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Should I be able to forgive and accept this side of DH?

(19 Posts)
Elvesandthepoomaker Tue 10-May-16 09:09:25

I met DH at uni and loved him because he was my exact opposite - although supremely clever, he was very much there to have fun. I'm an obsessive time management nut, conscientious to a fault etc etc. We have a similar sense of humour and when we actually get a chance to talk we have lots to talk about and can be silly together .

Fast forward twenty years and we are now married with DD1 (3) and DD2 (1). I now feel I'm getting payback for marrying (settling for?) the fun and feckless option. It's not that he doesn't work - he's doing a responsible job with long hours while I'm doing part-time while the DDs are young. I just can never feel that I am supported and can rest on my marriage as a place of security. When I was at my most vulnerable, in labour with DD1, he passed out on the bed for six hours while I was in active labour through the night (ok, didn't realise it was active labour as I have dicky labours and he thought it was early stages). We were then trying to find a parking space at the hospital (I was having contractions every five minutes at this point) and he snapped at me. It breaks my heart when I remember it. When we brought DD1 back from the hospital, he spent most of his paternity leave playing computer games as DD1 slept most of the time and he felt a bit redundant as my mum was there as well. If I'm feeling ill, I have to explicitly request a set number of hours break from the children, and then feel I need to make up the time once I'm better. If I need something doing around the house, I really need to spell it out and risk looking like a nag. I'm spending my days looking after the DDs, keeping the house tidy, cooking and then my evenings ironing/cleaning the kitchen and he feels no guilt at all about sitting at his fucking computer desk reading the newspaper or watching episodes of fucking Star Trek.

There is a definite element of slight emotional detachment/complete absence of social skills from the model of his father, and his brother spent his time raising his children playing World of Warcraft. I don't feel at all supported or fulfilled in this marriage, but I don't know if this is just a blip as we have the stresses of young children and trying to adopt different roles, or whether it's worth walking away from. I just feel hurt. Thanks if anyone got this far in my ranting...

Elvesandthepoomaker Tue 10-May-16 09:16:25

The stress of it all is turning me into a horrible wife and mother - cold to DH and snappy and mean to the DDs. I hate where I am right now.

Twitterqueen Tue 10-May-16 09:19:22

No you shouldn't.
What you do need to do is talk to him over and over again until he understands. From your post I believe that to some extent you are actually enabling this behaviour and you need to change this.

So instead of 'asking' for time off for the children (which is slightly odd), just say "I need to xyz for an hour or two - can you make sure the DDs are fed and watered?" or "I'm going out to do xyz - the children will need lunch in half an hour."

The fact that you feel you have to make time up afterwards is probably only cementing this pattern.

And as for the fact that he snapped at you whilst trying to park is shitty, yes. But "breaks your heart"? You need to move on from that.

Can you get some couples counselling?

Jan45 Tue 10-May-16 14:08:56

Jesus what is the actual point of him, you are raising your family alone, what a waste of space, sorry but it's ultimatum time.

MagicMoonstone Tue 10-May-16 14:24:59

Sorry I just saw the world of warcraft bit and got instant flashback to me raising a 1 and 3 yr old single handedly whilst my OH played for hours on end.

That damn game killed my marriage, lost the kids their dad and resulted in him becoming agoraphobic. 8 years on and he still doesn't leave the house and sits on the pc all day.

goddessofsmallthings Tue 10-May-16 15:09:27

How is it possible to "forgive and forget" the "side" of your dh which decrees that he's master of his universe and you're his cook/cleaner/launderess/childbearer/childraiser/sex toy/general factotum? confused

Stop taking your understandable rage dissatisfaction out on your dds and tell the waste of space to man up or ship out.

MatildaTheCat Tue 10-May-16 22:14:57

He has a responsible job so is quite capable of behaving like an adult but somehow between you you've allowed him to remain in reckless adolescence with few or no responsibilites at home.

If you want him to change you will need to work at it. Start putting things in your diary, lots of things that mean he needs to be home and putting in some effort. Be out at bedtime a few times a week. Arrange a Saturday class or lunch. Give him a shopping list and say we need this for dinner tonight. And so on. It won't be easy and he won't like it. Make it clear that his marriage is on the line (50% child sharing won't hold much appeal) and if he's difficult insist on counselling.

Be clear you hate being the grumpy wife and this thing was supposed to be mutually beneficial.

Throw out the gaming gear, it sounds worse than the OW.

Puddlet Tue 10-May-16 22:28:42

I think you've lost each other in the tricky small children stage. It happens - but you can get out the other side.
Can you arrange some evenings out together? Or ask him to?
And maybe he could express his fun side by taking his daughters out to play at the weekend while you have a bit of space/ time to do what you want?

Also could you cook together in the evening and chat at the same time so that you get a chance to reconnect.

Something that we've been doing for years in dine in for £10 from M&S on Fridays - so neither of us has to cook and we get to spend time together without paying for a babysitter.

PuellaEstCornelia Wed 11-May-16 18:26:48

Change the password on the wifi

SandyY2K Thu 12-May-16 00:05:23

"When we brought DD1 back from the hospital, he spent most of his paternity leave playing computer games as DD1 slept most of the time and he felt a bit redundant as my mum was there as well."

This part of your post sounds very familiar to me.

My husband spent most of his paternity leave watching movies at home and my mum was around helping me as well. I actually told him to go back to work and take his paternity leave once my mum had gone back home. Honestly, he was not that useful then, but that was a long time ago now. Our kids are teenagers now.

If I could go back to those days, I would have made my feeling known and been more vocal about it. I spent a lot of time feeling resentful of all the work I did with the kids.

You should make it known to your husband how you feel and that you'd like him to put more effort into being a dad and a support where family is concerned. If you don't communicate, your marriage will be a sad place to be.

Kiwiinkits Thu 12-May-16 01:46:46

I agree with TwitterQueen. Just take the time you need, don't allow yourself to feel guilt.
I think that hormones have a lot to do with guilt and empathy. Mothers experience guilt (which is basically just over-egged empathy) so much more than Fathers. I think its a biological response that helps us be responsive to our families. But it basically leads us into this shitty life where we constantly feel like we're letting everyone down when we dare to put ourselves first.
So my advice is, own your guilt. Recognise when you're feeling it, and choose to ignore it. Be selfish! Don't nag. Just state as fact what needs to happen. Eg I'm going out at 4pm. The kids need dinner at 5. I'll see you at 7 to help with bedtime.

Kiwiinkits Thu 12-May-16 01:48:36

But gaming. Ugh gaming. What an utter waste of time. Total turn off too. Thankfully my DH agrees with me.

Longdistance Thu 12-May-16 02:32:14

That would really annoy me too. The gaming and ignoring his family.

Time for a strong word or twat him over the head with a courgette

He's sounds a lazy sod. If you're working part time, he really needs to pull his finger out. Leave all the chores and see if he notices, if he doesn't, turn off the wifi and tell him to do xyz. If he doesn't, you'll know your answer...

AnyFucker Thu 12-May-16 07:11:18

This doesn't sound like a "blip" because of having young dc, it sounds like fundamentally who he is

Selfish, immature, lazy, entitled and uncaring of your well being

If this is what you think you deserve then crack on. There is nothing to "forgive". Either accept that you live like this or you do not.

Bringiton2016 Thu 12-May-16 07:27:55

How does anyone with young kids and a home to run have time for gaming?

You need to talk to him and see if he understands what this is doing to you, if he cares. If he does care he will adjust his behaviour. Can you both write down what your ideal day would look like? Expectations. And stop ironing. Discuss and split chores on paper so that you both know what's expected. If that doesn't work find someone who cares about you.

NewStickers Thu 12-May-16 08:06:28

Op, we were in exactly the same position as you. I was full of silent resentment. Dh didn't seem to understand or even see the amount of work I was doing. Like you, I also found it hard to let go of things that happened when I was at my most vulnerable. But also like you, dh and I had been together a long time (15 yrs) before we had kids. We had a long history and we love each other.

We went to counselling. It was really effective, and helped us adjust to the new stage of our relationship. The truth is that we both needed to change a bit - dh is now more responsible, and I am now more relaxed. Most importantly, we have each other back and we remembered why we love each other.

The most difficult but was convincing dh we needed to g to counselling in the first place. He was reluctant and missed some sessions, but I took the view that j would benefit from it even if he didn't. Eventually he realised how valuable it was and we ended up doing it for 2 years

MeMySonAndl Thu 12-May-16 08:19:45

For what is worth, he may be thinking he is doing his share by working full time/ long hours. It is not unusual for not very hands on parents to assume that staying at home with the kids equates to a full day of smiley children and sitting calmly on the sofa reading stories to the kids. So, if he doesn't know what the work involves you will only be seen as a nag. He may not be a bad person, just ignorant of the work you do.

I really think that you need to find a way to have a conversation with him that he would take seriously, otherwise he would assume you are just nagging him and forget what you say. A few sessions in Relate may be just what he needs to understand bow his behaviour is affecting you.

There may be also the possibility that you are loosing each other by being so busy/tired. It would really be a good idea to try to set some time off for you both as a couple. You don't need to go out all the time or do someghing great, simple things achieve great results: make sure that when he arrives home you both can have half an hour undisturbed (this is THE time to plonk the children in front of the television) to catch up with each other on what happened on the day.

28DegreesIsTooHot Thu 12-May-16 08:21:06

Have you spoken to him about all this?
If you both want things to change you can do it.
Start by talking about what you'd both like and then come up with some solutions.
Eg he needs to spend half an hour a day doing chores and spend time with family before he can put his feet up.
Find what's going to work for both of you and then it's a matter of working at it.
I hate reading threads like this. I think everyone deserves to live the best life they can and usually it's the little things like more support, consideration and kindness from a partner.

28DegreesIsTooHot Thu 12-May-16 08:21:57

That make the difference

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