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Is DH incapable of change or does he just not care?

(39 Posts)
Superstar90 Mon 19-Sep-16 21:45:13

My DH is driving me mad and we've just had a huge fight - he sat in with the toddler to get her to sleep despite us discussing it and agreeing so many times we would leave her to fall asleep on her own. She's a terrible sleeper and cos she fell asleep with him now she'll be up all night dustrubed and calling for him back when she wakes up - he'll sleep through so it'll be me that'll be up with her (we also have a 10 week old baby I'll be up with too).
He's so frustrating - so incapable of change. It's not just this issue - so many things we'll discuss and then he'll just do the opposite or 'forget'. It makes me feel so unheard and frustrated. I end up shouting so much because he drives me bananas. Does he not listen/change because he doesn't care? Surely if he did he'd put some effort into things?!
Other examples - I'm about to try and potty train dd1 I've asked him to put training seat back on toilet after using it to help me with this - he never does.
I'm scared of moths so I ask him not to leave Windows and doors fully open with lights on and curtains not closed - every single night he seems to have door open and light on
He sleeps in the spare room - supposedly because I tell him off for snoring if we share a bed (I do but only occasionally) - I've explained to him how much this hurts me and makes me feel rejected but he continues to sleep in spare room
He does the washing sometimes and ive asked him not to tumble dry but just leave my clothes as half of them shrink if not dried correctly - he keeps shoving all my clothes in, on hot for hours, shrinking all my fav clothes! This has happened so many times and ivf said I'd rather he didn't do washing thsn ruin everything!

SandyY2K Mon 19-Sep-16 22:24:13

I think you need to calm down a bit.

If DD falls asleep alone, does she sleep through the night? Without waking up?
If so does your DH not understand what happens?

Because if he continues to do this, then I'd take her to the spare room to sleep with him when she wakes up. If he gets affected by it then he'll stop.

I'll be honest ... a lot of the other stuff makes you sound a bit controlling. Some people like windows open for fresh air. You need to think of other solutions like net curtains to stop the moths getting in.

If he can't not tumble dry your clothes, tell him to stop washing your clothes and do all the other clothes except yours. Why can't he just leave your clothes to one side after washing them. If you made him replace them, he'd soon learn.

So you tell him next time he's doing the washing, that you'll bill him for any of your clothes he ruins.

I wonder if it's an excuse to stop doing it.

Do you not think he just wants undisturbed sleep and that's why he sleeps in the spare room? Because of the baby waking up.

Some men prefer to slink off and avoid seeing their DP waking up with the baby. It's a way of not not wanting to acknowledge how difficult being a mum to a new baby.

Superstar90 Mon 19-Sep-16 22:38:24

Thanks sandy. I guess it's because we've discussed these things to death and he still does them.
Yes she wakes up constantly. We did have him sleep in with her and take the consequences but he's still sleep through her waking up! And I would have to go in and deal even from next room. That's why I'm so annoyed - he creates a bad sleeper and I'm the one who has to deal with it. He can Skerp through anything so the spare room isn't about getting enough sleep for work

Ha - I have tried making him buy me new clothes to replace ones he's shrunk and he'll stop for a bit but then just keep doing it - I've said to him just to leave my clothes but as per everything else he just doesn't listen.

Things are all examples I could l lost hundreds more. The problem is I guess I don't feel listened to or valued.

Perhaps I have got a bit controlling - it's hard to tell. I do feel he's hugely passive agressive tho and it's driving me nuts.

Superstar90 Mon 19-Sep-16 22:39:29

Sorry for typos - writing on iPhone whilst feeding baby

Tootsiepops Mon 19-Sep-16 22:43:22

I don't think you sound at all controlling OP. It's just good sense not to leave a light on with the windows wide open.

Superstar90 Mon 19-Sep-16 22:48:38

I have massive phobia of moths blush

Tumtitum Mon 19-Sep-16 22:49:32

Superstar I understand where you're coming from. My DH has a big problem with listening and actually taking stuff inane I have to constantly tell him how to do certain things etc, it drives me mad and like you say feels like they don't actually value you and what you're saying. On the other hand if it's about music or one of his other interests he can take in and retain a whole heap of useless information!! confused

Longlost10 Mon 19-Sep-16 22:50:22

I think you are wasting your time trying to change anyone, basically. He is who he is, take it or leave it.

Superstar90 Mon 19-Sep-16 22:53:59

Exactly tumitum - he manages to listen and remember important information at work! Why he doesn't think things like getting our toddler to finally sleep through the night is important I don't know! flowers to you. I think the no one way of feeling loved and appreciated is feeling listened to.

Superstar90 Mon 19-Sep-16 22:57:51

Longlost - eek so basically I need to accept he's a stubborn, stuck in his ways, selective deafness partner who will persist in doing things (like sleep training) the wrong way or just his way... sad think I'm going to need to start a post about how to live in an unhappy marriage. Is there no hope? Is there not some magic way to get him to value things I say?

HandbagCrazy Mon 19-Sep-16 23:05:46

I think he's actually massively disrespectful and isn't approaching parenting and running the house as a team. Does he think they are primarily your job because you're at home?

I admit I was always a bit like this - I am known in work for my attention to detail, thoroughness and dependability.
At home I was scatty, forgetful and a little bit lazy. It drove DH mad and we had lots of arguements about it.
In the end I realised I made a conscious effort in work because I am not organised by nature and I find it hard, but I did it because it mattered to me.
At home, by default DH picked up the bills I missed, the appointments I forgot, the housework I left.

I was massively unfair to him and I now approach my home life in the same way I approach work. It works well and we're happy - my DH deserves this.
So do you OP

clumsyduck Mon 19-Sep-16 23:11:00

I know they prob seem like trivial things but it can be annoying as hell when someone just doesn't listen to what you want ! Are you firm when you say things ? Sorry that makes it sound like your talking to a child but I mean like do you say things more in passing or when your annoyed so he doesn't really think you mean it ? For example I'd sit him down and say very clearly that if he will not cooperate with letting dd fall asleep herself and she wakes up asking for him then it will be him that has to deal with her .

HandbagCrazy Mon 19-Sep-16 23:11:04

I should add I only did this because DH mattered enough to me that the effort it took wasn't too much.

I'm not sure how you should approach this with your DH, except to maybe spell out that you are unhappy as a direct result of his actions. Tell him what you need (for him to listen, for you to not need to have the same conversation repeatedly) and that if this doesn't happen, you can see the marriage ending because there is no respect there.

I would maybe also add specifics into the conversation (I need you to tel me you agree with DC bedtime routine. If you don't, give me an alternative, because you're not doing what we agreed). Maybe give home the problem, what you need, a specific solution then put it firmly on him to either agree or come up with a plan.

Superstar90 Mon 19-Sep-16 23:12:56

Thanks handbag - yes this sounds exactly the same. He does think its easy being at home and seems to switch off as soon as he gets in. Ive said to him that I've worked full time and stayed at home full time and staying at home is way harder work. He doesn't think things like sleep habits and domestic chores etc are important at all. What made you change?

Superstar90 Mon 19-Sep-16 23:13:49

Posts crossed! Thx for your advice x

Albadross Mon 19-Sep-16 23:18:10

I feel your pain, I work from home and I can't focus of the house is a tip but he can't even tidy up after himself - he has to let it build up until there's no clear space and then I give in and do it.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Mon 19-Sep-16 23:37:34

I may be getting the wrong end of the stick but to me it sounds as if it may be that you work out just how you want things done, you tell him what you've decided and you count that as a joint decision. You then go spare when he doesn't carry out your instructions.

This happens when one partner is much more picky or organized than the other, but it's not actually the laid back one's fault. He's not your child to scold.

thestamp Mon 19-Sep-16 23:58:08

People don't change. They just don't. They might do it temporarily but only if they are self-motivated to do so, and he's shown you very clearly that that's not the case. If you've asked him once or twice, and even had a big discussion about it, you need to give up.

Either accept him as he is, or LTB, sounds extreme but any other way is a quick route to madness.

SandyY2K Tue 20-Sep-16 00:46:38

That messing up DDs sleeping would tick me off. One could suggest ways to cope, they all mean you adjusting your ways and resentment just builds by doing that.

I guess you have to weigh everything up. Does the good out weigh the bad. Because if these are just a few of his behaviours it doesn't bode well.

I could say get your own laundry basket ... you could tell him to get out of DDs room..... you could install window wires .... but it would only be something else. It slowly kills the love and you need to really let him know how this makes you feel.

I discuss this in pre marriage courses ... Each of these things is a pinch. One of them might be bearable ... but over time the many pinches become a crunch.. that's when the marriage is in serious trouble.

HelenaDove Tue 20-Sep-16 00:51:57

I bet if you offered him a blow job he would have no trouble hearing that! hmm

ChaChaChaCh4nges Tue 20-Sep-16 02:59:27

I don't think it's controlling in the slightest to want your clothes undamaged and for creatures you're phobic of kept out of your home.

*In the end I realised I made a conscious effort in work because I am not organised by nature and I find it hard, but I did it because it mattered to me.
At home, by default DH picked up the bills I missed, the appointments I forgot, the housework I left*

STBXH was just like this. One of the many reasons I left him. There's only so many times they can play the I'm-such-a-silly-I-didn't-realise-I-was-only-trying-to-help card, after being told over and over again, before you're forced to conclude that they're either saying a non-verbal "fuck you", or are passive-aggressive arseholes.

And it does kill the love stone dead. I tried so many times to tell STBXH how unhappy I was, and how really simple changes could make a huge difference but he didn't listen until I left him. Then we had the tears and the "I'm so sorry, I know you tried to tell me but I didn't understand". I just thought "You understand now".

Superstar90 Tue 20-Sep-16 03:50:58

Prawn - that is how it's become but not how i want it to be. I might say something to him like 'I think dd watches too much tv, I think we should cut down'. He'll nod his head and agree but carry on showing her just as much. Days later I'll then say something specific like 'plesse stop showing her to whilst she's eating'. Again he'll agree but nothing will change. A few days later I'll say again but stronger and more specific 'dd is only allowed to watch tv between 4-5pm'- hence we get to the sole 'joint' decision. He'll still not do it. I'ce come to the conclusion he's massively passive agressive so what he's thinking is 'why cut down? It calms her down, gives us a break and makes her eat more' but he'll not be able to say this in initial discussion so we can properly communicate about it. He'll just agree with me and then do the opposite.

Sandy - you are totally right it is death by a thousand cuts. Our marriage is in trouble as I'm so unhappy, frustrated and feel totally not listened to.

I know I can't change him. Not sure i can keep putting up with him for dc's sake though.

Cha-cha - you're spot on with the 'oh silly me' attitude!!!

Out2pasture Tue 20-Sep-16 04:10:59

he obviously wants to do things his way and believes you are wrong in your thoughts. maybe some of his idea's are better softer and gentler?

Superstar90 Tue 20-Sep-16 04:12:24

Maybe Out2 but how can we compromise if he doesn't say what he's thinking?

Penfold007 Tue 20-Sep-16 05:03:35

He isn't doing anything 'accidentally' he knows exactly what he's doing. You can't change him but you can change your own reactions.

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