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life is easier without DH's input...(53 Posts)
NC sorry (though to a previous NC NN, god knows what I used it for before but can prob take a lucky guess!)
DH have been together 9yrs, married 7, 2DC aged 5&2. Generally we rub along fine, we were actually going through a fairly easy and nice phase. We don't have sex as much as he'd like (I'd be happy to be celibate frankly) but have a compromise and it's about twice a week.
DH has been sick the last week, just a flu but it has laid him pretty low. I normally don't have much patience for man flu but actually this time he looked rough as anything so I've done all I can to allow him to just rest. He's camped out in the spare room to prevent either of us having disturbed nights from each other, but because of young DC I'm more or less leaving him to it. I'm making him smoothies and offering food, making it when he wants some, bring him his drugs etc but I'm focussing on doing everything else, keeping on top of house and home. I'm a SAHM so it's nothing new but initially did make me realise he does pick up a fair amount of slack - but now of course I am literally doing everything bar maybe the odd bedtime story.
The last few days it's dawned on me that my life has somehow become easier....the house has stayed relatively clean and tidy, all admin is being done on time, kids are fed and happy - they and I are actually getting on really well (youngest doesn't sleep well so my sleep deprivation does turn me into an intolerant snappy mum a lot). It's awful but it's been a lot easier without DH around (in his disgusting room which is floor to ceiling in snotty tissues and empty packets of food - it smells like something died in there). DH periodically shows his face to rub up against me and make it clear he's too sick for anything else but wants a rogering. And it just pisses me off.
I don't actually mind managing on my own - in fact it's dawned on me that it's all easier because I'm not relying on someone else, at all.
I'm not going to LTB, there's no point in breaking up a half decent marriage and upsetting DC over this, but I think I probably do need to say something, once he's well, don't I? At the moment I just don't see what value he's adding aside from the financial side. Jesus I feel like a bitch (should say I currently can't work, would bloody love to be working) because he does work etc etc but frankly I'm surprised at just how much easier this is without his input on any level.
bugger. How do you even start having this conversation - he's a defensive old bastard when he wants to be, I can't think of a way of not making it sound deeply personal.
Honestly my overwhelming response to this post is "But why wouldn't you leave over this?"
A half decent marriage is not a decent marriage at all. I think if he deserves a chance he had really better shape up and quickly after you've had this experience. And please don't wait around endlessly for him to do so - you only get one life.
I'd suggest there's a process before you start the conversation which is to work out what you genuinely want your life to look like. Knowing what you want can clarify the direction the conversation is going to go in and help you deflect the defensive stuff that you're anticipating. In nutshell... present to him your vision of the future, the way that's going to be achieved and then give him the choice of whether he wants to be in that future, pulling in the same direction ... or not.
that's helpful Cogito, thankyou - Bertie not to say you're not being helpful! We have more than a half decent marriage, and he's not as bad as a lot of the husbands on that recent thread about being the main thinker and doer (which I absolutely am but we're both working to change that), I just didn't realise how much of the work is also created by him regardless of how much he "helps"
I know my life would be much harder and lonelier if my marriage was to end, but day to day boring life admin...not so much
My thoughts are: "leave him so he can get on with his life and if he chooses, finding someone who doesn't hold him in contempt apparently doing not much wrong, and which will then allow you to be completely in control of your life"
As I understand it, the man actually picks up a "...fair amount of slack" when he isn't ill, and it's just that you have found that being completely in control of everything is apparently better for you. Or am I misreading this?
Sounds as though you pretty feel the same way about 'man flu' as I do about 'period pains' - not much patience. I can appreciate that.
Admin is hardly a barometer of life!
Dd and I get on better when DH is not involved. But that doesn't mean we are not happy.
Be careful. I felt like this quite a lot a couple of years ago, and DH has admitted that on some levels, things are easier when I'm away too, so both of us have had that feeling.
But it's one thing having the person sick in the next room for a few days, it's quite another to do it all full-time without someone to chat to about the kids, bounce ideas off etc.
Hmm. Perhaps I was hasty. Sorry OP, it's easy sometimes to jump to conclusions. The vision of him surrounded by tissues and yet wanting a grope just reminded me so forcibly of my disgusting ex (who most definitely contributed not just to the workload but to emotional stress as well!)
I can see the difference between life admin stuff being easier to manage alone and general life being easier in a partnership, generally. Which is not to say that you should settle, but it sounds like something you can maybe talk about rather than it being a huge incompatability <ties self in knots>
But how much of this is "things you have to do which have been created by DH" and how much is, as you said, the fact that you've got your head around having to do everything and are thus finding it easier? If the latter - that's no bad thing. Knowing you can cope singlehandedly is empowering - but you just store the knowledge away for if/when it's needed.
Agree with Bertie but methinks there are deeper issues because of the sex issue
He is pissing you off much more than you like to admit. There is more here... and I think the whole sex thing is indicative. Are you feeling pretty used by him?
It is a hell of a compromise, being groped and poked twice a week if you really would rather not. I would be asking myself why he feels its ok to want to have sex with someone who doesn't enjoy it. I would want to have a husband who cared whether I really enjoyed sex with him. And if I didn't, to be taking it upon himself to find out why you're not enjoying it and whether you can make it much better for both of you. I sense there is a huge communication gap building here, and the sex is just the tip of the iceberg. If he can't be bothered to care whether or not you like sex with him, then you are wondering if he cares at all.
Your experience of him being ill is as if you are having something of a holiday, at least from him. Not good.
You sound disappointed. I would be too. You want a husband who cares whether you are happy, about sex or anything else.
To be honest, you do sound like a bitch, yes. I can't even begin to imagine what the reaction would be like if it was a man saying how much better things were now that his wife was sick.
As for "in his disgusting room which is floor to ceiling in snotty tissues and empty packets of food - it smells like something died in there". I find letting a person who is unable to fend for himself stay in unhygienic conditions almost bordering on abuse. You must really think very little of him not to bother making him slightly comfortable and clean.
If he's got the energy to be up for a shag, he can bend down and pick up a few tissues and crockery. Surely.
OP this reminds me of my marriage.
H not caring whether I enjoyed sex, and it has gradually dawned on me that he doesn't care whether I enjoy anything, and in fact, he goes out of his way to ruin anything I might like.
He is still here till the end of March, and reading your thread has reminded me that small talk about kids etc. is not worth such a sacrifice of my happiness.
How does he treat you in other areas of your life?
DistanceCall that was incredibly nasty and very short-sighted
"OP this reminds me of my marriage....H not caring whether I enjoyed sex..."
With respect, the OP doesn't actually say this anywhere or even imply it.
I don't think you truly have any idea what it is like to be a single parent. You are enjoying a sense of empowerment, but when it becomes the drudgery of your everyday life then you will resent it.
Apparently in a work team it usually takes about 5 people to do more work (volume wise) than one, when they're all working on the same task together. Because communication between people is imperfect so it slows things down and mistakes are made etc. But the outcome of a team is usually better even if it's less efficient, because more brains mean more angles on a problem, support when it gets tough etc etc.
So I'm sure it is smoother (no consultation) but not perhaps better when you look at all measures of "good"?
A room with a pile of snotty tissues for a few nights is hardly 'bordering on abuse'! Seriously, that's just insulting to anyone who has ever actually endured abuse in a relationship.
OP, I would just say think carefully about how you communicate this. Any variant of 'when you were ill I realised my life was easier without you around' is going to sound incredibly hurtful in a way that might become very difficult to come back from, if as you say you don't want to break up the marriage. I would work on opening up a discussion about how you can avoid taking each other for granted and really consider one another properly (which could then include the sex issue). There is a book called Difficult Conversations by Anne Dickson (writer on assertiveness) that you might get something out of - it deals with starting conversations about all sorts of very tricky subjects with people close to you.
""in his disgusting room which is floor to ceiling in snotty tissues and empty packets of food - it smells like something died in there"
This is a sick man we are talking about. And the father of her children. Who does not appear to be abusive in any way (other than - gasp - wanting to have sex with his wife).
If this man disgusts you, divorce him. But this is despicable.
No point in staying if you feel like this. IMHO.
DH periodically shows his face to rub up against me and make it clear he's too sick for anything else but wants a rogering.
Sorry, am I the only one who read that bit?
Seriously DistanceCall, if he can rouse himself for a shag he is more than capable of flushing the tissues when he goes to the loo and opening a window! If he were on death's door he'd be in hospital, not propositioning the OP
He's got flu. He's not hardly immobile in bed with a shattered pelvis/malaria/insert other serious condition
As for "If he's got the energy to be up for a shag, he can bend down and pick up a few tissues and crockery. Surely", I don't think he wanted a shag exactly. More like, erm, a quick job.
The notion of feeling like masturbating or receiving masturbation while sick in bed cannot be that strange. Surely.
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