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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.

Bedtime1 Sun 03-Mar-13 06:04:26

Good luck with it all

CressidaFitass Sun 03-Mar-13 02:48:58

Not saying that the talk will necessarily lead to happy ever after. But it will make it clearer where they both stand.

CressidaFitass Sun 03-Mar-13 02:34:52

Prob happyclapper and DH need to talk.

It's amazing how many years can go by without you actually discussing both of your true feelings. And 'chatting' doesn't seem to happen with men. You need to make sure you have some uninterrupted time for you both to talk about your feelings about your relationship, and don't expect men just to talk even if they have the chance. You have to agree to a chat, thus giving both of you time to think about what is most important and what you want to say, then some days later sit down and take turns to speak, allowing an extra 5 mins each time at least for DH to get round to voicing what he has to say (without interruption - men just take forever to speak ime.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 02-Mar-13 21:14:38


Unfortunately as Fairenuff rightly states, OPs man is refusing to co-operate and has also disregarded the counsellor's advice to give her i.e the OP more time. This man also does not even sit in the same room as OP of an evening (this is stated in an earlier post of OPs).

If real change is to occur it has to be a two way process; nothing can be achieved also if the other person does not want change. He is certainly getting what he wants from this relationship, I cannot fully see what the OP is getting out of it apart from material needs being met.

I asked OP what she learnt about relationships when growing up - she replied that her parents did not have a good relationship. We learn about relationships first and foremost from our parents - she has carried those damaging lessons into her current relationship and so history repeats itself.

Fairenuff Sat 02-Mar-13 20:57:36

Hence my point, they BOTH need to work on things. He either chooses football or running and make detailed plans about spending time together and she has to at least show she cares about him. Its a matter of both sitting down EVERYWEEK and working out what plans they have for each other such as actually booking a restaurant or organising child care.

arsenal the OP is more than happy to do this. This is what she wants and is asking for from her dh.

But he won't do it. He simply refuses.

arsenaltilidie Sat 02-Mar-13 17:58:14

Amateur football season is generally from Sept to April with a month long Christmas brake.
Its common for 'people with responsibilities' to have a partake in a hobby every Saturday Saturday afternoon.
Rugby is the same, most good clubs have a plenty of over playing week in week out.
Season ticket holders spend most Saturdays 12-6pm outside the house.

We don't know what the counsellor said to the OP, but given
parents didn't have a good relationship and hardly showed any affection to each other......uhm. makes me think the counsellor probably said she should show a lot more affection.

He shoulders the blame too for this current situation.

Discharging from the counsellor means its the beginning of change if BOTH work on change. If one or both person neglects the change, or slack a bit then it's only a matter of time before things revert to the old ways.

Hence my point, they BOTH need to work on things. He either chooses football or running and make detailed plans about spending time together and she has to at least show she cares about him.
Its a matter of both sitting down EVERYWEEK and working out what plans they have for each other such as actually booking a restaurant or organising child care.

Ginebra Sat 02-Mar-13 16:52:11

honeyandrum, completely stand by the relevancy of the post i made.

posters are basically suggesting she ignore her own needs. and, as fairenuff summarises, the problem is he won't compromise at all, ever. So, if she doesn't love him, but won't leave him.............. confused yeh, good luck solving that one!

The reason the op;s husband won't compromise is because he has no need to make any concessions. what is forcing him to make concessions? nothing at all. his wife isn't going anywhere. in fact, despite being unhappy, she is thinking about bending over backwards even further, and has labelled this course of action 'balanced'.

Fairenuff Sat 02-Mar-13 14:00:13

I think the football is a red herring.

It's just an example of how selfish this man is.

If, indeed, he is actually playing football, even though his wife has clearly stated that this has a negative impact on their relationship, and so has their counsellor, it just demonstrates his lack of care for her opinions.

No-one needs to be out from 12.30 to 6 every single Saturday, for leisure.

That is not a commitment you make unless you are single and have no other responsibilities.

That is a personal choice which should be made with the full agreement of the partner. If the partner is at all dissatisfied then it should be compromised.

Unless I am reading something different to many of the posters on this thread, the problem is crystal clear. The husband will not compromise. So it doesn't matter what the OP does, she will not be happy.

Yes, she could watch him play football, she could have a new hairdo and spruce herself up, she could be more affectionate and loving, she could spice up the sex life, she could become a perfect stepford wife.

But she would still not be happy because all that would be done in an effort to get him to appreciate, admire, respect and like her, as an idividual, an equal, with her own thoughts, feelings and opinions which are just as valid as his.

And he won't do that. Ever.

Think about it. He chooses to make a weekly commitment of 5+ hours to football yet makes no weekly commitment at all to his wife. Their relationship suffers. They go to counselling. The counsellor says you need to make time for your wife.

Why hasn't he done this? Either he is seeing someone else or he just doesn't care about the OP. What other excuse could he have?

It's not about long work hours, hobbies, etc. It's his choice. And he is choosing 'football' over her.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 02-Mar-13 13:57:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lueji Sat 02-Mar-13 13:51:25

Unless there's a world/European cup...
Add another month and a half every other year.

clam Sat 02-Mar-13 13:12:58

The football season seems to start in August and goes on until May. Which I make 9 months. angry

Lavenderhoney Sat 02-Mar-13 03:18:58

Is football really only 6 months of the year?

Then the ops dh should be around on sat at the moment then? I still don't see how when he is at football its 12.30 til 6 and also if he is 20 years older than everyone else why he is still doing it? Surely the coach would have put a younger man in and he would be playing for a team of men more appropriate to his age group? Surely a bunch of young blokes would run an older one into the ground, unless he's Beckham?

Glad he is looking at changing his job op, but is it to spend more time with you and the ds or more time doing his hobbies?

Fairenuff Fri 01-Mar-13 23:29:20

more loving type gestures of affectionate behavior include obvious signs of liking a person

This would be a good place to start I think. OP how does your dh show that he likes you? As a person. Not in appreciating the things that you do for him, or being sexually attracted to you, but that he actually wants to share his time, thoughts, feelings and experiences with you.

People who love each other strive to be together.

HoneyandRum Fri 01-Mar-13 22:15:59

I did cut and paste not to negate your point but to add to it, affection involves behaviors (actions). I may be exhausted but I still hug my kids because whatever my feeling my will is to love this child and show this child I love him/her. In life the feelings are not always there but love is also a choice. Otherwise why not just say "I don't have any feelings today, I haven't for a few weeks, so I have every right to not show any affection to you and hug my coworker tightly as I'm feeling very affectionate toward him right now."

CharlotteCollinsislost Fri 01-Mar-13 22:00:10

Did you write that or cut and paste? Either I don't understand the relevance or bits of it are irrelevant to this thread.

You've confirmed my point, anyway: Numerous behaviors are used by people to express affection - ie the actions express a genuine feeling. None of what you have written refers to actions where the feeling, for whatever reason, is not there.

HoneyandRum Fri 01-Mar-13 21:52:35

Affectionate behavior

Numerous behaviors are used by people to express affection. Some theories[3] suggest that affectionate behavior evolved from parental nurturing behavior due to its associations with hormonal rewards such as the release of oxytocin, the bonding hormone from positive social interactions.[4] Research also verifies that expressions of affection, although commonly evaluated positively, can be considered negative if they pose implied threats to one's well being. Furthermore, affectionate behavior in positively balanced relationships may be associated with numerous health benefits. Other, more loving type gestures of affectionate behavior include obvious signs of liking a person. Affection can also shape infant's brains.[5]
George Homans (1950) proposed that positive sentiment increases the propensity of people to interact and that familiarity gained through affection increases positive sentiment among them.[6]

CharlotteCollinsislost Fri 01-Mar-13 21:48:28

The problem is that attention is an action, whereas affection is a feeling.

OP, you seem also to be saying that you're staying because of a sense of obligation to your H for all he does.

HoneyandRum Fri 01-Mar-13 21:30:33

Her DH wants affection from her and she wants attention from him, why do you think that might be?

Fairenuff Fri 01-Mar-13 21:11:33

we are talking about two imperfect people who do seem to love each other but have kind of driven down a cul-de-sac that can happen in marriage

I haven't seen any sign of love in the relationship on this thread. OP has stated that she is only staying because of her son.

That's fine, that's her choice. But that's not love.

HoneyandRum Fri 01-Mar-13 20:24:33

Ginebra "Wives who fear being single like it will make them a disease-ridden pyriah have no power to change anything."

"Women whose husbands know that they will march to the beat of their own drum and not bury all their own needs, they are the wives who will be listened to."

I'm not sure who you are referring to on this thread but I didn't read anyone suggest she "bury her own needs". Instead I read people telling her to find way to get those needs met by making active changes. Who "fears being single" either? - no indication that anyone on here mentioned that. Using hyperbole can lose the basic fact that we are talking about two imperfect people who do seem to love each other but have kind of driven down a cul-de-sac that can happen in marriage. It doesn't mean it has to end. If you value your relationship, your family and all the love and difficulties that you have shared and dealt with over the years I don't think that makes you inadequate or pathetic which seems to be the suggestion. Two people that have built a life together also have a lot to lose if they part, but that surely is normal if you truly have invested emotionally, practically, physically. I know many friends who have sustained long, happy marriages and that means they will have overcome many challenges and difficulties and made adjustments when the partners become out of sync with each other. Sometimes you have to build bridges back toward each other, but that is what mature love and commitment takes. No long term relationship remains in stasis.

I never suggested she ignore her own needs but she also has to change. Both partners have to forgive each other - bitterness and grudgeholding are toxic in any relationship.

happyclapper Fri 01-Mar-13 20:04:37

Cressida. I agree with your assesment. You can't bully someone into doing what you want them to do and yes Arsenal football us only 6 months of the year.
He also did take DS1 to football on a Sat morning but DS1 lost interest.
Atilla, my oarents didn't have a good relationship and hardly showed any affection to each other......uhm. What a surprise!
But we are not in a loveless relationship and do show each other affection just not as much ir as passionately as most couples I would imagine.
Actually I retract that. I suspect a lot of couples have periods of less than optimum love.
Isn't ut just a case of working through the bad times.
I hear older people taking of bad YEARS that they got through.
People are too quick to give up and move on sometimes.

arsenaltilidie Fri 01-Mar-13 19:47:47

OP's husband doesn't sound bad. Afterworking 15 hour days, its perfectly understandable to want so me time. Do people even realise football is only 6 months of the year.
OP's husband doesn't expect anything from her, he doesn't expect dinner to be cooked or the house to be clean or his wife to have sex with him when he wants.
All marriage's have their ups and down, I suspect they have got themselves in a rut.
How were things when he wasn't working many hours??
But importantly DO YOU ACTUALLY LOVE HIM??

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 01-Mar-13 18:21:51

"Infact it is because I am so content with my day to day life which is far easier than his that I really wanted to know if his behaviour is so unreasonable".

I think you enjoy being at home with your children, there is no doubt of that to my mind at all but I am not convinced at all of your own happiness within the relationship with your man. I still think that his behaviour is well off towards you, your relationship with him is certainly not a happy one from what you have yourself described of it.

I do wonder what you actually learnt about relationships when you were growing up and what lessons in relationships you think you are both passing on to your children now. You do not of course have to answer any of that but I think those questions do deserve serious thought and consideration.

CressidaFitass Fri 01-Mar-13 17:46:38

YOu say this happyclapper
Infact it is because I am so content with my day to day life

Are you sure you are content with a loveless, sexless life??

happyclapper Fri 01-Mar-13 17:44:37

It must be very reassuring to be so certain about things. Even for people you never met.
I think MN is a great place to get people's points of view it is just a shame some people have to be so judgemental and preachy.
Nothing is black and white and noone can say what WILL happen.
Maybe I will be posting on here in a years time saying the LTB's posters were right but for now I'm going to see if it fan get better.
Herrena, I know what the word is and Im not in thus relationship for stuff. I had far more when I was single. I am doing it for the love and security of my family.

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