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Husband doesn't co-parent/ works all hours and leaves me to deal with the fall out

(31 Posts)
CrankyCarp Mon 01-Jun-15 18:58:22

I don't really know where to begin with this. I feel like I'm a 2015 woman trapped some bizarre time-warp 50's marriage. Ive never told anyone in real life what my marriage is like but i can't believe I can go on like this.
I'm married to a workaholic (and I mean serious work-holic) who spends 5 hours or less physically 'with us' a week and the rest of the time in his office at work/ in his office at home or sleeping (in the office!). We have not had sex for over 9 months. We never spend any time together let alone go on dates! The only contact I have with him is at mealtimes (when he's here) then after the meal he scoots back up to his office and closes the door on us (physically and emotionally).

My two boys are both ASD the youngest has particularly high needs. I have to do everything on my own - attend parent meetings/write ECHP requests/ visit the doctors / paediatrician's etc. He is never here for the school plays/ concerts etc. He never ever spontaneously offers to look after the boys to give me a break. He never spends more than a cursory 30 minutes with either of his children. The last time I went out socially without the kids was in November and then he moaned that I was back late (i'd been out for 3 hours and it wasn't even midnight.) This week a dear friend is having a party on the other side of London - i told him I wanted to go weeks ago but yesterday he told me he has a work deadline and won't be here to help me out. what sucks most of all is I can't get our usual babysitter and he has 'forbidden me' to use someone I don't know making the case that the boy's won't settle with someone new because of the ASD (he's probably right) and that the other side of London is too far to go for a party. I don't have the cash to book a trial with a baby sitter + petrol + baby sitting for the night so I guess this party is not happening.

I work my guts out for my family, cook, clean, look after my children, deal with all the school stuff and when I get a moment I help with husband's business (do admin) marketing etc. I feel unappreciated, undervalued and a complete failure to my sex for putting with it all. I have no sources of income of my own. We don't own the property we live in (for all the work my husband does we need seem to make anything significant from it). He's cut me off from most of my friends - what the hell do I do?

bluecitymum Mon 01-Jun-15 19:02:44

May I ask if he chooses to work so hard/much or if the job genuinely demands this level of attention?
Sorry to hear you're going through this, I am in similar situation but not to your extent.

GoatsDoRoam Mon 01-Jun-15 19:05:04

Well first, you go to your party. If your husband can't mind the kids himself, the onus is on him to find a sitter.

Have a good time, talk to friends, reconnect with them. Meet up with them for coffee, drinks, etc. Tell them about your marriage. And consider whether you want to remain in it.

If the result of your thinking is that there is nothing for you in this marriage, then inform your husband that his behaviour is unacceptable to you. Ask him to come up with solutions. Decide what changes on his part might convince you to stay, and within what timeframe.

Do what is best for you, and protect your own needs and values and worth as an individual.

AyeAmarok Mon 01-Jun-15 19:05:15

What do you do?


That's no way to live. That's not a relationship at all.

You'd be much better off on your own.

AyeAmarok Mon 01-Jun-15 19:05:21

What do you do?


That's no way to live. That's not a relationship at all.

You'd be much better off on your own.

CrankyCarp Mon 01-Jun-15 19:13:24

Blue City - I think he chooses it tbh ( I suspect he is ASD too and can't handle real life away from the developers screen)

Goats - that's a very brave strategy - i'm scared though he'd just not do sort it / that he'd not return from work in time and leave me with no babysitter and no way of going. To give an idea what he's like I first asked him to book time for a holiday (our first in years) 2 months ago - I found out yesterday he hasn't done it yet despite 4 reminders from me (by email). I think the reality is he likes the idea of having a family but the reality is just not what he can cope with.

Aye - but how do I leave? I have no funds

0x530x610x750x630x79 Mon 01-Jun-15 19:13:58

See leaving is very expensive, i would just act like him, check out of the marriage, join a dating website, go out 2 or 3 times a week, see how long it takes him to notice.

APlaceOnTheCouch Mon 01-Jun-15 19:16:48

Start slowly piecing your life back together. Reconnect with friends. Do you have any family that you could call on for babysitting duties? If so, then ask them.

Stop helping with his business. That time could be better spent having some 'me' time; catching up with your friends; or starting to work for yourself.

Ultimately if you want to leave then tell him that you are at the end of your tether and request he goes to counselling; spends x number of hours with you as a family; whatever you think could transform this into a working relationship for you.

Actually, you sound so conflicted about it all, that I think the best first step for you would be to go to counselling on your own. It'll help you figure out exactly what you want and help to rebuild your confidence so you can start to move forward.

(oops and as for the babysitter issue this week, ask him to:
* either pay for the trial run with a new babysitter if he is so concerned about how your DCs will settle or * ask him to work from home so that if the new babysitter has any problems he'll be on hand. Another option is (if your DH has family nearby) ask them to babysit. If I were you I'd also be telling everyone that I'd been really looking forward to the party, that he'd agreed to babysit and then let you down at the last minute. He might not treat you as badly if he realised other people would find out he was such an arse.)

0x530x610x750x630x79 Mon 01-Jun-15 19:17:30

Hmm he really has you by the short and curlies, call a nanny agency get an emergency babysitter, it will cost an absolute fortune. Make sure he is home before you so he has to pay, text him how much it will cost.
He can not ban you from doing anything.

JesusIsComingLookBusy Mon 01-Jun-15 19:19:05

0x530x610x750x630x79 grin - you are wicked!

APlaceOnTheCouch - great advice thank you!

CrankyCarp Mon 01-Jun-15 19:19:54

Opps just outed myself (don't think Hub reads Mumsnet though!)

Handywoman Mon 01-Jun-15 19:21:29

With all the work and little financial reward: are you sure he's actually working all this time? Or is he simply diverting himself away from family life?

Your first priority is to go to the party. Book a sitter and leave the sitter with your husband's contact number (if you're on the other side of town you can't reasonably get back in the event of a crisis anyway). Switch off your mobile, connect with your friends and start opening up about your life: somehow when you break the silence it brings relief.

Very easy to sleepwalk into this situation (did it myself and I'm now free) so don't be hard on yourself.

You deserve more than this. Your H appears to have no respect for you as a person. You are little more than a domestic appliance to him.

You need to get away from this bully and build a better life for you and your boys. Your life will improve immeasurably if you leave this marriage because at the moment you are controlled and dominated by a bully.

Leaving is a 'process'. Take the first step, snatch a bit of freedom back and begin leaning on your friends.

Handywoman Mon 01-Jun-15 19:25:12

Serious Q: on the day of the party: how about you drop your boys at his office and go straight from there????

QuiteLikely5 Mon 01-Jun-15 19:27:40

This marriage is one of the worst of read about on here.

It is so cruel what he is doing. I really do not know how you tolerate him.

Please tell him you need to speak with him urgently once the children are asleep.

Explain that marriage is a two way street as is parenting. Tell him you did not get married to live as though you were not married and tell him your children need a father.

Fathers, tell him are supposed to contribute practically and emotionally towards their children's wellbeing. He is doing neither.

By practically I mean taking them out, spending time with them. Emotionally he needs to be interacting with them on a very regular basis.

He is a selfish, selfish man.

Is he mega rich? Why on earth does he spend so much time at work?

You do realise that if you separated you would be entitled to financial help from the government and you would get extra help because of your boys ASD, plus maintenance from your dh.

Also surely he would try to have contact with the boys which would hopefully give you a break.

Do not put up with this treatment. You deserve so much more.

JesusIsComingLookBusy Mon 01-Jun-15 19:29:29

Handy - I do wonder. He could have a whole other life and I'd not know. He's tech enough to over his tracks if he wanted to.

To be honest these strategies all sound great and empowering but I'm so scared. He has this ability to fill me with guilt and terror about not putting the boy's needs first (ironic ha!). I'm not sure I want to involve them in the inevitable barny that would ensue if I did that.

JesusIsComingLookBusy Mon 01-Jun-15 19:31:30

I realise I'm sounding very weak and pathetic - sorry!

QuiteLikely5 Mon 01-Jun-15 19:34:24

You go to your local council and tell them your predicament. Ask if they can help you. Or just ring them up

QuiteLikely5 Mon 01-Jun-15 19:35:22

He is very controlling and you are under his spell. Fear is what he has given you

QuiteLikely5 Mon 01-Jun-15 19:35:50

You are not pathetic Hun - he is!

JesusIsComingLookBusy Mon 01-Jun-15 19:36:22

QuiteLikely - I must take some of the blame for the deterioration. We used to have a great relationship many moons ago, then over the years we stopped going out socially together although we lived as a couple, he got jealous all the time over absolutely nothing, life was all about money worries, we got pregnant, I was consumed with love for my baby, I shut him out, I started co-sleeping with my boys when my second was born. It hasn't helped things. I never reach out to him anymore. I never try and initiate anything with him anymore.

MisForMumNotMaid Mon 01-Jun-15 19:36:22

Sometimes knowing there is another option can give you strength to challenge the status quo.

If you have a look at turn to us that could help you play through things.

Are you getting DLA for your boys and carers allowance for yourself? Are you getting tax credits plus disability adjustments. Are you registered with your council for its disability support?

I've registered with ours and have just managed to get some respite provision (its taken a few months). Just wondering now, but if both your DS get DLA you can only get carers allowance once could you possibly get a support allowance for the other child and use that for extra support allowance to buy time out?

Do your council run accessible holiday clubs? Ours do and they're fairly heavily subsidised for those with higher needs. I'm just starting to find my way into all these things and the relief of a few hours off is amazing - even if relaxing in them isn't something i yet do.

I find getting out very difficult. DH strugles with our three DC, eldest two are from my first marriage (eldest is Autistic and youngest under diagnosis) I'm a SAHM too. I don't really have any friends. We've not been in the area that long (realising actually it'll be two years this summer) and after child stuff theres no time/ energy left.

What ever you do. Think it through and do it with planned control. The party is just one event - your life is about far more than that even if this is the final straw.

The last thing you need is to find yourself with very stressed ASD children on top of your stress.

This place is amazing for venting, working through practicalities, getting special needs support and getting support for you. Its seen me through some tough times. It does get better.

BathtimeFunkster Mon 01-Jun-15 19:36:40

Well the first thing you need to do is remember that you aren't his child or his employee, so he doesn't get to forbid you from doing anything.

Either he looks after the children himself, or you arrange childcare that you think is suitable and go as far as you please.

Why are you letting this prick control your life to this extent?

0x530x610x750x630x79 Mon 01-Jun-15 19:37:27

If you aren't going to do any, don't do mine, it is by far the most fun.

But seriously, BOTH parents need to consider their kids not just you. Do not accept his crap.

I was listening to the radio tonight and the samaritans aren't just for suicide, you could try them.

JesusIsComingLookBusy Mon 01-Jun-15 19:38:47

I have to go - the boys have to go to bed! smile will check in later. thank you so much everyone. It's such a relief to let this all out after literally years. even my mum has no idea!

Handywoman Mon 01-Jun-15 19:39:33

I do think you should drop them off at his office: he will not be able to bawl you out in front of colleagues. Plus it will embarrass him and bring the shameful secret of his terrible attitude, out into the open, where it belongs.

What have you got to feel guilty about? Denial of yourself, perhaps, but you've no need to guilty of you break this cycle.

Your boys need you, OP. Please don't allow yourself to be crushed by this abusive man. His control over you affects them directly.

Please investigate your financial position, OP, as a single parent.

Do you claim DLA?

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