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Husband doesn't listen to me(12 Posts)
This has been bothering me quite a bit lately. We've been married nearly 20 years & have 3 dc. We moved 1.5 years ago & what with high mortgage payments & me being made redundant twice it's been a stressful time.
I'm now in a more senior role & work longer hours so communication between the two of us is vital from both an organisational point of view & for our relationship. Unfortunately it's going quite wrong & is really affecting our relationship (from my side at least).
Common situations are I've said something either comment or request & later refer to it but he denies all knowledge & says he hadn't heard me, this would be despite replying at the time. I find it so annoying & demoralising & he tries to blame me for this, not that he hadn't listened in the first place.
When he gets home from work we may have an hour or so before we all eat together around 7.45. I go upstairs & sort the kids out & he washes up but recently he's taken to watching tv shows on his iPad so when I pop down he's not looking or listening to me & is unenthusiastic about stopping it if I need or want to say something. He used to listen to radio 4 before we moved & that was better because at least he could look at me then. Also washing up takes ages as he's often looking at the screen & not the pots etc (we do have a dishwasher for the plates & cutlery). I'm often then hanging around sorting washing etc & then he moves onto the tv/computer. He may watch a movie but it's too late at that point for me to watch as I need more sleep. So again we're apart.
I feel lonely in my marriage but mostly I've started worrying about when the kids leave home (oldest is in year 9) we will have nothing left. In my opinion he'd be happy with a big tv screen & his iPad.
Now I do have good friends & I do an activity one night a week but he used to be my best friend & I miss that. Our sex life has decreased too but I know I feel resentful about not being listened to.
I am not perfect at all, and I know I probably say a whole load of rubbish but not being listened to is really undermining & when I bring it up he just says I do it to him all the time (I'm sure I don't though, I would describe myself as a good listener). His mum is narcissistic so I think he learnt to turn off from an early age.
Any advice, I do love him & he's a good man but I feel very upset deep inside & haven't spoken to anyone in real life about this issue. Tia
I once heard a comedienne on radio talking about men. "Listen to us and we'll love you" she said.
I suspect a man's response may typically be
"Have sex and I'm all ears"
So it sounds like he has been gradually drifting off from you and from any emotional closeness in your relationship? And when a symptom of this comes to light, ie he didn't listen to you, he blames you. When did this start? Have you let him know clearly that this isn't okay for you?
When you said you are sorting kids out I thiught they need a bath but they are all teenagers do I guess you ard having a chat with them.
Does he interract with your kids outside of meal times?
I have this to a certain extent although luckily don't have the issues with him being glued to a screen. But he never listens and then when I refer back to something he's all astonishment - the conversation didn't happen, apparently. I feel as though I'm painted as a crazy woman who invents conversations just for the shit of it.
It's probably not the best way to deal with it from a relationship pov, but from the pov of my sanity, I've started being a bit pedantic about conversations I sense 'won't have happened'. I really labour the point, ask for replies/verifications a few times. It's really helped.
Could you just politely ask dh to reduce screen time? I know you don't want to mother him, rightly so, but I don't think it's an outrageous thing to ask of your dh if it's impacting on your relationship.
Hi thanks for all your replies. Yes he knows how I feel about it but I don't think he really cares all that much. He likes doing his own thing uninterrupted, sort of the man cave thing but I'm excluded. Incidentally he doesn't really see any friends, he did have one but never contacted him so that sort of stopped.
He can't really be bothered with anyone really (toxic family) but to meet him you'd never know it he's always friendly. Apart from the Dc his loves are me (so long as I let him be!), our cat, movies etc & ipad. He's become a much better father as the dc have got older - he never particularly wanted them but was happy to have them as I definitely did.
It looks worse written down than living it iyswim but I've just gone into the family room & started a conversation, to be fair to him he did pause the tv, but then I started talking again & he didn't bother this time so I just kept talking & then I asked him what he thought (was a juicy piece of information so should have interested him) but he ignored me, not having heard. When I questioned him he said he thought id stopped so I said don't you mean you hoped I'd stopped & he didn't respond but also didn't pause his tv show. I've walked out now & he's still watching.
Just makes me feel like giving up ever talking to him again. This is my worry when it's just us two. I can probably fill my time with hobbies, friends & work but ideally I wanted our relationship to be the main focus.
Does he join in with conversations at dinner time with you and the DCs?
I'd not accept a life like this, as well as friggin rude it's chipping away at your self esteem, let him have his I Pad - somewhere else!
Sorry but what you describe is crap and if it continues then there will be nothing there, it's time to really lay down the law, he either joins in the relationship or you're best to split.
It does sound like he's emotionally checked out of the marriage
Do you ever get time to yourselves where you could go out for the evening and there wouldn't be a phone or ipad or TV for him to watch, and you could actually have a conversation?
I always stat any conversation with dh like this.
"Stop what you are doing, listen and pay attention" then if I feel really mean and teacher like I make him repeat back what I've said.
Otherwise he'd hear nothing. It drives me insane.
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