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WWYD husband does not make an effort with my family(37 Posts)
We have been married for 7 +years together for 10. Two DS youngest 8 months . DH is a good man, works hard, honest, doesn't cheat etc. We used to be very happy with shared goals planned 2 children together but we have been struggling for 5 years now since pregnant with DS1. DH loves ds1 but says he hates the majority of time he spends doing childcare or doing family things as he would prefer to be doing his hobby and is bored. From the outside he is very patient and engaged playing with DS.DS1 adores him. He did not want a second child, and only agreed to make me happy. He would not hold him for months as he could not bare the crying of a baby with reflux. I feel that he sucks the joy out of family life.
The second problem is that he can't stand most of my family and will not make an effort with them. My parents split up so family are precious to me. My brother tried to rip me off financially about 8 years ago at a difficult time in his life but has apologised and made it up to me financially. I have forgiven but not forgotten and we have a good relationship now but dh will not make any effort with my family. He either refuses to come or comes and is foul with a frown on his face. . This weekend there was an extended family party weekend. He came for the minimum of time, refused to drink socialise or join in the party at all. We had a big row about this behaviour at Christmas and I said that I no longer loved him . He has been anxious about our relationship since then and I have reassured him but yet again he has behaved badly. This time I haven't even voiced my upset and anger. I dispair. This doesn't seem bad enough to end a relationship and split up our family but things are not good. Any advice?
Couples counselling. Get the bottom of what is going on - with you both.
Sometimes just getting it out there pops the cloud over it. And/or you may have to do some work to get you back on the same page.
Most of the time I think so. I certainly care about him and we do have some nice times together like shared tv etc but I do not really fancy him anymore and do not feel much affection when he behaves like this
Thanks for your support btw it can be a bit lonely at this time of night.
It's hard to comeback from "I don't love you". I think your explanation sounds more like you are afraid to face the idea that you might not love him anymore. I think that's what you need to work out first really.
Do you love him, the actual him?
Do you actually want to fix the relationship with him or are you just scared of breaking up?
Hmm. He is just such a miserable bugger sometimes and so grumpy. I have had pnd and perhaps this is affecting how I think but we had problems before then. No sex for 17 months now and pretty rare before that. Miracle that dc2 was conceived. The idea of splitting up is scary. Being a single parent , hurting his parents and our children. The thing about not making an effort with my family and some of my friends just drives a bigger wedge between us.
My DH is crap with my family. He has a tendency to bear grudges and my parents were pretty shit when we first got engaged. Like you and your brother- I've moved on and my parents have been very supportive to us since the initial turmoil but OH has napped through family meals, didn't want to come to my sister's wedding etc etc.
He also wasn't keen on kids and has said (not to them!) that he prefers times without them. It is not easy to take at all.
With my family, who I love to pieces, I just accept that I can't make him want to spend time with them and that is that. I make sure he knows each and every little kind gesture they make to him. Sometimes, I get a bit sad about it but it's his loss.
The kids is a harder one but as they get older and time with them is less about managing them and their behaviour and just about hanging out, he is beginning to enjoy them and look forward to spending time with them. In our case, he still finds it tough with our 5 year old but he does enjoy our 8 year old!
Magnifimad our situations have quite a few similarities you have just put the shit aside for the sake of the good stuff. I too think that perhaps when the boys are older and can do sport etc he will enjoy them more. Do you ever regret staying with him through the last few years?
Mm how have your family reacted to his behaviour towards them?
I don't regret staying with him...so far!
I don't really know how to answer that question, to be honest. I wish he would make more of an effort but I can't make him. I can tell him it's sad and there are times when the kids might notice and I think that, due to more time and effort being put in by me, the kids will probably be closer to me but that may be wishful thinking as DD is quite a daddy's girl in ways!
If I felt they knew he didn't want them, then I think that leaving would be preferable as they should always feel wanted and loved.
My family- they have been amazing in never saying anything negative d (at least to me), putting it down to cultural differences and repeatedly extending generosity and invitations to him as my husband, the father of their grandchildren. Only this year have I explicitly said that part of why he won't visit is because of past events. My dad responded that yes, it was tough and he was sorry for the hurt he'd caused but time and people move on. I agree.
I have not shown the message to DH (yet?) as I fear he would pick it apart and feel my dad was minimizing his own (my dad's own) part in the hurt.
We have been married close to 10 years now. The family stuff is hard as we don't live close anymore - in fact not even on the same bloody continent- so if I want to see my family now, it's holiday time and aeroplane trips and money etc. This has been a big source of arguments but I stand by my right to see them and he stands by his right not to want to (though he tends to couch it on terms of not being comfortable accepting their offer of help with plane fares rather than saying he doesn't want to see them.) It is a shame as he could have fun with them but it would be worse for me now if he came and slept through dinners etc making me feel he was just avoiding them. My parents have been so good in saying he could have use of the car to take off and not be stuck with in-laws etc so it really is his loss that he can't get past what happened.
I am just now, in the last couple of months, separating from my husband.
We have numerous issues and differences but a few are similar to yours.
We have 2 DC. Dd wasn't exactly planned, DS was but dh went along with it to keep me happy. He doesn't regret having DS for a second but there is a slight resentment braise h didn't want a second child. He feels he did it for me, and I am not 'grateful' enough about his sacrifice for me (not his words but how he behaves)
Family- he had decided my family hate him. That no one likes him. He says tha no one makes the effort to talk to him and he always feels uncomfortable and he doesn't like any of them because he comes from a different culture and no one understands.
It has always been a big issue in our relationship.
When we first started dating and I wanted to introduce him to my family he made endless excuses not to meet them. I didn't realise at the time what was happening. I thought he was shy. Then he did meet everyone but it turns out that over the years e came up with excuse after excuse not to go to family events. And if I hosted anything at home he would always be polite but he would disappear
often found him napping or he would play with the kids, in another room... Making himself 'busy'.
It always felt rude and humiliating. It was embarrassing. Cos my family were very tolerant and were never rude. Tried hard to involve him and make him welcome but he always made it so difficult.
For example: he is Muslim so they would always ( and for some go out of their way and at expense) provide a halal portion of food. He would always act embarrassed and a bit annoyed and make out like they shouldn't have and it made no sense... Why not just say thank you and eat the food???
Nope, he always acted annoyed about it.
Over the years I stopped asking him to come. And he made jokes out of it like 'looking forward to me day off' which meant he was looking forward to a relaxing day at home with no work or kids to do absolutely nothing at all. It never ever concerned him that I was left managing 2 young DC, one a refluxy new born on my own.
The final straw came on Mother's Day this year.
I was hosting so h couldn't avoid it. He actively went out of his way to start a fight over nothing.
Then instead of eating he insisted on feeding DS (who can feed himself) he put football on while everyone else was eating. He then decided to clean the kitchen, then the bathroom.
We were also celebrating my birthday and we were waiting for him so we could do presents.
He then went out to Tesco. When he retuned he went to bed.
His excuse for this behaviour? Apparently no one said hello to him when they arrived.
Very long winded post but my point is this: it has had a huge destructive force on our relationship.
Family is important to me, if I was important to him I can't understand why I wasn't important enough for him to make the effort for one day every couple of months.
Have you considered he might be suffering some sort of depression himself since having ds2? I only say this because I have a 2 month old dd and my dp is kinda the same, doesn't do anything to help with the baby stays in bed as much as he can and isolates himself from everything, he went to the doctor today because I made him and he's now on medication. He's usually great with my family but we took my nan out the otter day and he had a face like a slapped arse and kept making excuses to leave the table, sometimes men like you to think they're strong when they're really suffering from such a big change such as a new addition to the family
This sounds so much like exh. He always acted like he didn't want family life especially after dc2, always wanted to do his hobby on his own and resented anything encroaching on his time, made a big fuss on family days out and spoilt them with his moods, made people eg my family feel uncomfortable at get togethers, even napping and acting scornful when everyone was laughing and joking.
I used to hate it and pulled him up on it every time but I think I should have been even firmer with him about how unacceptable it was eg confronted him at the time in front if everyone. I wish someone had said something to him too but everyone was always overly nice and polite trying to join him in.
Looking back it was the height of rudeness and laziness and selfishness and I wish I had ended the relationship sooner.
Btw he was eventually diagnosed with depression and became very ill but I don't think that made him such a pig in company.
I would say confront him, make a big deal about it and maybe a family member should tell him he's out of order.
Hmmmm. Dh and I can't stand each other's families so we each take the dc to them alone. It's not worth the stress for either of us to make the other go. We make excuses for the other but after years of it I know everyone knows why, I just shrug it off.
I can't believe having disinterested miserable fathers in your formative years won't affect kids-won't it make them desperate for love/attention. I would have thought better to have no dad around than a dad who ignores you.
The things you list at the start of the OP about his good qualities (working, not cheating) are pretty basic and should be a given!
In your shoes I would plan to leave.
Depressing to remain in a relationship with no sex, and someone who couldn't be civil in company. Fair enough of him not to want to be friends with yoir DB or even whole family but unless they're really awful it's disrespectful and unkind of him to not attend or act miserable.
The parenting issue is tricky and sad. Some people do find it very hard and it sounds like he's at least trying, but he could continue to do that as a single parent when it's his part of the week with the DC.
Bugger I just typed a long reply.
MrsDeathof rats. Yes it feels sad for me that he cares more about his feelings than mine where my family are concerned. They are not awful and I feel that even though my brother behaved badly in the past it should be up to me if I have chosen to l forgive.
No more chocolate. I have always pulled him up on his behaviour but it does not seem to make a difference. He chooses who to make an effort with and can be the life and soul of a party if he likes the company.
This time he knew he was behaving badly as he said he had been so anxious that I would be angry the s3cond day but he doesn't care enough to change. In his ideal world I Would just see my family alone.
Perhaps I should ask him what he wants to do regarding the children . He says he is scared I will ask him to leave. But he does seem unhappy as part of our family. Maybe depression has a role but these 2 things parent and his relationship with my family have been a problem for years.
Interesting post - my husband does a lot of this - excludes himself them complains he doesn't have a great relationship with the kids -
Example last Sunday after dinner we sat laughing and chatting - the kids were being silly and "poo" was mentioned a lot!
DH left the table and spent 20 mins complaining about the state of the kitchen - don't know why cos the kids do the kitchen after tea in Sunday's -
Then went to our room to watch some crappy repeat on TV
Just pisses me off!!!
People are more important than things
Reap what you sow!!!
I would add this - as a single father he would have to make the effort to not only run his own home but also look after the kids every other weekend - I'm sure this send most men into panic mode!!
He doesn't know when he's well off.
I think you need an honest chat - which isn't easy as he doesn't recognise the issues in the first place.
MrsDeathofRats - my OH is also Muslim (though not practicing) and my family have been so good about trying to accommodate that and make allowances when he doesn't include himself. It's frustrating so him just not coming is easier and we shrug it off.
OP I hope you can find a way forward that suits your family.
Oh, and what Sally said about a single father rings very true. One Saturday, the kids forgot their shoes for indoor football (I usually swim while they play with their dad) and OH said "oh, we can't do it then, we'll go home" - I said that I would go swimming and he could take them home. He was so surprised! I stuck to my guns and he decided they could do football in bare feet!
Thanks all for the advice. Heading home in the morning . Dreading the chat as it will inevitably be painful. I must love him if I am so worried about hurting him.
Is he equally concerned for YOU?
If he's willing to work on things and make changes that's great, if not you always have options.
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