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Pressure from DH

(106 Posts)
BranchingOut Tue 05-Mar-13 09:40:22

Trouble has cropped up again with my husband...

I am sitting down to write this quickly now, otherwise I am in danger of splurging on the first sympathetic person I see at work.

I have posted a few threads before, so feel free to look for some of my old ones. The potted history is that we have been together 20 years, married 10 and have a son of 3 years.

When my son was 1 year old we went through a terrible patch in our marriage. I had not returned to work (employer refused pt working) so was at home for a year. At the end of the year, after a lot of searching, I managed to get a different pt job. During that year DH gave me a really hard time about being out of work, said he wasn't sure about being married anymore and went 'cold' (not really speaking to me apart from neutral matters, no physical affection, expressing lots of doubt about the relationship). This went on for five months.

My previous job had been a senior teacher (SLT) - earning about 50k but hugely long hours and lots of pressure. I was probably earning the most that I could reasonably expect to do as a teacher.

DH works in the city - long, unpredictable hours and lots of pressure, but earns £100k plus.

We have good standard of living, but live in quite an expensive area of London so nothing hugely extravagant. 3 bed house, but nice car and the occasional holiday. Quite a lot in savings - including a £90k inheritance from one of my relations.

I am not boasting about any of this and count my blessings on a regular basis.
I think we are extraordinarily lucky, wealthier than we ever dreamed of being etc.

The job I have, in the voluntary sector, has all sorts of advantages. It is part time, 3 days a week for now but could probably convert into a school hours job when my son is at school. However, the pay is poor - £28K pro rata. So I bring home less than 20k, which is a lot less than what I was earning before. Plus I lurve my job and colleagues, and they are hugely tolerant of all nursery runs etc. The quality of the work I get to do is also excellent - national intiatives etc.

I am due to get a re-grade (slight promotion, maybe £1.5k more) and last night, before we went to sleep, DH suddenly started asking why this hadn't happened yet and feeling that I should leave to get a better paid job. He came out with gems such as 'I have to shoulder all the burden of breadwinning, it would be nice if you could contribute', said that my employers treat me like 'a dogsbody' and that 'You live the life but I am supporting it'. He thinks I should give in my notice if this re-grade does not come through.

I pointed out that my job might involve him giving some of the flexibility around childcare if I were to get a better paid job, but he seems to think that all part-time jobs would offer that. I currently do almost all nursery runs, childcare arrangements etc.

I am just feeling really upset about some of the things he said and wondering which direction things are going in.

I was half wondering whether to confide in my immediate boss, who is lovely, and possibly hope that this might exert a bit of leverage around the re-grade, as I don't think they would want to lose me.

Feeling miserable and biting back a few tears, but relieved to be able to get this out on MN.

Got to go now, but

MadAboutHotChoc Sat 09-Mar-13 08:34:06

Ah missed that blush thanks SAF

swallowedAfly Sat 09-Mar-13 07:54:47

she posted yesterday and said that she was out for the evening choc.

MadAboutHotChoc Sat 09-Mar-13 07:23:08

Looks like Op has gone...given her history of posting and disappearing she'll be back in a few months' time confused.

OP - hope you are ok, if you really want help, we are here for you but you need to start answering questions.

noraknickers Fri 08-Mar-13 23:43:39

Have just looked at a few of your old threads, OP. I'm sorry but I'd say it is time to knock this one on the head. How much more criticism are you going to take? He's not suddenly going to change and it looks like you are the only one in the relationship making the effort.

I've been there myself. It is draining and a waste of time. Please let go of this idiot and find yourself someone who appreciates you for who you are.

GeorgianMumto5 Fri 08-Mar-13 20:42:14

Fair point, LucyEllen. I should have said, 'I get that he worries about finances...' because he seems to do so, despite the fact that he needn't.

cassgate Thu 07-Mar-13 19:45:00

Sounds like he is trying to compete with his colleagues. I worked in the city and it is not at all unusual to work with people who have massive joint salaries. Difference is that where both of them work they have live in nannies for the kids and they never see them. I had a female boss once who earned £100k plus (this was 10 years ago). Her husband worked for a different bank and was on the board so god only knows what his package amounted too. They had a lavish lifestyle there is no doubt about that, big house, flashy cars, first class flights to amazing holiday destinations. But they never saw their kids. Both left the house before the kids got up in the morning and didnt get home until after they were in bed. There was also a lot of travelling involved with the job which meant frequent weekend flights. His jealous, it doesnt excuse his behaviour but may account for it. Its also not unusual to work with well connected people who have family wealth so it can seem that you are poor in comparison.

In contrast, my dh has a similar salary to your dh and I gave up work completely when we had kids 10 years ago. We also have a similarity that I also came into an inheritance about the same time I gave up work. Difference is the inheritance and all our savings are in my name. I used some of the inheritance to pay off a chunk on our mortgage and the rest just sits there for a rainy day. There have been two of those when dh was made redundant twice in the space of 5 years and we used some of the savings until he got another job. Coincidentally, we have also been together 20+ years but only married for 5.

BranchingOut Thu 07-Mar-13 18:46:09

Just to say, I am out tonight but will post back later or tomorrow.

arthriticfingers Thu 07-Mar-13 17:10:15 blush

arthriticfingers Thu 07-Mar-13 17:09:28

Branching out
Can I echo the suggestion to read the Lundy Bancroft book?:
The snivelling about the older men having it better rang all sorts of alarm bells with me.
It was one of the many 'poor me' laments of my FW abusive EX.
Like others, I think your H is slipping further and further into abuse. sad

Milly22 Thu 07-Mar-13 16:40:45

Men who are financially obsessed never change!angry H neglected my needs, I also work P/T because of childcare while he's been promoted and invested. No time for quality time except down the pub with his mate so I'm off. Now he's wallowing in his self pity. Your H really needs to understand that priorities change when children came along and sometimes you have to sacrifice financially too.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 07-Mar-13 16:34:07

Have had a quick look at your previous threads sad this man has dished out a lot of emotional abuse and head fuckery.

Can I ask how things were before the "episode"?

If things were good, you felt cherished, valued and loved then something major happened to change things - usually because he has checked out of the marriage due to OW.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 07-Mar-13 16:20:15

Reading this has sent a shiver down my back - my DH used to go on about a similar issue (as well as a few others). It turned out that he was was in the middle of an affair and was nitpicking, trying to find fault in order to justify his cheating.

Tell us about the 5 months episode.

onefewernow Thu 07-Mar-13 15:38:13

I mean, isn't it as plain as the nose on your face that a bigger house, a more attractive (in his eyes) wife and yet more money will not make him happier? How can it?

But is it always easier for some people to believe that if other people effect changes on their behalf then some long term miracle will result.

This man is not happy with himself . He knows it. He doesn't know why, and he doesn't want to fun out either.

Good post.

BranchingOut where I posted that he is disatisfied with with what he has for his income I do also feel there is a subtext that he is trying to make you responsible for some of his dissatisfaction i.e. he is blaming you for not bringing in more money rather than recognising that his expectations are unrealistic. I do think onefewer's approach of lumping the responsibility for his moods firmly back on to him is the right one. You are not responsible for is happiness or unhappiness and he shouldn't be trying to dump it on you.

onefewernow Thu 07-Mar-13 15:07:40

Branching out, I have thought carefully about your post this morning.

Did you notice that whatever his level of happiness or otherwise, he wants to believe that all solutions available to him are "impossible", and that any other solution he can think of involves you making changes you dont want to make.

Listen very hard to what he is telling you.

What he is saying is that you ought to change your life in order that he should feel happier. He actually doesnt care whether you are happy in your present job or not; his interest is in meeting his own perceived needs for happiness.

There are two problems with this, and of course you know what they are already. One is that you love your new job. Another is that if you did cave in and do what he asks, he will just develop another need for you to address.

You have real evidence for this, as you have talked to him about your job and he doesn't listen. In addition, he is critical of your dress sense and god knows what else he thinks you are not currently doing to add to his (shallow) view of status.

Finally, can I add that in your report backs of your conversations with him, you seem very tentative in tackling him, you express very little anger, and also you can seem conciliatory about things you dont really want or plan to do.

It would do your relationship a power of good, if you have no intention of leaving him, to sit him down and tell him that if he doesnt like you the way you are, and on the terms you come, then he can jolly well fuck off and find someone he considers more suitable.

You know that thing about 'you cant change someone else, only yourself'? If you could change to be a heap more assertive, you would feel better, and he would be forced into a situation where he had no alternative but to look at himself.

That conversation would be something to practice with your counsellor.

trustissues75 Thu 07-Mar-13 14:57:51

That's what I mean, badinage. I agree. He has plenty of perspective on what matters to him - question is, when actually faced with having to make some changes, will his perspective change to what actually matters?

badinage Thu 07-Mar-13 14:50:26

I don't think he's lost perpective on what matters to him at all. He's making it abundantly clear what matters to him - and it's not the OP, that's for sure.

trustissues75 Thu 07-Mar-13 14:47:06

OP - you seem very tuned into yourself and very smart. From your last post I get the feeling that maybe there's a bit too much all at once for you to think about form what has come out of other posters' typing fingers. I hope it all gets sorted out for you and that he realises he really has lost perspective on what matters - which is his family and their collective happiness.

CaptChaos Thu 07-Mar-13 14:04:24

Seems to me that he is just looking for reasons to either leave you, because he's having an affair, or he's looking for excuses to go and have an affair. He is concentrating at the moment on money and you getting a better paid job because he knows he will have to pay child support at some point and is trying to minimise the expense to himself.

If I were you, I wouldn't be making excuses for his shoddy behaviour, I'd be squirreling money away, getting copies of all financial documents regarding savings and where they are held and all other useful information ready for when he drops the bombshell.

Sorry sad

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 07-Mar-13 13:45:52

Clearly he does not see you as his equal with the subtext to that being he never has and he never will. For him this has and always will be about power and control; he wants absolute.

If you were to read Lundy Bancroft's "Why does he do that?" I think you would find him within those pages.

Was wondering what you get out of this relationship now?.

badinage Thu 07-Mar-13 13:45:05

Tell us more about this '5 month episode' that you've referred to.

You're ignoring suggestions about his infidelity. Why is that?

BranchingOut Thu 07-Mar-13 13:41:24

To answer a few questions from people.

The things he says don't always make sense or have internal consistency.

So although I have sometimes suggested downsizing, he is quite keen to upsize - big detached house, private school etc.

This job is what he has always wanted to do and he mostly enjoys it - although sometimes gets a bit fed up with internal politics - but apart from that he has never expressed any desire to do something else...

For many years, he was the one who wanted children, not me. But then my biological clock finally swung into action!

In the last year or so he has sometimes expressed feelings around 'what is it all for', 'is this it?' about life in general, so I think there is a sense of mid-life crisis under the surface.

His colleagues and their spouses:
The ones who are 10 - 15 years older almost all seem to have spouses who are SAHM. Ones who are his age sometimes have SAHM or spouses who are in high-earning jobs. He has several colleagues who have had to do nursery runs etc, but doesn't seem to compute that he has at least avoided the stress of that.

I think the closest to the mark is the person who said that he doesn't 'feel' that he has enough for what he is earning - the colleagues 10 - 15 years older than him were able to have amazing lifestyles because times were different, house prices were lower etc. etc.

Will come back if there are any more updates, otherwise will just wait and see what happens. thanks all.

badinage Thu 07-Mar-13 12:23:47

I don't think he reacts badly to pressure.

I think he's just a nasty man who gets nastier when he's seeing someone else and this explains why you keep remembering that earlier '5 month episode'.

Crinkle77 Thu 07-Mar-13 11:36:51

Sorry but your husband sounds like a complete arse. What is your contribution? Err raising your child?

PanickingIdiot Thu 07-Mar-13 11:30:49

I bet he thinks that, Edwards, I've heard that before from people in a similar position, but I find that when you take a closer look at it, that argument doesn't hold water.

If he's slogging his guts out at work and he's bloody miserable, that's not his wife's fault, unless it's the wife pressuring him for more money, bigger house, flashier car, fancier holidays. It's actually the OP who's proposing they downsize, to which the bloke "murmurs something about it being impossible".

I bet he did the same job before they married and had children, possibly before they even met. Who did he blame then for it being bloody miserable, while other people have less stressful jobs they enjoy? Who has kept him from having one of those jobs himself?

He's been earning more than god for a number of years, he has a wife who works, only one child and they have savings in the bank. You don't get more financial security than that in this life. If he doesn't downsize, it's because he doesn't want to.

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