Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Workaholic DP says I'M neglecting HIM!

(108 Posts)
happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 09:53:14

Have been with DP for 13 yrs. Have 2 DS 10 and 5. After 2 redundancies and a lot of debt which we are half way through clearing, DP now has a good, well paid job which means him working long hours, sometimes away for a night or 2. On top of that he has a hobby which brings in extra cash but which takes up alot of time in the evenings and at weekends.
He does nothing to do with the home apart from help with the kids when he can. Doesn't even change the proverbial light bulb. But thats fine with me as I have enough time to take care of those things and he definitely doesn't.
I work part-time in a job I enjoy but does not have the oppurtunity to increase hours.
DP is very stressed and unhappy in his job and has said almost on a weekly basis he is going to look for something else. This is fine by me, infact I want him to work less or drop his sideline to allow for more family time but in reality this isn't going to happen because he wont give anyhing up.
Our family time amounts to and hour before bedtime with the kids sometimes and a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon.
If he has a free hour in the evening he goes for a run and on Saturdays he plays football and is gone from 12.30 till 6.
I am not a very demonstrative person , except with my DS, but he has recently accused me of negleting him emotionaly and not giving him enough love.
I would like to know when ffs I am supposed to do this as he is never in the same f****ing room as me!
And excuse me, but what love do I get apart from when he wants sex which he is quite happy to have even when he knows I get nothing from it.
We have had sex counselling with regard to this which basically boiled down to the councilor telling him to make some time for me.
The thought of splitting up just makes me feel sick. I would do anything to keep us together for DS's sake but I can't fake feelings I don't have because I'm living with someone who is so wrapped up in his own life.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 28-Feb-13 11:21:54

What can he do to make you feel loved and respected?
Is he doing it?
Will he do it if asked?

What does he specifically want you to do to "give him enough love"?
Can he explain?
And will you do it?

And, seriously, don't have sex that you don't want to have. You are a person, not a body at his disposal.

SolidGoldBrass Thu 28-Feb-13 11:24:06

It doesn't actually benefit your DS to watch you sacrifice your own life to being your husband's servant/domestic appliance/sex toy. Does he do anything for your benefit other than bring in money?

happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 11:30:26

In truth I am quite a self contained person so I can just 'get on with it' and don't need the romantic side but what has angered me is that I am facilitating his career by having given up my own well paid job and career and thats still not enough for him.
That was the deal and I'm very happy with it and it just wouldn't work if I was a needy person who couldn't cope on their own.
He is more demonstrative than me and he complains that I always turn away or push him off but I'm afraid I just can't turn it on when it suits him.
I know we've got into a rut and just function on a practical level I suppose but having me not make demands on his time has worked well for him so he now cant turn round and say I've negleted him.

Twattergy Thu 28-Feb-13 11:30:56

Tell him he has to chose between either weekday runs or weekend football. Can't have both. Bring a parent means compromise. Tell him if he wants more attention he needs to be with you rather than doing sport. I know this doesn't address the bigger issues but its the only instant practical thing that could make a big day to day difference.

Cluffyfunt Thu 28-Feb-13 11:48:33

I think you've explained yourself very well here and would consider printing this out to show him.
Your DH obviously works hard and I'm sure he is doing it for the good of you all, but I will say that it seems like chauvinistic behaviour to keep expecting YOU to do all the work in your relationship.
The sex thing is very bad sad you do not have to lie back and think of England!
He needs to put his running and football on the back burner if you have any hope of saving your marriage.
I would also make te for more relationship counselling.
Your DH really needs to put some effort in.

happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 12:01:52

Solid, he puts a lot of effort into those brief family times we have but as far as the 2 of us goes he doesn't even sit in the same room as me of an evening.
I appreciate he needs to wind down but he basically avoids me.
Twattergy, we've had that discussion sooo many times. Even his parents have said he's not being fair to us but his argument is he works hard all week and it's his only relaxation and chance to talk to people.
It's bascically non-negotiable. He's beenplaying for 30 yrs and is now the oldest member of the team by 20 yrs. I have asked hime why he thinks there aren't any other 40 yr old Dads on the team....maybe they have other commitments!

happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 12:14:23

Cluufy. I have put my side of things to him many times but he responds with ''oh, its all my fault, never your (me) fault''. Gets very defensive.
I'm beginning to worry that he's under so much pressure with work that if I add to it he may just crack and leave.
What am I suppossed to do? Put up and shut up to save our family. All he wants at the end of the day is affection not always sex so maybe if I put my own feelings to one side we may be able to get back on track.

happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 12:15:40

Sorry for being a bit slow with responses. Am at work!

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 28-Feb-13 12:25:38

What do you get out of this relationship now?.

There's a massive power imbalance here between you two isn't there?.

Such patterns are often deeply ingrained as well, was his Mum or Dad similar in nature?.

Re this comment:-
"I am not a very demonstrative person , except with my DS, but he has recently accused me of negleting him emotionaly and not giving him enough love".

He's being both selfish and self absorbed, it sounds like he does not like being "second place" to his child. Also he's projecting too, you could easily reply in kind to him.

Do not stay together purely for DS's sake; your DS is not the glue that should bind you two together. Also teaching DS that could also backfire on you in future years because your son could turn around and ask you why you stayed with this man if you were so unhappy. He could also go onto ask you why you put his workaholic emotionally and physically absent dad before him. Children pick up on far more than adults realise; he knows you're unhappy.

This is not a great role model of a relationship for your children to potentially emulate themselves as adults is it?. They're learning after all from the two of you about how relationships are conducted.

Also why is his football seemingly non negotiable?. He could well develop a sporting injury the longer he plays but he sounds like he wants to continue all his hobbies regardless. He can only do his additional sideline, football and running mainly because you do all the work at home, this man does not even change a lightbulb!.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 28-Feb-13 12:26:20

What am I suppossed to do? Put up and shut up to save our family. All he wants at the end of the day is affection not always sex so maybe if I put my own feelings to one side we may be able to get back on track.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 28-Feb-13 12:31:40

Pressed send too soon.

Re your comment below:-
"What am I suppossed to do? Put up and shut up to save our family. All he wants at the end of the day is affection not always sex so maybe if I put my own feelings to one side we may be able to get back on track."

You will only end up resenting him even more; you can only change how you react to him. Is this really worth saving, aftger all you cannot save a slowly disintegrating relationship on your own. He has to also put the work in and I am not convinced he wants to do this let alone admit that yes there is a problem here. Another bad sign is that he seems more than adept to blame you for problems that he by his actions has partly caused.

And if he keeps playing football he could well end up with a sporting injury that could end his playing days.

Is this really the family life your children deserve?. He's hardly ever there for you to show him any affection then he complains that you are not giving him enough love!.

What do you want to teach your children about relationships?. He is certainly a poor role model for them to look up to.

Ginebra Thu 28-Feb-13 12:40:03

very aware of his own unmet needs and they're a huge problem but no awareness of your needs! but, it's all your fault?
i agree, you've explained yourself well here. you gave up a good job and that was a sacrifice for the sake of the family. you gave away 'power' and he is now the boss saying 'MY needs are unmet'. no mention of your needs at all.

Ginebra Thu 28-Feb-13 12:41:39

no, don't put up and shut up. i sometiems went into put up and shut up mode, but it wasn't appreciated or acknowledged, do you know what i mean, as soon as i challenged there was a big sigh. so he was only happy with the version of me that was biting my tongue and sublimating (six feet under) ALL my own needs. the concept of me having needs annoyed him actually.

Cluffyfunt Thu 28-Feb-13 12:47:49

That's so sad.
I think you need to start putting your needs first.
Can you pick up your old carer if you employed a nanny?

I know you don't want to hear this but, it's not going to work out with your DH because he doesn't care about you as a person enough.
He is selfish and puts his wants before your family's needs.

It's him, not you.
Saving this marriage is like rowing a boat with only one oar sad

OxfordBags Thu 28-Feb-13 12:52:48

Wow, he is so selfish! You work bloody hard too by the sound of it, but don't get paid or appreciated or get much time off.

It sounds like he's got used to you fulfilling his domestic and childcare needs without asking for anything for yourself - what I'd call in your example 'taking care of his life so he can do what he wants needs' - and he is lumping in his sexual and emotional needs with these. Just expects you to add kisses, sex, etc., to the list of chores you complete for him without complaint or him having to put any thought or effort in of his own.

He's not seeing you as a real person, not real like he is. You just exist now to basically serve his needs and make his life how he wants it and he can't understand why you're not making the sexual and affection areas how he wants them.

Becoming a SAHM does seem to trigger something in some men that makes them start seeing partners as domestic appliances with a fuck-hole. And I say this as a SAHM myself (thankfully, my partner does not).

He sounds bloody awful, TBh, and very immature and self-centred. If you removed the info about your DS, work, etc., he sounds like a 15 yr old boy treating his girlfriend crappily; putting her last behind his hobbies, interests and friends and then expecting her to just smooch him like he's bloody Romeo then lay down and spread her legs for him without really caring if she's enjoying it or not. A shitty attitude at 15, inexcusable for a man with a family.

It's all setting a bad example for DS. Him behaving like this and you putting up with it just teaches him how men and women should behave in relationships. Your DH has hardly taken the advice of counsellors in the past, has he, so don't see how that would help again.

Sounds a crap situation, you poor thing.

Dozer Thu 28-Feb-13 13:16:21

He sounds extremely selfish as a partner and father. What do the DC think of him?

In your situation being a SAHM is problematic, whatever "the deal" was meant to be.

Dozer Thu 28-Feb-13 13:17:16

Yy it's him, not you.

happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 13:22:32

I agree with you all but what do I do. Make everyone miserable and break DS's hearts by not putting up with his attitude and leaving.
Day to day we function well and have a good life.
I agree with all your analysis of him but DS's and I will loose life as a family if I push him.
Sometimes a think what a horrible selfish person he is bbut he is also killing himself with work to give us a good life.
I work 2 days a week and to be fair he never questions what I do with my time and would be happy for me to do whatever I want in my free time.
He has never expected me to wash, iron or even cook for him and to be honest I didn't for a long time but now I obviously do because it needs to be done.
He would be happy to pay someone to clean the house. What he does want is ny love and affection which isn't unreasonable but I find it hard to show and thats his deal breaker.

happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 13:30:02

Cluffy. No I doubt very much I could get back into my old profession. Competition tough and I've been out too long. Even if I did it would mean long hours and occasionaly being away. How would I do that with 2 Ds to care for and no family support.
As I have told him already he has basically made me poor and unable to support myself. No pension...everything reliant on him!
He is behaving like spoilt teenager, you're right but the alternative to putting up with it seems a million times worse.
Don't people get through things like this is they try hard?

Dahlen Thu 28-Feb-13 13:33:38

No, people don't get through this no matter how hard they try. When you have someone as intractable as your DH, the only solution is put up and shut up or leave.

Dahlen Thu 28-Feb-13 13:34:24

Basically, there is no reason in his head for change. What has he got to lose by not doing as you want? Unless you leave, nothing. He's already shown that your unhappiness/annoyance isn't registering.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 28-Feb-13 13:35:13

So what do you get out of this relationship now?.

Well he has a good life anyway because he has his work and his hobbies to occupy him when he is not at work. You fully facilitate him being able to do this but he is not reciprocating in kind. He instead accuses you of neglecting him and not showing him enough love!. He I think would rather go out than stay at home with his own family. As for you other people having a good life, well I am not convinced.

When do you ever get any freetime?. When was the last time he solely looked after the children on any weekend afternoon or during the week for that matter?. What happens when you get sick?.

He has disregarded a counsellor advising him to make time for you, he certainly will not listen to you and he has not listened to date either.

Do not use DS as the glue to bind your man and yourself together. Doing that will backfire on you and badly so.

If he really hated his job he would have left by now or more realisticially negotiated better working conditions within it. He has not done the first (is adept to moan about his job though) and seemingly has not done the second. He's therefore not going to leave his job and probably likes moaning about it as he has a ready audience.

What happens when you are not well over the weekend, I suppose you have to soldier on regardless.

How would you feel as their mother if your two boys grew up to act exactly the same as your man does now with you?.

CharlotteCollinsislost Thu 28-Feb-13 13:52:15

If both of you tried hard, you could get through this. If it's just one person trying, you don't have an equal relationship, do you? This relationship is terribly one-sided in fact. You're so right that you can't turn your feelings on and off like a switch - and to try to do so would be damaging to you and to your family.

You would not lose family life (if you separated) - you would have a different family life. I'm in a similar situation and am trying to extricate myself, as (although I'm quite independent too) it is nothing like what I believe a marriage should be: give and take, equal rights and responsibilities. The stress of putting up with his inflexibility, the constant attacks on my self-esteem which I need to deflect, the bad example he is (and I am in putting up with it) setting the dcs; the extra work he makes for me with nothing in return - all valid reasons to leave.

And I am hopeful that my dcs will have more time with him as a result, more time in which his attention is focussed on them, because tbh, they can't even rely on a couple of hours at the weekend at the moment.

I'm not telling you to LTB, just suggesting a few things to think about.

happyclapper Thu 28-Feb-13 13:57:31

Although I feel your image of him is correct I feel I have to point out that I do only work 2 days a week so I am far from put upon in that sense and as I said if I want to have coffee all day with friends for example he is fine with that which is fairly reasonable of him as he is working 15 hr days.
He does also take over at weekends when HIS stuff is done and he would happily take great care of the boys...he is very entertaining and makes things alot of fun for them.
He is just unbudgable on the other stuff and he is actually making himself ill.
He is very driven which stems I think frrom very demanding parents....went to Oxford Uni at 17 PHD at 24.....
Viewed as life and soul of the party by all our friends.....

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now