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Do you feel you have a good, supportive marriage? And if so, can you give me advice?

(23 Posts)
Bobby2013 Thu 10-Dec-15 08:33:37

Hello, I'm struggling in my relationship and I don't know if I'm contributing to it, or if it is that I made a mistake choosing my husband so would like a balanced, third party view -please bear with me.

We met four years ago, and he's an artist so I knew he had that moody side to him but for the first nine months we lived in different towns and only saw each other at weekends so I didn't feel the full force of it! I knew he was in debt, I didn't know how much and have since discovered it's double what I thought. He works freelance, but the work is sporadic, and it just covers his paying off debt. I pay the mortgage, and in this last year all the household expenses.

We moved in together after 10 months, and while we had talked about children, I didn't think I was that fertile given my age (I was 40 at the time) and so was shocked when I got pregnant within weeks of coming off the pill. After the initial struggle all parents go through, he has become an amazing father and that's one of his strengths and the reason I married him.

As I said, I knew he could be moody, and I knew he was not a great economic bet, but he made me laugh, was kind and thoughtful, and does more than his share of the domestic chores. His work situation also means that he does a lot of childcare. But I have her a lot of the time too, yet he makes out that I don't interact with my DD enough. His personality is to be very methodical - almost OCD, while |I'm a scatter brain. I can never find anything, and he is constantly telling me what a problem this is for him. He makes out as though I do it on purpose, and I'm made to feel a failure for not locating my keys without having to search the flat!

I recently returned to full-time study as my career was dead in the water, and I was struggling to make money - the only thing that has been a saviour is that I bought and sold property well and so have minimal mortgage. I often feel the only reason he is with me is because I put a roof over his head and because we have a child.

We have not slept together for about six months, obviously after having our baby that relationship changed, but I didn't think it would be to this extent. He says he's tired, that he doesn't feel sexy, and that he doesn't feel the need for it. He's still affectionate, but I can get hugs from my friends. I know that part of the problem is that he does not like change, he has his routine in bed and he wants to stick to that even if it's not fulfilling for me.

So that's pretty hurtful, especially when he went on about his mate's new girlfriend and how amazing and stunning looking she is.

As for me, I know I'm not the easiest of women to live with. I'm not domesticated, I can float off into my own little world (that's a trait from coping with a mentally ill mother). So I appreciate it can be frustrating for him - but of late I just feel so worn down by the loneliness and stress of studying, finding money to cover us, and also dealing with life in general. My mother died recently, and even though she was a nightmare, she did at least want the best for me.

I don't think that's how my husband feels, as long as his life can carry on as it suits him then he's happy and I just have to put up with it. But I'm coming to the point where I'm thinking that actually, I would be better off a single parent then carry on feeling this way. So, can anyone give me a view on this situation?

ILiveAtTheBeach Thu 10-Dec-15 08:44:24

You've got to get the sex life back on track. Lack of it will kill the best of relationships stone dead. 6 months without is an awfully long time.

Whaleshark Thu 10-Dec-15 08:49:56

What comes across to me, from the start to the finish of your post, is that you are not happy in this relationship. That doesn't necessarily mean you need to split up, but it does mean something needs to change. For that to happen you both need to want it to, and it sounds like he is quite happy with how things are. Have you told him how unhappy you are feeling?

Bobby2013 Thu 10-Dec-15 09:01:39

Whaleshark - I have off and on spoken with him about it. We had a right blow up a few months ago and cleared the air but it's since just gone south again. I've asked him before to go to relationship therapy, and I'm going to try again to get him to agree, as ILiveAtTheBeach is right - the lack of sex life will kill us off!

OTheHugeManatee Thu 10-Dec-15 09:04:25

What's the point of a cocklodger who won't even use his cock? confused

FredaMayor Thu 10-Dec-15 09:22:45

The loss of a DM is a turning point in anyone's life. You are also feeling pressure at the moment financially and professionally, meaning your relationship problems might seem to be the last straw.

Do you talk about your sex life with DH? He might be more receptive to a list of suggestions ways to please you in bed than you might think, since he seems prepared to make an effort in other ways at home.

IIWM I would ask him to shut up about other women, its not helpful confused.

Whaleshark Thu 10-Dec-15 09:31:28

It sounds like you are doing everything you can to save the relationship. Unfortunately if he is not willing to do his bit, that leaves you with two choices. You can accept this is how things are going to be for the rest of your life, or leave, and make a new life, on your terms.

hellsbellsmelons Thu 10-Dec-15 09:32:45

OTheHugeManatee Has it right!!!
What is HE doing to try to cover bills?
Anything at all?
He could get an evening job in a pub, restaurant. something like that?
How are you covering bills?
Just because he's 'arty' doesn't mean he has to be 'moody'

zzzzz Thu 10-Dec-15 09:41:19

Do you love him?

If you didn't have your baby would this be hard work but still fun or would you have moved on?

Why didn't you know the extent of his debt before you married?

Bobby2013 Thu 10-Dec-15 10:15:57

zzzzz - I did ask him what he owed before he moved in, and he told me the amount on credit cards but not on a loan he also has! He does freelance work, and I have spoken to him about getting other work in but he thinks because he can cover his debt then the amount he earns is just fine! I feel to a certain extent I've enabled him, because we're not on the breadline he is happy to just float along. He doesn't think about the stress I have.

Bobby2013 Thu 10-Dec-15 14:22:13

FredaMayor - yep the thing about talking about other women gets to me. He's always going on about all the women that he didn't make a move on through his own insecurities. I'm told on a regular basis that I've got him past his prime, the implication being that I've got the scraps, and that he wasted his youth and then good looks hiding in his bedroom. It makes me feel awful, and not very desired or cherished.

zzzzz Thu 10-Dec-15 14:32:21

Have you asked him to contribute to the other expenses?

zzzzz Thu 10-Dec-15 14:34:12

The first two questions I posted are more pertinent

Bobby2013 Thu 10-Dec-15 14:55:19

I do love him, but I find it difficult to answer the second because DD is here, and I cannot imagine a life without her!

zzzzz Thu 10-Dec-15 14:58:51

The question is not about if you want your baby, it's about if she has changed your relationship so that him being so passive about earning is a deal breaker or if it was always an issue?

hellsbellsmelons Thu 10-Dec-15 15:16:39

Why would your life without him mean not being with your DD?
Confused on this one.

BathtimeFunkster Thu 10-Dec-15 16:54:12

he thinks because he can cover his debt then the amount he earns is just fine!

confused

He thinks it's acceptable to not cover a penny of his living costs and just leave that to you?

molyholy Thu 10-Dec-15 17:25:35

Apart from him being a good dad, even though he is happy to let you provide EVERYTHING for your child, what do you get out of this relationship? He can still be a good dad and not live with you. He's not even a cocklodger. He is just a freeloading lodger!

Jan45 Thu 10-Dec-15 17:40:04

You are right OP, he is only with you cos you provide a roof, pay all the bills and help him raise your child.

Yeah and not even a cocklodger, just a freeloader, Jesus, wise up, of course you will be better off without him.

He sounds a right self entitled dick head.

grundrisse Thu 10-Dec-15 18:26:23

You have been through a hell of lot lately. I wonder if you quite realise what a tidal wave life has thrown at you? I think almost everyone would struggle with a a new baby, major career change, or death of a parent. You've had all three, at once. That's a hell of a lot to handle.

My concern is that it really doesn't sound as though this man is offering you anything. The thing that is most worrying is his rigid refusal to depart from his own way of doing things, both practically (the criticism of you for being scatterbrained) and sexually (his hurtful rejection). This suggests to me a guy who simply won't listen to you, who refuses to compromise and negotiate and make all the little adjustments that make relationships run smoothly. It sounds like this runs through a lot of his behaviour, and it's not really OK.

On top of that, he's crap with money, and having a child doesn't seem to have responsibilized him. Not only is this in itself damaging, it's having a negative impact on you because you're having to worry about this on top of everything else. I understand that he wants to do his art, but he could still be productive AND work part-time to support the family. Most people who are in creative professions have a sideline that earns some hard cash! I assume you've raised this, though??

So I repeat: what are you getting out of this? I know it probably seems like you're getting a bit of free childcare, and someone who is a laugh to be around at times? But you're also losing so much - financially, sexually, emotionally and in terms of his abuse of you when you can't find your things. I think you need to sit down with a sheet of paper and weigh up the pros and cons of this situation, because it sounds to me like the downsides significantly outweigh the up.

trackrBird Thu 10-Dec-15 19:31:05

I suspect your husband thinks life is all about him, and how he feels. Is he really interested in you, and your welfare? Or is it all criticism from him?

For instance, it's sad to hear you say:

I know I'm not the easiest of women to live with
on the basis of
I'm not domesticated, I can float off into my own little world (that's a trait from coping with a mentally ill mother)

....not many people would find that a problem to live with - it's normal, minor stuff. You're not a domestic robot. You daydream sometimes. Why would that be 'frustrating' for him? (Unless he wants a domestic robot...)

I just feel so worn down by the loneliness and stress of studying, finding money to cover us, and also dealing with life in general. My mother died recently, and even though she was a nightmare, she did at least want the best for me.

Anybody would be worn down in those circumstances. Does he care?

Handywoman Thu 10-Dec-15 19:41:38

Not in a relationship but I have a friend who has been married for 12 years to someone very similar. She is heading for s physical breakdown keeping everything together. It's hard to watch. She won't leave because she 'loves' him. Only you will know the right thing to do, but you're not wrong to find this very, very difficult.

Have a thanks sorry not to be able to offer anything more constructive.

jessicame Fri 11-Dec-15 07:43:55

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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