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Moving house, DP attitude - am I being too hard on him?

(26 Posts)
stowsettler Thu 06-Mar-14 10:15:17

DP and I have just moved house � last Friday, to be exact. We have a 1yo DD who has been walking for some time and is into everything. Our new house needs a lot of work, some of which we were aware of and some of which we weren�t. We discovered the boiler needed replacing and so arranged for that to be done on Monday. It was too cold for DD in the house so Fri night she was with her granny, Sat night DP went up there to help out, Sun night I took her to my sister�s. By the time we came back at 5pm Monday the new boiler was just coming on. DP had sliced open his finger on a pane of glass in the afternoon so went straight off to A&E. He was gone 4 hours and in that time I fed & bathed DD, put her to bed, cooked a meal and started sorting out our bedroom. In the 24 hours I had been away he had done the square root of fuck all.

Tuesday his finger was still hurting and he was coming down with a cold so I sent him and DD off to his dad�s for the night. I get 2 whole days alone and work my arse off getting stuff straight. By the time they came home yesterday evening the place was (partially) transformed.

Since moving in he has put up our shelves and stacked his own books / DVDs etc. and put the doors back on our big fridge.

I have set up our living space, organised the TV aerial installation, unpacked the kitchen, unpacked my own books / DVDs, organised DD�s bedroom, put all her clothes away, unpacked the bathroom, bought temporary clothes storage, put away my and his clothes, put together a shoe rack, stacked his shoes, put up DD�s blackout blind, put up our curtain pole and curtains, put all my clothes away and put all his clothes away.

When he got back from his father�s yesterday the first response I get was a moan about the fact that we no longer have as many channels as in the old house, implying that the aerial guy had taken me for a ride. He hadn�t � there is now a mountain between us and the main transmitter so we can only pick up from a relay transmitter = fewer channels.

He is extremely down about the amount of work that needs doing, but seems to have absolutely no inclination to actually do any of it. I suppose I am a very dynamic person, I �make things happen� � and so, whilst the amount of work is daunting, I just get on and do it. He appears to think I should have respect for his �depression� and allow him time to �work it through�. But I�m in the same situation! I feel quite strongly that he needs to shape up now and start helping. I work FT and he is a SAHD, today I�m back in work and DD is at nursery. I�m a bit apprehensive that I�m going to get home and yet again he�s spent the day doing nothing.

AIBU? I have tried to make allowances for that fact that his finger does restrict what he can do, and he does have a nasty cold. But even if he can�t actively do very much at the moment, I surely don�t have to live with him moping round the place like a wet weekend? It is a genuine question, because I can be a bit steamrollerish. Some outside perspective would be helpful to me.


stowsettler Thu 06-Mar-14 10:15:54

Ugh. Sorry about all the question marks. Typed initially using a MN-incompatible font.

WhateverTrevor83 Thu 06-Mar-14 10:21:21

YANBU OP - moving house is so stressful and small babies and injuries don't help.

He needs a kick up the arse and maybe a bit of a barney might help... well, you can both get it out/off your chests... and then make a practical plan of what needs doing first, and who is responsible.

Me and my DP are TOTALLY different when it comes to things like this and we nearly killed each other when we moved. I focus on small things and he spends ages on the big stuff. In a weird way everything gets done but when we're in eachother's way not understanding why the other person is doing what they're doing (and usually criticising how they're doing it) it all gets a bit much.

I think we were once mid row and I burst in to tears and said 'I hate this house already!' and ran and hid in the bathroom. We both ended up laughing because we were both acting like loonies. Like I say, it's stressful and doesn't always bring out people's strengths!

Just try and imagine being snuggled up with a few candles lit when you're all moved in... and focus on that.

Lweji Thu 06-Mar-14 10:23:02

Sorry, but I do think you do need to cut him some slack. It's not his fault you did all that work, nor that he has a cold (IME some rest is the quickest way to get rid of it) or depression (yes, tough love, but you should understand there are limits).

You have different personalities, so you will clash.
How about you two breaking down the work into manageable tasks he can do in a day, make a list and start ticking them out as they are done? It will give him the satisfaction of seeing the list getting shorter and a sense of accomplishment, as well as removing the perception that it's daunting.

Lweji Thu 06-Mar-14 10:25:08

Then, if he's still mopping about and doing FA, you can tell him that he is welcome to do exactly the same away from his family.

AmeliaAmelia Thu 06-Mar-14 11:53:57

I really feel for u, my DP was "refurbishing" our new house 2 years and its still not finished. We too had a baby too.
I was really upset and resentful.

U guys really need to seat down and talk about your needs, feelings and expectations....

stowsettler Thu 06-Mar-14 12:07:09

Thank you. I have tried to cut him some slack, and am continuing to do so. I don't object to doing all the work, but I do object to having nothing but negativity from him. It is really, really wearing and I feel that I have enough pressure on my shoulders without having to hear about how this is the "worst mistake he's ever made" every fucking half-hour.

And also, if I'm honest, it'd be nice for my hard work to be appreciated once in a while. This morning he had a go at me because I (unconsciously) threw away the co-codamol when I was packing up the old bathroom. Thinking about it, I packed up all the 'shared' bits of the old house too, plus my clothes and DD's bedroom. He just did his clothes and his study.

Lweji Thu 06-Mar-14 13:18:17

Ah, so it's not only the tv channels...
His attitude really stinks, but could it be due to the depression?
Is he being treated?

stowsettler Thu 06-Mar-14 13:33:22

I'm not sure it's clinical depression - in the sense that it is definitely caused by something, i.e. the house move - and therefore can be remedied - or at least helped - by doing something about it.

He does suffer with mild depression which is usually easily controlled with just St John's Wort and is not, I believe (but of course cannot know) the issue here. Nevertheless I will suggest he see the GP because I would honestly be better off on my own at the moment.

I think I am going to write a list of jobs to do and jobs already done and go from there. Thanks again.

Lweji Thu 06-Mar-14 13:43:26

His whole attitude towards things seems at least a big part of the problem and it might be helped by cognitive behavioural therapy. Perhaps the GP could refer him, or you could book private sessions.

Of course that it's still not excusable, and you will have to decide at some point if enough progress is being made and if you want to put up with it. But it may be a good thing to point out to him that the way he's carrying out will eventually lead to relationship disaster.

kentishgirl Thu 06-Mar-14 14:05:33

Is he regretting the move? that would make him less than enthusiastic about getting the new place set up?

Listen to him about it. A proper chat. What fears/disappointments/whatevers has he got. But then he has to accept that the move is a reality and get on with it, and decide to make the best of it. Moping about it is only going to make you all more miserable.

dreamingbohemian Thu 06-Mar-14 14:13:37

If he thinks the move was the worst mistake he ever made, then of course he's going to be negative and mopey about it.

Why did you move? Why is he so unhappy about it?

stowsettler Thu 06-Mar-14 14:49:47

He is regretting it because of the amount of work that needs doing.

There was no question; we had to move, our old house was bursting at the seams. Make no mistake - I've had plenty of moments when I have wished that we're back in our cosy little house. However, we are where we are and I recognise that we simply have to bosh on and do what needs to be done. Because, when it's all done, it will be a beautiful house.

I should also point out that he is given to over-dramatising things. Anything mildly bad is "awful" or "disastrous" and therefore I'm not really sure that it is the worst mistake he's ever made.

Jan45 Thu 06-Mar-14 15:01:34

You sound very strong and capable, he sounds like a child.

Lweji Thu 06-Mar-14 15:35:57

Many adults are half empty people. In this case he sounds completely empty, but it could be something he could and should work on.
The problem may be in him realising that it's not acceptable to just feel this down about things and do nothing about it.

Why is he a SAHD?
This is to ascertain if his outlook on things has had an impact on his life and work.

stowsettler Thu 06-Mar-14 16:44:01

This is a good point Lweji. He is a SAHD because I earn far more than him - previously he was self-employed but the work dried up. He is in the middle of retraining but I'm not sure it's really working out. In fairness he has plenty to be down about in that respect.

In his position I'd just apply for any job. But that's my nature. He's far less comfortable with putting himself out there. He's by no means thick and he has lots of transferable skills from running his own concern - but he can't see this.

I think you're right that he needs to realise that he can't just live in this state of negativity and do nothing about it.

Jan45, thank you. I needed a bit of a boost!

Handywoman Thu 06-Mar-14 19:09:54

Stow what you say about his job situation gives yet another layer to this negativity and lack of motivation. There is a lot going on here. I don't think you will be able to 'change' him in the sense that he is fundamentally a bit negative/defeatest and the house move may actually make him worse, because it is yet more affirmation about Life Being Really Hard. But I do think you need a big ole chat. I also think he would benefit from doing a course of CBT. But, again, only if he actually sees the need. I think you need to think realistically about how much better this can get. But a heart-to-heart and list of jobs is definitely the first step. Good luck thanks

MyNameIsKenAdams Thu 06-Mar-14 19:12:22

I thought the point of a SAHP was to do the childcare. How come she is at nursery?

Hungermonkey Thu 06-Mar-14 19:15:01

And you didn't know that he was a lazy arse before you had a child and moved house? confused

SophieLeGiraffe Thu 06-Mar-14 19:27:18

He doesn't sound lazy too me, just overwhelmed. I too hated our new house in comparison to the lovely cosy perfect old one. It's just having to start all over again with everything you already did.

I tell you, I had a good old sulk about it for a while. Then we made lists, saw the way forward and ploughed on. DS was 18mo then and also into everything. Was a nightmare.

Give him time to adjust to the reality of the new house, make some lists and talk. You have my sympathy.

stowsettler Fri 07-Mar-14 08:48:38

OK firstly thank you for the useful and thought-provoking comments, Handywoman and Sophie. We had a long talk last night and he's much more positive. Things are progressing with the house, he's arranged for the decorator to come and do the other living room next week and when that's habitable things will be infinitely better. We're going to choose carpets this afternoon.

As to the remarkably stupid comment about DD going to nursery - well, like the MASSES of advice given to SAHMs on MN, she goes to nursery once a week to (a) help her to socialise, and (b) give him a break. She is a very active child and I completely accept that he needs a break once a week. Why the hell should it be different for him than for SAHMs? Actually, why the fuck am I justifying myself to man-hating trolls?

Oh and Hungermonley - what it must be like to be able to tell someone's personality from a few hundred words. You must be amazing hmm. What an inane comment.

clairealfie Fri 07-Mar-14 09:12:25

It's really really tough moving house and you're just having a clash of personalities, glass half full = glass half empty. It'll get better once the initial shock has died down.

I would echo the other comments about making a good old list of jobs to do, that way he can see all the progress being made. That will lift his spirits.

Definitely get one room nice and finished and cosy, you'll all have a sanctuary to hide in.

Your DP doesn't sound too lazy to me, just male. My DH is a sweetheart but I can do ten jobs for every two of his, haha!

Oh and of course your DD should go to nursery - ignore the other comments.

Doasbedoneby Fri 07-Mar-14 09:26:29

If this was written about a SAHM would she still be a lazy arse?

oldgrandmama Fri 07-Mar-14 09:45:40

Stress levels go stratospheric when you move house, and once you're in the new place, it's absolutely normal to feel totally overwhelmed and a bit 'God, what have we DONE?' I think it's not exaggerating to say that people can go slightly bonkers over house moves - I know what when, 20 years ago, I edged my way into my new home, between stacks of boxes piled ceiling high in each room, thinking 'what have I DONE?' and wondering if I'd ever get straight (recently widowed, on my own, everything down to me).

Good that you've had that talk - things WILL settle down, his hand will heal, his cold subside and you'll both get on an even keel again and look forward to having a beautiful home. But please, keep talking - don't let resentments build up. And I bet you'll both soon look back on the current situation and ruefully smile at what a state you both got into.

stowsettler Fri 07-Mar-14 09:47:43

Thanks clairealfie and Doasbedoneby, plus all PPs who have suggested some very useful stuff. It's great to receive some good, supportive advice and I will heed it well.

I guess there will be the inevitable losers who come on here to rail against men in general, I need to just ignore ignore ignore grin

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