I recently started at a health club after doing zero exercise, ever. Paid £45 for a month's membership initially and it makes me so much fitter and satisfied with my life.

Certainly if your children are at school all day you can fit in an hour's zumba or pilates class or just do an hour in the gym. I'm sure you'll feel better for it.

And again if he's earning a decent salary, get a cleaner in for a few hours per week.

Are you planning to go back to work now the kids are at school? That again would boost your confidence imo.

mumblechum1 Fri 24-Jun-11 10:45:04

Sorry x posted with you saying 1 dc still at home. But if they go to playgroup one morning a week then you could fit in some exercise. It's the best thing to fight depression and you'll feel a lot more confident when you start to look better.

motherinferior Fri 24-Jun-11 10:45:37

Actually I think he is, quite directly, contributing to you feeling crap and of course he can change his behaviour. Does he know the effect on you?

If he can find the time to go to the gym in the morning he can find the time to take the kids to school. Tell him you'll be going two mornings a week and he can take the kids - and if he queries this point out at that (a) he's clearly got the time (b) your friend's partner (that's me if anyone asks) has a pretty damn busy job and does this. Morning exercise will get you going and have you feeling much, much better than reproaching yourself as evening approaches that you really should get out of the house if you weren't so tired and busy and so on. It will help your mental as well as your physical health.

Don't send his family cards! What on earth are you doing that for?

Go and get yourself something nice to wear in an 18. It could be cheap, but it has to be pretty. A 16, if you must.

mumblechum1 Fri 24-Jun-11 10:46:57

And if he's in the house on his pc every night, get yourself out with your friends. Doesn't have to be anything wild, just go out for a pizza or join a book group.

motherinferior Fri 24-Jun-11 10:50:56

"he lied because he thought I would get pissed off with him having that time to himself and ask him to take the DC to school or something."

So ask him. He's got the time. You need the break. And frankly it sounds as if the kids could do with seeing this distant father who wanders around the house a bit more.

BarbaraBar Fri 24-Jun-11 10:51:34

I think from what you've said there are certainly issues between you and your dh you need to resolve.

However, the first thing you need to do is to focus on and look after you. Put his selfish behaviour to one side. Let him get on and do his own merry thing while you concentrate on getting stronger and beginning to look forward to the rest of your life in a positive mind frame rather than feeling so helpless. I would go so far as to say once you have come up with a plan of your own do not discuss it with your dh. I doubt he'll be supportive.

Baby steps every day is all it takes. Have a look at your diet and see how it can be improved. Are you drinking too much (alcohol is a depressant)? A bit of exercise every day will make a huge difference, even if it's just a walk for 20 minutes. Do you have many RL friends you can meet up with, have a chat to?

As well as an action plan to get yourself back on track re weight, confidence and outlook you need another one in relation to the house side of things. Have a look at the fly threads for help there. Again baby steps.

A lot of us have been where you are now OP in terms of our feelings about ourselves. I know I have. It took me a little while (even with a kind, supprtive dh) but I am right where I want to be now in terms of my weight, health etc and I never thought I'd say that.

Wishing you all the very best.

motherinferior Fri 24-Jun-11 10:54:01

Oh, and tell him to put the rest of the washing in with his, dammit. He sounds frankly rather weird about this.

What sort of a job has to have handmade clothes anyway? And if there's money to buy his handmade shirts you can certainly go and get yourself a few sexy clothes, dammit.

mumblechum1 Fri 24-Jun-11 10:55:09

I agree with BarbaraBar.

Don't expect or depend on any support from your dh.

Change things yourself and you may be surprised at his reaction - sounds like he has little respect for you now, but once you become more independent and confident, he'll start to respect you.

encyclogirl Fri 24-Jun-11 10:57:36

OP, I have a slightly different, but similar issue. We both work, DC are older now, altho one has SN. I find that when I start and exercise regime he puts up passive aggressive obstacles until I quit. I've now restarted a regime after months of inerthia and I'll be goddamned if I'm gonna quit this time.

He started cycling last Summer and I was completely and utterly supportive. I never once stopped him from going out, but as soon i got going with my running he began to make protesting noises. I have no idea why this is. I work longer hours, earn more than he does, do my fair share at home, ensure we do stuff as a family etc.

For the years I've just accepted this behaviour from him, it's really subtle and hard to even notice it at first. He just starts to chip away at my resolve to do it bit by bit.

He swears he doesn't know he's doing it. I think it might stem from childhood. He has a very negative mother, always sees the down side of everything, father died when he was young. No real encouragement growing up. To be fair to him he's a fabulous Dad and encourages our DC in everything do. Just not me. He's seems scared that I will neglect the rest of my responsibilities if I'm running, which is complete bollocks. I have a ton more energy when I'm running.

Also he has loads of interests that I fully support. Rugby coach for ds's team, cycling, beekeeping and he wants to start golf with ds.

I'm having to almost retrain his way of thinking. I keep having to pull him up on every sigh, every strop, every comment of "Well how long will you be?"

It's draining, but actually I think it's working.

Sorry for the ramble, your post just struck a huge chord with me.

BarbaraBar Fri 24-Jun-11 11:00:38

The problem with relying on this sort of selfish pig man is that he will come up with all sorts of excuses not to help out and you will become even more deflated and more likely to give up. Perhaps he wants you like this and in this state of mind (his behaviour when you revealed your plans to him would suggest this) because he couldn't cope with a fiesty, confident woman.

encyclogirl Fri 24-Jun-11 11:05:42

OP the other thing we do now is sit down with the family diary at the start of the week and I pick out the times I'll be running, he picks out the times he'll be cycling, training the under 12's team, doing his beekeeping etc.

We both sign up to the activities at the start of the week and the agreement is we don't add anything or change unless one of the dc is sick or an unexpected work/school appt crops up.

That's really helped. The week is sitting open on the island in the kitchen and we can both see the plan.

motherinferior Fri 24-Jun-11 11:08:54

I do see your point, BarbaraBar. It's just...^infuriating^.

(It was my partner, btw, who suggested the two mornings a week swimming to me. I mean, not all men are like this.)

TheCrackFox Fri 24-Jun-11 11:09:51

How old is your youngest child?

sickfeelinginthepitofstomach Fri 24-Jun-11 11:10:53

I sound clingy? Seriously? Bizarre, I'm not at all clingy with him, I don't make any demands on him and bring stuff up - all this has kind of been going on without either of us talking about it, other than when I asked for him to support me in the weight loss thing, that was a five minute conversation six months ago. The stuff about the gym came out because the third time I bumped into him he blurted it out, and said he'd been feeling guilty because he lied to me. I didn't press him about it before that, or give him a hard time afterwards. I knew he was going to the gym and not telling me, but I didn't give enough of a crap about it to harangue him. As dirty secrets go, it's not much of one is it?

I mean part of the problem is that the reason I picked DH is that he is like that, I come from quite an intrusive family who are always talking about how I'm feeling and second guessing my motives (sigh, it's a long and fucked up story) so a lot of the time I'm quite glad that DH sails along never talking about anything. But the flip side of that is that I can get into difficulties, end up feeling sad or lonely, and he doesn't notice.

I honestly don't think he is avoiding me, it's much more unthinking than that. He is spectactularly good at not getting emotionally involved in things.

I am resentful though! Damn right I am. And you know what, I think that it is appropriate for me to feel that in the circumstances, I'm not going to apologise. It's about the time thing, time with the DC as well, I mean that's more important imho but still, we're not functioning as a family due to his workaholism, although its a catch 22, since I don't have the earning power he does especially with me retraining for a different career now.

In addition to being primary carer, I'm doing a second degree, so it's not actually like I'm just sitting on my fat ass moping about how its not fair that he gets to the gym and I don't.

It's about the weight of responsibility of household affairs and childcare falling squarely on my shoulders and the constant assumption that his job is more important than anything else.

The crux of it is this - it is shit as it stands. We don't have a relationship. I'm not happy. But he doesn't seem to be bothered. Or is too busy to notice.

motherinferior Fri 24-Jun-11 11:13:52

He's getting his needs met, that's why he's not bothered. You're doing the back-office stuff and not threatening him in any way because you're feeling so crap.

I am sorry.

sickfeelinginthepitofstomach Fri 24-Jun-11 11:15:38

Sorry x posts with lots of new posts.

schobe Fri 24-Jun-11 11:15:51

I so agree with motherinferior.

He lied about the gym in case you asked him to do something helpful like take the kids to school so that you can go. WTF? How selfish and designedly so.

Time to assert yourself if you can muster the energy (I know it's hard especially when you don't exactly feel raring to go to the gym). Ditto re the new clothes.

Focus on the positive message it will give your DC if that helps motivate.

I really do empathise with you.

sickfeelinginthepitofstomach Fri 24-Jun-11 11:26:22

The other thing is the money. He recently told me he was getting his annual raise but was very cagey about telling me how much a month it would amount to, presumably because he thought I was going to ask for more money? His salary goes into his account and he puts money into a joint account for mortage bills food etc etc. We have enough money, but despite this I'm always getting into trouble for overspending because for years he wouldn't sit down with me and do a budget including money for clothing and presents etc.

God you know what I don't even think I can begin to start thinking about this... I'm not saying it's the reality but it feels like I am always worrying about money and have to account for everything I spend, or have to ask for money for clothes for DC etc, but if he needs new things then he just gets it without mentioning it.

BarbaraBar Fri 24-Jun-11 11:28:52

"we're not functioning as a family due to his workaholism"

My dh works long long hours, is often away and all that stuff but he's a kind wonderful man and a terrific father.

It's not his workload that makes your dh so crap, it's him.

MI is right "He's getting his needs met, that's why he's not bothered. You're doing the back-office stuff and not threatening him in any way because you're feeling so crap."

Don't rely on him but do start doing what you need to do to make yourself feel better. Because he sure as hell isn't.

Nobody is saying you're moping, honestly OP. Everyone wants to help you and offer advice.

sickfeelinginthepitofstomach Fri 24-Jun-11 11:29:12

Sorry I mean "needs" new things. Who "needs" two pairs of barefoot running shoes along with a normal pair?

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