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So fed up(17 Posts)
I'm sat here having just bawled my eyes out for the past ten minutes. Not sure what to do next.
DP is a lovely man. He is gentle and kind, and a wonderful father. I'm so sick of living with him. He is so unmotivated. Our house is a mess. He is constantly forgetting things and is a terrible timekeeper. I am the sole breadwinner and he does the school and nursery runs and looks after the children while I work (freelancer working from home). I try to keep on top of the housekeeping but it's difficult.
We have just had an enormous argument about housework. I booked a cleaner to come today as a bit of a treat for us both. Naturally we need to tidy up a bit first (kids' toys etc) to make sure that she can reach the stuff she needs to clean. DP is being really difficult about it, complaining that he can't do anything right, generally acting like a teenager. I just want to get stuff tidied up quickly so I can get back to work (I have a lot on today).
I want to leave him but I can't afford to. I guess as the sole breadwinner I would have to move out and leave him in the family home. I couldn't bear to leave my kids. We rent a council house. There is a serious housing shortage in our city and I absolutely could not afford to run two households. We can barely afford one (honestly, we just scrape by). I don't know what to do. I just can't live like this any more but I can't see any way out.
We did marriage counselling last year but I eventually refused to go. The focus was on how hard it must be for DP to not have a job (other than looking after the children of course, which is a job in itself). I stated then, and have said repeatedly, that I am not stopping him! He is very welcome to find paid employment! I had a hard time understanding why I was meant to feel sorry for him having two full days each week with children in day care and him with "nothing to do". The counsellor's focus was on us having more sex - there had been practically none for a year - and I felt essentially forced into it. It was awful. I started to feel like I was losing the plot which was why I stopped going: everything I was being told there sounded completely bizarre to me (like it being difficult for DP to have those two days with no job and no child care to do). Now I don't know what to do next.
What I would like if I could have my way: a reasonably tidy house (kept up by both of us), good healthy food, feeling comfortable having friends over, knowing what events/playdates are booked and getting to them with a minimum of fuss. I don't understand why it feels impossible. I don't know what to do.
What are you getting out of this relationship now?.
He is not a lovely man not a wonderful father either if he is treating you, the mother of his children, like this. Women often write such guff like "he's a great dad" when they have nothing positive to write about their man. He is acting like an overgrown teenager perhaps out of spite towards you as well (why is he so forgetful and a bad timekeeper?).
Why have you had to tidy stuff up in advance of the cleaner arriving?.
Not being able to afford it is really no reason to continue within this relationship. You do not owe anyone a relationship least of all this man.
I would seek legal advice re the property (your thoughts re having to move out are supposition and not based on any hard facts) and start getting things together re separation.
Is this really what you want to teach your children about relationships, that this is how people actually behave in relationships?. What are they learning here about relationships from you both.
Why is he not in employment, what reasons is he giving here?.
Doesn't everyone have to tidy up before a cleaner comes?
You are spot on about what we teach the children about relationships. In fact several times our 4yo has said not-nice things which came straight from his father's mouth. I have pointed this out to DP.
Seriously though, he is a great father. Much more patient with the children than I am, takes them out and about, changes all the nappies, makes school lunches etc etc.
He is not in paid employment because he is a SAHP (DC2 has only just started nursery). I have no problem with that. I DO have a problem with the counsellor expecting me to feel sorry for him because of it , honestly that part did my head in.
He has been assessed for ADHD due to his disorganisation etc, but he does not have it.
You are absolutely right about not assuming things re: housing, by the way. But the fact is that there isn't enough money for us to run two households. We barely get by with one. And I just couldn't, I simply couldn't, kick my children's other partner out of our family home and leave him penniless, even if the law allowed it. I would be disgusted to see a man do this to a woman, and I think it works both ways.
children's other partner = children's other parent
re your comment:-
"You are spot on about what we teach the children about relationships. In fact several times our 4yo has said not-nice things which came straight from his father's mouth. I have pointed this out to DP".
And what has been his response?.
"Seriously though, he is a great father. Much more patient with the children than I am, takes them out and about, changes all the nappies, makes school lunches etc etc".
I would still argue that he is not a great dad at all due also to the comments that your 4 year old is coming out with; this child is being influenced by him in particular.
Did he mainly push that idea at you about becoming a SAHP?. What did he do prior to be a SAHP?.
You're running around chasing your tail and trying to keep the finances above water whilst he frankly prats about. He is doing the barest of bare minimums with his children and he carries on like this because it suits him not to work (he probably thinks that paid employment is for fools and wanted a "cushier" life). Will his poor timekeeping actually make his children late for nursery or arrive late for pick up time?.
He likely manipulated the Relate counsellor to make that person feel sorry for him, he's never taken any real responsibility for his actions here has he?.
I am wondering if you are co-dependent when it comes to relationships as well because you seem to be very responsible when it comes to him. If this actually was the other way around I doubt that he would give you even 0.5% of the consideration you are giving him.
If he has 2 full days of nothing to do, when DCs are in childcare, then he could put that time to good use and do some housework, no? But he prefers to put you under more financial pressure, to fork out for a cleaner.
Sorry you had an unhelpful counsellor. A decent counsellor wouldn't advise you that shagging your husband more often would be the answer. Did she suggest he change his behaviour? Counsellors shouldn't give advice anyway. Consider giving therapy another go, this time by yourself, therefore focusing on yourself. Have a look on the UKCP or BACP websites.
It seems as if you feel completely responsible for him. He's an adult, and isn't reciprocating the consideration and care you show him.
I always have the feeling with DP that it isn't that he doesn't care (ie he doesn't deliberately put me under financial pressure), he's just disorganised. That is, he doesn't care enough to get his act together. If he had to go and pick up a cheque for 10,000 quid, he'd be sure to remember.
Counsellor made it very clear that I couldn't change DP and would have to accept the way things are. I said, nicely of course, that I didn't have to accept things, I could always leave. There are always choices after all . Just awful ones.
Prior to being a SAHP, DP was in a fairly skilled but relatively low-paying job. It has all but disappeared thanks to the financial crisis. Sorry for being mysterious, I don't want to out myself (even though anyone who knows me IRL will already have recognised me!).
I'm really interested in the comments about co-dependency and feeling responsible for him. I suppose I do feel responsible for us to a great extent. I manage all the household finances, paying bills, etc etc. The counsellor was aghast at this from a "he has no say in anything" point of view, but that's nonsense. I have wondered sometimes if I'm controlling. But I'm not, I just like to make sure things get done and I detest paying bank charges/late fees for no good reason. That's why I do it all.
If I send him an email asking him to do something (eg recently, seeing if we could get a lower-cost internet connection), I also have to remind him verbally. I have so much on my plate, sometimes I want to scream.
From a practical viewpoint, assuming I'm not about to LTB (seriously, it is financially impossible for us to split, I would have to sleep on a friend's sofa or something, there's no money for accommodation), is the only way out that he is going to change? I just can't see it happening. I've tried a million and one ways of reminding him to do stuff, but it rarely happens.
My dream is that we would get the household chores done with a minimum of fuss 90% of the time, would keep the house reasonably tidy 90% of the time, would have things organised 99% of the time so we didn't forget things/turn up late/get unnecessarily stressed. And would thus have more time and energy for healthy eating, playing with the kids, doing things together.
Am I being ridiculous?
If you left, finances would be seperate. Dh would have to get a job or claim benefits.
I'm not 100% sure but I think under the laws of this country (sorry, non-UK, should have been more clear from the outset) I would have to pay him alimony of more than half my net income based on a calculator I looked up online. Even with my full income, I couldn't afford a place to live (think London housing prices). And I just won't leave my children anyway. I can't. Even though sometimes I do feel like they'd be better off without me
I won't leave them. And I can't see him leaving.
I always have the feeling with DP that it isn't that he doesn't care (ie he doesn't deliberately put me under financial pressure), he's just disorganised. That is, he doesn't care enough to get his act together.
I don't see how things can change then. You've jumped through hoops to accommodate him. He hasn't made any attempt to step up really, has he?
Grabbing at straws here, if he's not using his 2 free days productively, could he re-train for something on those days? You say his previous skills are no longer useful.
He wouldn't be entitled to half your income if he moved out, and the DCs stayed with you though, surely? Would you get help with childcare fees as a single parent in your country? You're currently paying 2 days a week, and a cleaner anyway.
I'm angry on your behalf tbh. He knows you're struggling financially, but prefers a paid cleaner than getting his hands dirty. Sounds like an extra child.
The country you live in - is it quite a patriarchal society?
Yes we would get help with child care fees. Not at all a patriarchal society (well less than average at least); Northern European and relatively into equality.
He feels like an extra child sometimes, a teenage one. He can get so stroppy over things that need to be done. Form-filling etc. We have had arguments over it because I can't stand the attitude.
His parents have a very equal relationship and his mother didn't bring him up to expect that women would do all the housework or anything like that. I'm not sure where he gets it from. He's just bone idle.
And I wish I'd never booked the bloody cleaner, it was meant to be a treat and instead I spent a good 15 minutes sobbing and have spent the rest of the day considering my future. I feel so trapped. I had hoped that the counselling would help us but I honestly had the feeling that she "took his side" (I guess everyone thinks that!) I really felt forced into sex the night before one of our sessions. It felt like she was in bed with us. It was really a low point in my life. Never felt less in my life like having sex but I knew I had to or else.
So at the next session we said yes, we did our homework and she said, "And?" I was expected to say how it was! If I'd been honest, well, I wonder what would have happened!
Not long after that, I refused to go to the sessions any more. It was making me question myself and I really started to feel like I had a totally warped view of life, because the whole "poor DP" thing just doesn't make sense to me.
So what do you think you might do, Surely? He's made it pretty clear he's OK with the way things are.
You're the breadwinner, do majority of housework, organise everything. And you're also expected force yourself to shag him, when you're knackered and resentful? Might have been the counsellor's advice, but surely he's not so unempathic that he could tell you weren't enjoying it?
The question is, are you happy to settle for this? Start putting you and DCs first. Stop trying to do what's best for this entitled man-child. He's not your responsibility. Would you treat someone you care about the same way he treats you? What you advise your DCs in 20 years time, were they being treated like this?
I think Attila made a good point, re. co-dependency. (I was in a physically and mentally abusive relationship, but felt guilty about throwing him out of my home, and making him homeless, worried about him managing on his own. It can really fuck with your head.)
And your counsellor sounds dreadful. Can you report her to her governing body? In UK we have BACP and UKCP, and you'd be struck off for co-ercing someone into sex.
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