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What to do about DH? I feel like the only adult in the house.(52 Posts)
I don't really know where to start but I know that I need some advice from somewhere.
I feel like the crux of the problem is that my DH takes me for granted. We have a 2.5th old dd and another dc on the way.
DH works away a lot. His boss said he has the choice to refuse sometimes if it clashes with family life. I don't know how realistic this is but I know he has never refused. In the last two weeks he'd been home for 2 days.
When he is home he lays around the house doing nothing. He comes back to a clean and tidy house and within half a day it's destroyed. He makes a coffee, spills milk or sugar on the counter top but doesn't clean it up. He leaves dirty dishes on the dining table or living room floor. Presumably for me to pick up. One day I removed 5 teaspoons from near the kettle where he'd made tea all day and couldn't be bothered to put the spoons in the dishwasher or reuse.
He gets short tempered with DD because she changes so much while he's away that he doesn't know how to be with her.
I know that if he has to work he has to work and he will be tired when he comes home. I'm not asking him to do much. It feels like he's just sticking two fingers up at me by not giving a shot about the effort I've put in at home or the fact that it will be me tidying up after him. Like my spare time is less valuable than his.
I also work full time with 2-4 hours of commuting a day but I work compressed hours so that I have one day off a week with DD so I am tired too.
He likes the status of my job, I earn more than twice as much as him but he decided there were some things he wanted/needed and spent all of his spare money for the last 3 months which meant not paying his share of the mortgage, utilities etc.
He has a job interview this Friday and has done nothing so far to prepare for it. If it goes like the last one he won't get it and then will be miserable and I'll spend days trying to cheer him up.
I suppose I am just sick of giving. I give my time, I give my consideration (I've bought him a book on interview technique which he hasn't picked up) and I give my money and I get no thanks. If DD is ill I take the day off work never him.
We go for ages being fine and then it all comes to a head again and we row over the same things. Except now, like today, he won't even talk about it. He just walks away. I'm working from home, he's supposed to be watching DD but instead has lay on the sofa all day, watched tv etc. I have used my lunch break to make lunch for the 3 of us, stack the dishwasher and put washing on and then get DD to sleep for her nap.
He's sat with an angry face on like I'm vein unreasonable to be pissed off with him.
I am just so fed up of nothing changing. What can I do?
<<expects anyone reading to have given up part way through epic post & not reply>>
Erm, he is really taking the piss. What things did he need/want so badly that he thought it was ok not to contribute to mortgage?
You're essentially a single mum whilst financing a single man who simply does what he wants cos he knows you will take care of everything!
I think you really need to sort this out before the baby arrives, I think Relate may be very beneficial.
Dutch you're exactly right. That's what I have been saying. He wants the single life and I feel like a single mum except life is easier when he's not here and that's what worries me. It's as though he likes the sound of family life on paper but in reality, he wants to be a student still - but subsidised.
He had some books/resources he needed for a qualification he's studying and also owed £1k in personal fuel contributions to his employer who were threatening him with a disciplinary if he didn't pay. As he hadn't put the money away each month he had to pay at once from his pay.
He insists he doesn't want to be single and we go around in circles on that one.
For starters, DO NOT try to cheer him up if he does not get the job. If he's not making an effort at all then he needs to accept the consequences.
Of course he doesn't want to be single. That would mean he would have to do his own cooking and cleaning, and be an attentive father during access visits.
What Dutch said: "You're essentially a single mum whilst financing a single man who simply does what he wants cos he knows you will take care of everything!"
I am extremely shocked over this level of contempt he clearly has for you, for your professional life and your dc. He uses you as his maid, cook and cash cow! He sounds like a child. Not being able to budget for forseeable expenses clearly not being able to tidy up after himself or look after his dd while you work. I would be having very stern words if I were you.
I'm not screaming "leave him" but I would start researching what a life without this jerk would mean to you and your dc in case whatever chances you give him are missed by your dh.
I know how you feel as I was once in a relationship like this.
I have found it is SO much easier to be a single mum as I am only responsible for myself and my child. You're acting like his mother and therefore you're enabling him. I guess you have fallen in a 'pattern' relationship which is why you need relationship 'counselling'.
If he needed to buy books for his qualification, did he discuss this? Are you the same age?
What is the relationship with his family? Does he feel a certain sense of entitlement? Is he the youngest of his siblings by any chance?
He sound like a student who pops home to see his mother every now and then...
I have no idea how you make him take a 50/50 share in your relationship especially as he has made no effort to change anything - even though you have a DC.
I'm sure someone wiser than me will be along soon...but just wanted you to know I'd read all your post and agree with you...he does need to grow up and start taking part in the family he helped to create.
He isn't a child, but you are allowing him to behave like one. Stop looking after him and enabling his behaviour.
If I were you, I would tell him it is either Relate or separation. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but you are going to be absolutely at the end of your tether when you have 2 small children and this manchild to look after.
He is using you as a meal ticket and domestic servant.
OP, next time he says he doesn't want to be single, why don't you bring the going round in circles to a screeching halt by pointing out that his behaviour means that YOU are getting to the point where you would prefer it. And that once you absolutely do get to that point - when the respect has completely gone, and the love has followed it, and when you're so used to being a single parent you simply can't justify pouring any care or emotion down the drain which is him - then the decision will be made. Not by him. And it will be too late for him to do anything about it.
The really dangerous thing here (for him, not you!) is that you are getting used to being effectively single. Lots of women in your situation are held back by fearing the unknown of splitting up. You aren't. You're also solvent. He is on very very dangerous ground.
I hope you can get that point across to him - if he is worth it, that is.
I think you'd be better off separated to be honest, if you have tried talking to him and you cannot reason with him. He makes your life miserable, gets fed up with your DD, treats the house like a squat. I'd suggest a trial separation where he has to live on his own and then he would see just how much you bring to the househole and how much you do. If he still can't see how much he is dragging you down, well, you've already said you feel like a single mother. Surely it'd be easier without an adult kid to have to step around.
How would you feel if this was your dd, and this was her husband? What advice would you give?
She is likely to view your relationship as the norm, are you happy to set this example?
You sound very unhappy, what are your reasons for staying? You need ask yourself a lot of hard questions, and give yourself some honest answers. Good luck.
Thanks for all the replies, I am trying to read while I work from home and posting from my phone so apologies for not name-checking.
Yes, the contempt seems to have crept in in the last 12 months I would say. He never used to be like that and I've called him on it but he just says "what do you want me to say?".
He is the youngest . The thing is, I think he actually believes because he works hard in his job that he's entitled to do nothing at home. I point out that I work hard too and that if we both came home and did nothing then what would we be living like? He would rather live in a mess for 6 days and spend a day tidying up. Unfortunately I don't see why I should live like that and if I get a day to do anything I don't want it to be cleaning.
Yes, the role model for DD bothers me actually. My mum split up with my dad when I was months old so I have always felt like I had to prove I could make a relationship work. I know that sounds horribly like I'm blaming my mum, I don't mean it to. I have step siblings which is a constant source of drama and I hate the thought of DD being away from me for an entire weekend every other week.
We do get on, I do love him blah blah (what all posters say on relationships board) but I just feel like the negatives out weigh the positives lately. We'll row, he'll make an effort for a while and I'm happy, I forget, it gradually descends into the way it was before and we go around in another circle.
I think today something has just made me think he's never going to change.
I am scared of making the wrong decision or DD blaming me for not trying harder.
I felt I had no choice with bailing him out with the car thing. If I'd taken money he'd have got into trouble at work and him being sacked scares me. I realise that I made it so that he didn't feel the consequences of his actions.
I just told him that we're going to relate as a last chance and it's resulted in another argument. He says he's got nothing in his life. Actually, I think he resents me for wanting us to move here. It's nearer my family but 70 miles from where we were living, where went to college. It was much the same their except his friend are back their living a single life and he's not.
DD crying, got to go.
Just going to sort out counselling now. Do you think it has to be relate or can it be any therapist?
You are financing a cocklodger
It has to stop, or he will be living the single life again away from his family
I think you need to have a long, hard think what YOU get our of your relationship. I needed counselling after the break-up with my child's father and my psychologist said some very interesting things about the importance of birth order of partners.
I think you both have fallen into a pattern where you act as the 'mother'. As you feel so stressed, it may be beneficial to have both couples and individual counselling to question your own motives.
If you do go to counselling, go on your own. I think you need to get this into perspective without his input for now. If he's really being a lazy arse and making the most of your generosity, he may well go into counselling and try and manipulate the situation to his advantage.
Go for a recommendation from BACP, not relate (I have found their counsellors to be extremely second rate). It may be more expensive but your first appointment will be free.
Do you have private health insurance?
If yes, I think you can get individual therapy with a psychologist. You really need to take care of your mental health as you sound incredibly stressed. If you're based in London, I am happy to recommend someone.
Thank you, I shall have a search now.
We do some joint counselling after DD's birth (trauma). Originally it was just me but the counsellor said we should go together because counselling can make one person grow and the other doesn't change with them.
We moved house/cities before we finished and didn't pick it up over here.
AF yes, I feel like I had have a lightbulb moment today but its the 'how' I haven't been able to work out. When I wrote my OP I didn't consider counselling at all. I just knew that I couldn't change him. It all feels too Ground-Hog-Day today.
You can change yourself love
Stop accepting his contempt and using of your good nature
If he's only at home on average one day a week this will probably have to change if you want any meaningful relationship. His slopping around is nothing to do with birth order and mothering (sorry dutch), it's got to do with him literally marking his territory, staking his claim, making himself known in the home. He's probably highly insecure because he's away so much and that could be driving his territory marking. In the meantime, while waiting to see the counsellor, try to disengage from his behaviour - it's almost certain that it's designed to have a negative effect on you (if he wanted to mark his territory he could buy you flowers and chocolates for instance), so the less you react the better. Chin up and go and see that counsellor.
No DutchGirly we're up north. I don't have private healthcare but I think DH might. I will ask him. He has just taken DD with him to the GP and was suddenly very affectionate and "do you need anything while we're out?". Now, if I stay angry he will blame me for knocking back his attempt at making up but he won't discuss why we fell out and I can't just get over it.
I do feel very stressed barbie I thought I was ok but I feel like I am on a treadmill - boss unhappy with my pregnancy interferring with business (a whole other thread), always feeling like home is work because I just clean and tidy and cook and look after DD. I am planning to take a while off work after DC2 arrives and I think thats perhaps why this is worrying me more now. I can't rely on him in the same way he can rely on me.
Its ok while I am working and earning my own money but the self-employed stuff I have planned to work around the children isn't going to support us and his selfish behaviour.
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