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How do I respond to this email from DH?

(423 Posts)
catgirl1976 Thu 06-Feb-14 09:06:26

DH and I have some problems. I think a few people on here might remember some of them and some of MN have the strong opinion that DH is not good for me.

However, I do love him. But I am exhausted and unhappy.

I tried to talk to him last night and this morning found the email below in my inbox.

I just don't know how to reply, or what I want. Well I do. I want things back the way they were and I want a partner.

Does anyone have any advice on how I should respond?

Hello Cat,

It guts me to see you so unhappy. It really wasn't the intention. You see there was a time when we had fun and I thought it rocked. So much so I didn't want anything to interrupt that. But you wanted a baby and reluctantly I acquiesced. Thank the stars I did. Look at DS! He is incredible and amazing.

That doesn't help you though. (Actually it should but lets move on from that).

You are right, I have changed. I have grown older, and also commercially very cynical. My entire life I have been looking for happiness, I have actually found it in our DS. I never expected this and certainly didn't ask for it, but he has had a profound effect on my outlook on life.

Its a crime that you were forced (in part by me I guess) back to work so early. I do agree you have drawn the shitty end of a long stick. The answer is simple, that being get a new job. However I fear you will be unhappy wherever you are. Certainly XX despite its shortcomings is far better than any company I have had the grace to work for. I also admit that's not saying much.

You are 100% Correct in that I could do more around the house. I hope you acknowledge the increased effort I have been putting into this. An example would be tidying up even though I have DS. Yes I could do more, but I am sure you can relate to the amount of demands he makes on one and given that its easy to procrastinate. However that said I will increase my productivity and I hope it makes life easier for you.

For me though the nub is that I feel as out of place as you do. I have said repeatedly that I would love to do your job, hell I have even advised you on it (Not that you really need it, you are more than competent, I was just trying to help). The fact of the matter is that at the ripe old age of forty I have no other trade than selling. Between you, me and the gatepost, I cannot and will not return to the environment that I used to inhabit. I cant. Call it burnt out, mid life crisis, or laziness. I simply cannot do that anymore. As I have stated, i would rather clean toilets.

Maybe I should clean toilets. It would be fairer of course to contribute financially. However the one thing that does bring me a modicum of prestige is DS. I have worked so hard (and enjoyed it, a luxury you don't have in your vocation) to help and develop him. I think I am just in being proud of my Son, regardless of bias.

You are right, I do need friends and interests outside this house. However in my experience the Muppets I worked with tended to be the opposite of my outlook in every way. A notable exception would be XX. That said I don't expect to find many “XX's” in any job I stand a snowballs chance of getting.

I can see how hard you are working and pushing yourself. Its obvious that the gas tank it empty and its not sustainable. I will do whatever I can to help, with recourse to the above. I cannot fix your career.

I cannot be the the dude you fell in love with either. I'm older, slower (still quick) and jaded. But the two aspects of my life where I raise a smile are (in order) TDS and you. You are exhausted, mentally, physically and emotionally. Its not surprising give the amount of responsibility on your shoulders. It means everything to me to be able to help, but DS means everything to me too, and I want to have a real, fundamental impact on him and be the father I never had. In a nutshell that means forsaking everything for him.

I don't want to forsake you though. However if we are at the point where you simply don't see why you married me, or that dude that looked you up (and down) in halls then I get it. I am not a parasite and will bow out with as much honour as I can muster.

I love you and always will, but I cant stand seeing you this unhappy. I do believe we can grow from this position, however I respect your feelings too and If that isn't a decision you subscribe to I understand.

I Love you, and pray that is enough.


GoodtoBetter Thu 06-Feb-14 09:13:22

I've read your threads before ad I have to say he has never sounded anything other than a lazy freeloader. He goes on about wanting to be at home with DS instead of working but if I remember correctly he doesn't actually want to get up with him in the morning? He doesn't help around the house, he's too busy (playing?) with DS? Well, I'd love to stay home and do no housework and play with the kids, but life's not like that, is it?
It's all talk, talk, talk but actually he just wants an easy life and you to do it all. I don't know how you stand it or have any respect for him and I don't mean that to upset you, in fact it upsets me to read your threads because you just take all the crap he throws at you and it's not fair. It makes me boil with the injustice of it.
He is bad for you, he takes advantage of you because he is lazy and entitled.
Sorry my love. xx

GoodtoBetter Thu 06-Feb-14 09:14:46

And my response to that e mail would be to tell him to grow the fuck up, that I want a divorce and he can play with DS and do no housework in his own house every other weekend to give me a break to get some rest.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 06-Feb-14 09:16:00

Phew, what an email.

Is he the one at home with DS and saying that he's happy with that? And not working outside the home?

I think you should get to be happy too - perhaps you could go part time, he could find something part time - both of you could get more time with your son?

akawisey Thu 06-Feb-14 09:17:53

I don't know the history but it's a strange way of communicating about something as fundamental as your life together. Having said that, if a direct conversation is out of the question that in itself speaks volumes.

He seems detached to me. Emotionally and psychologically. He has an intellectual understanding of your position and how you feel but doesn't seem able (or willing) to do anything to help other than to tell you (in a roundabout way) that it's your problem. No wonder you're exhausted.

It's all me, me, me too. He is bowing out but making it your fault I think. Does any of that resonate with you?

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Thu 06-Feb-14 09:18:02

I haven't read any of your threads I don't think.

I read this and my first impression was 'I don't like him'.

The second was: well that's told you. He's not going to change. He's perfectly happy the way things are, for him, its annoying that you're not happy, but he isn't going to do anything to change that.

OrangeMochaFrappucino Thu 06-Feb-14 09:19:25

I do remember your threads cat. It's good that he recognises the strain you are under. However, from what I remember, he isn't looking after your son all day every day is he? So I don't think he can absolve himself from housework apart from 'tidying up' on the basis of being a good father to ds. Part of being a good father is being a role model as well and it would be good for your son to see what goes into the running of the house. He needs to make a firm commitment to what responsibilities he is taking on and when and that should be based on what you need. For example, I remember that you get up with your son six days a week whilst he lies in. That has to change. You were responsible for shopping and cooking - is that still the case? You were getting home from work, feeding everyone, sorting out bath and bed, doing housework and then your own work. And then having to stay up with him for some 'quality time'? How much of that is still in place?

I don't know if him giving up on the idea of any future employment ever is a viable or sensible option and I wonder if there is any possibility of him training or studying in the future?

I don't like the implication in his email that you forced him into having a child and therefore the way he had treated you has been your fault even though he is actually glad it happened anyway - what is his point apart from to absolve himself of guilt?

Overall, how do you feel about this email? What do you want to happen?

At the very least I would insist on specifics as to precisely what housework he is going to do (should be the majority) and how he is going to facilitate your sleep

akawisey Thu 06-Feb-14 09:20:10

This that was exactly my response - I don't like him.

VanitasVanitatum Thu 06-Feb-14 09:20:55

good divorce at this stage would likely result in residential custody to the main carer - dh.

He needs to see that he is sacrificing you for his happiness, and that is completely unacceptable.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 06-Feb-14 09:21:06


You have written about his man at some length before (at least a year ago now) and nothing has really changed. You are still there and you DS is seeing all this being played out as well.

Your H's e-mail is fully of self serving justifying crap and he is not above blaming you either. He's a big fake who also does not properly apologise nor even acknowledge any responsibility for his actions. He does not want to get rid of you because he likes having you around to control and abuse as he sees fit. He gets what he wants out of this.

He will never be the man you were led to believe by him that he was because that version was really a mirage. This is the real him and he will not change.

Which leads me to you, what do you get out of this relationship now?.

What do you want your son to learn about relationships here, surely not this awful role model of one.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Thu 06-Feb-14 09:21:39

Really? So you work full-time (in a horrible job) and you also do the shopping, cooking, bath, bed and housework?


bragmatic Thu 06-Feb-14 09:23:59

It kind of made my skin crawl.

catgirl1976 Thu 06-Feb-14 09:26:45

For those who don't know the history, DH is at home all the time and hasn't worked for 3 / 4years now.

I went back to work pt when DS was 5 weeks and ft at 5 months.

DS is with my DM 1 day a week and in childcare 2 days a week.

So DH just has him 2 days. The other 3 he spends playing computer games.

He has no job, no friends and no interests outside DS and his computer.

He doesn't go out, go to the gym or work.

He didn't use to do anything. I got up with DS 6 days a week and did everything around the house.

This has got better over the last 6 months or so. DH know gets up with me in the week to help with DS while I get ready for work and does do more around the house, but this is limited to tidying and washing up and running the hoover round downstairs and cooking maybe 2 times a week.

The rest of the cleaning, laundry, shopping, meal planning, financial bugeting and household admin and problem solving still falls to me and I am exhausted. The tank is empty.

Part of me just wants out and there is a clause in this e-mail for me to do that. Part of me wants to fix things, but I don't have the energy and this e-mail seems to me, to shrug of all responsibility and put everything on me. Which is the problem I think. I don't think it will change. I want to believe it will but I can't.

Not wanting to drip feed, DH has had depression on and off all his life, but is ok at the moment and has not chased up any therapy etc though is on prozac. I feel if he got a job (even part time), made some friends, went to the gym etc this would help. But he doesn't want to try.

I am just so tired I can't even think straight.

catgirl1976 Thu 06-Feb-14 09:27:49

You were responsible for shopping and cooking - is that still the case? You were getting home from work, feeding everyone, sorting out bath and bed, doing housework and then your own work. And then having to stay up with him for some 'quality time'? How much of that is still in place?

All of that is still in place

rainbowsmiles Thu 06-Feb-14 09:27:59

so he is saying: I hear you but take me as I am or not at all.

If his son was so important then he'd be doing what he could to make you happy and keep the family together. You are doing all you can by the sounds of it.

This is one of those verbose emails that in the end say nothing.

I'd list the actual concrete things you would like him to do. As though emailing a colleague at work re a project. Make it short and to the point. He sounds like a typical salesman bullshitter who spends a long time saying eff all. I've found best way to deal with these types is to pin them down to specifics and quickly stop the bs before it starts.

OrangeMochaFrappucino Thu 06-Feb-14 09:28:31

Apologies if I was wrong to state all that in my reply - I remember that being the case originally but I also seem to remember that some things had improved marginally.

However, I am sure you have previously stated that your son has some other form if childcare as well so your dh does not have him full time and that he spends this free time on the computer. If that is still the case, he doesn't have a leg to stand on with regards to the housework - he needs to do it and there is absolutely no excuse for him not doing so.

Being a SAHP is a valuable role but it's tiring and difficult and demanding. He needs to do it properly and just playing with your son is not enough.

Please do tell me you are getting more sleep, cat, it physically pained me to read your previous descriptions of how tired you were (I am a bit anxious when it comes to sleep).

rainbowsmiles Thu 06-Feb-14 09:30:21

Oh my lord. Just read your last message. You can't fix any of that. Just say well thankyou and goodbye. What a chancer.

poopooheadwillyfatface Thu 06-Feb-14 09:31:32

It's quite bizarre, isn't it?

My understanding of what he is saying in a rather twatty fashion - You work hard in a job you hate. I acknowledge that, but it could be worse.You should be grateful really.

I don't want to do my job anymore but actually I don't want to do a different job either

I enjoy being with DS but it's to much trouble to tidy up as well and you are expecting too much to think I can/should.

It's all about him isn't it?
He doesn't sound nice at all.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 06-Feb-14 09:31:52

It is all very manipulative, isn't it? And also full of lies. 'I will do whatever I can to help you' - well actually he won't, will he? He specifically states that.

He is essentially saying that you created the current situation by insisting on having a child, and using that as his get-out clause.

WTF does 'at the ripe old age of forty' mean? He has the best part of another 30 years before any state pension he may or may not get will kick in. If he has done university then he has worked for less than twenty years - why exactly does he think the world (or you!!) owes him a living. My DH is older than him, we also have young children. He is applying to do an Msc this year.

Look at the language he's using. It is like he's casting himself as the romantic hero 'I don't want to forsake you/will bow out with honour', when infact he is a lazy arsewipe.

cat you know I don't like him. This e-mail does nothing but confirm that he hasn't changed in the slightest. He makes a bit more effort tidying up than he used to - bully for him - and that is all he can bring to the table.

I get so sad and angry reading your threads. You accept the barest crumbs from him, and you are so hopeful that he will change, but he won't. He has now told you, in writing, that he won't change.

GoodtoBetter Thu 06-Feb-14 09:31:52

Depression is a convenient excuse. This man is a lazy selfish arse. He can't manage a bit more than "tidying" when he only has DS for 3 days???? He is telling you very clearly who he is and what he expects (to do nothing and you to do everything). Listen to him.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Thu 06-Feb-14 09:31:54

Mm, I'm with rainbowsmiles.

He doesn't care about you, I'm sorry.

catgirl1976 Thu 06-Feb-14 09:32:44

I am getting a bit more sleep Jelly, although DS is waking at 3:30am. DH does normally deal with him if he wakes in the night now, so this is an area which has improved a little bit.

This is the response I have drafted. I don't know if I should send this or if it is too soft.


I am more than unhappy. I am depressed. You should understand that. I have never felt so low in my life.

I think a huge part of that is exhaustion. You are right. I am physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted. The tank is empty. There is no more left.

I don’t have the confidence or the energy to get a new job. There are no jobs around here that pay what I am earning and, as the only breadwinner, (which is a massive responsibility and pressure) I can’t take a pay cut. Nor do I have your support to commute further afield to earn the money we need to live. Nor do I have the energy to leave the house every day at 6:30am and get home at 7pm.

I do acknowledge your increased efforts around the house, and I appreciate them. But if you are being the Stay at Home Parent, and one who only does the childcare 2 days a week, leaving 3 full free days, you need to take on responsibility for running the household and leave me the responsibility of earning the money. Then we have shared responsibility for DS in the evenings and weekends.

Running the house means cleaning it. Not just tidying and hovering downstairs but cleaning the bathroom, cleaning the cupboard fronts and the woodwork and surfaces. Cleaning the bedroom. You know, like I cleaned it before I was this exhausted. Like I cleaned it at Christmas.

It means doing the laundry and putting it away. It means cleaning the bedrooms. It means cleaning the loo and the bath and the sinks.

It means doing the food shopping and planning meals and cooking. It means making sure we have milk. It means fixing things that are broken like the cat flap, the light in the bathroom, the bath panel. It means putting the bins out and not letting the garden become a rubbish dump. It means making sure DS has clean clothes and a bag packed for nursery. It means making sure we have paid the bills. And it means solving problems, not leaving everything for me to resolve like “the gas card is missing” “my eye hurts” “I need a doctors appointment”. Everything single thing falls to me. And it shouldn’t and I can’t do it anymore. I need you to be my partner.

It doesn’t mean spending 3 days a week sitting in your dressing gown playing computer games and spending a quick hour tidying, washing up and running the hoover round. I appreciate you do these things, but if you did a pie chart of the leisure time you get compared to what I get there would be an enormous inequity. And this isn’t fair, it isn’t ok and it is making me ill.

You are an amazing father. Fantastic and wonderful and I love you for that immensely. More than you will ever know. But you need to be a husband as well and a person in your own right. You can do these things and be a good father to DS. Whilst looking after him is hugely demanding, and on the 2 days a week you have sole care of him I don’t expect you to be cleaning the kitchen cupboards out as well, you cannot let him be the only thing in your life. You have to have a life as well. Being a good father and being your own person are not mutually exclusive. In fact, you need to be a role model to DS and he needs to see you as a whole person and not just his daddy. Does that make sense?

I love you too and I always will. I want us to sort this out but my confidence that we can has reached rock bottom and I don’t have the energy to be the person to fix it."

OrangeMochaFrappucino Thu 06-Feb-14 09:33:12

Cross post - you replied whilst I was typing.

Well, I don't understand then, how he can sound so aware in his email of how hard he is making your life but not commit to doing anything about it.

How, how, how does he justify those three days he has doing nothing? How? That's not 'forsaking everything for ds'. That is watching his wife work herself into the ground whilst he indulges himself.

He has given you a get-out clause, I would say if he doesn't commit to concrete strategies to balance the workload fairly in your house, you should take that clause.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Thu 06-Feb-14 09:33:47

I'm sorry, Cat. I really wouldn't bother.

GoodtoBetter Thu 06-Feb-14 09:34:59

No, I misread, he has him for 2 days, no? But he's too busy playing on the computer to do anything around the house. What kind of cunt watches his wife run herself ragged like that? Didn't you have a breakdown because of all the stress? And he still can't be arsed! The mind boggles.

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