Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Is my marriage over?(37 Posts)
I don't know where to begin with this one really. My dh and I had a whirlwind romance 3 years ago and got married 14 months after meeting one another. We've now got a 1 year old as well so things have happened fast in our relationship. Anyway, my husband works periods of very long anti social hours and 6 days a week. I haven't gone back to work yet but am looking for work. To cut a long story short, I'm depressed and resentful about our situation. I feel incredibly restricted in the type of work I can apply for because of my husbands hours. I'm ashamed to say I don't enjoy being a SAHM...I love my little boy but I always presumed I'd be back at work by now. I'm really struggling to put a brave face on it and it's majorly affecting my relationship. We ALWAYS have a big argument on his one day off. He says he's sick of seeing me down and depressed and doesn't understand how I can be resentful of a situation that we put ourselves in. I feel like he thinks I'm a shit mother and a bit of a lost cause in terms of contributing to the household--but then maybe that's just the way I'm feeling about myself. I get very little help with ds. My family live in another country and I don't have any close friends that I can confide in....I have friends but I'm a very private person and don't feel comfortable sharing with them. Dh family help out occasionally but there are other kids that need attention too and I don't feel like I can ask for help in the same way I would ask my family for help. And then there's the whole issue about whether I still love my dh (I'm not sure if I do) we have no sex life, I have no sex drive and have had a lot of pain since giving birth. Anyway, I feel like a burden to my husband and am questioning whether we'd be better off apart.
I think you need to start with improving your situation first before tackling your relationship. There is no shame in not enjoying being a SAHM. Some people love it, some hate it. I wouldn't enjoy it either. Could you use childcare to enable you to work, rather than trying to work round your DH's shifts? Even if you could work a few hours a couple of days a week that would surely help your state of mind. Is your DH able to do anything to assist you in looking for work, rather than just blaming you for not having found anything yet?
As far as your relationship, it is impossible to say whether there is any hope for it from your OP. A lot of what you have said could be down to you being unhappy with the situation you are currently in, and could therefore improve once you are working and happier. If things don't improve once you are working, then at least you will be in a better position to make the break.
I think you need to start with improving your situation first before tackling your relationship.
I agree. Would you consider seeing the doctor? You may actually be depressed.
Would you consider different childcare arrangements, or even different parent-and-child activities - friends can offer support.
I think it sounds as though a job would really help. If your DH is serious about wanting you to be happy then he's going to have to make some compromises for being a parent too.
I feel like he thinks I'm a shit mother and a bit of a lost cause in terms of contributing to the household--but then maybe that's just the way I'm feeling about myself
A very telling statement
Have you talked to your DH and told him what you've written here?
First of all, stop beating yourself up about not wanting to be a SAHM, it's not for everyone. I get so fed up with people assuming I work just to pay the bills. I work because I want to, I work because I don't have what it takes to be a SAHM, I work because I fucking hate housework and I like my job. I love my kids more than anything, but i want to be a working mum.
Work on getting the life you want, find your own happiness.
Thanks for the replies, the problem with childcare is that if I went back to work, we could afford basic childcare but I'd have to be able to do both drop offs and pick ups as we couldn't stretch to wrap around childcare. My previous work was shift based as well which just doesn't work at all. It's not that dh work is shift based its that when he's going through a busy period he works from 9am till 11-12pm so it's not that he could do one part of the day and I could do the other.
I just feel so sad and it's making me even less motivated to get out there. I feel hugely guilty that ds doesn't get enough social interaction so I take him to playgroups every day so it's not like I'm just staying at home all the time.....I just feel stuck....I have thought about going to the doctor but having suffered from depression years ago and being hospitalised, I am reluctant to go back into the system and I'm terrified someone would think I'm an unfit mum
I have spoken to him about how I'm feeling but he is quite harsh. He has said "cry me a river, just get on with it". The way he sees it, he's stuck in a job where he has to work all the hours of the day to provide for us but he just gets on with it so why can't i. I should say he has suffered from depression too so I'm quite surprised he's not more empathetic.
1) Go and see your doctor about your possible depression and the pain you've been experiencing since childbirth. It is normal, I think, to find sex painful for a time after the birth of a child, but most women find this pain eases as they heal and relax about it and by a year I think most women would be healed. Its certainly worth getting checked out to see if you have an undiagnosed birth injury.
2) Yes, talk to your DH. If you're a private person you may find it hard to open up to him as you do with friends, particularly as the two of you spend so little time together.
3) Can you afford childcare for a day or two a week to a) give you some time off from the relentlessness of caring for a small DC and b) to give you the chance to search for work more effectively?
There is no shame in finding being a SAHM hard. Many of us do. Some are honest about it, others put a brave face on it and soldier on. But its bloody hard have a small DC at home all the time, having to take them everywhere you want/need to go, the boredom of bum wiping and trying to get them to nap and planning what they're going to eat and making sure you have all the crap you need to take for them when you leave the house. Its okay to not enjoy all that, so don't beat yourself up.
God, I've just read back what I've written and I sound like such a pathetic victim. This is not the person I am and not the person I want to be....
Thank you for the reassuring messages. I think I needed a bit of perspective after a very teary morning....
He has said "cry me a river, just get on with it".
Nice! Okay, well maybe talking to your 'D'H isn't such a priority. In that case I would do what you can to look after YOU (and your DS obviously). And do have a think about who you could maybe open up to a bit. Another mum at the same stage may well understand your feelings. Its really hard going from being a professional with a job and a life they can largely control to being a SAHM who constantly has to put herself second, who has zero status in our culture, and who is both bored out her brains and exhausted.
Bored out of my brains and exhausted just about sums it up!
Not talking to friends doesn't help, it contributes to a sense of isolation.
Better that than endless arguments with your husband.
Does it matter if you have to do drop offs and pick ups for childcare? If working makes you feel better, it's a small price to pay.
It only matter if I can't find a job that will facilitate that i.e that I can leave on time to pick him up. I think you're right though I do need to work on my own happiness.
Hmm. I am not impressed with his unloving, unkind reaction.
Time to look to yourself.
Would a short shift at a pub or hotel or shop be an option?
You don't sound like a victim to me, btw. You sound very strong to have made this far.
I've just had a phone call with dh. He says he's done everything to make me happy and it's not good enough. He just wants a simple life. He's a complex character and so am I so I told him if he wants to have a simple life he needs to be with a simpler person which he agreed with so I guess that's it. Shit.
Don't give up on your marriage over a phone call. It sounds like you're both under a lot of stress at the moment and emotions are heightened, but do you honestly think that its unsalvageable? Do you really think you'd be better off apart?
I like to write lists when I'm in a bit of a mess. It might help you to write one with the qualities you married him for. Do they still apply? Did you want the same things from life back then? Do you now? Do you want to work at this? Does he? Would you both be prepared to go to Relate or similar to work through your differences? Can you afford to separate right now?
There are so many things to think about. Don't let an angry and emotional phone call be the end unless its what you both really want.
Sorry I'm in a bit of a mess, can't think rationally. Think I need to go an have a cup of tea and calm down. And then approach it with a clearer head.
I think you're getting good advice here. I also think you need to turn the discussion with your DH around so rather than being unhappy and miserable, tell him firmly that you want to discuss together how, as a couple, you can solve the problem. It does sound like he is somewhat unsympathetic, but, giving him the benefit of the doubt, perhaps if he seems you want to find a solution that works for everyone, he will be more supportive.
To that end, you need to find a job that is set hours and/or a short commute. I don't know what you did before, but I think a lot of office and retail type work can be very set hours and would allow you to manage appropriate childcare. Also, if you use a childminder, you may be able to find one that either starts a bit earlier or finishes a bit later, allowing you more flexibility in finding a job.
Also, and this one is contentious, I think that men need to start stepping up. I worked in the city, at a relatively senior level and DH was a SAHD when I went back to work. However, I was absolutely religious about leaving "early" at 6pm on the day DH had his hobby. And surprisingly, people took it quite well. They saw I was there the rest of the time. And also, in a genuine crisis situation, DH accepted that he'd have to skip that week. There was a man who sat opposite me whose arrangement with his wife was that twice a week he did the school run. It meant he got in "late" at 9:10 on those days, but as he had his blackberry and planned around it, I am not sure anyone even noticed. And this was in a very high pressured, stressful and unfamily-friendly environment.
I posted earlier but my phone lost it, giving some examples of high-flying fathers at our old nursery who were doing drop-off on a regular basis.
He can't have it both ways - moan about being sole provider yet do nothing to enable you to work.
I think there are two issues here, one of them is the work thing and it would be unfair of me to say dh wouldn't support me whenever I do find work cause he would. Not working is part of the reason I'm so down but the other major issue is whether my husband and I are actually good for each other, do we love each other? Did we rush into things? If we didn't get married would we have broken up a long time ago? Can he love me unconditionally when I'm at a low ebb? Can I try not to take all my frustrations out on him?
I should point out that this period in life with young children is really tough! Don't give up on your marriage. In time, the picture may look very different, once you have a better balance in life (and more sleep!)
Have you looked for childminders? Can you afford a half day or day a week to get your head together?
Ideas: work in education, pubs and restaurants, self employment (any business ideas, skills you can sell as a freelance).
Join the discussion
Please login first.