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Confused. Is he not pulling his weight or am I expecting too much?(43 Posts)
I am unhappy and I think our relationship is in trouble. He has no idea and thinks things are fine. We've had the same conversations over and over, things change for a bit and then go back.
Good points: thoughtful on big things like birthdays, affectionate, plays with the kids lots, will cook.
Rubbish bits: never sees what needs doing, rarely cleans up after cooking, although says he does but surfaces aren't wiped down. Rarely asks kids to pack away toys, won't do it after they've gone to bed if I'm out at work in the evenings. If he's putting them to bed, they will go about an hour later than if I do it, sometimes 2 hours. He says they aren't tired, but usually he's wound them up and got them very excited and they struggle to calm down. Couldn't get DD, 6 to school on time regularly, they'd be late about once a week or fortnight. He'd blame her for this. She does have some issues and she is difficult in the mornings, but he refuses to get up before 7 which I don't think gives him enough time. When there were road works he blamed them and wouldn't go earlier, just tried different routes which were also blocked. I used to do the run one day a week. I left early because of the traffic, school on time, was told that there is less traffic on that day.
Spends money on rubbish. Has no responsibility for anything financial. I do all bills and sort out his bank account, he pays his share but I organise it. He uses my credit card because he can't be trusted with his own. He maxes them out and only pays minimum off so we decided he wouldn't have one. He buys rubbish for the kids so fills up the house with more plastic crap that they don't need. He also buys a lot of food. He is impulsive with buying stuff, sees it, wants it, will buy it. It's always cheap stuff, but the frequency means it adds up quite a bit.
He doesn't like getting up. Has always worked flexible hours even before kids. At the weekend it will generally be me who gets up with kids. If I insist on him doing it. He will do breakfast, then turn telly on and "chill out on sofa as that's a skill they need to learn", then I get up and get cross that no one is dressed, by then they don't want to, cat's not been fed and breakfast is still on the table. I've pretty much stopped having a lie in as it's harder work. He claims I'm obsessive.
I suppose it doesn't feel like a partnership and i worry that I can't rely on him. For some things I can. But keeping house up together and finances are the biggest ones. These are the main things we argue about. He insists he is doing better than he ever has done and is a lot more grown up now, he is but it doesn't feel enough. Be says he can never do things right or enough for me and I'm always criticising him. He says I need to lighten up more and have more fun with kids and leave stuff, but when I do that, the stuff doesn't get done by anyone.
I can't work out if in expecting too much. I dunt think I am obsessional. I just want him to clean up after himself, be more structured with the kids, DD needs a firm structure in mornings and evenings or else bedtime and mornings are a nightmare and not buy crap.
Sorry it's so long and thanks if you've got this far!
I couldn't live with that.
Are you married, and what is the house situation?
Married nearly 8 years, together 12. House is joint mortgage
Mmmm. From reading your post I think it's a mixture of both. There are elements, like "he doesn't wipe surfaces" where I think that sounds like nitpicking. If I was your dh I'd probably feel demotivated to help if I was going to be criticised. Also, different parents do do things differently and my dh would always give kids more crisps, tv time etc but we would be on the same page with the big things like morning routines. It does sound like he's a bit lazy and a little irresponsible at times.
My suggestion would be to talk together about what you want to achieve, ie kids to school on time, and leave each other to decided how best to get there. Good luck.
If he is not great at certain tasks then why not come to an arrangement whereby he looks after the areas he is good in?
Do you work FT?
He's full time m-f. I'm 4 days and 2 evenings
No you're not expecting too much but I think you might be in danger of getting to the point where you're so hacked off that you're carrying the load singlehandedly that everything becomes a massive deal when it needn't (I've been there). For example, why does it matter that people aren't dressed if you get up late on a weekend morning? But I know how you can get to the point where everything matters, because the responsibility is always down to you to keep the wheels turning, and that's just not fair.
Does he realise how you feel? Have you had a sit-down talk about it all at once? Because that might be more effective that what will seem to him to be a series of little, unimportant nags.
You say he plays with the kids lots but then that they switch tv on and chill out on sofa- which is it?
Would your life be easier if he wasn't there?he sounds like a 3rd child that you have to clear up after and give pocket money to.
I would find it pretty hard to cope without dh because we're a team. It's not perfect, but we are agreed on the main stuff, do you?
. I think money arguments are a key factor in a lot of divorces. I couldn't cope with the uncontrolled spending.
He sounds just like my DH! Especially the "relaxing lie ins" where he just lets the tv babysit and goes back to sleep on the sofa and his complete inability to get up in the morning 😡 Sorry, no help but I don't think you are expecting too much for him to be more responsible!
I agree with fess that it sounds like a mixture of the two - him being a bit lazy and you being a bit of a perfectionist. Personally I can't see the problem with having a relaxed morning and chilling out in front of the TV at weekends. Why does DD need a 'firm structure' all the time? I would feel cross if DH had a lie in and then came down and criticised me for having a nice chilled morning. However the financial stuff would annoy me.
Yes we've tried separating jobs out. He generally forgets his if they are boring, e.g. bins and cat litter, which means me dashing out in the morning as I hear the lorry.
Yes i do nitpick, but he is a very messy cook and kitchen is awful sometimes and he'll just start cooking again. I do get that's demotivating though.
It sounds as though you don't like him, respect him, or live him enough to find a compromise. It sounds like he's trying to me and doing a lot of family stuff.
I wonder how you'd like my DH. Did the school run about twice, does not shop, was never home to out the DC to bed, took them to school about half a dozen times (when I was ill, or on a course or something), doesn't cook, doesn't clean, and when they were little I used to let him go to football on Saturdays to relieve stress and took the dc to church on Sunday mornings to give him a break and some down time. When youngest was five, I went back to work.
I was happy with it because I lived and liked him and still do a lifetime on.
Some of this sounds really difficult to live with, like having another child. Financial responsibility is really important, but you do say he has improved. The getting to school late would also massively wind me up. Surely he must see that he has to leave earlier?
However some of it sounds like you find it difficult to relax. Personally I am of the chilling out on the sofa persuasion and I don't hurry to get myself or DC dressed on weekend mornings. It just sounds like you and your OH are very incompatible.
Tbh I could live with these things if I was in love, but we all have different expectations and there's nothing wrong with that. I know that I definitely did the sleeping on the sofa when I got ip with the kids thing when I was married, and so did my then DH on his days. I was just glad of the lie in!
How are things when it's just you two?
DD has toileting issues and adhd. If we don't follow some type of structure and then when we then want to go out and have to get ready she is a nightmare. if it's done first thing she's a bit more cooperative. I don't care if they watch TV after that. I don't mind a relaxing morning but not when it makes the rest of the day more difficult.
Sometimes I do think it would be easier without him yes. 3rd child is often mentioned by friends.
I think you should maybe sit down with him and choose a couple of things that you would really like to change, rather than giving him a massive list of stuff he does that annoys you. Maybe things like the morning and evening routine, as that has a more serious effect on the DC? And an agreement that on your lie-in day, he feeds and dresses the DC and clears the table before the TV goes on. Whatever you feel would be most helpful to you.
I see bits of my DH in some of what you have written above(especially the getting up earlier to get DD ready for nursery!). He responded much better to a few specific requests than me listing all of his perceived faults. When those one or two things become habit, you can look at something else. And if he comes out with the line about you needing to have more fun with the kids just say breezily "OK then, DC and I are off to the park. Be a love and tidy up/run the hoover round while we're out. Thanks!"
You are both working full time and that's hard. Having to look after his spending and look after all the kid stuff is making it harder.
However, I am a person who has been late, hates getting up and is a bit messy.
Then i had kids, got a job,grew up and realised that you can't really do that so much.
And no i don't agree with pp who said ,in essence, you'd put up with it if you loved him-she was at home for 5 years so obviously a lot of the stuff was her job.
This stuff can suck the love out of a relationship. Is he saying that he was always like this so what do you expect...are you able to live with it and love him because I don't think he's changing.
I am not sure you're compatible.
3rd child is often mentioned by friends
Well there you go then.
Even with all the messiness and money issues; he doesn't stick to bedtimes and can't get his kid to school. These are neglectful; let alone thoughtless or lazy.
I felt like this with my ex H (now dead).
I did most things whilst I also worked in an arguably more stressful job, four days a week to his full time (which actually meant squeezing five days into four rather than 'part time.'). I did everything to do with school (bags packed, homework fished out and done, clubs sorted) as well as most of the house stuff. Any holidays were pretty much my responsibility, any big things like house sales etc.
The things that really wound me up were the children stuff: he would often forget to brush their teeth, he would rarely have an idea to do something fun and family oriented. Generally, stuff just wouldn't get done or often even thought about unless I sorted it.
I used to lose my rag a lot and made myself very unhappy.
Now he's gone totally it's hard. It's one thing to have someone be shit and have to be told what to do (and then not even do it). Another to have absolutely no one. That said, I don't waste any energy now getting angry with anyone. I'm calmer.
It SOUNDS petty to talk about wiping down surfaces when you highlight the examples, but these things are real life. If you have totally different ideas of what running a home and raising children are about then you might want to think hard about life without him. Try for a week letting him do absolutely nothing. Could you cope and would you be happier? Think about the practicalities. Because that is what you need to consider: going it alone. He'll never be what you want him to be. It's about two things: whether you like and love him enough to put up with it (I didn't) and whether you could do it alone.
Mine turned out to have been having grotty affairs on the side so getting shot of him when the time came was an easy decision.
A thought OP. Some of his behaviour sounds disorganised and chaotic. Things that are often present if there are some low level learning difficulties: ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, etc. Is there a link here possibly with your DD?
Years ago when mine were tiny I remember reading a book by Hugh Jolly who made the link, albeit in a very old fashioned way.
It sounds like you have different standards really.
I think he has major plus points eg playing with the children and cooking. My dc's father has never and I mean never played with them, not kicked a ball around, not read a story, played a game, rough and tumble, nothing. He also never cooked after children came along. Maybe my bar is lower than yours but he doesn't sound that bad.
What would get me is the overspending on useless stuff and the not getting the kids to school in time.
Do you think he has a point when he says you could chill out a bit? It's hard because you have your own efficient way of doing things eg weekend mornings everyone would be fed and dressed if you do it but if you can get an extra hour out of it, let them all get on with lying around with the tv on.
I think they are things you could sort out especially as the dc get older and more independent.
Dilys your post is very insightful but I did think for a minute you might have dispatched him
If OP is having to run everything because her DH is lazy/inept, then no wonder she has no time to chill out with the kids!
I like Serenity's advice, maybe try that? Ultimately though, you'd be less stressed without him I think...
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