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Sick of DH:- we're not compatible and I'm not desparate enough to be patient anymore

(77 Posts)
herethereandeverywhere Sun 01-Jun-14 00:45:17

I'm sick of DH being lazy around the house and not defending me when his mum and sister are sh*tty to me. Of not being respectful of me views (I'm atheist and wouldn't lie to be a godparent, for instance. He never gives me a straight answer, just lets me know I'm the one with the problem. Would I be worse off if divorced? What's the worst that can happen? Money/house/holidays/kids. C'mon Mumsnet I'm sick of this. How bad can divorce be?

theoldtrout01876 Sun 01-Jun-14 01:11:14

I had exactly the same situation 12 years ago,divorce was best thing I ever did. Im now remarried to a wonderful guy I actually love/like and respect and who loves and respects me back. go for it,tough while it was going on ( 3000 miles from family and support and 3 young kids ). Best thing I ever did

AcrossthePond55 Sun 01-Jun-14 02:47:19

Each situation is different. SAHM vs working mum with own income. Well off vs dirt poor. No work qualifications vs being able to get a job if you separate. The best thing you can do if you have decided you have had enough is to gather any/all financial information you can and see a solicitor for a consultation. BUT, staying in a miserable marriage for financial reasons is a life of misery.

Minime85 Sun 01-Jun-14 04:58:48

It's not an easy ride but doable if as across says u are armed with financial information etc. will he work together with u on telling and supporting any dcs? That's got to be at the core of any split if u can. Get rl support if u can too. Be ready for a roller coaster of emotions. I think it beats being in a marriage that can't be saved hands down

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 01-Jun-14 06:46:59

Getting divorced is relatively straightforward. You need to go into it eyes open and with as much information as possible, so get the best advice you can from professionals and do your homework. A family running two households is going to have to downsize to an extent and there will probably be less cash to go round initially. Children cope in differing ways but I would suggest that living in the middle of someone else's disastrous relationship with a lazy father and a mother under attack is not a great environment to grow up in.

Ultimately, you only get one life and ultimately, only you can decide how to spend it. Good luck

Pugaboo Sun 01-Jun-14 10:13:10

It sounds rough but is there more you and he could still do to repair the marriage?

Does he know you're so pissed off you're considering divorce?

Have you laid on the line clearly the changes he needs to make? And does he have any changes he'd like to see in your behaviour? Maybe relate counselling would help?

Do you (or could you) still love him?

herethereandeverywhere Sun 01-Jun-14 10:59:10

Financially, I work part time so couldn't solely support me and the kids but could manage if he contributed his fair share. He earns a lot but his finances are quite simple, nothing hidden. I earn c.£60k, he several hundred thousand pa so money wouldn't be a problem really.

I do all food planning/food and other house shopping/cooking/washing/ child-related admin like clothes and money for school. I do all nursery/school drop offs and pick ups. I do the vast majority of the tidying/ dishwasher loading and unloading. We have a cleaner and send DH's shi'rts out to be ironed so that helps but of course I do all the administering of that. I'm tired of being taken for granted.

On the family front his sister has a history of being variously unkind/mean to me. This is always treated as my problem with his sister. He literally has never tried to see my point of view, let alone support it. His mother favours his sis and her children which upsets me when it's in front of our kids (eg: commenting on how SILs daughter is the beautiful one when all the grandchildren are sitting in a row). Again, if I mention how unfair/upsetting this is it's 'because I hate his mother' - no effort to support or see my POV. TBH this bothers me much more than the uneven division of labour.

Yeah I still love him but I also hate him for all of this. And I hate myself for wasting the best years of my life whilst I waited for him to decide whether he wanted to marry me. Idiot that I am.

Pugaboo Sun 01-Jun-14 12:25:06

Sounds like he lacks respect for you. His family don't sound very pleasant. Maybe counselling ie a third party may help him see how he's being unfair?

From a practical POV could you use some of your joint income for a PA/assistant to work a day a week for the family? I imagine given your DH's income he works long hours and you have a lot on too so some extra help from an organisational point of view would benefit you both.

Joysmum Sun 01-Jun-14 12:43:51

Your part time wage is more than most couples joint income.

So the question is, is your joint income enough to compensate you and your kids for the negatives?

AcrossthePond55 Sun 01-Jun-14 13:16:12

As odd as it may sound, you are one if the 'lucky ones'. You have sufficient income to leave if you are that unhappy. It would mean a change in what is probably a very comfortable lifestyle, but you wouldn't starve.

Although a comfortable lifestyle is some very small recompense for feeling unappreciated and belittled, joysmum raises a good question. It also provides compensation and the ability to enjoy life in a way that many cannot.

Before you make a decision, see a marriage counselor. If he won't go, go alone. Frankly, the fact that he allows his mother to say hurtful things to his children would be my primary grievance. Because a divorce won't change that, she'll still be in their lives. You have finances to hire more domestic help. You can't hire a decent granny.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 01-Jun-14 13:30:03

I work part time so couldn't solely support me and the kids... I earn c.£60k


Give up sewing their school name tapes in with gold thread and you just might be able to hack it confused

herethereandeverywhere Sun 01-Jun-14 19:04:48

Thanks for the practical help. Yes, the money sounds a lot but we live in London. Our monthly mortgage payments are over £3k alone (for a terraced house, not a mansion!). That would wipe out my salary entirely before I even looked at food and bills.

We are looking at getting some more help to cover drop off/pick up and school hols when our eldest goes to school in September. That will help long term but in the short term you can guess whose job it will be to advertise, interview check references, train them....

But yes, it's the painful family stuff that suffocates me most. It was originally directed at me (comments about SIL being better in some way) which I ignored for years but now it's hitting my kids too I just hate it. All of it.

pike123 Sun 01-Jun-14 19:42:12

The majority of the jobs you describe, ie school runs, shopping, food, laundry etc are the same in every house and I;m sure that for the majority these are utterly mundane soul destroying tasks. The 'painful family stuff is suffocating' to everyone. I;m afraid you dont get the monopoly on this. Someone has to do it and as your husband works full time and you dont then the majority of these tasks will naturally fall to yourself.

Your joint income is vast and you would be bringing home in excess of £10k a month so even with a £3k mortgage you could well afford more paid help.

The situation with your SIL is for you to deal with. If she makes comments you dont like then pull her up on it. Your husband obviously doesnt want to get involved so it's down to you.

Your complaints really stem round the mind numbing routine that is daily life. Do you and your husband go out, have a social life, spend time togethe, go on holiday etc. If so, do you enjoy each others company or are you simply bored.

Divorce will not relieve you from any of the mundane chores, they will be there for life regardless of whether you are married or not. You sound bored and resentful.

AcrossthePond55 Sun 01-Jun-14 19:54:53

Which is why it's important to realize that your lifestyle will change, possibly drastically. Obviously, I'm not familiar with the costs of living in London, but I assume it's probably comparable to NYC or San Francisco. Whilst DH & I could have afforded to live in SF (we live in the country), I certainly couldn't on my salary alone!

He sounds like a real piece of work! Again, it's the children you need to think of. Is there a chance that his mother's nasty criticisms might bleed over into the way he treats your children as they get older? Sounds like his mother favoured his sister over him. He may just feel this nastiness is 'normal'. As an adult, you can make the choice to live with that as far as the way he/his family treats you. But you have a duty to protect your DCs. Before you make any decision, sit back and observe his interactions with your DCs.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 02-Jun-14 07:10:27

I'd still suggest that you fully research your options if you split. Talk to a solicitor, look at alternative accommodation/locations, work out what would be fair... have a plan, essentially. You sound like you're in a treading water situation where it's neither so bad to warrant leaving or so good that it justifies staying and that will breed resentment and feel like a big waste of a perfectly good life. Once you have a workable plan, then talk to each other about the future of your relationship. As a big part of your problems is that he doesn't take you seriously, lay out the very serious, well-researched consequences of being unable to work as a team.

herethereandeverywhere Mon 02-Jun-14 10:02:30

I don't think pike123 really understands my feelings. Doing as s/he says will keep me feeling exactly the same. Aren't mundane chores to be shared? (not necessarily 50/50 but not 99/1 either). I don't think I'm unreasonable to expect to be appreciated for what I do, nor to be supported when people (relatives or not) upset me. I might as well live with a complete stranger for all the support/companionship I receive - hence my OP.

Well I spoke to him last night. Explained all I do versus all he doesn't (and acknowledged with his long hours ft I wouldn't expect an equal share. Much of what I wanted was to be appreciated/supported etc. On the family front he said 'leave them out of it' no discussion to be had at all. He was upset I'd said I didn't see I was getting anything out of the relationship and I'd be better off divorced. He didn't really offer any alternatives. The usual damp squib.

I have the kids all day today and so far have fed and dressed them, washed wee soaked bedding and lined up the other 4 loads of washing for the day, put the bins and recycling out, done dishwasher, unpacked the internet food shop (that I ordered over the weekend). I will be knackered by the time I get the kids to bed at 8 this evening. I've just gone to the cellar and noticed his golf clubs have gone. This means that whilst I'm putting the kids to bed this evening (as I do every night Mon-Fri) he'll be leaving work promptly so he can go to the driving range. It's like last night's conversation never happened. He simply does not get it. I give up.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 02-Jun-14 10:42:15

I think, now that you have said (out loud?) that you'd be better off divorced, you have to follow through. Otherwise you're guilty of making idle threats that you don't carry out and that is not a way to get someone to take you seriously - evidenced by the him heading off to the driving range until the dust settles. Plus it does nothing for your self-respect.

Lweji Mon 02-Jun-14 10:51:55

I agree with Cogito.
Start the ball, and see how you feel. Once you have a leaving plan it may seem more feasible to you.
He may get a wake up call, but you will have to evaluate if it is likely to be a long lasting effect or if he'd probably revert in a few weeks or months.

Anniegetyourgun Mon 02-Jun-14 11:08:44

I'm sorry I was a bit flippant there - only your part time not-very-big salary is twice the most I earned at my peak! I kept 4 DC, a non-earning spouse and too many pets on it, but to be fair we didn't have a mortgage or rent at the time.

Ok, in London it's true £60k doesn't go far, mainly because of the price of property which is absolutely ridiculous (I used to live in reasonable commuting distance instead, which made a big difference). However, I would have thought your extremely high earning H (STBXH?) should continue to contribute to the mortgage while the children are under 18 at least, because it's still his property even if he doesn't live there, still an investment for him which he will be able to realise when it is eventually sold. Which is fair enough. He would in any case have to pay maintenance for the DC, though I suspect not for you as you have reasonable earning potential. It should suffice. Meanwhile he's not exactly going to be confined to a grotty bedsit on that income.

As usual in such situations, I recommend good (not the same as expensive) legal advice so you know where you stand, before making any decisions. With any luck, knowing you aren't afraid to leave may concentrate his mind. Up to now he seems to be regarding your complaints like an annoying whine from a domestic appliance - just oil it occasionally but don't worry as long as it keeps working. You're worth more than that.

To be fair to your H, it must be massively hard to know, at the back of one's mind, that one is less loved than one's sibling(s); perhaps impossible to admit even to himself. If the end result is to be that he expects you to accept bad treatment from his family, though, I'm afraid understanding why he may feel that way is not enough.

AcrossthePond55 Mon 02-Jun-14 14:57:37

So now that you've spoken your mind & there's been no reaction, you must do something. My DH & I had a boatload of issues when our DSs were young. And I mean the RMS Titanic! I would try to talk until I was blue in the face but it was like water over a duck's back because I never did anything but talk (& cry). He would argue back & then it would be as if it never happened. Is this the first time you've told him how you feel or does my scenario sound familiar? Have you previously played the divorce card & done nothing? If you have, then he has learned not to listen to you, regardless of how he feels about you & the marriage. If not, then I'd say he really doesn't care. Or doesn't know HOW to care (if he truly was unloved as a child).

This is just me, but if there is a history of these 'discussions' resulting in nothing, I would make one last ditch effort and tell H that if he cares at all about your marriage & children that you both need to go to couples counseling. If he refuses, tell him it's over and that HE needs to leave the home so as not to disrupt the children. But you must mean it and find some way to make him believe you mean it. Hand him a packed valise and tell him you've already made a reservation at a hotel in his name. If that's too drastic, move him into the guest room or make him a bed on the sofa and tell him that it's until he makes other arrangements. Do not leave the family home yourself, unless you are advised by your solicitor to do so. I'm assuming, of course, that DV is NOT a part of your scenario.

At this point though & before you talk to him, you need to start the ball rolling towards separation/divorce by seeing a good solicitor. A very good solicitor, as it sounds as though you have a lot to lose financially if your (& DC's) interests aren't well looked after. Gather ALL financial information you can lay your hands on. Find out what you can reasonably expect as far as maintenance and settlement before you bring out the big guns on your H. Forewarned is forearmed.

I also think you need to discuss this with your family, if you are close to them & they will be supportive of you. You will need support in RL. I would discuss it with friends ONLY if I was sure that they would keep their mouths shut. It's a shame that one must be so secretive in planning these things, but it's just the way it is.

antimatter Mon 02-Jun-14 15:43:10

I would get cleaner and/or nanny help. I am sure you can afford it.
THis would help you to get your head round what you need to do.
He is trying to avoid confrontation - hence trip to the driving range.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 02-Jun-14 15:50:09

He's trying to avoid the OP! And succeeding..

oikopolis Mon 02-Jun-14 16:17:08

It sounds to me like the issue here isn't the division of labour or the family relationships in and of themselves. It's an issue of you feeling that he doesn't give a fuck about how you feel.

Look, you are enormously privileged. You could make the division of labour stuff go away -- hire staff from an agency and wash your hands of all admin except interviews and keeping them in line. You could make the shitty rellie situation go away, in a sense at least, by deciding to ignore it. But if your husband makes you feel like a nobody, then that's not going away is it?

Starting immediately, I would do everything possible to carefully document his financial situation; if he think you might go, he might start hiding things in order to reduce his obligations to you and the children.

Then I think YOU should get into counselling, on your own. let him know you're doing it and that you're working out your options.

You've told him how you feel and he's barely responded. So start making a move to disentangle yourself from him and let him do what he wants with that information.

I do think that at this stage, if you have to beg him to put a little effort into saving things, that doing so will only make the chances of a recovery even more remote. He needs to make a move of his own volition. Otherwise you'll just create more resentment for yourself.

herethereandeverywhere Mon 02-Jun-14 21:15:58

Some great, really solid and well thought out advice here, thanks so much. I'm tired and preparing for work and kids to childcare tomorrow. I definitely need to digest all of this. I'm not putting it off just consolidating how I feel and what I need to do. Think I might step away from this thread for a day or two. But I'm thinking. And watching him and his utter lack of reaction to the weekends talk.

Oh, I've never mentioned divorce before, ever. I don't do idle threats, nor do I jump into things impulsively. He's home and loading the dishwasher. Ha ha let's see how long this lasts.

AcrossthePond55 Mon 02-Jun-14 23:32:41

You are doing exactly the right thing. Stepping back and thinking about all options.

Just in case you decide not to come back & update, I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide.

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