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What to do with a killjoy DH?

(64 Posts)
MatildaMai Wed 30-Oct-13 05:17:07

DH never wants to do anything. His excuse is that we don’t have enough money to do whatever it is that I want to do, be it a holiday or a day out. There have been times when we have had enough money to do these things, admittedly things are a bit tight at the moment, but other people are in the same position and they still manage to have fun.
I am desperate for a family holiday, but he says no. He says we should be saving money for our future. Well, we haven’t had any fun in years, and we still haven’t managed to save any money! It’s not just money, on the occasions he agrees that we need a holiday, he says we should go and visit his parents who live abroad. They can’t stand me. I don’t want to visit them. Particularly as they have visited us 3 times in the last year.

We never have fun days out, we never go out as a couple, he never buys me anything. Yet we still seem to find the money for takeaways or alcohol. Or going to the local pizza place that he likes. That’s all we seem to do. I have tried explaining to him that if we gave up these things, we would have more money for other things. But he doesn’t listen.

We have 2 kids and their lives just seem a bit miserable. DH only has one day off a week and he seems to spend the whole day in a mood. Again, we never do anything fun on his day off. We’ll go to McDonald’s for breakfast, then maybe the local DIY shop, wander around the shopping centre, get a coffee, go home, get a takeaway… the same thing every weekend. I hate junk food!!!

I thought it was me, maybe I am just a miserable demanding cow, but this morning our cleaner who never usually speaks said: “Sorry to say this, but Sir is a killjoy. He is killing the happiness of everyone around him.” I don’t know what prompted it, as I said, she never usually speaks. But she’s right.

What can I do? I have 2 grown-up kids from a previous relationship who don’t live with us. And I am not being flippant when I say that me and my older kids had a better, more fun life on benefits than my current kids do with 2 parents working!

Is anyone else in this postion? How do you handle it? Thanks.

MatildaMai Thu 31-Oct-13 08:24:07

Thanks for all your replies, they are really helping me to get some perspective on this. DH's excuse for everything is "we can't afford it", but then it always has been, even when we were relatively well-off. And given two options in any situation, he will always choose the cheaper one, even if it ends up as a false economy, which it generally does!

It is almost like he is paralysed by the notion that we 'can't afford it...'

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 31-Oct-13 08:31:07

"It is almost like he is paralysed by the notion that we 'can't afford it..."

That is because he indeed is. That all goes way way back as well, his parents were and likely are this way inclined too.

Byut I have to look at you as well, why do you stay or is leaving too hard for you to actually put into practice now?. There are really no good reasons for staying in this, your children get taught the same crap as your DH was and look at how he has turned out.

EllieInTheRoom Thu 31-Oct-13 08:31:17

My stbxh was completely driven by money too. He was terrified of the future and not having enough for it. Now we are splitting and half of everything is coming with me, he is beginning to understand that being a miserable and abusive arse is actually the most expensive thing he has ever done!

Bonsoir Thu 31-Oct-13 09:00:45

My mother has deep seated fears of enjoying herself and any pleasures that cost money, and they are deep seated in her family. She spends lots of money maintaining her house and garden, however. People can be quite odd about what they allow themselves to spend their discretionary income on.

WishIHadAFunkyName Thu 31-Oct-13 09:16:09

Don't start with a holiday. Start with an afternoon out.
Tell your dh exactly how you feel and let him know that you want to start living an enjoyable life.
Let him know how unhappy and bored you and your children are. Find somewhere to take the kids this weekend (doesn't have to cost much. Check the weather and find something local) and ask him to come along. If he doesn't, go without him.
If he's really not a b then he'll compromise and make his family happy (and himself in the long run). It may take a while but if you're planning on staying with him then I think its worth it.

MegBusset Thu 31-Oct-13 09:53:10

As other posters have said, days out really don't have to cost much/any money.

On nice days, go to the park/woods/beach.
On rainy days, go to the library/free museum.
Take a picnic or Thermos flask to save buying food/drink when out.

And yes, I wouldn't start with a holiday. Just say "This Saturday me and the DC are going to XXX, you're welcome to join us if you want to". And go and do it.

SinisterSal Thu 31-Oct-13 10:05:18

I think making a budget really is necessary for him. He obviously isn't thinking clearly if on the one hand he is fretting about not affording things but blowing off the money for takeaways regularly.
If he's not actually a selfish arse at heart just a man with a few arsey tendancies it could get him thinking logically

MatildaMai Fri 01-Nov-13 11:11:59

So I think I mentioned that there is a salsa class and I suggested to DH that we go once a week, then go to a local bar afterwards and share a bottle of wine and some tapas. I really felt like our marriage could benefit from spending time together, because we never do.

I asked him today what his enthusiasm was for the salsa/drinks evening, out of 10. He said 3 out of 10.

Oh dear sad

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 01-Nov-13 11:15:21

He does not care at all does he?. Such men do not change readily if at all.

What do you get from this relationship now?.

Please do yourself a favour and take the children out somewhere nice tomorrow; breakfast at Mcds followed by a trip around the local B & Q type place and shopping centre sounds totally depressing.

HowlingTrap Fri 01-Nov-13 11:22:16

Don't wait around for his permission to have a life. Stop asking for his approval and he'll soon change his attitude when he sees how much fun you're having .

This ^ this is not an issue of money, I grew up dirt poor ,only ever had 1 holiday away in my life, but when my parents could we got taken to beaches, hiking in the countryside etc he is just selfish and doesn't seem to want to do anything!!
How is he with the kids generally, why is he in a mood on his day off??

HalloweenDidi Fri 01-Nov-13 11:43:17

My dp is a bit of a killjoy too. He doesn't want to go out and do things with me and the dcs. We go out without him. Every weekend I take dd2 out somewhere (dd1 doesn't want to come out with us very often, she'd rather meet her friends which is fair enough), whether that's swimming or for a walk or to soft play or the park. None of that is particularly expensive but we have fun. Then we come home and find that dp has been playing on his computer all day but has managed to do a couple of loads of washing and cook some dinner for us.

I would like him to come with us, but I'm not particularly bothered that he doesn't (mainly because he then gets on and does some of the jobs on our joint to-do list and I make sure I've done the ones I don't mind before we go). He doens't see the point of holidays either. He never had them when he was growing up, they just did some day trips and not many of them either because money was tight. I love holidays, cheap and cheerful is all we can afford right now but I still take the kids away. A couple of years ago I took my sis and her kids away with us too, we had 2 adults and 6 kids between us, it was loads of fun except the day it rained so much the tent flooded and everything we had with us was absolutely drenched

WishIHadAFunkyName Fri 01-Nov-13 12:39:48

Op don't take that too badly - my score for a salsa class would be similar as I'm a rubbish dancer and would hate it.
Is he willing to go?
Either just book it and drag him along if you think he may enjoy it or just go out for a drink and a chat.

JuliaScurr Fri 01-Nov-13 13:36:09

if you drive, borrow a tent and go camping for a few days next time we get some nice weather

Mellowandfruitful Fri 01-Nov-13 13:59:35

I agree with just dragging him along to the salsa class as Wish says. At least make him try it out before he decides he's not that bothered.

I also agree with HowlingTrap above 'don't wait around for his permission to have a life'. You seem to be bowing unilaterally to his desire to do very little on his day off. I'm not sure why he gets the casting vote on everything - does he earn much more than you so it has become a case of 'he's the main earner, he has to be indulged'? That has to change. As HW says, make some plans and tell him you are going, he can join you if he wants to.

There are clearly some bigger issues here about how you want to live and those need addressing. I would do it by setting an example. Start planning what to do at weekends, and cheerfully tell him what the plans are. If he says he doesn't want to go, just say 'OK, see you later', and go. If he suggests ordering a takeaway, say 'Actually, I'm thinking that the best way to save for a holiday will be to put takeaway money towards it, so that's what I'm going to do. You get one if you want, though, and I'll eat something we've got in'. I have a suspicion that if he has to ring for his own takeaway and is the only one eating it, it might make him feel a bit less comfortable with this option. Rather than make his decisions for him at this stage (that's what he's been doing to you) let him see that you have decided you don't want to live this way and you are going to change.

Give this a few months and see if he is at all willing to shift out of his rut. If not you have some more serious thinking to do. I don't think anyone should leave lightly, but I also don't think anyone (all right, very few people) should say 'I can't leave'. There is (almost) always a way, if it's really for the best. I think your cleaner has done you a big favour here.

On the practical front, agree with all suggestions about parks, local museums/art galleries etc. Weekend cinema matinees are cheap; Cineworld cheapest of all (£1 only if you book online - take your own snacks and you're laughing). Premier Inn do offers on rooms often - there are currently offers on winter rooms for £29, so you could get a family room and take the kids somewhere different for the weekend as a prelude to a whole holiday. Depending on their age, this is as often as good for kids - my DS is as excited by a day/weekend at the seaside as he is by a whole week's holiday.

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