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I need your help - DH doesn't see there's a problem

(126 Posts)
NeatSoda Thu 13-Jun-13 19:35:09

Just feeling so helpless. My feelings for my DH are very conflicted: I love him but I am on my knees with wanting him to take some responsibility for his life/our lives.

Basically, I make all the decisions, take all the responsibility, make all the plans and do all the 'moving forward' in our family. This isn't really about money - he has inherited some income from before we met - but about almost everything else. He's a stay at home dad and I'm off putting in the hours working. I love what I do and this is a decision that we made so we could have someone at home for the DC and to look after our investments.

However, he just abdicates every decision to me. Every awkward or challenging conversation with banks/lawyers/insurers/accountants either waits for me or simply NEVER gets done. We borrowed £70K for a project he was going to do last summer, it still hasn't been done but we've been burning through it on repayments. Today he told me he still hasn't called the accountant to go through the business plan.

It's not just the big stuff though - it's everything. It took six months of me asking for him to take the dog to the vet. OK, I didn't badger him but why should I have to? The DCs dentist trip was the same. I can't make the appointment - he needs to so he knows when he can take them. I do make appointments for eg tradespeople to come to the house.

We have a cleaner three days a week. I do all the cooking. I've asked him just to do 40mins housework a day sorting clothes/putting on laundry - he won't.

I spoke to him at the weekend about all of this, and how I feel dumped on, but over the (10) years we've spoken about it loads. I thought he'd hoisted something in but,no, when I asked him today if he'd followed up X phone call or Y email he hadn't. I asked him to sleep in another room tonight. I'm just gutted.

Diagonally Thu 13-Jun-13 19:56:35

That's quite shocking. Are your DC at school during the day or do you have pre-school age children?

I'm struggling to imagine what he does all day.

pamelat Thu 13-Jun-13 19:58:24

Is he depressed? It's unusual behaviour.

Though saying that my DH forgets to do stuff/chase it up. He works and Im part time so I don't mind being the family "organiser". I think it should fall to the perso who is predominantly at home.

I don't see why he'd refuse to do daily chores?

Is he just ultra relax and not bothered about these things?

I think you have a right to be cross but DH tells me to chill (!) so maybe I'm not the person to listen to.

DevonCiderPunk Thu 13-Jun-13 20:02:33

Do you have any faith in him upping his game in order to save the relationship, or is saving the relationship yet another thing that is being placed on your to-do list?

So sorry you are in this position.

foolonthehill Thu 13-Jun-13 20:03:11

So he is being looked after in every way, by you.
His life sounds very cushy.
How old are your DC?

NeatSoda Thu 13-Jun-13 20:05:36

DC1 at school, DC2 at nursery 3 half days and 1 full day. He picks them up and drops them off and makes packed lunches.

I'm honestly feeling broken by disappointment. He just will not do things. I've tried every strategy: Ignore; support; give detailed advice; stand back; get angry; joke about it. It's just horrible that he knows I'm so distressed and he still won't change even a bit.

I don't think he's depressed. He just doesn't give a shit about stuff. I was doing a huge consuming work project two months ago and both DCs had birthdays - I asked him to help them write thank you letters and he said 'what's the point in thank you letters, no one cares?'. Not true, my extended family really do but I had project and job interviews and I could not do more.

BMW6 Thu 13-Jun-13 20:08:31

Why would he change? He has everything sooooo cushy!
Sorry to be harsh, but if he hasn't got his act together in 10 YEARS he is never going to.
It's up to you - continue as you are or throw the manchild out on his arse.

Primrose123 Thu 13-Jun-13 20:09:48

But what does he do all day? The DC aren't home full time, and you have a cleaner three days a week (seriously?).

NeatSoda Thu 13-Jun-13 20:10:10

His life is so cushy. He has tried to claim (but only on the rare occasions he's challenged by me to do something) that he's 'depressed'. He's not. He has been in the past so I know the symptoms.

He has plenty status, does his hobbies and has a couple of local 'board' positions (that sounds grander than they are, mainly PTA-type stuff) . Plus everyone tells him what a great guy he is for staying at home with DC.

pamelat Thu 13-Jun-13 20:12:54

I know there are bigger issues but I wouldn't pay for a cleaner if someone at home AND children in childcare! I think he needs a shock to the system and more responsibility.

He's had it so easy that he has got lazy?

NeatSoda Thu 13-Jun-13 20:13:54

I can't bring myself to throw him out. I live in 'his' house (from before we were married) and the DCs would be heartbroken. I would be heartbroken. I love him, he's funny and handsome.

But, God, I feel horrible now. Just really polluted and taken for granted. Even my ambition (not that strong, but strong enough) seem sto have been manipulated so when we spoke at the weekend and I was thinking of taking a riskier but more interesting career route he was down on me and pushing the better paid, safer one.

NeatSoda Thu 13-Jun-13 20:15:51

The cleaner was part of me going back to work (First World Problems, I know). I suggested the cleaner so he could make use of the time and do meaningful stuff - and by God there is enough to be doing - the awful thing is, he doesn't do the stuff.

skyeskyeskye Thu 13-Jun-13 20:19:05

You are obviously very different people in the way that you do things. Me and XH were totally different people. I like to be organised, know what I am doing and when. He would expect to organise things at the last minute, and then wonder why he couldnt get tickets, or the restaurant was fully booked on Mothers Day hmm.

I had to make all the decisions, if I pushed him for one, I might just about get it. If I didn't organise things, they didnt happen. I had to deal with the house sale and purchase, sort out our wedding, honeymoon, everything because if it was left to him, it simply didnt happen.

When he walked out, I got blamed for walking all over him, and organising his entire life .......

Through counselling, I have accepted that we are very different people. Divorced now, but our personalities are still the same. I like contact to be organised, he thinks he can change plans at the last minute. It drives me insane. He is now turning to OW to organise his life and bail him out of his debt problems. She is welcome to it.

I honestly think that you have to accept that this is the way that your husband is and that he is never going to change. You need to decide whether or not you can accept that and live with that.

He may buck his ideas up if he thought the marriage would end because of it, but he may not. He may be quite happy to drift along through life never doing anything. Some people are like that.

DevonCiderPunk Thu 13-Jun-13 20:20:08

Do you feel loved & respected by him?

Shakey1500 Thu 13-Jun-13 20:21:39

Ye Gads!

Sorry, but you're a better woman than I if you can put up with that nonsense. What more can you possibly try that you haven't already? He has BAGS of time to do things. I would find that utterly and completely disrespectful.

foolonthehill Thu 13-Jun-13 20:22:15

I think a decade of this shows that this is what he really is like.

You don't HAVE to do anything about it, you can live with it, do it all and continue to be superwoman and he can continue to live a cushy supported life and be handsome and funny.

just stop EXPECTING him to change. Stop arranging loans for projects he's not going to do, stop expecting him to man up and make decisions or do the laundry. Don't ask his permission or expect his support in choosing your career it for yourself. After all you do everything else!!

gettingeasiernow Thu 13-Jun-13 20:24:38

I think he may be depressed and you need to (sorry, I know you dno't want to "need to" do anything more than you already do) help him find a way to locate his cojones or it could end up with him having a "crisis". I'm so sorry though, it must be truly exhausting to be the one to man up all the time. Stay at home Dads work best if he remains the man of the house. Think of the queen and prince Philip!

takeaway2 Thu 13-Jun-13 20:24:44

This is pretty crap. I have a friend who's in a similar position with one child. She works ft. He takes Dd to cm and then does not much. He is supposedly employed but quite sporadic. In the mornings she leaves to go to work and he's around till lunch with kid and he doesn't do anything. Not shopping not tidying up not even playing with kid.

My friend does all the cleaning, cooking, shopping etc. she also pays all bills. And holidays and food etc. and he gambles (he has a card group he goes to every week). He goes to the pub....

She had a bit of a stress mental
Breakdown due to work she says but I'm pretty certain the dh had at least some thing to do with it. They are now moving away to her native country where she's found another job. I'm happy for her as at least she'll have some extended family support!

pamelat Thu 13-Jun-13 20:25:11

I'd give him a last chance

Tell him/show him this

You want it to work, you love him

I'd make avfew changes ie) reduce the cleaning so that he takes ownership of it.

Maybe he needs a push to do "something", whatever that may be or to work a few hours?

The more you do the more you are able to do

I find I achieve so much more on my work days than my days "off"

takeaway2 Thu 13-Jun-13 20:28:10

Sorry was going to add that I think he
Sounds depressed too. And I guess you might have to stop doing things for him and just focus on yourself and kids. So no cooking his food or shopping his stuff. He can come and go as he likes but basically don't cater for him. Don't wash for him etcetc. No expectations of him and you will be happier.

runningonwillpower Thu 13-Jun-13 20:29:38

You are married to a handsome attractive layabout.

The choices are all yours.

If you try to change him, you may lose the attractive qualities as well.

If you decide to put up with him, you are doomed to supporting a manchild.

Only you can decide what you can live with. But don't go expecting any grown-up decisions from him. He's got away with being mothered thus far and he's not likely to change easily.

frogwatcher42 Thu 13-Jun-13 20:31:14

Tell him to get a job and you go part time. I don't think he will change, and maybe he needs the structure of work and being told what to do, to make him motivated to do things.

Some people just cant 'get on' with things at home. There isn't enough structure or enough time pressures to motivate them. He may fall into this category. I should know as I do too!

Alternatively you could get rid of the cleaner and write a list (together) of house hold jobs to be done on a daily basis. Then home becomes more like a job with the structure etc. Then jobs like organising the dentist, doctor etc can be added to it as they occur. I have a list like this which dh and I do, as I am not a 'doer' at home and can easily waste a day.

I couldn't carry on like you are that's for sure. I think it is unusual behaviour and that he probably won't change while you continue to pick up the pieces.

tribpot Thu 13-Jun-13 20:33:36

So it's seems like you're unwilling to make either of the changes which you could control to make your life better (end things with him, or accept that he is utterly useless and do everything for him for the rest of your life) in favour of hoping for the thing you can't control to come true (he wakes up and realises what a user he is, when there is no earthly reason or incentive for him to do so).

This is now bleeding into an area of your life where you previously had control - your career - and I think this is hit you hard. Frankly the least the idle git could do is support your career ambitions, but now that's threatening the precise level of cushiness of his own existence he's not even in favour of that.

At minimum you need to take the job that will be more fulfilling for you - not least because it may be the only area of your life (bar your dc of course) where you do have fulfilment, and some control. After that I think you really need to evaluate if this is a life that you can endure living. I find it very hard to get my DH to do things but he is extremely ill, lives in constant pain and is in a wheelchair - and even he pulls his fucking finger out more than this guy. (Still bloody annoys me sometimes, I will freely admit - I cannot get him to do homework with ds before I get home except with constant badgering, it is extremely draining).

I don't know how you make this tolerable. At least, not how you tolerate it and still actually want to have a relationship with him.

BMW6 Thu 13-Jun-13 20:34:14

Oh well, if he's funny and handsome that's alright then.
So why are you complaining? Put up or shut up really, after 10 years of this!!!!

NeatSoda Thu 13-Jun-13 20:37:38

Maybe he is depressed - been depressed for 10 years in that case.

I'm aware of the 'cojones' issue, and he's definitely 'in charge', drivers seat etc. Just not active in charge.

He seems to revel in my achievements. Last week we went out to dinner with some serious high flyers (older than us) and he was going to great lengths to tell everyone how I'm the brains of the operation, etc. I felt so claustrophobic: it's as though I'm the get-out clause for him.

I think he really 'respects' me in one way - capability -and then just completely takes advantage. He loves me but it's mixed up with an element of relief that I'll take the strain.

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