How to help DH in the middle of a mid-life crisis(61 Posts)
Things have been a bit tough recently, DH started a new job 3 months ago where he is away half the week. It's very senior and he's stressed.
The last few weekends things have come to a head when he's been short tempered, shouting at the children, esp my DD1 who is 12 and a bit hormonal at the mo.
After a weekend of him in a foul mood I asked him last night what the problem was, and what I could do to try & cheer him up. He said he was bored with family life, working all week and then mowing the lawn and ferrying the children here and there at the weekend.
What do I do - I felt really upset that he doesn't enjoy being part of the family anymore - this Is real life, isn't it, when you have two children, a home to maintain and you both work. For the record, we have a good life, comfortably off and we go out regularly for a meal as acouple or to the theatre etc - it seems it isn't enough. Feel very hurt by it all. Any suggestions to make it better?
have you noticed anything else recently apart from this behaviour. withdrawing, on phone a lot?
It might be he has had his head turned by a new colleague??
It's not your job to facilitate an exciting life for your DH. Family life can be dull and repetative true, tell him you'd all like a bit more excitement and suggest that instead of whining that he start to come up with some ideas to bring a bit of balance to your lives.
New job? I would suspect that someone has a crush on a new colleague......
I'm afraid I wouldn't tolerate this nonsense. Please don't bend over backwards trying to pep things up for him. Ask him outright what can be done to change it? If he droops around giving no real answer then i would ask him straight out about his new colleagues. Let him know I was on to him.
Wow.....this must be a mumsnet record....we have a first post alluding to an affair already!
Can we establish the equivalent of Godwins law on here:
"As an online discussion on the mumsnet relationships board grows longer, the probability of a poster suggesting an OW being on the scene approaches 1"
I shall call it Pans Law
New stressful Job, away form home and family half the week and hes not happy. Its not an ideal lifestyle. I don't know how that goes straight to potential OW though, there's enough there bringing him down without making that leap. Poor bloke doesnt stand a chance.
I do have some sympathy with him - don't we all feel, sometimes, that after a week of working hard it would be nice to have a really relaxing weekend, but the weekend seems to be full of jobs and chores too?
Has he got any suggestions of how he could get himself out of this rut? Does he have a hobby?
Don't think an affair is on the radar - just think he's dissatisfied with what he's got.
You're all right - it's not my job to get him out of the glums - feel hurt by what he said though - normal life IS about weekends catching up on domestic stuff and taking the kids to sports / social things isn't it. I think it's harder now with them secondary school age than when they were little.
He said he was bored with family life, working all week and then mowing the lawn and ferrying the children here and there at the weekend.
That does indeed sound shit. Do you also have fun at the weekends? As a family?
The trouble is Spell that I think he enjoys being away - home life I stressful with the children at the moment, when away despite work being busy he can swim and go out after work, think he enjoys being away more than being at home.
Does he have any hobbies or interests that most men enjoy to do or follow? Maybe some physical exercise after work or weekends would help his boredom, put some excitement in to his life if he has a stressful job, a trip to a carting track ,or something like that. It would be great if all the family could join in with some activity.
Posters complain when a guy swans off with another woman without trying to fix a relationship first.
Yet when a bloke raises concerns about his apparently frustrating, dull life, he's knocked for it...
Not really, Queenofsheba, to be honest - because he's away we have to catch up on it all at the weekend - I work too so free time is short. We do usually go out for a family meal and a family dog walk or similar most weekends, not highly exciting, but isn't that normal?
Have you considered that his stress and anxiety may be causing him some real mental health issues. What used be called nervous breakdown and is now called bi polar disorder or possibly depression?
God I know how he feels! I have often felt after a weekend of chores that I would really rather not be where I am, and I often feel nostalgic for my pre-DH and kids days where my time was my own and I filled it with whatever I felt like. But we're not there anymore. So he needs to get over it and find something to give him a bit of excitement. And I'm sure you could help him work out what that might be. What's he in to? Sport? Holidays? Can he take up cycling? That's what half the middle aged men with mid life crises seem to do! I've stopped drinking and started running, and I've entered a triathlon, and it's a really great focus and something I can do for me but also involve the family in. It's REALLY hard when you're away during the week, my DH did that for 3 years. Don't underestimate just how hard it is on both of you. Is there an end point to him being away, or is it for the forseeable future? It's easier if he can see an end to it. He needs to focus on doing something positive on the nights he's away, perhaps studying something, or doing some sport. Don't just tell him to stop moaning, because my DH does this to me quite often - I think because he feels a bit scared about my midlife crisis feelings and doesn't know how to cope with them. Your DH probably just needs someone to listen to him moan a bit and then gently prod him in the right direction.
Thanks all, feel better about it all already. Maybe I need to be more sympathetic - just feel that sometimes it's always about him, when actually life on my own half the week supporting everyone is very draining, exhaustingly busy and he rarely asks how my week has been. A symptom of a long term marriage, maybe - you both forget to appreciate the other one. Sad really.
Ah, I see what you're saying about enjoying being away! This is something I noticed with my DH - he found it very hard to adjust to being with us again after several nights out of the family routine and environment. He definitely needs to find something to look forward to at the weekends. As I said, this summer triathlons have been the thing for us - we all swim, cycle and run together (in mornings before school, and after school) and then there might be a competition at a weekend, or else you all have a huge bike ride or something. It takes time and a bit of money, and the lawn may not get mown, but perhaps you could let that stuff slide a bit in favour of some fun?
Op, good on you to take on board what your DH has said and to look for ideas to help him. Please ignore the typical MN posters who give no productive advice and just tell you that it's not your job, he needs to figure it out,etc....
Ofcourse it's not your responsibility but the point of being in a partership is that you support each other in the difficult times, when we are feeling down, when we are feeling unmotivated. That's what DH and I do and it really helps.
I really recommend some sort of sport, everyone needs an activity outside the family/work.
Is there anything you could do to reduce the amount of domestic catch up that has to be done at weekends?
Do you have a cleaner?
Could somebody else cut the grass? (One of the kids? Not sure of ages)
this Is real life, isn't it, when you have two children, a home to maintain and you both work.
Does it have to be?
Not that being bored with the hum drum nature of life excuses him coming home and being an arse.
But what are things you could do (you plural) to build a family life that is more fun for all the members?
You sound pretty bored too, just resigned to it.
To be fair, that week of work and domestic chores doesn't sound too exciting, especially if work is stressful.
If he's in a senior role he must bring in salary to match, can't you outsource the boring domestic stuff like lawnmowing?
Do you have a holiday to look forward to?
Yeah, I also struggle to reconcile 'comfortably off' with 'lawn mowing'. Can you get a local gardener to do it? Or bribe one of the kids?
Can totally relate to this one and as i applies to both me and DH I know there's no OW in our case!
Can you outsource the gardening?
Housework? Do home delivery shopping one evening instead to take another task out of the weekend
Do finances stretch to a cleaner who can also do laundry?
Find some space for fun stuff both together as a family and as individuals. Golf? Tennis? Bikes?
Now just need to take my own advice - though money right at the moment so it's a challenge!
My mantra at the moment is - this too shall pass....
OP I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that working away gives him freedom - being at home gives him responsibilities again and, not surprisingly, he doesn't like it!
I've just had a weekend away with an old friend. I was only away Sat am/Sun pm, but oh my god it was bliss. No one saying 'Mummy, Mummy, Mummy' all day long, no grumpy OH bitching about stuff, no chores to do, just me and my friend and a hotel room all to myself where I didn't have to make the bed or clean the bath. If I had that five days a week I think I'd dread coming home at the weekends to do all the sodding laundry and be everyone's cook, cleaner, gardener and taxi service.
Working away has given your DH a taste of how bloody lovely it is to be able to put yourself first, for once in your life. When you have kids (and a job), you forget what that feels like, but that taste of freedom can sour 'normal life', which seems humdrum, boring and full of other people's demands. I'd have a chat with him about it and say you understand, but that its not fair for him to have five days away each week and then come home and be a grump with everyone. He had to pull his weight when he's at home - and with good grace.
And yes, try to make your weekends more fun - all work and no play, etc.
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