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DH says I am trying to fundamentally change him....

(60 Posts)
handsfree Thu 08-Sep-16 21:42:36

We have ongoing issues with the fact that dh just forgets an awful lot of things, conversations we've had, things I've asked him to do, things relating to family life etc and flowing from this, the fact that I feel he just is never really listening to me eg frequently I will say something to him and he will say the same thing back to me 10 minutes or even a day later, with no recollection that I have said this to him already.

We have talked about this before, I tell him that it makes me feel unimportant, ignored, unlistened to. We most recently had this conversation last night (after he forgot to come home to take our eldest in for his first ever day at school) and he didn't even remember that we've had conversations about this as an issue before angry

No he doesn't have actual memory issues, he just says he doesn't have a very good memory. However, he holds down a very busy well paid job (ie 6 figures) so it is my opinion that it can't be that bad, and it seems more selective than across the board.

He says that asking him to address this is trying to fundamentally change him. I think that is a lazy excuse to continue to ignore stuff he's not really interested in.....

Any advice?

SomeonesRealName Thu 08-Sep-16 21:46:16

I'm like this as well OP - you could be describing me. I can't follow directions either and I'm quite scatty and disorganised yet I seem to hold down a professional job somehow. I frequently forget important things and just the other day I went out leaving my front door wide open. Do you think it's intentional with your husband or do you think he's lying or lazy?

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Thu 08-Sep-16 21:48:20

My dh is hopeless. He went to collect dd and ds from activity and call at the shop for milk. Came back with the milk and no kids!! I leave lists. Works a treat.

QuiteLikely5 Thu 08-Sep-16 21:49:28

I agree with the pp. I'm a little like this myself but luckily my dh doesn't get too upset over it.

I don't think you should take it personally. Maybe he is zoning out after a busy day at work. I think that's what I do and so I don't absorb everything what's being said. This can also happen at work if I'm not careful!!

sentia Thu 08-Sep-16 21:49:50

If you're convinced he's capable but disinterested I would probably try to set things up so he feels the consequences of his lack of attention. Preferably with a dose of social embarrassment to reinforce it. Don't remind him of things, make him responsible for both action and outcome.

I would also use some communication tactics to make him notice that he's blanking out your voice. Long pauses. Getting him to playback what you've just said. That sort of thing.

LeonardInTheArgosBag Thu 08-Sep-16 21:50:34

I think he has priorities in what he chooses to remember or what's important to him and you've been bumped to the bottom of the list.

I would hate to have to leave a list - no one writes me a bloody list! I'm an adult, I get myself together and I expect DH to do the same. If not, it's not an equal partnership.

handsfree Thu 08-Sep-16 22:03:48

I don't think it's intentional, but I do think it's lazy. I think he just says to himself so often that it's not his fault and he just doesn't have a very good memory that as far as he's concerned that's it and there is no need to do anything about it.

I can't help but feel that a lot of it is actually down to just not really listening anyway, so it's a combination of forgetting and not having paid attention in the first place.

Leonard, yes it feels like he just has more important things to remember.

handsfree Thu 08-Sep-16 22:05:19

But my main annoyance is that he is basically saying I shouldn't even be raising this as an issue because it's just how he is and there is nothing he can do about it.

sentia Thu 08-Sep-16 22:08:06

Or is he saying you shouldn't be making him feel guilty about something he can't be bothered changing? Or that he doesn't like it when you tell him what to do?

handsfree Thu 08-Sep-16 22:26:35

Well he certainly doesn't like being told what to do! I can't really win that one though because if I ask to much then I'm nagging but if I don't ask enough then I should have asked more....

AnnieOnnieMouse Thu 08-Sep-16 23:33:47

DH and I both have poor memories, and we are both getting on a bit. We have a notebook with lists we leave notes on for ourselves and each other. We also use linked Google calendars. We find this helps, and reduces nagging, and things being forgotten. However, nothing will help your dh if he refuses to grow up and become a functioning adult when not at work. Tell him it looks as if he is trying to fundamentally change you into being his mum.
I second letting him fail a few times, as well as silent pauses to make him rewind what you've said.

AcrossthePond55 Fri 09-Sep-16 00:01:27

I think he's full of shit.

It's changing one thing. He just doesn't care enough to do it AND it allows him to abdicate family responsibilities. He can make notes, set reminders his mobile, keep a diary. I do it because I get forgetful (head in the clouds, that's me) but I understand that's no excuse for dropping the family ball!

Start kicking him in the shin every time he walks by and tell him "sorry, that's just the way I am. Don't try to change me".

Maybe that's a bit drastic but I'll bet you can think of a few things you've changed for him!

RunRabbitRunRabbit Fri 09-Sep-16 00:52:04

How can you say No he doesn't have actual memory issues, he just says he doesn't have a very good memory. Not a good memory to the extent you don't take a child to their first day at school is definitely one of an actual memory issue or an LTB issue.

You've answered that question yourself though I think that is a lazy excuse to continue to ignore stuff he's not really interested in So not an actual memory issue then. It's the other issue.

What exactly was so important fuckable that it was more important in his mind than taking his child to the first day of school?

Trifleorbust Fri 09-Sep-16 05:31:03

His memory problem is his responsibility. He needs to do whatever he does at work to avoid getting fired - put stuff in his phone, calendar, write lists himself, whatever. You're not his PA.

OccultGnuAsWell Fri 09-Sep-16 05:48:17

XH had a mild dose of this.

I began to recognise when he was drifting and whatever the topic inserted "...and that's how I'm pregnant" into the conversation. Then paused.

Amazing how some phrases cut through the fug. Then you've got an opening to talk about how they weren't listening.
Although do note I said XH

SomeonesRealName Fri 09-Sep-16 06:19:46

But Trifleorbust what I do at work to avoid being fired for this is have a really excellent PA!

You don't have to put up with it you know OP, you are entitled to end the relationship if this is a deal-breaker - it doesn't matter whether he can't or won't do something about it.

Madinche1sea Fri 09-Sep-16 06:25:33

Op, when you say he "forgot to come home to take outlet eldest to his first day at school" - does he work nights? Or where had he been?

Madinche1sea Fri 09-Sep-16 06:26:20

our eldest!

handsfree Fri 09-Sep-16 06:44:29

Dc is only at school in the afternoons this week - dh was supposed to come home from work so we could both take him and he forgot.

runrabbit when I say doesn't have actual memory issues I mean he has no diagnosed medical problem, he is just rubbish at remembering stuff.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 09-Sep-16 06:46:42

I think you need to read a thread on these pages called Incompetent Husbands: What Happened Next...

What do you get out of this relationship Handsfree, what is in this for you?

AntiquityAgain Fri 09-Sep-16 06:55:24

My dh has a terrible memory and can zone out when I'm speaking to him (he's going to be assessed for ASD) but the difference is because he knows it's not right and knows it upsets me he works on it. So he makes lists where appropriate and he knows he has to stop what he's doing when I speak so he doesn't get distracted.

So if your dh just can't be arsed with remembering family stuff or if he is refusing to mitigate a real problem I can't see a future as he obviously doesn't care enough for you or dc to do so.

TheNaze73 Fri 09-Sep-16 07:36:25

His lack of action in trying to do something about it, speaks volumes

Believeitornot Fri 09-Sep-16 07:41:07

My dh doesn't listen to me sometimes and I get quite upset but he does apologise and try.

But he also has an awful habit of walking off mid conversation claiming he is still listening as he goes to do something in the next room hmm or interjecting with something that's just popped in to his head but isn't related. Which again implies he isn't listening.

I've told him off many times for not listening and he tries to make time for talking but while it is an improvement, I would like to talk on my terms at times.

I've got to the stage where if he walks out I will call him on it. Or if he interjects with random shit, I will end the conversation.

I wonder if your dh sees somethings as "your job" to remember so dismisses them. Eg school stuff.

Saying he can't change is lazy.

RawPrawn Fri 09-Sep-16 07:42:17

Sounds to me like he's just not that interested in you or your children.

It's not uncommon. I work with a lot of men like that. They go through the motions of family life just to keep the peace but they don't really give a fuck.

SandyY2K Fri 09-Sep-16 07:45:11

Perhaps you could get him to put a reminder on his phone when he has to do something important like pick up your DC.

I'm not forgetful, but I have to use the colour notes app on my phone to make sure I don't forget things like posting a letter or topping up the schpol meals on parentpay.

If he has a busy high flying job then it's possible his mind is focussed on that.

I think you should stress that you're not trying to change him, but certain things are important to remember otherwise there canbe repercussion.

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