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Help me sort my head out

(12 Posts)
allthegoodnameshavebeentaken Tue 15-Nov-16 10:26:52

DH and I have been together for 16 years and have two small kids.

In all honesty we were never that great together. We don't have any interests in common. He isn't that interested in doing things with me, or talking to me. I have gradually found myself talking to him less and less about my interests because while he's willing enough to listen to me (to humour me), he's obviously not that interested.

He disregards everything I say so I've turned into a nag. He has no concept of keeping the house tidy, of putting his things away as he goes along, or of priorities - I found him scrubbing the stained bottom of an old frying pan this morning in his dressing gown 15 minutes before we were all supposed to be leaving to get the kids to school and get to work.

He can't keep his temper with the kids. They're okay - not perfect, and a little prone to messing, but he lets them away with loads and grumbles ineffectually at them and they've learned that they can get away with things with him so they just don't listen. Then he snaps suddenly and starts roaring at them. I've talked to him about it so, so many times; while he's talking to me he says he agrees that he needs to control him temper but once they start acting up, he thinks it's all theif fault if they make him angry, because they won't listen. They don't act up as much with me, so I don't think they're the problem.

We've been living with my parents for a while due to a complicated house move, and my parents have commented that it feels like a house share. They think he doesn't really engage with either of them, or me. Also, he's completely disregarding all their house rules (some of which aren't necessarily the most rational, but it is their house so tough!) which is really annoying them. They asked me to have a word with him and I had to say that I've been 'having a word with him' pretty much every day, and he agrees each time that he'll try harder, but by the next day he's back to doing his own thing and disregarding everything we say. He takes the kids to see his mother at the weekend; he tells us they'll be home at 5 for dinner but turns up at 6:30 and when we say we've kept dinner, says he's fed the kids already - stuff like that, every single weekend. They're trying to empty the freezer at the moment and keep asking us not to buy any food, but he keeps going shopping regardless and we can't eat the stuff fast enough to keep up. He leaves the front and back doors open when he's outside and lets all the heat out - my mother has very severe health problems and feels the cold really badly, but no matter how many times I say it, it makes no difference.

He keeps buying toys for the kids. Every time he's out anywhere with them he buys them something. I keep asking and asking him not to; we can't afford it (I spend my life nagging him about money, he never gives a second's thought to money, just spends when he feels like it and I've been picking up the pieces of that for years), we don't have room in my parents' house for all the stuff, they'll never appreciate anything if they have a new toy every second day and I think it's a bit unfair that he always gets to be the one to buy them stuff! And he agrees that he overdoes it, but does it again the next day, regardless.

I just find myself wondering what the point of it all is. I do nothing but nag him, and he just ignores everything I say. He doesn't want to spend time with me - last weekend I asked him if we could have a chat and he said 'but we talked at lunchtime!' - we had eaten with the kids and the conversation was mainly with them. We have an actualy interesting conversation between ourselves maybe every second or third week. I find myself following myself around the house like a needy dog looking for attention and it's getting embarrassing. And he just doesn't understand what it is I think is missing. He thinks everything is fine.

As it happens, we've had offers accepted on two houses. One of them would need two incomes (and is considerably nicer!), the other I know I could just about afford on my own if he paid maintenance (which he would). I sort of feel like it's crunch time, I need to make a decision about our relationship before going ahead with either one.

I don't know what to do. I'm torn between thinking I'm expecting too much and being too much of a controlling wagon, and thinking that there should be more to a marriage than this.

Lostandlonely1979 Tue 15-Nov-16 10:34:59

In a similarish situation. I think you have to think about whether you can live with this for the rest of your life.

FWIW I don't think you're expecting too much at all. Sounds like you have another child there to take care of. You've just been conditioned into lowering your expectations because he doesn't listen to you.

I've come to the stark realisation lately that I'd be running like fuck if it weren't for the kids. I'd have run like fuck years ago.

And while the kids are an extremely important consideration, it sounds like it's time for you to ask yourself some pretty tough questions. Perhaps with a counsellor?

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 15-Nov-16 10:36:04

Why are you two still together now; are you really with this man because of the children?. What do you get out of this relationship now, something has kept you with this man to date.

What would your lives be like without this man in it day to day?.

He is financially responsible for his children in any case in the event of divorce. Have you as yet sought legal advice, it is something that is worth considering.

With regards to your parents however, they should be speaking to him directly if they have a problem with him.

hellsbellsmelons Tue 15-Nov-16 10:38:17

I think you are right.
There should be more to a marriage than this.
You deserve at least, a respectful partner.
This man has no respect for anyone at all.
He's just coming across as an entitled asshole!
I couldn't be doing with it.

Cricrichan Tue 15-Nov-16 10:38:29

I think before you buy any house, you should sort things out with him. It doesn't sound good from here though.

allthegoodnameshavebeentaken Tue 15-Nov-16 10:41:29

My parents have spoken to him directly. He agrees with them and then ignores them.

In all honesty, I'm still with him because I'm petrified of being alone. I have anxiety issues and I find it very convenient to get him to do things I can't handle. There have been days in the past when I couldn't leave the house without him. I'm in better shape now though, with medication, and I'm gradually learning to do things alone. I've learned to drive, I can do the school run and shopping now, and managed to wander around a shopping centre on my own last weekend for a couple of hours without running away.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 15-Nov-16 10:47:21

TBH you are pretty much alone and lonely to boot now within your marriage. This is akin to death by 1000 cuts.

A fear of being alone is simply not a good enough reason to remain with this individual who alternatively shouts and buys the children toys; he is really giving them very mixed messages.

Better to be alone than to be badly accompanied.

You have made a lot of progress without him as a crutch; you've learnt to drive, you've managed to spend a couple of hours in the shopping centre without running away; these are all great things. You can continue to achieve and do all these things and more without him.

hellsbellsmelons Tue 15-Nov-16 10:50:20

He agrees with them and then ignores them
Isn't he a gem.
Such disrespect it actually amazes me.
He is living in their house and ignores all their rules.
In fact, he makes a point of going totally against them.
This will be your life forever more!
I just couldn't do it.
Can you? For the next 20+ 30+ years!
Good grief - life is way too short for this shite.

Lostandlonely1979 Tue 15-Nov-16 10:51:31

Better to be alone than to be badly accompanied.

Putting this one in my pocket!

OP sounds like you have indeed come on a lot. Whether consciously or not, he's exploiting your dependency on him in order to create an easy life for himself. Which is absolutely not good enough for you or for your DCs.

allthegoodnameshavebeentaken Tue 15-Nov-16 11:03:05

Another thing that bothers me is that I'm very overweight and diabetic and no matter how many times I plead with him to stop buying junk food, he won't. As far as I can work out, he means well but his idea of taking care of me is feeding me, which is actually entirely the opposite! I've cried, begged and pleaded with him, if not to help me sort out my health, at least to stop making it harder, but again, the next day he's doing it again.

After DD was born I had really bad PND. I thought I was just a really terrible mother for being unhappy. One night I was lying awake mentally cataloguing all the pills in the house; I knew I couldn't do anything because I couldn't leave DD but I was sort of reassuring myself that if things got even worse, the option was there. Then I had a sort of epiphany that maybe it was PND, maybe what I was feeling wasn't justified and could be treated and it didn't have to be like that. I woke DH up and explained what I was thinking and asked him what he thought, and he just sighed and turned his back on me. I took that to mean that he thought I was just shit after all, so I never went to the GP and it took me years to feel properly human again. I asked him about it years later and he said he just couldn't think of anything to say so he didn't say anything.

Whether consciously or not
This is my problem; I don't think he's doing it consciously, I think he's just very, very, very independent and completely out of his depth emotionally. I think he wants to make me happy but doesn't understand how to.

Lostandlonely1979 Tue 15-Nov-16 11:06:29

You really need some support. I think, based on what you've said, he is doing it consciously, has no real love for you and is basically not trying. At all, on any level.

You deserve better and so do your DCs. Focus on you, see a counsellor, start taking back control and take steps as often as you can towards being the strong DM that your DCs need. You'll soon start to see him in a clearer light, I'm sure.

He sounds beyond useless tbh and has been controlling you for years. He's offered you nothing in the way of support and has ignored you at best, and gone out of his way to sabotage your efforts to get yourself better at worst.

hellsbellsmelons Tue 15-Nov-16 12:25:23

Oh good grief.
And he's a feeder.
Not good.
When ever he buys junk food, unwrap it and put washing up liquid all over it and throw it in the bin.
You have to start taking control of at least that.
It is very detrimental to your health.
I don't like saying this but I think you need out and away from this 'man'
The disrespect he shows everyone is astounding!

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