Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Nothing I do is good enough!!

(27 Posts)
flumplet Fri 23-Sep-16 13:23:01

DH and I have been married 10 years, together 15 and we have a 5yo ds. I'm really starting to struggle with our relationship. Nothing I do is ever good enough, nothing I say is ever right, if I do something around the house he'll either criticise it or re-do it. He undermines me when I discipline our ds. We have zero sex life. I mean literally zero for about a year, maybe more. He just generally doesn't seem to like me very much. He's not much of a talker, and we're just like room mates to be honest. I make a joke about it when watching TV and say 'ahh it must be really nice to have a husband who loves you like that' and he laughs, I've tried talking to him loads of times so he knows I'm not happy but nothing ever changes. I do love him, and I think he loves me too in his own way, we're making plans to move and generally we are okayish, but it just feels sometimes like he's settled for something he's not all that happy with. He never pays me compliments or seems overly impressed with any of my achievements. I'm so exhausted with never feeling good enough, and told him so last night - I said no wonder I have no self confidence when he grinds me down constantly but he didn't answer. I'm so frustrated!! What can I do to get us past this? Worth adding I don't think there's an OW involved.

AnyFucker Fri 23-Sep-16 13:24:07

I wouldn't call this a "marriage"

flumplet Fri 23-Sep-16 13:25:29

Me either but I don't know how to put it right

AnyFucker Fri 23-Sep-16 13:26:21

Well, it takes two to put it right

Seems like you have tried to address it but he doesn't want to know

So...

flumplet Fri 23-Sep-16 13:27:19

So...I just LTB?

AnyFucker Fri 23-Sep-16 13:30:45

I would, but I wouldn't tolerate being treated like that in the first place.

At the very minimum, you need to put the house move on hold and have a really good think about why you are still trying to hang onto a relationship with a man who seems only to show contempt for you

flumplet Fri 23-Sep-16 13:44:57

But I'm sure I haven't been all that easy to live with either at times, I had an extended period of anxiety and depression but I'm getting there now, I've paid off all my debt, got a promotion at work and I don't really want to give up on this, I signed up for a lifetime, richer for poorer, better for worse and all that.

Happybunny19 Fri 23-Sep-16 13:55:29

I don't agree with others about ltb but do about putting the house move on hold. Do you do anything together as a couple? Is there any chance you could go out for a meal or just a drink together and talk about things out of the house? I know you've already tried to get him talking, but perhaps you need to be blunt and tell him he needs to start talking, and more importantly listening, or things will have to change. I think he's taking you for granted and needs a good kick up the backside. Does he acknowledge that there are issues in your relationship at all, particularly the lack of intimacy? Do you think he would be willing to try councilling?

I wish you the best of luck. You sound very down, which is understandable given how he's chipping away your confidence. Out of interest is he critical of people in general or do you think it's just aimed at you?

CockacidalManiac Fri 23-Sep-16 14:00:50

Was he always like this?

flumplet Fri 23-Sep-16 14:04:03

We don't do an awful lot together, we've only had a couple or maybe 3 date nights since our boy was born 5 years ago, we don't have much in the way of childcare. He's not particularly critical of other people that I have noticed. He's such a closed book (always has been) it's difficult to know what's going on in his head. We work long hours and the one thing we have in common at the moment is getting our house ready to sell - you will see from some of my previous posts our neighbours have made our lives a bit of a misery. So moving is our one shared goal. Honestly, I've painted a piss-poor picture of him, he's actually a very good man, he's never ever shouted at me even once, let alone raised a hand to me and is a truly fantastic and enthusiastic dad. He's gentle and can be thoughtful if he puts his mind to it. All those wonderful things are, in my mind, worth holding on to. It's just this phase of criticism is a nightmare!!

Kneejerk Fri 23-Sep-16 14:11:07

Sounds like you both need some 'you' time.

I'd be thinking about both taking a day off work and going out together. If the pennies are short have a drive and a picnic, just be away from the house to get things started.

It's easy to get into a rut and accept each other's negative behaviour, plus with neighbours playing up it makes life hell.. personal experience talking here

adora1 Fri 23-Sep-16 14:22:08

So what if he hasn't raised his voice or hand, why would he? Verbal criticism is awful, it's worse than physical, he is not a good man if he is putting down the woman he is meant to love and a relationship takes effort and kindness, he is showing you none so you don't even have a basis of loving and sharing.

I am sorry OP but you either carry on feeling crap or you actually do something to make him notice, leaving, even temporarily might just be your only option.

pallasathena Fri 23-Sep-16 14:31:18

He's projecting all his closed in feelings onto you and he needs to control you, hence the put downs. By keeping you on your toes, by constantly criticising you, he's undermining your self esteem and your self worth. This makes him feel powerful. The more passive you become the more powerful he becomes.
I would call his bluff either by having a massive melt down (controlled) then storm out and take yourself off for a bit of retail therapy for the rest of the day, (I've done this in the past. Important that you ignore all texts/phone calls for the duration), or remove yourself and your son for a weekend and go away and have some fun (no answering phones important here too)
He needs a wake-up call and you need to garner some control. And, you need your son to see you garnering that control because what you and your husband are modelling for your little boy is what will become his 'normal' in his future relationships.

hellsbellsmelons Fri 23-Sep-16 14:42:27

It sounds like a dripping tap.
He just keeps knock knock knock knock knocking your confidence.
That is not a man who loves you.
No matter what you might think.
Would he agree to counselling?
What he is doing to you could count as abuse so it might be best to get some counselling for yourself for now.
If you work, does your work offer an employee counselling service.
Most do if they are bigger companies.
Worth trying as you usually get 3 sessions for free.

AnyFucker Fri 23-Sep-16 16:01:19

He doesn't need to scream at you or give you a black eye

Just the steady drip of quiet contempt is enough

You son is getting a poor example of what a relationship should look like here. Are there any loving or supportive actions if not words coming your way from him ?

flumplet Fri 23-Sep-16 16:26:38

He does if I poke him hard enough, so when I got a promotion recently he was like 'yeah that's great well done' but there was no mega enthusiasm from him, there never is! he's just not that type of person who'll be like "let's go out and celebrate" or pop open a bottle of champagne or, surprise me with a bunch of flowers. Even when I told him I was pregnant with ds he didn't get terribly excited (even though ds was much anticipated and wanted) he was just so 'sensible' "let's wait until we've seen a doctor before we get excited" and then "let's wait until we've had the scan" he's just so ...... I don't even know what he is!! confused

ravenmum Fri 23-Sep-16 16:32:59

Unenthusiastic. I thought my ex was just not an enthusiastic person in general, but now I wonder if he was just not that enthusiastic about me. I have no idea now why he decided to have kids with me and stay together so long - he told his new gf that we had never been that keen on each other. Life with a more enthusiastic man has been a lot more fun.

SandyY2K Fri 23-Sep-16 16:35:39

Could he be having an affair. Spouses often get treated like crap at these times. If your sex life is non existent I'd really question if he's getting it elsewhere.

Is there any affection at all?
Do you initiate sex? His response?

I'd have a frank conversation and tell him you aren't happy with the way things are ... and suggest marriage counselling ... that's if he wants it to get better.

flumplet Fri 23-Sep-16 16:39:37

I don't think he's having an affair - we're always together and he's not attached to his phone, unless any things going on at work (which I doubt as it would easily get back to me). We both have very low sex drive for different reasons that I won't go in to because it's complicated and quite outing. No real OW red flags at all though (although can't completely rule if out of course.) I'll sit him down for a chat this evening perhaps and see what he says. I suspect the same as always which is not a lot of him talking and a lot of me talking.

AnyFucker Fri 23-Sep-16 16:39:38

It all sounds very dull

Dull, dull, dull

And not even the physical closeness of sex to keep you connected. Does he have a low sex drive ? It's rather unusual to go so long without sex barring any health problems.

AnyFucker Fri 23-Sep-16 16:41:09

Sorry, cross posted re the sex drive

flumplet Fri 23-Sep-16 16:48:41

You're right anyfucker it is dull but comfortably dull if you get me. I can't be doing with firy on again off again shenanigans. No unexpected surprises (good or bad). But a bit of passion would be nice every now and again. He does the nice little things like cups of tea and picking me up from work whereas i like and do the grand gesture things. He's just picked me up and I've said we have to have a chat later as we're not modelling a good relationship for our ds and he's agreed so that's a start. I'll update you all after that!

AnyFucker Fri 23-Sep-16 17:08:33

I don't think being criticised and undermined is remotely "comfortable"

That just means you are used to it. That's not a good thing.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 23-Sep-16 17:18:49

I do wonder how your chat with him will go later; perhaps not very well at all. And yes, both of you are modelling a poor example of a relationship to your son currently. He is neither a fantastic or enthusiastic dad either(women in poor relationships over and over again write that sort of comment because they can think of nothing positive themselves to write about their man) if he treats you like this.

Why are you together at all now; you sound comfortably numb and accustomed to being treated like this. Neither are good.

Re this comment:-
"He does the nice little things like cups of tea and picking me up from work whereas i like and do the grand gesture things"

What sort of things do you do?.

He is really doing the barest of bare minimums here when it comes to your relationship; anyone could bring you a cup of tea for instance. As for him picking you up from work, does he do that often?. Why is he doing that exactly?. Can't you make your own way home?

Cary2012 Fri 23-Sep-16 19:30:10

Do you see a link between your bouts of anxiety and depression with your relationship? Being undermined and criticised doesn't help your MH issues, quite the opposite.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now