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Unhappy DH dragging me down

(32 Posts)
VodkaOClock Sat 27-Jul-13 17:20:19

He's not happy. He's never been happy since I was pg with dc1. He told me then that his feelings for me changed.

We've been together since we were kids really and have so many happy memories.

But he is so dissatisfied with his life, and its really dragging us all down.

Says he is jealous of the time I give dcs - they both have SN.

Says I love them having SN because I enjoy the attention (this was the most painful thing he has ever said to me, totally untrue, and when he calms down after he's said stuff like this he apologizes and says he knows its not true but he gets angry and says hurtful things).

Says that he is not allowed a life but I am.

Says that lots of ppl have it easier than us, and life's so unfair.

Says that I slag him off to my friends and family. I don't. I never have. I've only once ever asked my mum for help with him once when I was stuck in hospital with very poorly baby dc and dh was cross because I wouldn't leave hospital to run an errand for a family member. He has never forgiven me for telling my mum about this, but I was so upset when she visited hospital I didn't have much choice.

Says that if I was nicer to him and showed him more affection that he would be nicer to me.

He has no patience at all with dc1, and is quite angry that he won't just be normal.

When it's just us it's fine, so long as I don't talk about dcs or work.

He said he wanted couples counselling, and I agreed, then he changed his mind and said I would use it to make out it is all his fault.

I wish I could help him to see all that's good about our dcs, and our lives and help him to enjoy his time with us, and stop comparing with others, but I don't know how.

LineRunner Sat 27-Jul-13 17:25:10

Maybe he doesn't want to go to counselling because he'd have to face to up to his own behaviour, which seems to be that of a jealous third child not that of a father.

You could go on your own and try to get your head straight at least, about what you want for yourself and your children. It sounds awful, and I do feel for you flowers

VodkaOClock Sat 27-Jul-13 17:32:09

I feel so pathetic because I just really want him to stay, but to not say horrible things to me. I spend pretty much every evening up in our bedroom, and try to get to sleep before he comes upstairs. Sometimes I can start a conversation and we will get along really well. Other times he just ignores me, or gets annoyed with me for what I am talking about, but it's hard to predict what will rub him up the wrong way, so mostly I try to stay out of his way.

If I thought ending it would be best for all of us then I would, but all the negatives associated with that sort of make staying the least worst option, then I'm trying to mitigate it by concentrating on short bursts of quality time together and staying out of his way the rest of the time. Problem is that when we have a disagreement like today he takes it as a sign that our lives are terrible, and will go on at me about that, instead of thinking that on the whole things are pretty good, this morning didn't go the way it should, so let's be nice to each other now, and try harder next time.

Now I think about it, always when I point out soemthing he said hurt my feelings, I get a long list of why that's my fault. Probably best not to discuss it, just say 'that hurts' and walk away I guess. Maybe if he can get out of the habit of repeating over and over how hard life is he might stop thinking that way.

LineRunner Sat 27-Jul-13 17:44:13

It's not all about him you know.

What are you getting emotionally out of this relationship?

VodkaOClock Sat 27-Jul-13 17:54:20

Honestly nothing but grief. He makes me feel so bad about myself and the person that I am, which is why I don't like being around him. When I am with friends and family, or just with the dc on my own I come alive, and am so happy and just feel like I am the best me I can be. When I am with him I feel like a failure, and I think he feels the same way.

I like to be a positive thinker and see the best in everyone and everything, and I'm wondering if he's been so reliant on me to do that for him, he can't do it for himself. And now I've got tired of looking after him like one of the dc, and am just keeping my distance instead, he is getting really cross about it. I feel like a failure because he is unhappy with our little family. But I love it, and without him around we have a great time. Even his dad commented the other day when dh had to stay away for work for a couple of nights, 'that will be nice and relaxing for you and the dc' - I think it's obvious to lots of ppl how tense and unhappy he is around us.

LineRunner Sat 27-Jul-13 18:00:34

It doesn't really sound like he has the capacity to change, though.

MissMarplesBloomers Sat 27-Jul-13 18:02:04

You cannot be responsible for his emotional happiness.

What would happen if for one week you didn't avoid him in the evenings, why should YOU hide away? Who does the evening meal and bedtime routine do you share it?

Parmarella Sat 27-Jul-13 18:03:08

You have made yourself solely and 100% responsible for your relationship.

That must be a pretty daunting responsibility.

Do you really think that is fair?

Walking on eggshells because of his moods.

Any man who is jealous of the attention hus DC get is a bit of a dick. More so if they don't even see what is wrong with feeling this way.

Think how nice it would be if this horribke person wasn't in your life anymore....

Really, just together for old times sake ?

Threads like this are so depressing. It upsets me if women stay with horrible partners who treat them like shit, as they think splitting up would be even worse....

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Sat 27-Jul-13 18:12:29

It's not your job to make him happy. And even if it was, you can't.

Whatever is hard or unfair about your lives (and lots of people's lives seem unfair - I can think of things that have happened to be in the last 10 years that make me feel I've been very hard done by, but that's life) it can't all be your fault. It doesn't sound as if he takes any responsibility at all for anything around him, and is constantly looking for someone to blame. That sounds exhausting and very hard on you.

I agree with LineRunner that it doesn't sound like he can change. How do you think he would react if you said 'you say you're not allowed to have a life - I'm now telling you that you do, and you need to go and make it by yourself because our life together is making us both miserable'?

VodkaOClock Sat 27-Jul-13 18:13:05

Sometimes I cook, sometimes he does. Sometimes he starts the bedtime routine, and he would say he does it every night. In reality he plays with the dc for a while, gets bored, sends them to bed, and then gets cross when they won't stay there.

I notice I write that he gets cross a lot - he really does. He doesn't shout much, or get physical, but he swears, sulks, is short-tempered - I'm making him sound so attractive.

I'm really happy with my little routine of being out and about during the day, then tucked up in bed with a book, or a TV programme before going to sleep. Some nights we watch a film together, or a TV programme we both like. We do get to go out together without the dc, maybe half a dozen times a year, but it's always to do something really cool like a festival or a gig - so we don't go out often because we choose to save our money up (and babysitting) for something bigger. We view life totally differently. i see that as a positive choice we make - not to go out to the pub together every Friday, but to save up and do something awesome instead, but he sees that as a sign I don't want to be with him because I should make the effort to go out with him every week.

I see friends at least once a month, he doesn't.

Generally I am very happy with my lot, it's just hard on days like today when he will snap at me for tiny things, then it goes into this long and philosophical conversation which ends up with dh saying he feels unloved, I am not affectionate enough towards him, we have a hard life, having dcs isn't what he expected, other people have it easier than us, we have nothing in common. This routine conversation happens about once a month and leaves me feeling like crap, because it's not at all how I feel. I really am happy with our lot, I just wish he would stop poking holes in me / our family.

I know I'm rambling, but it's really helping.

I'm really tempted to just put my hand up next time he goes off on one and say 'please stop, you need to find someone to talk to about this stuff and it's not me' which is pretty much what I said today, and just move on.

He really doesn't have any friends -sees his siblings maybe once a month, so there's a lot of pressure on me to be his wife / best mate / personal entertainer / counsellor all rolled into one. Like everything this is also my fault as he says he can't ask to go out anywhere because I wouldn't 'let him'.

Sorry - so long.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Sat 27-Jul-13 18:15:20

Just reading again one thing you said: " Problem is that when we have a disagreement like today he takes it as a sign that our lives are terrible, and will go on at me about that"

What would happen if next time this happens, you agreed with him and said 'yes, our lives are terrible. Let's just give up now, nothing will ever get any better'? Because it seems like you have both got into a groove where he gets to play miserable, knowing you will take on the job of persuading him it's all OK really. What if you gave up that role and he had to either face things, or cheer himself up?

VodkaOClock Sat 27-Jul-13 18:18:38

Yes Snazzy, that's what I am starting to think.

Because he always manages to frame it as all the things I need to do to make him happy. And in the past I get carried along with it because I think if he was happier he would stop picking on me or being snappy with us.

Now I am thinking I should toughen up and ignore the snipes, and when he gets into his spiral of despair, just say 'it's a shame you feel that way' and walk away. Instead I always get dragged in trying to show him how other people's lives are not better than ours, but I can't make him appreciate what he has.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Sat 27-Jul-13 18:18:57

You see, I am really now feeling that he says these 'woe is me, life is terrible' things secure in the knowledge that you will jolly him out of it. And in fat he probably deliberately says them for that reason. He sees that as something you are morally obliged to do. I think you need to break that pattern, and stop effectively telling him it will all be OK and you will make it all better somehow.

He gets something out of 'poking holes' in you. Your reaction is giving him that. Change it, and see what happens.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Sat 27-Jul-13 18:19:39

cross-post - YY to your reply above OP.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Sat 27-Jul-13 18:22:45

I would also tell him he is perfectly free to go out more often and that you will let him. I know that may not fit with your chosen way to live exactly, but I think he is fixated on the notion that your behaviour is constraining him, and he need to see that (at least to me, reading this) it's more like the other way around. Make it quite clear that these shackles he says you have put him in are his own creation - the truth is he doesn't want to go out, but he does want to blame you for him not being 'able' to.

VodkaOClock Sat 27-Jul-13 18:30:23

I've told him that he can go out lots of times, then asked who would he like to go with, where would he like to go. It is not a coincidence that this conversation comes up because I have seen friends two nights on the bounce this week. That is very unusual for me, and I don't do a regular weekly night out, its just how it worked out. He's jealous.

But you are right. He reminds me of a kid at toddler group who bit my dc because he liked the reaction. Figured it out after a couple of weeks when he but a different child who didnt react, and so biter just moved along. So the next time he bit dc no adult said anything, moved or did anything at all that would be stimulating, and I swiftly removed dc to separate room so biter couldn't hear or see his reaction. Never did it again.

Shame I have to think of my dh as an over stimulated toddler, but I think you're right that by withdrawing the attention he'll stop with the moaning. And I can see it now, it's the first time he sighs, or rolls his eyes at me, or walks away when I am talking to him - he does it as a childish signal of 'I'm not happy with you' and he's waiting for me to follow him and ask him what I've done wrong / what the matter is.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Sat 27-Jul-13 19:28:13

Yes, stop reacting to any of it. Tell him he can go out but don't then ask where or who with. He's an adult and you're not a Butlins redcoat who is responsible for arranging him a fun evening. Start shifting the balance of who is responsible for making his life interesting to him.

MissMarplesBloomers Sun 28-Jul-13 07:08:40

Do you ever go out just the two of you, even for just a few drinks /or a quick meal?

learnasyougo Sun 28-Jul-13 07:18:47

When a partner refuses counselling because he fears the counsellor would make it his fault, that's a very clear, klaxon-hooting sign that he knows he's not being reasonable or acting justly.

He is a baby and all his unhappinesses are mysteriously someone else's fault.

JustinBsMum Sun 28-Jul-13 08:23:08

He is very angry as he is realising that he is a failure. He has no friends, no hobbies, is not a good father and is not a good husband (you don't mention work).
What should he do? Commit suicide? That is one option (not saying that he would but if you are not a likeable person I'm not sure what options you have to have a happy life and am just making the point). One thing he needs to stop doing is trying to blame you for it.
What can he do to turn his life around? Well you constantly telling him how lucky he is won't change him. Maybe see his GP in case he is depressed. Or doing something to boost his self-esteem, perhaps a parenting course? Are there special needs parenting courses where he sees how other fathers behave? Going for counselling on his own, did he have a difficult childhood or something which counselling might help him come to terms with? Study for something? Change jobs?
But in the end all of these require him to choose to do something, which he might not agree to do.
Maybe speak to your GP and see if they will suggest anything or at least GP will have an idea of the problem before your DH sees them (should he agree to).
And if he won't change you might have to go it alone, OP.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 28-Jul-13 08:32:13

I was stuck in hospital with very poorly baby dc and dh was cross because I wouldn't leave hospital to run an errand for a family member

WTAF? shock

No wonder he didn't want anyone else to hear about it. There really is no excuse for behaviour like that, and even he knows it. Then he makes it your fault for telling someone, not his own fault for doing it. That's pretty despicable, you know.

VodkaOClock Sun 28-Jul-13 08:41:23

Thanks all. He does work full time and is studying towards a professional qualification andi work a part time.

We don't go out often for just a drink or a meal, but maybe every other month the dc go away overnight and we either have a lazy cheap night at home half the time, then the other times we go out and do something really cool - so I see it as we choose not to spend our money on a weekly drink at the pub (like we did pre dc) and save up so we can do these other things that we both enjoy.

One of the things that really gets him down is that by the time ex are down and dinner is ready, housework or evening jobs done, then I only have about an hour before I'm ready for bed.

He did have a difficult childhood and has had counselling in the past which he feels didnt help.

VodkaOClock Sun 28-Jul-13 08:44:06

Annie I know it is, and I wish I could say that was a one off but it wasn't. His attitude towards that is its in the past now, and he can't change, didn't think he was doing anything wrong so I should know that he will be letting me down again in the future because she doesn't know what the right things to do are.

VodkaOClock Sun 28-Jul-13 08:46:17

It was an important errand that no one else could do, but I was only leaving the hospital once a day to do a 90min round trip to see y other do, grab a shower, and pack some food to take back, and this errand would've taken a good couple of hours - cant be more specific as IRL people use MN.

Parmarella Sun 28-Jul-13 09:16:10

Sorry but this is really not a normal relationship.

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