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My head is spinning. Build up of petty things that's turned into a big problem. Very long, sorry.

(36 Posts)
CautionaryNameChange Wed 26-Mar-14 08:55:32

I don't even know where to start, everything feels so tangled and messed up at the moment.

Firstly, I'm bi-polar, have been for years, and have it well under control. I don't even take meds for it, am no longer seen regularly by anyone, but have the support there if I feel I need it. It rarely causes any problems at all.

DH and I have been together nearly 10 years, married nearly 6, 2DCs, 4 and 6 months. After DC1, and my mat leave, we had lots of arguements about share of housework. Initially I wanted to be a SAHM, but DH pushed for me to go back to work, and I did. Changed jobs, upped my hours, got a really good balance, DC1 loved nursery, and we got into a routine with housework and everything was good, loving, and respectful. I'm now on mat leave with DC2, due to go back in August, and looking forward to it. He earns more than I do, but I'm in a role with plenty of opportunity to progress when I go back. As always, I do the lions share of housework / child care / life admin etc. DH has a littl more leisure time than me, but it's a lot fairer than it used to be, and we were both happy with the balance.

Currently though, I don't feel like he has any respect for me, and this is where it gets messy. It's lots of small (and some not so small) things that have piled up. Some of it seems really petty, but it's the underlying message of lack of respect that upsets me. Also, when there is an issue, and I try to talk, he stonewalls me. Gives monosylabic answers, or shrugs and says he doesn't know. Asks for time to think before he answers, then never raises the subject again, and gets huffy if I try to raise it.

He's looking to change jobs, went for one that would make our childcare arrangments almost impossible, didn't see the need to discuss it with me, and TOLD me he would be taking it if offered. When I raised the issue, he told me he was supportive of me going back to work, but we'd have to think about whether we could let me, if it meant the child care costs were too great. hmm We argued about it, and I said that I didn't want to be a SAHM, I need to have some time each week to use my brain, be with adults etc. I love our DCs to bits, but I am a better parent when I can work part time. I have my name down for training when I return, to enable me to apply for promotions. I don't want to sacrifice my chance at a career, and be out of the job market for years. He said he could easily be a SAHD and didn't see why I didn't want to. He feels I have it easy while he works hard all day. (He has a skilled desk job, flexible hours, time each week for training or researching anything he fancies.)

Due to a miscommunication, we ended up having unprotected sex. We are using condoms at the moment, I thought he'd indicated he was wearing one, he wasn't. I ended up taking the MAP, and was ill for 2 days. He was very apologetic initially, but then got annoyed that I was still upset (not argumentative, just sad) and told me I was over reacting.

My birthday was a mess too. His birthday he booked the day off, we did lunch, dinner, a movie (he asked family to have DCs), and I got him presents/cards from both me and the DCs. For mine, he paid for the photo frame I found online for our hallway, and said it was from the DCs, and he got me a card. No present, no day out, no flowers, nothing. We finally went for a meal out nearly a month later, which I had to book. I wasn't after a big fuss, a mug and a card written by DCs would have been fab. If we didn't do birthdays I wouldn't have minded so much, but his has to be a big event, so why does mine get almost forgotten? He aplogised the day afterwards ("I said I'm sorry, what more do you want?"), and said he'd make it up to me, and plan something nice for us to do as a family, but he didn't. At the time we'd discussed a lot of this over our personal email accounts.

We aren't normally secretive about our phones/PCs, but he got panicky when I looked at his the other week. Bit of a red flag, so I asked him why. He said that he'd been discussing a late suprise for my birthday with our friend, R. When that didn't materialise I asked again why, he told me that R had been telling him some personal things, and it wasn't right to share them with me. I asked why he'd changed his reason, he back peddled and said he'd been discussing a suprise too, but that it wouldn't have worked. This morning I asked if I could read the conversation, he shrugged and agreed. Nothing personal from R that I can see, also nothing about possible plans. But there was a nice section slagging me off. DH had forwarded the personal emails I'd sent him on to R so he could "see my rant for himself" He'd told him all about me being bi-polar, which I don't make publically known. He went on listing these imaginary symptoms I have, and basically blaming my condition for being upset at him acting like an arse. He roughly said that I was lazy, and flakey, lied about who did what for who's birthday (petty I know, but he's turned everything around and painted an awful picture of me to our friends) He also said that he would have to "push for a fight" so that we could discuss it all and clear the air, as that was the only way to get me to snap out of it "damn crazy wife". Gargh! We could do that in a civilised manner if he didn't bloody stonewall!

There are more examples, but this post is already so long.

If I tell him I feel like he has no respect for me, he apologises and insists he does, and that he loves me, and doesn't want to hurt me. But he paints a totally different picture to our friend. I feel like he's betrayed my trust by sharing our private conversation, and that he has no respect for me. I feel so lost and sad, I don't know what we can do to fix this.

CailinDana Wed 26-Mar-14 09:03:03

Do you think he lied about the condom?

CautionaryNameChange Wed 26-Mar-14 09:05:49

No Cailin, I do think it was a miscommunication. I don't think he was being malicious, just thoughtless.

temporarilyjerry Wed 26-Mar-14 09:10:05

While the things you mention, your birthday, no condom, going for a job without discussing it with you, all indicate a lack of respect, I wouldn't be able to get over my DH slagging me off to a friend, forwarding my emails. This I would see as a betrayal.

If I tell him I feel like he has no respect for me, he apologises and insists he does, and that he loves me, and doesn't want to hurt me.

But actions speak louder than words. sad

Finola1step Wed 26-Mar-14 09:13:09

I think you are right to see red flags. But can't put my finger on why.

The condom thing is puzzling. Do you think he wants you to get pregnant again to stop you returning to work?

The conversation with his friend sounds crass, rude and an attempt to belittle you. If he really had concerns about your mental health and well being, then this is not the way to go about it. Sounds like he is making conversation at your expense.

Something really doesn't sit right here.

petalsandstars Wed 26-Mar-14 09:18:18

Not much help but my DH can be a bit like this when I'm on ml and I feel he doesn't respect what I do at home. But I have called him on it and told him the line is there and I would rather separate than live like this.

He is better at it now with a couple of reminders. For me your OP would be a deal breaker. How would he react if you told him that he was pushing you to want to leave?

myroomisatip Wed 26-Mar-14 09:18:45

I agree about the condom. I think it was a deliberate attempt to get you pregnant.

Is your 'friend' he forwarded your emails to female by the way?

CautionaryNameChange Wed 26-Mar-14 09:24:05

I do feel like he's pushing for me to stay out of work at the moment, but I'm 99% sure he's not trying to get me pregnant. Only 99% because I felt certain that he wouldn't forward personal emails on to our friends either!

I know he's having an issue with a collegue who's not pulling their weight. It's stressing him out, and he's projecting some of those issues into our relationship. He realised this himself, was very apologetic and upset that he'd been blaming me. A week later he's back to form, so he can't have been that bothered. sad

ravenmum Wed 26-Mar-14 09:24:25

There's a lot of things here about you raising issues and him reacting defensively. This is a problem I'm trying to cope with too at the moment: how do you get someone to change their ways without making them feel nagged at or as if they can do nothing right? That just seems to make people defensive.

I had a similar problem when I wanted to celebrate living in this country for 20 years - a big thing for me - and the party got turned into a celebration of the birthdays of my husband and the guy next door! In fact my birthday comes directly between their's and not even that was mentioned, let alone my 20 years abroad. This is clearly a bad thing, but my husband also just claimed innocence ("Didn't realise we had done that, didn't realise it was important to you"), not an apology in sight.

How do you do it non-confrontatively? Maybe list some of their good points first and then say the things you'd like to work on? Maybe write a list of things that each of you would like to change at the moment about the other? (My husband just used to say there was nothing he wanted to complain about, the idiot.)

Anyone else know how to make these conversations more productive?

CautionaryNameChange Wed 26-Mar-14 09:27:59

No, male friend. Straight male friend who's in a long term relationship.

Twinklestein Wed 26-Mar-14 09:30:44

Unless the 'miscommunication' involved him thinking you were on pill/coil etc then he knew perfectly well he was having unprotected sex.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 26-Mar-14 09:34:05

As always, I do the lions share of housework / child care / life admin etc. and the lion's share of angst over your marriage too, it seems.

'D'H doesn't sound very loving. I hope you don't get pregnant while he is in this mood.

When it comes to 'airing dirty linen' the sensible friends will know there's always a "he said, she said" angle, so those who leap to the conclusion he is completely truthful and you're all that he paints, their opinion won't be worth worrying about. Next time you see R just behave as you normally do.

The birthday question - people sometimes say, oh big deal, who as an adult is really bothered about celebrating? Well you are, and H evidently enjoyed being feted, but couldn't be bothered to make any effort for yours. When something is transparently a one way street, I wonder how and when things started to go that way.

I'd increase your contraception, and keep working, and next time he stonewalls you don't take that lying down. If he aims to get a job that instantly makes childcare nigh impossoble as things stand, then he is going to have to shell out for extra help. The key factor here is not "how high can I make OP jump" but "what gives H the right to be the ringmaster and crack the whip".

Twinklestein Wed 26-Mar-14 09:41:43

OP, do you think realistically you can come back from all of this?

Taking a job without asking or considering childcare, talk about 'letting' you work, leaving the 'lion's share' of the housework to you, lying and completely betraying you to a friend, un-protected sex.

You are right he has no respect for you, whatever he claims, he doesn't seem to give a shit about you at all.

What's in this relationship for you?

CautionaryNameChange Wed 26-Mar-14 09:56:02

Donkeys, no chance of me getting pregnant at the moment as I sure as hell don't fancy having sex with DH!

Twinkle, I honestly don't know if we can come back from this. I don't know where to start. After the unprotected sex incident I told him that I didn't feel I could trust him to have my best interests at heart. We agreed to try to reconnect, and to work on the trust. Then he said all those things to R, destroying what little trust I had left.

Before I went on ML this time things were good. We were best friends, we were working as a team, supporting each other. Our relationship seems to have just crumbled. I wonder if he can't respect me while I'm not working, but if that's so, then why does he seem to be pushing for me to be a SAHM?

ravenmum Wed 26-Mar-14 10:11:32

Could it be that he wants to have a strong position in the family, and feels kind of as if you are in your element and able to do everything (working, most housework, most childraising) while he looks like the slightly shit one who just helps with housework and doesn't even have a snazzy job to make him look good?

CautionaryNameChange Wed 26-Mar-14 10:21:26

He does have a fairly snazzy job (snazzier than mine!). He's a developer, and he's really good at it, and he's well paid. He's also Master of All Things Tech, in our family unit, and in our wider family.

ravenmum Wed 26-Mar-14 10:34:01

If he's being forced to do his colleague's work for him at the moment that might make him feel like he's being taken for a bit of a ride, or was that just a one-off?

CautionaryNameChange Wed 26-Mar-14 10:37:50

Sadly not a one off. He's not being forced as such, but he's much faster than his colleague, and their work loads get readjusted fortnightly, so the work that's been left gets moved over to DH to get done. He's not having to do overtime, just carry on working at his normal pace, but I know he's feeling frustrated about it. I would be too in his shoes.

ravenmum Wed 26-Mar-14 10:48:48

And not getting paid extra? Does he feel like a mug?

CautionaryNameChange Wed 26-Mar-14 10:51:09

No extra pay, and I think he's feeling pretty resentful about it.

Amateurish Wed 26-Mar-14 10:53:27

I'm not sure it's such a bad thing that he has a friend to confide to about the difficulties you are having - it's just a shame that you insisted on reading it.

After all, you are sharing the same kind of personal details on MN? How would he feel about that.

ravenmum Wed 26-Mar-14 10:57:29

Doesn't feel like the big man in charge right now, then, huh? Stupid way of him to vent off his frustrations but that's human beings for you...

CautionaryNameChange Wed 26-Mar-14 11:35:30

Amateurish, I'm not copying and pasting DHs emails on to here. I'm not sharing personal details about his health. I'm also not sharing with someone who he sees regularly. Do you really think me posting anonomously on here is the same?

Whilst I'm glad he feels he can talk to R, I'm really not happy about him forwarding on my emails, or discussing my mental health with him. I'm not happy that he's lied to him to about me either. But I'm really sad that, despite him telling me he's "sorry he fucked up my birthday" or that some of his behaviour isn't really fair, he's telling our friends that it's basically all my fault because I'm crazy and don't even know what I want any more. Which story should I believe? Is he sorry? Or does he think it's all my fault and I deserve to be treated like that?

ghostwritten Wed 26-Mar-14 11:46:47

OMG Cautionary.

For your DH to lie to a friend about symptoms/behavior that you are not displaying; in order to gain sympathy, is terrible.
This is really bad abuse of you. Sorry but there is no excuse for him doing this to you, no matter what stress he is under.

To use your medical condition against you and to lie is awful. I don't know what to suggest. Just was shocked by what I had read, "push to have a fight" is he trying to make you ill.

Also ignore the post from Amateurish as they must have misread your original post.

Do you have anyone in real life that you can share this with ie professional with knowledge BP and more specifically your experience of it? His behavior seems like a very cruel case of gas lighting.
Hopefully other mn's will be able to offer constructive advise.

Sending hugs and best wishes.

Amateurish Wed 26-Mar-14 11:46:51

I'm not saying it's the same. But would he mind if you showed him this thread?

Everyone needs friends they can confide in. Or a forum they can moan on!

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