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How many chances do you give them to change?

(61 Posts)
alificent Thu 07-Jul-16 22:42:28

We have four children, the eldest (9) is my daughter from my previous marriage. With each subsequent baby, DP has taken a real back seat from 0-2 years often blaming it on breastfeeding. He's a bit better after 2, but generally is still incapable of doing much with the children.

I spoke to him after DC3 and said he needs to step up. After DC4 we had the same chat. He 'can't' take the children to school/bed, can't bath them, can't prepare their meals, can't feed them, can't/doesn't discipline them, can't handle more than one at a time, can't console them when upset and so on.

I told him he is lazy and leaving everything to me and that it isn't fair on me or the DC to have them rely on me for everything. I haven't been out without the DC for over 5 years because they hate staying with him and he can't put them to bed/console them if they wake. He apologised and said he would change and improve. He is on annual leave this week. Every day I have woken at 6.30, fed the baby, showered, made lunches, got the other DC up, ready, fed and distributed to schools and nursery and he's still in bed at 9.15 when I return home.

He does nothing around the house. If I leave the toddler with him he cries so DP just puts the tv on. I asked him to try bathing the three eldest last night while I fed the baby and did the ironing. There were tears within a minute, as there always are whenever I leave the dc with him. I heard him ask 9 yo to move over and she asked if she could just finish something (drawing with bath chalk) he said no, now and then physically removed her from the bath when she didn't comply. 2 yo refused to get out so he just walked out and left him after the water had gone down.

He's either on his phone or asleep within five minutes of me having taken all the DC to bed and I just feel like he's given up, in which case I don't know why he doesn't just leave. I told him last time that I'm at the end of my tether with him just being an ornament around the house but still he persists.

shandybass Thu 07-Jul-16 22:54:27

Hi. I feel for you. Your dh does seem to be quite extreme. Can you not bite the bullet and leave him in charge for a weekend. I know but I find you can't tell blokes, they need to find out themselves and learn the hard way how to look after kids. Your kids will survive and maybe you will survive as a couple otherwise he will grind you down as he has done.

applesvpears Thu 07-Jul-16 22:57:19

Do you think it might help to do things together? Bathe the kids together, put them to bed together etc. Maybe he doesn't have much confidence, which is probably made worse if the kids cry when he does do things. The more you do it together the more the kids will get use to him and he will hopefully get better at it all.

alificent Thu 07-Jul-16 23:00:17

The kids would be hysterical if I left them, it isn't fair on them. I've tried doing things together, he's seen the way I do things 1000 times, but still he is clueless. The DC just act as though he isn't there if we do things together.

applesvpears Thu 07-Jul-16 23:02:52

Did he want to have kids? Does he do anything with them that is daddy time?

Flacidunicorn Thu 07-Jul-16 23:05:20

How many chances would i give someone?
1
If they promise to change and dont then Bye Bye.

Life is to short to be stuck with someone who makes you miserable and does nothing to add to your life.

LadyStarkOfWinterfell Thu 07-Jul-16 23:06:58

Well after baby number one with him I wouldn't have had 2 more if that answers your question

alificent Thu 07-Jul-16 23:07:04

Yes, he wants to have another...! He enjoys spectating it seems. None of them want to spend time alone with him, and he shoes no interest in spending time alone with them either. He's never bought them a present or planned a trip or even looked at school work or learning journeys.

applesvpears Thu 07-Jul-16 23:07:11

Plus it is not just about kids, what is your relationship like?

peppatax Thu 07-Jul-16 23:07:34

I don't know how you put up with this shit, I'd struggle to bite my tongue the second consecutive lie in.

Hard to say how to show what you do for the family if you won't dump him in it though.

applesvpears Thu 07-Jul-16 23:08:11

I bet Father's Day is fun in your house confused

Doinmummy Thu 07-Jul-16 23:08:46

By the sounds of it he doesn't actually want to be more hands on and is just making pathetic excuses . He's had a good few years (I guess) to learn what to do if you are now on DC number 4.

I hate it when men claim to be unable to do things with their children, how do they think first time mothers manage ?

alificent Thu 07-Jul-16 23:08:47

I appreciate that Lady but he doesn't detract from my enjoyment of the DC. So long as he doesn't get involved, everyone's happy. It just means I'm run ragged and he has no real relationship with them so I do t see the point of him being here.

LineyReborn Thu 07-Jul-16 23:11:04

And are you going to have another?

Doinmummy Thu 07-Jul-16 23:11:11

If you have any boys OP you are doing them no favours because they will grow up thinking this is what a father is .

peppatax Thu 07-Jul-16 23:11:26

So what do you get from him OP?

alificent Thu 07-Jul-16 23:12:28

peppatax I made a list of about sixty things I'd done in one day. There were two things on his list. He didn't dispute it; he fully recognises how much I do. Re: the lie ins, he's of the opinion that there's no point getting up because the DC 'won't let' him help with anything. I have explained to him repeatedly that they never will want anything to do with him if he remains present but absent in their lives. I think he should be up getting the DC ready while I make lunches or vice versa.

applesvpears Thu 07-Jul-16 23:14:00

Does he not feel sad that he has no bond with his children? Why on earth would he want more? I don't get it. If it was me and I had exhausted everything else I would have to sit him down and give some kind of ultimatum, and tell him how sad it is that he has no relationship with his own kids. Remember it might effect them too not having a proper father figure. I can't see how your OH is not upset by it.

alificent Thu 07-Jul-16 23:14:46

Our relationship isn't great. I'm constantly rushing around and he's on his phone a lot. If I stop, even for a drink, he's trying to cuddle and snog and telling me he loves me and I feel like telling him to piss off and demonstrate it by doing something useful rather than just saying it.

alificent Thu 07-Jul-16 23:16:21

He thinks they are all difficult and awkward but he just doesn't pay enough attention to know what works for each one.

applesvpears Thu 07-Jul-16 23:16:54

Does he show them any affection?

Doinmummy Thu 07-Jul-16 23:20:55

Poor children sad

mineofuselessinformation Thu 07-Jul-16 23:24:37

If you really want to give him 'another chance', start going off for a few hours at a time and leaving him with dcs. (Go for a haircut, or to do some shopping in your own.)
I know you feel he can't cope, but you need to put him in a situation where he has no choice.
What he does then will be an indication of what he is prepared to do - if he still doesn't step up, it's time for you to consider if he's you partner or just someone who wants to be with you, but is not bothered about your dcs.
He's an adult. He's perfectly capable of looking after his own children. Whether he does or not will tell you everything you need to know about whether the relationship is worth continuing.
Sorry. sad

alificent Thu 07-Jul-16 23:33:40

He's not perfectly capable. Any time he has with them is filling time until I return without the dc crying or getting hurt; he doesn't seem to enjoy them at all. I don't trust his supervision of them and 9 yo and 5 yo say he's just rude and grumpy to them when I'm not there sad

peppatax Thu 07-Jul-16 23:34:29

Yeah that's what is sad OP, it's like he's given up and it's a long hard road back with both DC saying 'it doesn't have to be mummy' and also him saying 'it has to be you I'm with, not just someone to get up with DC'

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