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My marriage is dying

(44 Posts)
Knackeredmum13 Sun 16-Feb-14 16:17:59

And I don't know if I have the mental energy to try and save it.

Things haven't been fantastic for ages but since our 7 month old came along its getting worse and worse. After another row I'm spending yet another weekend in the bedroom with DS.

It's partly my fault. DS is a terrible sleeper and I'm constantly tired and in a bad mood. I do feel like my life at the moment is a bit of a slog. I have a lovely baby but he is demanding and won't let me out of his sight. I do resent that DH has so much more freedom than me. He sleeps in the spare room most nights but will still complain about being tired which makes me boil with rage.

I do pretty much everything at home. DH thinks he does loads but in reality all he does is bath DS and put him to bed and wash up after dinner. Even then I have to go behind him and pick up wet towels, let out bath water etc. He never puts things away so I feel like I'm constantly picking up after him. I clean the kitchen and then he comes along and makes a mess or leaves cups and glasses on the side dirty. All petty, minor stuff but it really winds me up and makes me so annoyed.

I admit that most of the time I'm snappy with DH or passive aggressive. I know it's not helping but I can't seem to stop myself. I've wondered whether I'm suffering a bit of PND but I don't want antidepressants so I've not spoken to the GP about it.

Our latest falling out is probably my fault. I felt he didn't make enough effort for my birthday. He expects me to tell him exactly what to do or get me. I don't want to do that though, I want him to make a bit of effort. To make me feel special. I make a lot of effort for his birthday, even treating him to a night away with his friends. I got a scarf and photo frame bought from the train station and the cheapest bunch of flowers grabbed on his way home. He promised to take me for lunch yesterday but never organised anything. I think he wanted me to plan something so he didn't have to think about it. Maybe I'm just being ungrateful like he says but for once I just wanted him to make me feel like I was worth him putting some effort in for. I just seem to exist to facilitate him and DS at the moment.

Handywoman Sun 16-Feb-14 21:09:12

Agree with Super it feels horrible, exhausting and miserable and my H could not see it until I hit rock bottom. Please get help and be clear with your H where you are at.

The first day I went back to work after mat leave it was the most sociable, relaxing day in a whole year!!! Your H may think your tiredness is 'easier to manage' but has not walked in your shoes.

Superworm Sun 16-Feb-14 21:17:30

I agree handy I opted to do nights my first week back. It was the most sleep I'd had in ages!

I say DH but mean H. His treatment of me during that time has really effected how I see him.

knackered please have a chat with your HV/GP. PND can be a very dark, lonely place. The lack of support and understanding in my marriage was a big contributor along side the sleep issue.

Handywoman Sun 16-Feb-14 21:24:57

<boring statistics alert> perception of lack of support in early parenting is ^strongly associated> with PND. Definitely was with me (he is now my ex as he didn't really get any better) so I think your husband must must must drop the 'competitive tiredness' gig and fully get on board with what you are going through. And try to help you get better and feel better.

Superworm Sun 16-Feb-14 21:37:48

I didn't know that but doesn't surprise me at all.

I agree talk with him and get him to listen to what you are saying. H not listening is the main issue in our marriage tbh.

I also have also experienced the crap birthday presents. For 2-3 years running I got a fountain pen and a note book from the airport at WH Smiths. I would often not get a card until the evening as he couldn't get his shit together to buy one. They are little things but paint a picture if how he sees you.

RebeccaJames Sun 16-Feb-14 21:41:17

OP, you could be me posting, in many ways. DH and I don't really row - it's more quiet and empty even than that.

I feel compelled to say it isn't your fault because you are exhausted and therefore grouchy. How's that your fault? There is no blame in that. The promenade clearly lies in how you as a couple deal with the sleeplessness and spread the pain. So in a way it's your DH's fault! He should be picking up the slack, and isn't.

But we are the same as you. I've slept barely 2-3 hours a night for 10 weeks, and when DH takes the baby off my hands at 5am for me to sleep, he has to make up the tine later in the day, so that I have both kids while he grabs three hours' sleep. Which of course I don't get to do. And that makes me pretty mad .

Like you it feels like I do everything and when DH does something it still is down to me to finish the job or clear up. Today DH gave DS2 a bath and I had to run up with the towel and then later empty the bath, put the dirty sleep suit in the washing basket, put he dirty nappy in the bin and wipe up the spilled water. And same if he cooks. It's dropped food and dirty dishes everywhere and way more to clean up than if I had cooked myself. It is very hard because it feels like nothing ever happens without my involvement. I've put it to DH as "sometimes I just want someone else in the driving seat while I'm the passenger" but it never happens. So of course I'm always either nagging or just putting up with it and letting the resentment build up. I feel like I am powering everyone along and nobody is putting petrol in my tank, IYSWIM.

And so I end up thinking it would be easier if DH wasn't here. It would be clear that I am doing everything, without the frustration of wanting him to do things that he isn't doing and without the extra work he creates.

I went to my GP on Friday and admitted I am going under. She offered the usual medication which I declined because I am breastfeeding. But she has also put in for urgent CBT for me, which I hope will help with the negative thinking hat my situation is creating. Maybe you could ask for the same?

No substitute, of course, for improving your relationship, but I, like you, don't have the energy to figure out what we should do and he sure as hell won't! Our communication goes further down the pan with each passing week as we no longer know how to enjoy time together and we are in separate bedrooms as I am co-sleeping with difficult DS2.

It is notoriously difficult to keep hold of who you are when you have kids. Your old "self" disappears in a vortex of chores and demands on you. It is a difficult period for any couple. Like another poster, I would urge you to hold off any drastic decisions while you are lost in this mire. And yes, I am taking my own advice and hanging in there until things are a little easier, and then I will reassess.

In the meantime, to stop things sliding further, I don't know what we should do?!

RebeccaJames Sun 16-Feb-14 21:42:09

Problem, not promenade!

TenThousandThings Sun 16-Feb-14 21:57:16

your DH is definitely having it easier than you but negotiating night shifts might prove difficult. Some things you can do to build up physical resilience are to cut out all alcohol (that's in case you ever have a drink), exercise regularly (if you can jog, do so, although this requires a decent push chair) and be ruthless about trying to sleep at any available time. Spring is coming, it will get easier.

Superworm Sun 16-Feb-14 22:04:16

Negotiating night shifts shouldn't be difficult in a supportive relationship. The onus is not on you to exercise more and exhaust yourself further.

The onus is on your DH to hear that you are struggling and support you. Pulling his weight more on the domestic front is part of that. It is not difficult to empty the bath, remember a towel, pick up nappies. They are all jobs that need to be done and he is capable of doing them.

Down time should be 50/50.

OvertiredandConfused Sun 16-Feb-14 22:21:29

Just in terms of getting some rest, are you BF in the night or does DS have a bottle? What worked for me and DH was for me to go to bed about 9pm. DH would do all waking etc up to 2am and I did all those after. That way, we both got at least 4 uninterrupted hours sleep and about 6-7 hours in total. We'd have the DC in bed by 7.30pm - one doing bedtime, the other doing the food. We then had a little time together before I went to bed. DH always cleared the kitchen after I went to bed on the basis that I was doing it the rest of the day. Might be worth a go?

Handywoman Sun 16-Feb-14 22:22:37

Remember OP: if your DH is holding down a FT job he is capable of taking responsibility for bath and bed, with associated towel/nappy/clothes/pulling of plug/tidying up after himself. It really isn't beyond him nor is it too much to ask.

Knackeredmum13 Mon 17-Feb-14 01:36:53

So much good advice Thank you all!

Rebeccajames it sounds like our situations are very similar. I like your analogy about being the passenger for once. That's exactly how I feel. I guess that's why I got so upset over the birthday thing as I was still being expected to be in control. I too sometimes feel that if I split with DH I'd have less work to do. I'd also get a proper break when he took DS for access visits.

I have told DH that I'm struggling but he doesn't understand properly. I've told him that sometimes I'm hanging out for him to get home from work. He still regularly arranges to go out after work.

As for the housework he just doesn't think its a big deal. If the bath water stays in all night or the wet towel is on the floor for days whats the big deal? This is the same attitude he has with all housework whereas I can't stand living in a mess.

horsetowater Mon 17-Feb-14 01:57:41

Otherwise, when I'm around I do still end up getting dragged into being involved ie if DH does bath time he won't have got a towel or pyjamas so will end up shouting for me to bring him things.

You have to ignore him. Either he does the job or you do it. Constantly trying to get you involved is just not fair. Perhaps you should go into another room and shut the door, or pop out to the shop/car/friend's. Or just pretend you can't hear him.

If he really is incapable of doing anything independently, just do it yourself. Accept the fact that he doesn't want to involve himself properly with the children and think of it as his loss.

horsetowater Mon 17-Feb-14 02:07:24

Sometimes I think all that mess-making is a little like marking territory. It's like saying 'look at me, I live here, I did this'. it's pathetic really. What teenagers do.

By the time mine were 5 I just gave up. Did everything myself, didn't expect anything from him and things were a lot better. Relationship's crap (and will probably end) but at least I'm not reaching for an unreachable goal. If I want to to take them to the park on Saturday morning, I don't ask him for help or discuss it, I just get everything ready and we go. If he hasn't bothered getting up I don't wait for him, just go anyway and he misses out. I have learned to think of looking after my children as a privilege that he is missing out on.

The messy kitchen scraps and socks on the floor is another issue though.

tallwivglasses Mon 17-Feb-14 02:31:59

Knackered, Rebecca, my heart goes out to both of you. I think sometimes you have to just stamp your feet, raise your voice and make it very clear You Mean Business. I wish you the best of luck x

MerryInthechelseahotel Mon 17-Feb-14 22:02:40

horsetowater I am a few years in front of you and life is so much better now. I did what you did for years and it was good preparation for the time when we did split up. In fact as far as help in the house I never noticed the difference when we parted.

horsetowater Tue 18-Feb-14 10:29:47

Thanks Merry, I'm actually far further down the line, dcs are teens and nothing has changed. I do know exactly where I stand and I have been able to get the girls to understand the meaning of co-operation vs. obstruction and sabotage which is what goes on with him.

If I say that he doesn't do XYZ he goes off on one and says that I'm saying he does nothing at all. OP this has to change. He's going straight into the defensive and seeing you as a threat, not a partner. I've had the same thing for years, it's not good.

Granville72 Tue 18-Feb-14 10:51:51

Knackeredmum your life sounds so much like mine.

We had another set to this weekend just gone, he just refuses to help around the house. I work 45hrs a week, do 90% of the childcare and the night shift (another one with a poor sleeper toddler) and I've just got a weekend job to try and make ends meet.

He's basically said he doesn't give a toss about the house or what it looks like, and doesn't see the point in tidying up. He makes no effort towards me and sees his duty as a father in playing with his son occasionally, not doing much else.

I've had enough of it, and can't see why I'm doing this anymore, it's been the same for two years with no change. So much so I've arranged to get the house valued tomorrow with a view to selling it.

Jan45 Tue 18-Feb-14 11:01:11

Am I the only person that thinks this guy is a selfish twat - I'm sorry but he appears to do fuck all at home and is carrying on like a single man, where is the support for you, where is the equality, where is the listening to your genuine unhappiness, he appears to just carry on ignoring you, I'm afraid that's a road that ends in divorce. It's not your fault to feel angry and resentful, esp when you are also exhausted, there's no better way to ruin a relationship than to do what he's doing which is effectively not accepting you have actual real gripes about what is happening. I wouldn't feel very loved if I was you, you both need to go out and discuss what can be done to sort this out but the effort must come from him.

Sortyourmakeupout Tue 18-Feb-14 11:20:34

Op, I was in your shoes a couple of years ago but having said that my husband would roll up his sleeves and get stuck in when he came home from work. You need to sit your husband down and tell him how your feeling. That has to be your first step as his support is paramount.

Often, men think we have it easy when we are at home with babies/children so can't understand why we struggle. They think because we are at home and not physically leaving the house each day that we are not working.

I had three children in two years and no they are not twins and at times I was so overwhelmed I couldn't breath. It took me a long time to admit that I was struggling, not just with day to day chores but because I felt like I was losing myself. To the outside world I looked like I was coping.

I had a job interview one day and was running late and screamed at my mother that I fucking hated my life and no matter how much I tried I just couldn't help how I was feeling. I dumped my little girl, just months old into her arms and ran out the door. I just had to escape. My mum was crying as I left .

I'm waffling now but I just want you to know that on some level we all struggle when babies come along but with the support of your husband you will get through this and be much stronger.

Talk to your health visitor or gp or their maybe a local support group that you can attend. Sometimes just talking to other mums in the same boat can lift your spirits.

If your unsure whether you may have depression then your gp can assess you.

It is relentless at times with babies and small children, you are not alone.

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