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.

dh and i barely talking, probably my fault....

(62 Posts)
Fairylea Sun 28-Apr-13 13:09:15

I am feeling really sad and angry at the same time... I'm hoping posting about it might be cathartic or at the very least help give me some perspective.

Dh and I have for the past week or so barely talked, and had no physical contact at all which is totally out of character. Things have been difficult for a while, I'm going through a very tough time with my mum (which I had a thread on, I will try and link in a bit for background). It's come to a head because my mum's dog bit someone so obviously I cannot take the dc to her house anymore. I understand and know this. But mum thinks it's all a bit of a joke the dog biting the postman and doesn't understand why I won't bring the dc round, she is however welcome to visit ours. We live 5 minutes away.

Dh hates my mum. Understandable considering the background. And he gets frustrated that I seem to make allowances for her behavior based on the fact she's my mum. He gets annoyed I don't hate her as much as he does. If it was down to him she would not see the dc at all. I feel sad about the relationship with my mum and feel very caught between dh and my mum. When mum texts or comes to visit dh gets into a mood and becomes very negative about it.

This has all built up into me talking to him and saying I don't particularly like my mum but she is my mum and it's hard for me. Especially as an only child and no other family. He said he won't say anything but he just can't help himself.

I am also struggling with looking after two dc (one 11 months one 10 year old) all day every day no support as he works everyday most days 8-10 and we have no family or friends to help. Literally no one. So I'm doing it but it's bloody hard.

We seem to constantly get into this tiredness competition over whose life is more difficult and I feel I can't have a moan without him alluding to how awful work is for him at the moment. So I've literally just stopped talking to him really.

This week on his day off we went into town which is actually 40 min away in the car as we live rurally. Ds started moaning and whinging in the car as its a long journey and I got very fed up feeling sorry for ds and generally stressed. Dh then got fed up with me as I couldn't calm down even when we got to town. I felt really wound up. And I was annoyed as the only reason we went was for some book that he wanted. He can't drive so I had to go to. None of the shops had the book so he ended up in a mood and had to order it online later anyway !

We ended up having lunch somewhere and ds was enjoying some food and suddenly had a bit of a choke (which is one of my major anxiety things as dd nearly choked and died when she was little) . Dh went to offer him some more food and I don't think he realised ds was choking so I put my hand out to stop dh and dh got annoyed with me and said he knew what he was doing.... it's so frustrating, he thought I was attacking his parenting, ie that I'm the better parent.

It has now been a few days and neither of us are really talking at all. I have said sorry for snapping etc and just said I'm finding everything difficult. He said well there's nothing he can do as I obviously don't want anything to do with him... which is partly true as when I'm stressed I just want to be on my own. I'm usually in bed by the time he gets in as I just don't want to have conversations that time of night.

Ds is sleeping 12 hours a night so it's not a sleep issue.

I don't know where to go from here. None of this makes much sense.

Hissy Sat 18-May-13 22:18:20

Of course you go round in circles, this stuff is hard core hard!

Please let yourself be guided by those who Know normal?

redwellybluewelly Sat 18-May-13 22:19:10

I haven't read your other thread I confess however I did want to say that I think accessing counselling FOR YOU to talk through how you are feeling may leave you with a better sense of self and confidence.

After decades of unpleasantness manipulation I ceased contact with my mother about three months ago. I am happier. My relationship with my husband has gone from rocky to rock solid and improving. My DD is happier because we are happier and I have a hige amount more confidence in everyday parenting as well as my job.

Its been a massive eye opener, I do keep in contact with other family members and there have been several tough moments such as a relatives funeral and my pregnancy (baby due in a few weeks) where I've wished it could have been different but ultimately I can only change my expectations of my family's behaviour, I cannot actually change THEIR behaviour.

It's not easy. We had financial ties too at one point so I do appreciate how that can seem a big burden. I also strongly agree with a pp who says that you need to open up to your DH and ask hom what you should do, be honest and say you have done everything you know how to do and you need him to show you the next steps.

I did that to a degree with our situation. My mother upset me very badly, by a throwaway comment and I asked DH if he would support me in going no contact, he replied he'd kept quiet long enough and he felt I deserved better treatment than they gave me and he wouldn't have stood for it if it had been his family.

ElectricSheep Sat 18-May-13 23:06:14

Will you be expecting your DD to put you before her DH and DC then OP?

Will you be pressuring her as your DM does, making life difficult for her, and trying to split her up with a partner, telling her partner to Fuck off etc and generally resenting that her primary relationship isn't with you?

I think you do need counselling, but so does your mother. She is expecting your relationship to be the most important to both her and you but of course it can't be. Just because she lived with you doesn't mean she has the right to expect so much from you.

YOu've now had a long period where you haven't seen much of her until recently. You are in a good position now to talk to her and tell her that unless she really tries to get on with your DH and DS, tries to improve her behaviour and attitude towards them then you & DD won't be seeing her. And stick to it. Put a time limit on it and let your DH decide if he thinks she has tried to behave. I'd also tell her that you expect her to get rid of the dog.

The ball is in her court OP you have no need to feel guilty if she doesn't choose to make the changes that will keep her in your lives. Sad though it is I know.

topsyandturvy Sun 19-May-13 08:58:35

I really think you must stop discussing your mum with DH. See her when he is at work and dont disturb him by tattling on about it. He has his hands full with work, problems (from his perspective) with his MIL and marital problems. Please try to minimise the impact your Mum has on your relationship by separating the two as much as possible. I dont mean your DH is right and you/mum are wrong, just that this is an easy practical step that you can take to improve your relationship.

Next is there one day of the week when DH could regularly come home for his break? So you get 40minutes together regularly say every Tuesday, and you can both look forward to that.

Certainly you must get more fresh air and exercise, I wonder whether circumstances have pushed you towards mild early depression which is making it even more difficult for you to manage the problems you have? Would you consider consulting a doctor about this? Maybe short term medication would be enough for you to get your life back under your control?

Fairylea Sun 19-May-13 20:45:16

Thank you for the replies. Much food for thought... you're right when you say I wouldn't expect dd or ds to put me first in the way my mum expects me to do for her. That has got me thinking about things and I can begin to see how odd our relationship is really. It's more like a marriage than a mother daughter relationship. So I guess what I'm going through now is a kin to a bereavement or divorce. The slowly separating everything is so painful.

Interesting what you've all said about allowing dh to lead the way for a bit... maybe that's the best thing to do. I do feel very disconnected from everything, you're right I don't think I really know how to love properly (well apart from my dc, but even then sometimes I feel oddly disconnected too). Dh is very passionate about us and our little family and as much as I am, well sometimes I just feel so worn out with it all. Its relentless. I sometimes feel I have no inner peace.

Believe me I don't pester dh at work... in the evenings he is very quiet but still has to be there so he tends to text me a lot and we do talk about things then. I'd be happy if he chose not to text me or talk about mum but most often he is the one chasing me and asking about mum. I wish he'd just leave it sometimes. It makes it worse. He's now said he won't mention mum again which is fine by me but there's now sort of a superficial unease between us where we are not really talking about the issues that matter.

The thing I am struggling with most is little things like some random thing ds will do and I take a photo and I want to send it to mum. Or I want to text her and tell her something. We do text quite a bit here and there (normally 1-2 texts in an evening) and I would find it hard to stop that. To not share things with her seems very empty indeed. Obviously I am sharing all these things with dh too, I'm not excluding dh over mum.

Tomorrow I promised her last week that I'd go round tomorrow with dd as dh is home for the day and so can look after ds for an hour... she is desperate to show me her garden she's been working on. Obviously I cant take ds to hers because of her dogs so I need dh to be home so I can go. Its at the point now where I'm dreading tomorrow as I know dh will start moaning about mum again even though he doesn't even have to see her. I won't be gone longer than an hour in all so it's not even taking up a day off together.

Mum absolutely won't get rid of the dog. No way. Never. Not even an option.

I still can't really talk to dh. We are just tiptoeing round each other. He was off most of today and we just focused on the dc and hardly spoke to each other. I still feel angry with all the harsh words between us. And then I try and get over it and little things will really annoy me and we are back to square one.

I'm going to see my gp about counselling this week.

Fairylea Sun 19-May-13 21:35:44

Ok well mums just texted me and said she wants to pick dd up from school and go for a coffee with her as planned but she has to go somewhere else so I won't be able to go round after all. So that has solved that one... but now I feel sad because she has obviously prioritised something else over me. Again. Fucks sake. I need to stop being surprised.

Hissy Sun 19-May-13 22:35:30

Honey, you are sharing things with your mother through fear of not involving her, she is an interloper in your marriage, and she is going to see your H off if you don't take this stuff seriously.

She is keeping tabs on you, keeping her hooks in.

If she won't treat your children equally, why are you letting her take your DD? Just text her back and say another time then, and call off the coffee thing.

Seriously, you NEED to step back and WEAN yourself off this poisonous woman.

H can be the bad man, he can be the one that says, actually no, DD stays home. You know you need help from someone to help you stand up for yourself with your mother.

Honestly, I know you and your H think things are fraught atm, but this is BECAUSE OF YOUR MOTHER AND HER TREATMENT OF YOU AND HIS DS. He can't stand to watch it. He wants it all to go away, and you are putting up all the barriers you can to stop that.

please open your heart to him, tell him you need help getting a grip on a healthy viewpoint. I am sure he will help you.

You CAN say NO to this woman. You owe it to your family to do so.

Hissy Sun 19-May-13 22:43:09

Worst case scenario: SHE wins.

You LOSE your H, and have to share care of your DC with him.

You know as well as I do that she will get her claws back into you as she did when your previous relationships died.

She will somehow reinforce that YOU failed, and SHE'S the only one that will be there for you, and how you need to be CLOSER to her. She is an emotional fucking parasite. Sucking the life out of you and your family.

Let me tell you. YOU didn't lose your relationships through mis-deed or character failure, SHE more as likely did enough to cripple you so that you couldn't have a successful relationship. You don't know what one looks like, how could you?

PLEASE, tell H that you know his feelings, but that he is entitled to them and he can speak to you about them. Ask him to listen to you and support your slow journey to a more healthily balanced life.

I can only imagine the irritation that man feels when he sees what she does to you and to your DS. I am surprised she is not buried under the patio.

I hate bullies, I HATE seeing what damage they heap onto others. Your H is hurting watching her do what she is doing to you all and he feels alone in wanting to actually DO something to stop it.

You need to call in the big guns; anyone and everyone to get you to where you need to be. YOUR OWN PERSON.

OhThisIsJustGrape Mon 20-May-13 10:08:14

I haven't much advice with regards to the situation wi your mum I'm afraid but one Inge that screams out at me from your thread is please, please get your thyroid checked out.

You are displaying some of the main symptoms of an under active thyroid - extreme tiredness, anxiety, weight gain - and a simple blood test could actually show that those symptoms are all treatable.

OhThisIsJustGrape Mon 20-May-13 10:08:30

*one thing, not Inge!

LisaMed Mon 20-May-13 10:20:07

In the marriage service it says 'forsaking all other'. This does not only mean that you can no longer work your way through the local rugby team, it means that if you marry then you and your husband put each other first because you are a new unit, a new team and you have to build your lives around each other. That isn't too bad a model.

What I think is that one day your mum will be dead and if you let her you will be left alone with a string of relationships behind you destroyed by her 'ways'. She won't care.

I am sorry if this is a bit preachy, but I hope the point of view will help. Good luck

Fairylea Mon 20-May-13 13:49:58

Thank you for the replies.

I am actually on medication for a very underactive thyroid and pituitary problem (those are my health issues I mentioned upthread) so very good guess! smile ... but I'm already on the maximum dose that I can be on without it interfering with one another (thyroxine at high doses can be dangerous to pituitary gland etc). I see a consultant regularly at the hospital. I have however off the back of your comments so thank you, booked myself in for a blood test on Wednesday this week to be sure nothing else is going on.

My dh has today off work and both of us have been really making an effort to be nice to each other... it's very hard. We are trying.

Thank you for all your thoughts.

Fairylea Thu 23-May-13 09:30:38

Things just aren't getting better after all.

Mum came round the next day, dh came home from work on a break knowing she would be there. I don't know why he can't just avoid her but he feels that's giving her what she wants. I have no idea anymore.

I spent the whole time feeling incredibly stressed and awkward knowing that dh didn't want mum to hold ds, and knowing that mum was desperate to hold him. When she came in ds was in his highchair having just had dinner and she brought him some toys to play with. I went and hid in the kitchen so dh had to make the decision about getting ds out and handing him to mum for a cuddle. I know that if I did it dh would be angry with me.

Dh then handed ds to mum as he felt he couldn't really say no to her having a cuddle. He then went into a terrible mood and effectively stormed back to work without saying goodbye to me, which annoys me because if we are going to show mum what a strong family unit we are then he's just made himself look like a moody sod as mum is so thick skinned she would have no idea why he would be annoyed.

Mum stayed for an hour or so and then left.
Dh was in a terrible mood when he got home from work (at 10pm) saying that he won't have my mum tell him to pass his child to her. I didn't want to defend her but I feel he's blown it out of proportion. She just wanted a cuddle as any granparent visiting would do.

I feel like because dh hates my mum so much any normal behaviour is perceived by him as wrong etc even when it's normal.
So now we are back to square one again. I really don't see how we can move forward from this.

I'm not inviting mum round all the time. She comes round maybe once a week for an hour or so and that's it.

If he wanted to, dh could avoid seeing her.

I'm not telling dh anything about her. Dh keeps asking me if I've heard from her.

I feel pulled in all directions. I don't want to spend my life arguing about my mum anymore. I'm fed up with it. I need some fucking peace.

Hissy Thu 23-May-13 20:48:04

By not talking to your H, you are siding against him.

She doesn't need to come around every week. Your H is trying to help you here FGS. Stop pandering to a woman that has wrecked your life and start investing in yourself.

THEN the arguments WILL STOP. You are ALLOWING yourself to be pulled. Stop that. You don't want her there EITHER, so ask H to help you manage her. Stop answering the calls, be OUT, and let your H deal with it if you can't.

Your mum is not thick skinned btw, she is just ignoring YOUR wishes/protestations. She is fighting a war here, a war against whoever she sees as having influence on you, and if that detracts from the attention she demands from you.

If you can move house, please do so, please get away from her. Give your H a chance to be happy with you and your DC. Let him help you grow.

Hissy Thu 23-May-13 20:51:52

Your H doesn't want that woman anywhere near his child. For good reason. You, sadly, have not shown yourself to be strong enough to protect yourself from her, and he wants to be there to limit the exposure to her poison.

Fair enough. He may not be perfect, but sounds like he cares a hell of a lot for you and your DC.

more than she ever has...

Fairylea Thu 23-May-13 21:11:49

Thanks, I know you're the voice of reason.

The problem is that cutting her out is giving me more emotional and practical stress than just getting on with it. I just wish dh could let me deal with her and stop moaning at me about it. I know he doesn't want her near ds but unfortunately she has a relationship with dd that has been very close for a number of years and I just cant stop that, for dd as much as anything. I'm hoping that as dd gets older she will want less contact with mum and then as she won't have built up a relationship with ds much contact will become less.

I'm getting really annoyed because I feel like dh doesn't trust me to look after ds around mum. I'm not going to leave her alone with him. She isn't abusive. She loves the kids, she just says the wrong thing all the time and has different ways and ideas. I'm not saying she's a nice person, she's a battle axe but dh is acting like she's going to hurt ds and she wouldn't hurt him. She's just really difficult and annoying.

I have thought about everything all day. I just can't trust dh to sort it out because bottom line is that I still feel alone in this. I don't feel a real connection to anyone and I feel like for the first time ever I'm finding my feet without living with my mum.

I'm starting to wonder if maybe I should just focus on raising the kids. I just can't cope with the stress of everything. I am absolutely raging at dh because I just don't feel he understands how difficult it is for me with my mum. He just doesn't really get it and I don't think most people can. Because of this I find myself getting very defensive and frustrated talking to him about it because he will get annoyed and I'm sitting there thinking yeah but you haven't known her for 30 odd years so I know her better than you....

I just feel like I want to run away. I can't because dd is settled at school and whatever else so I really do need to be here for the kids but I really just feel like I want to blow up my whole life and start again. I think when my mum dies I might actually start living.

Hissy Fri 24-May-13 07:40:54

Your mother ISN'T a good person to have around the DC.

Read your thread. Please.

Read also your last sentence. You're trapped in all this and can't confront the situation. Your H could help you here. He's just telling you things you don't want to hear. Doesn't make him wrong though. STOP fighting him!

The anguish you feel is your childhood fear of her. It's irrational. I guarantee that if you DO hand this over, if you DO create some distance, you will feel some relief fairly shortly.

Hissy Fri 24-May-13 07:45:19

If you haven't got a toxic mother, haven't had to go through that extra special circle of he'll, then no, it's not easy to understand the torture it is.

All he sees is the woman he loves being treated like shit by someone, and he wants you to stand up for yourself, for him and for your DC.

Get counselling, fast. You need back up, you need to understand just how bad she is, you need to feel that pain, understand it wasn't ever you that caused it, and forgive yourself for putting up for it.

This woman has actively ruined your lives. You CAN state boundaries. You have that right.

redwellybluewelly Fri 24-May-13 13:39:16

I think you are trying to wage war on two fronts and only a fool does that - your mum is toxic. So is mine. So I do get where you are coming from.

Your DH sounds frustrated and angry and fed up.

I don't think you can prioritise your DD's relationship with your mum over your relationship with your DS and your DH. Read your posts, read how you have been firm and then in the face of your mum NOT respecting your wishes you have resorted to default mode. My mum has seen my DC once in 4 months, when she did so - rather than thank me for making the arrangements or appreciate I was dipping my toes in the water of reconciliation - she had a real attack on me for my bizarre behaviour, the impact it was having on my DC and the fact she hadn't done whatever it was I thought she had. I was 34weeks pregnant at the time and I am due #2 in a fortnight - I have no intention of allowing her near my beautiful children until she changes her attitude. They are not missing out on emotionally manipulative behaviour.

Get counselling. I did. 2 years of it via my employer (and you can access it through your GP) and I finally figured it out for myself - I cannot change the behaviour of others but I can change my expectations of them and my reaction to their behaviour

Have a little faith in yourself that you could change the situation

oohaveabanana Fri 24-May-13 14:02:59

OK, I'm going to take one example which really stuck me, out of what you've been posting, and just try and help you have a look at whether your dh or your mum is being most unreasonable.

In your post on 23rd at 9.30, you talk about dh coming home even when he knew when your mum would be there - and your feeling was that if he finds it so hard, he should have come home at a different time. Ie it was absolutely his fault for precipitating the tension.

Imagine roles are reversed - you work horribly long hours, but have the chance to pop home to see your wife & dc at lunch time, for a very short break. How would you feel if the time that your dh had arranged to see a family member you really, really can't stand during that precious 40 mins? Think about your perspective on this - why shouldn't your dh be able to come home whenever he likes? It's his & your house, not hers. Was it really not possible for you to delay her visit - Sorry mum, dh will be home & I know he likes some time with ds, it'll be easier if you come at xx (I suspect that your dh isn't home at a set time, but given his hours, it would surely be fairly easy to avoid his breaktime?)

My mum isn't anything like yours (although very annoying and self centred) and I seriously cannot imagine how hard it is for you to break away. But I can tell you what you're describing in terms of a dynamic doesn't sound healthy, or normal to me.

You have the capacity to do so much more, be so much more - think of all the amazing stuff you've done so far, and those beautiful children you're raising! Let yourself let go of her & use all that potential.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 24-May-13 15:38:40

I realise you feel like piggy-in-the-middle caught between the two key adults in your life. You didn't choose to be an only child, you've dealt with your parent for 30+ years through her illness, alcohol abuse and recovery but now I think you have reached the giddy limit.

Sorry Fairylea I won't repeat the advice upthread - it's all been said - but if you are still enmeshed with M after all she's put you through, how on earth will your DD rationally opt for less contact with Granny as she gets older?

If your M is manipulative and self-centred as she is, what benefit is there to letting her come between you and DH and ultimately influencing your DCs?

Fairylea Fri 31-May-13 21:43:39

Thanks. I've been trying to take on board your advice. Hence the length between replying.

I've been making a real effort to distance myself from my mother. In fact I haven't seen her since the last time I posted. She has asked to come round twice and both times I made excuses. She has phoned once but it was a very stilted conversation. Mainly about her. She made some comment via text about bringing ds to hers (as if assuming we will change our minds) and I didn't reply.

It's so hard.

I haven't texted unless she has texted me, which hasn't been much, and then only minimum replies.

I know that maybe doesn't sound like I'm doing much but it's such a huge change for me. Honestly.

I don't think I will ever be able to cut her out completely or confront her properly about anything. Or if I need to. No idea.

On the other side of life.... well dh and I aren't really getting any better. I still feel very down about everything, and he is very stressed with work, still looking for another job but nothing is about.. so we still seem distant. Mainly my doing really.

I feel a bit paralysed by grief. I hope that's not offensive to anyone, it's not intended to be. I just don't know whatto do with my life anymore as I've spent my whole life making decisions around my mum. So now I don't have to I feel worthless.

Dh feels very distant to me. I don't feel able to share how I feel as I don't think he can ever understand properly and I don't expect him to.

We went round to his family this week, everyone was there, lots of them. I came away feeling very stressed out actually. I don't know why, everyone was nice to me etc. It just felt like they weren't my family, like I was in the wrong place.

I have had a very difficult week with the dc as well. I keep hoping I'm doing the right thing and I feel anxious a lot of the time, especially with ds who is now trying to walk and crawl everywhere. I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing anymore.

When dh comes home from work I leg it up to bed ten minutes before he's due in and pretend to be asleep as I don't want to talk. I know that's not helping but I just feel unable to talk about anything other than how was your day etc.

Our sex life is still non existent really. I have no sex drive. At all. I feel like I now have the two dc I wanted and I just don't have any desire to have sex again. Dh keeps trying to snuggle and be affectionate but I find it difficult because I know he's hoping it will lead to intimacy and I just don't fancy that at all at the moment.

I never used to associate sex just with having babies but I do now and I don't know how to change that. I feel as I'm getting older sex is less appealing. But I feel sad for us that I feel that way.

What a lot of moaning. I'm sorry. I want to be more positive but I need an outlet.

ecclesvet Fri 31-May-13 22:41:46

Well, to be frank, you refuse to talk to him, insist on bringing this emotionally abusive toxic woman around him and his children, you've unilaterally shut down your sex life, he's forced to work ridiculous hours in a job he hates - and you wonder why he feels distant. You really need to change your behaviour.

Fairylea Fri 31-May-13 22:43:19

I know I do. Which is why I'm talking about it here.

Or maybe I'm just not very good at relationships.

Fairylea Fri 31-May-13 22:44:00

I'm not wondering why he feels distant. I'm trying to understand why I do.

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