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Struggling with uptight husband

(49 Posts)
branflakesareboring Sun 16-Nov-14 15:15:18

We've been married for 12 years and have a ds.

Dh is very much a product of his parents. He's neurotic, uptight, a hypochondriac and has numerous 'rules and regulations' that he kicks off about if they're not adhered to. Nothing big, just stupid stuff like keeping doors closed, not making a noise etc. he won't even get a flu jab due to being so nervous.

He's in his 50s now and shows no signs of this going away.

Ds seems to be very much like dh. He's also very nervy and quick to take offence. He cries and manipulates dh quite a bit too. Dh doesn't like me trying to coach ds out of this behaviour and objects strongly if I explain to ds that he shouldn't be whinging etc. (ds is 11).

Dh orders me around in his particular pathetic way then objects if I pull him on it. I'm now in a state of depression and am on tablets to help cope in this 'treading on eggshells' environment.

He means well and I think it's his way of coping with life - I think he might have issues because he doesn't like crowds, people or going out. He's not nasty, violent, sweary and he doesn't drink or do any drugs.

I don't know what the answer is confused I wish he'd go onto antidepressants himself as I think they'd help him, but he won't entertain the idea.

Northernparent68 Sun 16-Nov-14 17:17:04

I'm sorry you re having such a hard time, would counselling help ? it's not too late to alter your son's behaviour, what I'd do is send him to scouts, football, martial arts, the company of other boys and strong role models will have a positive impact on his behaviour.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Sun 16-Nov-14 17:22:55

I think that if you are taking anti depressants to cope with your home life then you need to adjust your home life. Clearly he won't change so what wil you do...?

Isetan Sun 16-Nov-14 17:29:54

It's not too late for your son but you're going to have to be strong and determined by given how deeply ingrained this type of thinking is, your H is going to make it very difficult if not impossible to change the dynamic.

If the cost of your relationship is making you ill and idamaging your sons personal development then it's too damn high.

Seek solo counselling because you're the only one who you can change,

Kundry Sun 16-Nov-14 17:37:29

You can't change your husband, you can only change yourself. Solo relationship counselling for you sounds like an excellent idea - you may adjust your expectations and be happy but it may help you realise that a relationship that damages your child and puts you on anti-depressants is not worth it.

I'm not sure your DH does mean well TBH either.

Lovingfreedom Sun 16-Nov-14 18:18:57

He's not going to need to decide if you want the rest of your life to go on like this. Tbh it sounds like his personality rather than an illness...that..and the fact that he's got away with saying 'I'm the boss' to a wife willing to believe it for so long.

PurpleWithRed Sun 16-Nov-14 18:26:50

What's the question? He sounds awful. Would you marry him now if you found yourself suddenly unmarried from him tomorrow? Or would you run for the hills?

branflakesareboring Sun 16-Nov-14 18:34:18

I can't be bothered to split up sad

We've just moved house and I like it here. At best, he's a bit of company for me. I don't bother with other people and have no family.

How does one go about arranging solo counselling?

LoveBeingStartingANewLife Sun 16-Nov-14 18:37:13

You can't be bothered to split up? He is a product of his parents and your ds will be a product his his

DoItTooJulia Sun 16-Nov-14 18:39:35

It's being depressed that makes you think you can't be bothered sad

Could you afford to live there without DH?

branflakesareboring Sun 16-Nov-14 18:47:39

Neither of us could afford to live separately.

I just want to find an effective way of dealing with him and I want to be able to help ds without dh interfering.

Kundry Sun 16-Nov-14 18:51:32

Do you absolutely know you couldn't afford it? Have you seen a solicitor, looked up what benefits you would be entitled to etc?

You sound very depressed and stuck. Living in a smaller house without your DH making your every move miserable would be better. Phone up Relate on Monday.

branflakesareboring Sun 16-Nov-14 18:58:26

Does Relate cost much?

I love my home too much to leave it.

boxoftissues Sun 16-Nov-14 19:02:16

Could you crumble your anti d's into his meals?grin

Nevergrowingup Sun 16-Nov-14 19:08:04

If you are seriously thinking of sticking with him, look at doing more for yourself outside the home.

You feel you can't change him and don't have the energy to consider a split at the moment.

You must do what is right for you and your DS but continuing like this is not an option. He finds comfort in routine, order and various neurotic traits... I'm guessing you long for romance, fun and spontaneity.

All I am suggesting is that alongside some counselling (and choose carefully) start doing things for yourself, get some self worth exploring your own interests so that you feel more in control of your wellbeing. Go out and volunteer, buy a pet, go to the theatre...

Staying where you are means you will still be driving yourself nuts with this man in ten years time. If that's not an option for you, make plans.

Its a cliché, but its true - life is too short.

GarlicNovember Sun 16-Nov-14 19:09:23

I just want to find an effective way of dealing with him

OK, I really don't feel it's good for you to live like this but let's look at things that might make things more bearable in the short term.

First off, have you tried "Yes, dear"-ing him? Just murmur pleasantly and sympathetically, then do what you were going to do anyway. What happens when you do it?

GarlicNovember Sun 16-Nov-14 19:14:31

Can you give us example sof the sort of things DS whinges about? Is it at all possible that giving him a good listening-to will satisfy?

branflakesareboring Sun 16-Nov-14 19:15:50

I have actually considered giving him my antidepressants for a few weeks to see if it helps him then coming clean and trying to get him to go to the doctors confused

I did do my own thing all last week (when I wasn't at work) and I've done that again today and it felt good. I find if I'm quiet and po-faced it un-nerves him and he doesn't get on to me.

I am going to be more assertive over ds. He's too old to be acting like a young child. He starts secondary soon and he needs to grow up a bit now. I can't do anything about his neuroses. Perhaps he needs some help or a more direct approach might persuade him to give them up as I think he puts it on sometimes (he's worse when dh is around).

branflakesareboring Sun 16-Nov-14 19:19:08

Ds will start crying if you ask him to go for a shower or do his music practise. He starts off by whinging and huffing and puffing. If you pull him on it, he then starts crying. This is where dh will step in and object to me 'upsetting him'.

He also does that thing whereby he says something and you miss it and ask him to repeat, he'll refuse and say "oh, it doesn't matter", even though it quite clearly does hmm

branflakesareboring Sun 16-Nov-14 19:24:38

Dh sort of launches into explaining stuff and sort of lecturing and going on and on if he perceives you're doing something wrong (gets this from his father). I am quite a clumsy person and not good with my hands so I do make mistakes, but only small, stupid stuff. Certainly nothing that deserves a lecture.

I feel as though I'm married to my father as dh is like something from a previous era sad he doesn't seem to realise that I'm a competent, intelligent person and I can manage perfectly well without constant guidance, nagging and lectures.

branflakesareboring Sun 16-Nov-14 19:26:08

When dh and ds are together I call them The Chuckle Brothers (being ironic like)

Handywoman Sun 16-Nov-14 19:26:15

That's passive aggressive OP, and it's not good enough.

I did the 'sticking with it' and walking on eggshells thing. I ended up on antidepressants too. Everyone has their limit.

I strongly urge you to seek out a good counsellor to explore the dynamic of your household. It sounds very unhealthy and damaging to you and your ds.

branflakesareboring Sun 16-Nov-14 19:29:08

I know I'm being PA blush

Do you have to pay for a counsellor privately. How much might it cost, does anybody know?

Guiltypleasures001 Sun 16-Nov-14 19:29:18

Hi op

I think your dear sons future partner is going to be in the same boat as you in a few years time.

Poor little sod has no choice but to be stuck living a strangled life like his old man, because his mother couldn't muster up the gumption to get him free of this self imposing prison his father has foisted on him.

Take a step back and ask yourself does he deserve to live like your DH or does he deserve a life that is free and not bogged down by shit life lessons learnt from his childhood.

Nevergrowingup Sun 16-Nov-14 19:29:52

Some of what you are experiencing with your DS is pre-teen behaviour and he will be using the disconnect between you and your DH to his advantage.

My late teen DS still does the mumbling then... "it doesn't matter" and it drives me mad. However, I have changed how I react and now ignore it. Most of the mumbling is done to annoy me and when he needs to say something, funnily enough I hear every word wink

You may want to re think your strategies for getting DS to do things. You need to out-smart him and not set yourself up to fail. Try and not repeat the same patterns of him saying 'no' and crying. An eleven year old is still quite young and he may be anxious about secondary as well as picking up on the tensions.

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