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Am I being a bitch to want more?

(69 Posts)
howhasitgotothis Sun 08-Nov-15 20:13:19

I'll try and be brief!
My Dh and I have been together for 13 years. We have a DS who's 3. We used to have a lot of fun going out when we didn't have DS, but now I feel like going out clubbing with mates is really all we had in common. I don't feel like we share interests now.
That's only part of the problem, my main issue is that I feel like my husband is participating in our lives rather than contributing.
Positives: He's brilliant with DS, he spends really quality time with him playing. He takes him out on walks and to the park and they enjoy their time together. He does bath and bedtime pretty much every night while I do the cooking. As a husband he is financially dependable (he doesn't earn masses but it's enough), I know he loves me, he's pretty chilled about what I do and let's me have time with friends and freedom. He's attractive and intelligent.
Negatives for me: He doesn't take the initiative in anything, either big or small. He does do stuff around the house, but he thinks if he's unstacked the dishwasher or put a load in the washing machine then he's done his bit for the day. I'm constantly picking stuff up behind DH and DS, he can live with mess around him, whereas I find it difficult. We've lived in our house for 2 years and I think he's cleaned the bathroom twice. He's got a load of old paperwork shoved into files which all needs sorting and shredding or filing. I put it up in the loft because I was sick of looking at it, but he needed to get something so it all came back down again and he promised my faithfully that he would sort it out. That was 6 months ago, it's still in the corner of out bedroom. I do all the household filing and paperwork. I sort all insurances, car tax and MOT, he wouldn't have a clue if we were properly insured or not. We have a mortgage based life insurance policy which was attached to our old property so if we drop down dead then it wouldn't be enough to cover our current mortgage, we spoke about it when we first moved in but he is completely oblivious that it still needs sorting.
His driving licence is still registered at his mum's house, he's 41! His passport has just run out and I have this feeling that it will probably get to holiday time and it will be a mad rush to sort it out.
I have been the driving force of the homes we have bought, they've both been do-er up-ers, unless I say shall we do such and such it will not get done. We currently have a project which will basically pay off our mortgage when it's finished, I instigated us doing it.
Even driving, it's improved over the last few weeks but over the years, I've been like a driving instructor when going anywhere because he can't be arsed to remember the way round our city!
I could actually go on and on with examples over the years.
Fundamentally, I just want him to have a bit more passion about stuff. To suggest stuff and have an opinion.
He's not much of a talker, most conversations are started by me.
I would be flabbergasted if one weekend he said 'right, let's do such and such'. It always gets to the weekend and I casually suggest stuff to do as a family and I all I get is 'yeah' or 'I don't know/mind'.
Like I say, I could go on and on. I'm just getting really tired with having to keep the ship sailing.
We have spoken about this a few times over the years. A couple months ago I was really down about it and I told him it was making me unhappy. He always agrees that he should take more initiative and he makes an effort for a few weeks but then it goes back to normal. He has a terrible memory which I think is part of the problem but other people manage to conduct their lives by writing lists and reminders for themselves.
Sorry turned into an essay!!
Am I being unreasonable to want more out of a marriage?

TheMarxistMinx Sun 08-Nov-15 20:24:19

No you are not being unreasonable to expect more out of a marriage. But it is unreasonable to want someone to change. As you say, he tries for a few days then lapses being himself. He sounds laid back, lacking motivation and lazy. That's who you married.

ReadFox Sun 08-Nov-15 20:27:19

You do everything anyway, and he's not much of a talker either?

YOU are not being unreasonable in my opinion.

Offred Sun 08-Nov-15 20:36:18

He sounds like my XH.

As soon as I left he has miraculously been able to do all kinds of things he never did before.

Life is too short to be your partner's parent.

I got to the point where it didn't matter whether he stepped up or not, I was done. That meant a wasted year of utter misery!

Offred Sun 08-Nov-15 20:39:09

Straw that broke the camels back was an argument on my 29th birthday because I had paid literally all my savings to have our roof done and we were waiting for his bonus. He felt he couldn't ask what was going on/why it was late and wanted to draw the rest of the money in cash from a credit card rather than ask where his bonus was/why it was months late. He had spent ages telling me it was due on such and such a date but it transpired he had never asked. I gave up then and eventually left about 6 months later.

howhasitgotothis Sun 08-Nov-15 20:42:47

TheMaristMinx, you're completely right, I can't change him. When we had our big chat a couple of months ago, I specifically said to him that I can't change who you are but these things are making me unhappy. The thing is he agreed that he should take more initiative and he said that he didn't want to give up on us, I'm angry at him for not living up to his promises.

Offred Sun 08-Nov-15 20:46:44

Have you also asked him to think about what he can do to change things? Anyone can feel sorry and wish things were different but the important thing is what are they going to do to make things better?

Offred Sun 08-Nov-15 20:47:41

And saying he knows he should do something and doesn't want to give up the relationship is not a promise to change. It's self pity.

cashmerecardigans Sun 08-Nov-15 20:48:49

Ok so pros are - he's a brilliant dad, he's financially dependable, attractive, intelligent, he loves you.
Cons - he's a bit disorganised and messy, doesn't do tons around the house, not great at planning anything and goes with the flow (my interpretation).
Yes certain aspects slightly irritating but surely the fundementals are right and the rest can be sorted? Maybe ask him to organise something for the weekend and see what he does? It just seems such a shame to not see if there's a way through.

howhasitgotothis Sun 08-Nov-15 20:55:06

Offred: He got a new phone so that he can be more organised, with a diary and a reminder/notes app etc. It took him 4 years to update his knackered old phone.
The outcome of the new organised phone thing......he hasn't even been bothered to programme any numbers in it, so he doesn't even know who is phoning him! He's had the phone for about 2 months.

venusandmars Sun 08-Nov-15 20:56:45

You're not being a bitch, but I'm noticing you don't mention love, or affection of friendship or laughter. Do you love him? When you loved him with a passion you could overlook the little things - where has your passion for him gone? I don't mean just sex - but the deep ongoing love that helps you work through things, to compromise, to make an effort for each other....

howhasitgotothis Sun 08-Nov-15 21:02:51

cashmerecardigans: I know when you write it like that it sounds like it should be fixable but my mind is like a monkey, to-ing and fro-ing about it. I'm fed up with feeling like this. That's just the thing, why should I have to ask him to organise something for the weekend, especially when (only a couple of months ago) I was really honest about how it makes me feel.

NewLife4Me Sun 08-Nov-15 21:07:51

You seem pretty incompatible tbh.
He won't change because he is who is is. Even if he did act the way you want him to it wouldn't be him being himself.
You know what you want and it doesn't sound as though he makes you happy anymore.
These things happen, nobody is to blame.
At least you know he's a good father and will manage 50/50 care. Some fathers are dreadful and do very little.

Offred Sun 08-Nov-15 21:12:35

So he made a showy token effort and didn't actually follow it up?

Meh, I don't think you have to put up with a partner refusing to shoulder half the responsibility for the family you have together.

With my XH I am convinced that when we married he just decided that 'wives do those things'. After we split he has panicked and now does loads because he feels his life is out of his control.

TheMarxistMinx Sun 08-Nov-15 21:14:28

The problem here is that if you ask him to do something he isn't the person showing initiative, you are still having to manage him. It doesn't matter if you have to ask him to load the dishwasher or to think for still amounts to him having to be told and not taking the initiative.

You can't really win. The more you try to get him to do things the less he has to think for himself.

Offred Sun 08-Nov-15 21:15:25

Maybe I am cynical but it just smacks of him feeling entitled to opt out and sorry (for himself) that you don't see it that way too.

howhasitgotothis Sun 08-Nov-15 21:18:55

Venus: There is a bit of laughter, not the banter and belly laughter we used to have. There's a lot of sitting on the sofa watching TV in the evenings. I'd love to sit and chat with a bottle of wine and a lovely fire going, but the TV pretty much always goes on. I do love him, the thought of hurting him makes me sick. But I am finding that I'm withdrawing from him. I used to look forward to him coming home from work, it's not that I don't look forward to it now, but I'm not looking out the window waiting IYKWIM! And if he goes out on the evening now, I kind of look forward just doing my own thing, where as before I would miss him. Does that mean I'm not in love with him anymore??? As as for sex, we do it perhaps every 4-6 weeks, and on the whole I instigate it. Which is another issue in itself!!

Marilynsbigsister Sun 08-Nov-15 21:20:58

It depends really. If you are a sahm/work part time and have time off when DC is in pre school. I don't think it's unreasonable for you to do the things you have mentioned.
If you are both working full time then I would be more than a little hacked off and would stop 'doing ' for him and wait for the consequence of his inaction catch up with him. I had to do this. Email one morning to say car was no longer insured (and he couldn't drive to work until HE dealt with it was enough to change his ways. My Dh will assume I have 'fixed' the minutiae of life, despite explaining that I work too. He would do nothing and expect it until my actions showed him otherwise.

Friendlystories Sun 08-Nov-15 21:21:55

In an ideal world he would be making the necessary change independently but people don't always find such integral changes so easy. I think a lot depends on whether you still have any energy or desire to help him in

TheMarxistMinx Sun 08-Nov-15 21:22:35

I suspect also that whilst he may simply be unmotivated in general thus explaining his lack of commitment to change, all the time you manage him he will let you because it suits him.

I lived with this for years. It's hopeless, unremitting and these personality types lack the ability to make changes because their default is lazy, unimaginative, unmotivated and self serving. It suits them, it's either an acquired desire to do less or so deeply a part of who they are that they are intransigent and stubborn too.

I'm far happier now. It is OK to give up before they drive you to insanity!

Only1scoop Sun 08-Nov-15 21:28:40

Op you could literally be me.

I've had the talk also. I feel like we limp from day to day. His organisation is shite....his initiative is crap. I feel like he just merrily carries out instructions....not many ups not many downs. No plans....unless I make them. I have to plan out leave on our rosters as he barely knows what he's doing. Painful to watch.

I hate constantly being at the helm.

I understand how you feel and will read posts with interest.

Sorry to sound off.

howhasitgotothis Sun 08-Nov-15 21:30:23

Marilyn: Our DS is in nursery Mon-Thurs, I am self employed and I also do 1-2 days a week freelance work and I have DS on Fridays. I admit that I can come and go more readily than he does and I do have more time at home. He works the usual 9-5, his job is not stressful, he's home by 5.30/6.
That's probably why I wonder if I'm being unreasonable, but it still doesn't take away from the fact that my head is a constant list and I don't feel like I can rely on him to take some of the burden away.

howhasitgotothis Sun 08-Nov-15 21:38:02

Thanks to you for all your replies. They're really helpful.
If I'm honest part of me knows that actually we are 2 different people (always have been but something has been able to pull us through in the past) and really we'd be better off apart. But because he's so incapable of organising a piss up in a brewery the thought of leaving him is horrendous to me. I really don't want to break our family up but I think I would be a better person because I feel constantly frustrated about this situation and even if we weren't together and I had to do all the stuff I'm doing now then I would be able to just get on with it rather than feeling as though it's all completely unfair that he gets to not think for himself!

howhasitgotothis Sun 08-Nov-15 21:39:01

He reads a lot of books on enlightenment and such, sometimes I wonder if they make him not give two fucks!

Friendlystories Sun 08-Nov-15 21:42:04

Sorry that posted before I meant it to, if you do want to help him and feel there's enough positives left in your marriage to make it worth your while it might be a matter of driving the changes until they become habit for him. As suggested by a pp give him a weekend to organise for the family, an area of the house to be responsible for, a portion of the paperwork to deal with, maybe even a written list of jobs which, from now on you want him to take over. I watched my mum struggle throughout my childhood because my stepdad is exactly like this (but possibly even worse, he won't even make a cup of tea) and have encountered it to a certain extent with my own DH. My mum has never taken any kind of organised approach to changing my stepdads habits, just sporadic nagging when it all gets to much for her and nothing has changed 30 years down the line, I've had more success with DH although he's still not perfect because I've tried to put things in place to permanently change his habits rather than attempting quick fixes when things get really bad. I guess it's sort of like changing long term eating habits rather than crash dieting iyswim. It's frustrating because you're still ultimately driving the change and that's what's so wearing in the first place but at least you can eventually stop driving them once the changes are ingrained enough. I've ended up with a compromise between forcing him to take responsibility for some stuff and accepting that he finds it difficult to take the initiative and that's a part of his character. I can't really give you much advice about the lack of conversation as that's not something DH struggles with but the practical stuff can be worked on, you just need to decide whether it's worth the effort.

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