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This isn't me, is it? Some perspective needed please(33 Posts)
I am in an unhappy marriage. I have told H I want to split, but for various reasons, this is not happening right now.
H has been controlling both emotionally and financially throughout our relationship, and circumstances have ground me down to such a point I am not even sure who is being unreasonable anymore.
So, tell me straight please.
I have been ill, quite seriously (not life threatening or anything, but properly in bed ill) for the past week. I have been in a serious amount of pain, and have only got up to go to doctors/A&E.
H has been grudgingly doing stuff with the children, but only the barest of day-to-day stuff in the house, so no laundry, no general tidying of toys etc, hasn't got food in, etc.
H took Monday off work (he is very busy, and I do understand it's not ideal, but I ended up at A&E Monday evening, so not exactly doing it for fun!) but was grumpy and huffy about it. He barely interacted with the dc, just gave them iPads/to all day (I am not particularly bothered by this, except it bothers dd1, who has severe ASD, as she feels ignored and left out). He got snarky when he had to cancel a dinner arrangement, which, a sit turns out was with friends not a business dinner
By Tuesday, when I still couldn't get up and get on with life, H was seriously annoyed. apparently it was very inconvenient, he was busy, meetings etc, he dismissed my rising temperature ('that's hardly anything to worry about') and tried to not pay attention to the fact that I'd been physically sick (temp and vomiting meant I had to go back to see doctor), as he clearly didn't want to stay at home again. He did, with bad grace, and again the children were practically ignored all day (3 dc, ages 12, 9 and 4, all with ASD)
At 3pm he stomps upstairs, calling out that he is off to the shops, and do we need anything (how would I know, I'd not been 'up' for over 4 days at that point). I had been asleep (first comfortable sleep I a. Couple of days), and was startled awake, jolted uncomfortably, and couldn't settle again. He also tells me he 'has to' go out that evening, as had an immovable dinner appt. he had to leave by 4.30. So just over an hours notice for me to get up, sorted, and ready to look after the children.
Oh, and dd2 was at a friends, he hadn't arranged a pick up time, but thought it was my duty, rather than getting friends mum to drop her off, and there wasn't anything in for tea for dd1 or ds.
I somehow made it through the evening, got dd2 dropped home (no way could I have picked her up, wasn't safe to drive), and went back to bed.
Awoke this morning to H packing - he is away now until Friday, on a corporate jolly. No question he would cancel and stay, despite me not being fit to look after the children. He hasn't even offered it verbally. I have found an email he sent late last night (oddly following on from an email outlinung a rare and serious issue that could be what I have, medically) saying if I need to I should call him and he will come home - it's a corporate jolly. He will go, have a drink or three, and be in no state to drive home at the drop of a hat. That's if he even answers the phone to me, tbh.
So, I am left at home, with 3 disabled dc, who are climbing the walls as their routines have gone out of the window over the last week, p,is being worried about me being ill, there's no food in the house, H has fucked off until Friday (no idea what I'm supposed to do if I need to go back to hospital/doctors).
Oh, and ds has no clean pants, apparently. Which is also my fault. He actually woke me this morning to ask where ds' 'spare' pants are. Umm, in the cupboard, along with the rest of his clothes, maybe? H: 'well, in that case, he hasn't got any, they must all be in the wash' Yes, I expect they are, since he hasn't bothered to do any washing over the last week.
The bit that's got me, is that I am actually wondering whether I am unreasonable in expecting him to have not fucked off for 3 days without even checking whether I am capable of looking after the dc for the rest of the week. I knew I'd been putting up with a lot of shit, but that really takes the biscuit, doesn't it? I am so far bloody gone, that I am blaming myself for not being able to do it, rather than him for not stepping up and looking after the dc/inconveniencing himself by cancelling a few days away. That's pretty extreme, isn't it?
I need some straight talking, before I end up just getting in with it all. As I always do, and minis I sing how bloody shit he is being.
It's not you, you poor thing. I hope you feel better soon, just get through however you can (pizza delivery, ipads and cuddles for the kids) and deal with separation etc once he gets back and you're better.
Family/friends? Talk to people. Let them know what is happening. Make it real. Getting on with it unsupported is no longer a viable option. You will just crash and burn. Be sensible.
I'd email him too, outlining my disbelief that he has, not only failed to support you properly during your illness, but failed to adequately look after his children (a list of factual bits would be a good idea).
You are not being unreasonable.
He should have cancelled the trip.
He's being selfish and it all seems to much for him because it's not something he does on a regular basis.
Well you should get him back from the trip and he can call a cab or whatever he needs to.
This reminds me of when my BIL flew of to America when my sister was sick with 4 kids under 10.
I had the 10 year old calling me in fear telling me her mum was lying down, shaking and looking pale. I was so angry with his selfish inconsiderate behaviour.
It's a good job your ending the marriage and if you ever questioned if it was the right decision ... this confirms it.
Can you get a supermarket delivery?
Is your 12 year old capable of putting on a wash for you? ASD differs which is why I am asking. She might not be.
Any family or friends who could help?
Your husband is totally out of order. Not you. Concentrate on getting better and getting through the next few days though, leave the big decisions until you are better.
What he has done is unforgivable.
If you put the relationship issues to one side, what he has done is he has left his 3dc in the care of another adult who is plainly unable to look after those dc at this time. What that boils down to is neglect.
Yes, the other adult is their mother. But if you are too unwell to adequately meet the needs of your dc, then him leaving the dc in your sole care is neglect, IMO.
Added to that, he is actually making this worse for all in the long run. Anyone with an ounce of common sense would recognise that the better you are looked after, the sooner you would be back on your feet.
If it was absolutely essential for him to be away the he should have arranged help and support for you to cover his absence. As that has not happened, do you have people you can call on for help? Don't hide this from friends and family.
So the key question is what do you want to happen from here on in?
You need to ask yourself why you are staying in this relationship
It cannot be that he is a good father because the children are witnessing domestic abuse and this will be causing them damage which you will only see once they go on to meet partners of their own. Children absorb everything.
I'm sure this man is a high earner so you would get quite an amount of maintenance for three children
This man just shows up but expects you to do everything else, all chores, run the home and contribute nothing practically.
In your shoes I would be telling your husband not to return to the marital home because he is not welcome or needed.
He is a complete and utter asshole for leaving you and those children, treating you all with contempt and putting his own needs above those he is supposed to love and care for the most.
He won't change, don't believe him if claims otherwise.
You should be very angry but channel that anger in resolving to LTB, don't waste your time trying to get this selfish entitled git to change, you've been there and done that.
Thank you all. I do know it's not me, but he is so factual about eg stating its impossible for him to cancel meetings etc, that it still makes me wonder. Ffs. I am a fully functioning, capable and intelligent adult. Yet I wonder whether it's me being unreasonable in situations such as this! It's pathetic really.
Sadly no takeaway deliveries possible. Will check supermarket deliveries - have a weekly one generally, but that ones Friday evenings. Situation is complicated because we are in the middle of a major building project, so no kitchen, so can't even take the easy option of quick food/frozen meals etc.
Have dropped dd2 at a friends for the day (even one down makes it so much easier to cope), and swung by the supermarket on the way home to pick up a few bits for lunch/tea today.
Dd1 is not capable of helping - she has severe ASD, plus learning difficulties, so is my youngest, in capability terms.
Why am I stil here? Good question. When the girls were young I was here because I couldn't cope on my own with the bewildering maze of SN appts, legal case for education etc. 5 years ago everything came to a head and I told H I wanted to split. He begged for counselling and like a fool I agreed. He really stepped up for a few months - still not enough, but a good effort. I stupidly slept with him once (yes really, just once) - result is Ds, just turned 4. As soon as I was pregnant I couldn't leave - again, just the reality of coping with 2 with ASD, plus a newborn, was not conceivable given the girls needs. So I stayed, and we muddled through. Everything g finally got bad enough (or on enough of an even keel l, ASD wise) earlier this year for me to say it again. It will happen. I cannot stay any longer. He is intent on making me do all the running wrt setting the ball rolling. I expect he will get quite nasty once I do.
No family near enough to help out, and no friends either - severe disability is very isolating.
I have some childcare booked for next week (something else which hampers a lot of stuff - can't take them with me to appts for organising leaving, but impossible to find anyone to look after them due to needs) so will try to get to see/speak to someone then. If not next week, then have childcare again for the end of August.
It's all such a mess.
Can I just ask at what age you discovered your first child's disability and at what age second's?
tell people in rl what is happening. if the worst comes to the worst, emergency foster care. (ie if you get really incapacitated again)
ring friends.childrens friends and ask for help .
yanbu. he is useless. worse than fecking useless. better off without as there is less resentment and less bloody washing. for goodness sake do not do any for him.
ds can manage with pants for a second day if necessary. find the cleanest pair.
I think social services might offer an emergency childminder in circumstances like these.
I'm a cm myself and I know sign up to offer services through ss.
They are there to offer support to families with difficulties.
As you are ill and the other parent has fucked off I'd say you'd qualufy.
He is horrible. What a horrible horrible man. I hope you can release yourselves (you and the DC) from what must be utter torment living with him. You are just a convenience for him, and when that breaks down his contempt for you and the children is all there is left.
I would make plans, go and see a lawyer.
I hope you feel better soon.
Have nothing to say other than to add my voice to the 'he's appalling' chorus; because he IS appalling.
You sound incredibly strong.
I hope you find a way to leave soon, and good luck
It was obvious with dd1 from very young - I first went to the hv with concerns when she was about 8 months old. She was (and is) very delayed developmentally.
It was still a struggle to get any kind of help or dx- she finally got her dx at just over 2.5 (and even that is early), by which time dd2 had been born.
Dd2 was a more complex case, but even then by the time she was 2, it was obvious she was on the spectrum. She was only finally dx'd when she was 6, though, as she has no cognitive issues and due to masking behaviours in girls, it can be hard to get it pinned down.
I can't even begin to think about what emergency foster care would do to dd1. She would be so panicked and struggle so much.
I am ok (don't have much choice, really). Am mostly on the sofa resting. Ds is pottering about with Lego, and dd1 is coming in and out, has her iPad and comes for a chat and a cuddle occasionally.
What I can't believe is H thinking it ok to be away for 3 full days/2 nights. Since last Thurssay I have seen a doctor/nurse of some sort (go/out if hours/minor injuries/A&E 5 times. There is nothing to say I won't need to again, and that is not st all possible with the dc in tow. I just cannot get my head around what he could be thinking, at all.
Ds' pants are the last of my issues - he can wear his sister's as far as I am concerned (and he is happy too as has been covering Olaf pants for a while ) - was just an examplenofnthe shit situation H had left me in. I've put a wash through, so everyone has clothes for tomorrow.
There have been a couple of days when I had a bad flu, and once when I had food poisoning, that DH offered to get emergency leave. I struggled on and made him go to work, but he got on the phone to his mum who then called me and arranged her doing the school runs/getting shopping in.
I don't think that is special or wonderful, it is just normal. You deserve no less than that. It is just what people do for each other.
Add to that the fact that your DCs will be affected by your illness and the change in routine more than NT kids would be...I cannot understand any man who can just swan off and leave you all to it like that.
But, from what you have said, it sounds as though he has already checked out of the marriage, and apparently being a parent as well.
Don't know what the solution is shortterm for now,I guess you just have to somehow manage.
Think about who else can help,if same situation happen again.Perhaps an ss student specialising in those cases and need experience ? Hopefully ss can link you with them.They usually charge small amounts/travel expenses. I vaguely heard of such an arrangement from exfriend.
Don't think divorce will solve any of your problems because you'll be in this situation constantly then.
I really feel for you OP
In the 16 years we've been together, I think there have been 4 occasions where I have needed him to stay home, other than obvious (eg childbirth)
One of those was an ectopic pregnancy, where he didn't manage to get to the hospital before I was taken down for emergency surgery (first pregnancy, so at least no other children to worry about!) - ectopic had ruptured so huge emergency.
Then once when I had flu (proper flu, not a bad cold), once when I had to have my wisdom teeth out, and now this time.
The situation is of course complicated by the dc's needs. I cannot just ask anyone to look after dd1, as she is very challenging. But that is not just my problem, is it (I don't mean dd1 is a problem, she is just who she is - can't think of a better way to put it!), she is his child too.
There isn't a solution. That's part of the reason as to why I am still here. H has actually thrown that one at me during counselling. Apparently I might as well stay because I won't be any better off leaving - pretty much an admission that he won't be stepping up to do his share, isn't it? Which is why when the girls were small, and then when Ds was a baby/toddler, it wasn't possible to do anything about it.
But that doesn't make staying the right answer either.
Have you bluntly asked him: in what way he believes it acceptable to behave in this way, in this particular set of circumstances (list xyz), and how he imagines such behaviour will be viewed by others? Would it bother him do you think?
Just another voice saying 100% that it is not you.
For me, a decent man would not want to leave his sick wife and three children in your position. The fact that he can/did speaks volumes.
Your original decision to leave was the wise one. I hope you can get the practicalities in place to do so very soon. As for your behaviour on his return, I would do absolutely nothing for him.
Maybe get on a childcare site and seek some short term help? I am on one and do short notice so must be others?? Oh and a lock smith - self explanatory! And a medal for yourself.
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