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relationship needs a bit of work - where do I start?

(7 Posts)
nethunsreject Sun 07-Jul-13 22:25:57

Dh and I have been together 13 years, married 8 and have two happy lovely kids. We've had usual ups and downs including bereavements, financial stuff, work stresses and so on. Dh has always been very prone to obsessive phases. He's highly motivated and focused which can be great as I tend to procrastination! Anyway I'm feeling a bit fed up with things. I'm finding everything he does irritating and I know it's due to the resentment I feel about how he is with the kids. Most of the time he just carries on with what he feels ought to be done round the house or whatever without thinking about the rest of us. When I try to raise the subject, he says he feels criticised and that if he didn't do it then who would? Meanwhile I rarely do things without considering what the kids want to do. Not in a martyr way, just because I like them! Where do we go when I can't get him to actually listen to me? It's getting to the stage that I am planning for a future potentially without him, I'm learning to drive, have a job, etc, so I know that I can survive. But, I don't want to be without him either! I feel very confused and sad.

nethunsreject Sun 07-Jul-13 22:28:03

Also at times I dislike how he treats our eldest and feel he's too hard on him. Mostly he's an incredibly loving dad though.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 07-Jul-13 22:37:22

The truism is that you can't change a two-man relationship single-handed. You can only change things about yourself, not someone else. If the other person doesn't accept there's a problem, isn't willing to listen or talk about it and won't entertain modifying behaviour then you're on a hiding to nothing. There is professional couples counselling for people who have difficulty communicating but, to get him there, he has to accept there's a problem and agree to do something about it.

Have you ever actually told him you're considering a future without him? If behaving the way he does has no impact on his life, he has no motivation to change. Sometimes you have to go in with a hard consequence to get a selfish person to listen.

Space2000 Sun 07-Jul-13 22:41:10

My oh and I are in a pickle due to resentment and we are having counselling as we need to re learn how to communicate these issues without arguing, so far so good. If you are both willing counselling can be a good start.

nethunsreject Sun 07-Jul-13 22:58:56

Thanks for the replies. I don't think he does realise the seriousness, no. Yeah, I need him to want it in order to get anywhere.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 08-Jul-13 06:38:22

You need to show him what he stands to lose in order to get anywhere.....

tumbletumble Mon 08-Jul-13 06:53:12


I can really relate to your post. My DH sounds very similar to yours! At weekends he'll always have a list of jobs that he wants to get through (eg DIY, stuff in the garden) - it's brilliant that he's not lazy and is so good with his hands (I'm rubbish at that kind of thing) but I do sometimes feel that he doesn't think about how it impacts the rest of the family.

DH and I went through a rough patch in our marriage about 5 years ago, soon after DC2 was born. I wasn't thinking about leaving but, like you, I was figuring out ways in which I'd be fine if it was just me and the kids. Then we attended a marriage course and it really helped us communicate better. We're very happy again now. Maybe worth a try for you?

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