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Stubborn Husband not taking care of himself or families needs

(57 Posts)
chavatar Sat 10-Dec-16 23:27:57

My husband has good intentions I think, however his stubbornness is damaging out relationship and family dynamic.

We recently bought a new house that needs some work doing to it. We are living in the property which is just about live-able with 2 DCs. Before buying, we agreed that we would pay someone to do most of the work (we can afford to) and DH and I both have stressful jobs.

Fast forward to now. FIL has drummed it into DH that you "never" pay anyone to do a job that you can learn to do yourself. Therefore, DH has changed his mind on employing someone to do the work and has taken it all on himself on top of his stressful job, at Christmas time, with a young family to take care of and heap of other problems going on.

DH is learning as he goes so everything is taking much longer and the house is upside down. Anyone who visits frowns and says that DH has taken on more than he can handle. I'm fed up of the mess and the lack of time and attention from my DH towards me or the DCS. He's exhausted, his work is suffering, I'm suffering, DCS are suffering but he refuses to give up on the work. It's not doing him any good taking so much on himself. It's not just decorating either, it's big jobs like knocking out walls, plumbing, wiring, plastering and he refuses to back down. FIL is not helping either as he dips in and out helping DH where he can but keeps saying that he's "doing the right thing" by doing all this work himself.

We have no quality of life atm and this is why we go to work in the first place isn't it? To have some quality of life?
Everything has had to go on the back-burner, Xmas, friends, family, everything because he's so determined to do all of this work himself. I've no idea what to do.

PurpleWithRed Sat 10-Dec-16 23:37:33

Phone three builders and get them in for quotes. Check out properties to rent for 6 months. Tell dh hes had his chance but it's taking too long and he can choose between you and dcs moving into a rental or getting the builders in. It's your life and your money too.

Doublemint Sat 10-Dec-16 23:39:06

What purple said.

pitterpatterrain Sat 10-Dec-16 23:43:00

Can he realistically do some of this stuff and still get building control sign-off / electrical certificates?

LineyReborn Sat 10-Dec-16 23:56:59

When did the FiL get to dictate how you spend money, look after your DCs and live in your home? You work, you earn money, you are in a marriage with children.


My OH is in the building trade and I wouldn't let him take on that much full-time, let alone in his spare time. It's nuts. NUTS.

His father is being seriously weird about this. This isn't a slap of paint that he's talking about, saving a few bob for a few Xmas gifts whilst you pimble about making some pin money. You work hard in a stressful job. You need a home that isn't a builder's yard. It is your money you want to spend on having a home completed.

Get some

chavatar Sun 11-Dec-16 00:03:31

Thanks all. Luckily, it's the odd stud wall, so no sign-offs required and also wiring, bits here and there, but still he's having to look a lot of it up. He's done a LOT of the plumbing work, having never done plumbing before through watching YouTube videos. FIL seems to know a lot too.
Saving money is a big family trait in DH'S family. Very tight with it, don't like to spend at all. I can't get my head around it, as I've always worked for a decent quality of life. What's the Pointended in working if you cant live a decent, enjoyable life with it anyway? DH tells me he is enjoying life as he enjoys doing the work apparently, he doesn't look like it to me though. He also tells me that he wants to be able to tell people he's done it himself. I'd just rather not have the stress. He doesn't get how frustrating it is for me, he's so busy working day, night and weekends, I spend all my time with DCS so that he can do all of this work in the house.

LineyReborn Sun 11-Dec-16 06:53:45

So what are you going to do?

You can either do nothing, and this 'no quality of life' situation continues; or you can do something. Doing something starts with asking him to listen to how unhappy you are, and to what your preferred solution is.

Carneddai Sun 11-Dec-16 06:59:39

Can you have a chat with fil? Explain how much of a strain it is? Talk sense in to him, who can talk sense in to dh?

HerOtherHalf Sun 11-Dec-16 07:07:31

The principle he's adopted from your FIL is nonsensical. Can you imagine what would happen if that logic were applied in a business context? Managers refusing to hire in staff with appropriate skills and instead trying to do all the work themselves. Your husband has given it a shot, fair enough, but refusing to reverse what was clearly not the right decision is just plain stupid. Also, messing around with electrics, plumbing and structural alterations that he is unqualified to do could cost you a lot more in the long run than just accepting he needs to get in professionals.

43percentburnt Sun 11-Dec-16 07:09:23

What purple said. And follow through.

SallyGinnamon Sun 11-Dec-16 07:25:09

Gah! I have this too!

DH's DF has always done everything as has his DM. DH doesn't really have time but still wants to do things himself, like it's in the genes. E.g. Extension done with my inheritance by a builder; patio and garden still needs doing 2 years later, but can't see it happening ever!

No advice as I've never really tackled it but my sympathies.

Ifailed Sun 11-Dec-16 07:26:27

What would he do if someone fell seriously ill - watch a few youtube videos and declare himself a fully trained doctor?

Like others have said, you need to explain how you feel and arrange for some quotes to get the work done. If he ignores you, then he's sending you a very clear message.

chavatar Sun 11-Dec-16 07:55:22

I've explained until I'm blue in the face. DH protests that he's saving us money and can't understand why I'm not grateful for such a hands on husband. We haven't spoken for almost a week, DH genuinely thinks I'm being unreasonable. I got some quotes in originally but DH was furious and told me he would refuse to allow a plumber or joiner in the house. He meant it too. So I'm stuck.
FIL is very stubborn and again, my pleas are likely to fall on deaf ears. MIL goes on about how "clever" DH is taking on this work and doing such a good Job.
My family think it's nuts.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 11-Dec-16 08:09:33

I would like to know why his dad has too much influence over him. Is your H still seeking parental approval and or carrying on his family of origin's trait of saving money to the point of meanness?. These along with his innate stubbornness may also be the reasons behind his actions.

Do visitors actually tell you within DH's hearing that this is all taking far too long?. If this work is bodged as is likely its going to cost a lot more money and take more months for the trades to actually put right. TBH I would get someone in like a building surveyor now to assess these works done to date.

I would seriously consider moving into a rental property for the next few months.

Your H is well out of his depth and he is refusing to admit this at the expense of his own family unit. I am wondering where his loyalties actually lie now.

HerOtherHalf Sun 11-Dec-16 08:29:57

Hmm! He claims he's enjoying himself, so take him at his word. And he's saving money to boot. Well surely that means you and your kids can go out and do lots of things you'll enjoy, with the saved money, whilst he enjoys his DIY. See how he likes that. He probably won't but he can't really argue with the logic.

KittyandTeal Sun 11-Dec-16 08:32:01

One of my friends had a similar issue with her dp deciding to do everything himself.

After lots of discussion and no budging from him she decided to book her and her 2 girls (who were a bit older, both in secondary school) into a hotel for however long it took and use the money they'd put aside for the kitchen. Either way the money was being spent. I think he lasted a week and then backed down and for people in to finish it off properly. (My friend is well known for not getting worked up but calmly and stubbornly putting up a quiet fight!)

LineyReborn Sun 11-Dec-16 08:35:16

So he's unilaterally changed his mind, won't listen to you, cares more about living up to his father's bizarre standards than about his own family's happiness and comfort, gaslights you, and bosses you about.

He sounds like a bit of a twat, tbh. Does he get it from his parents?

TheInternetIsForPorn Sun 11-Dec-16 08:42:22

See. We do everything ourselves. We don't plaster and that's about it. I understand the logic and the desire to want to do the worm himself. But he's doing it all wrong.

For a start it's not what you agreed.

He doesn't have a plan by the sound of it. We pick one project with an achievable end. Work hard. Complete it. Have a break so we get family time. Then move to the next project.

He's ignoring the fact that you aren't happy. We don't start something until we are BOTH completely happy with what we are doing and that we can achieve it and have our timings.

I like purple's plan. He clearly can't see the damage it's doing to your family unit him being so stubborn.

chavatar Sun 11-Dec-16 17:54:15

I was wondering about taking DCS on a holiday to Centre Parcs for a bit of comfort and a break from the mess. Is it worth taking them on my own, away from thw ness or will it just be stressful?

PsychedelicSheep Sun 11-Dec-16 18:10:34

I agree with Attila, this is clearly about the dynamics between your dh and his father. Has he felt like a disappointment to him at times throughout his life do you think?

It's still unfair to make you and the kids suffer because of it, but I'm not sure what you can do except work out your own line in the sand, you're wasting your time trying to get dh/film to change their behaviours so you can only change yours.

chavatar Sun 11-Dec-16 18:20:02

I'd say it's more DH really admiring him. FIL has always been a manual hands on type person who has done all of his own work in his own house, however he always worked in a trade.
DH is good manually, but has a high intense business job by week day.DH openly admitted that it was a pride thing, that he wanted to be able to tell people that he's completed the work himself. I'm just not sure it's worth all this discomfort and frustration.

JennyOnAPlate Sun 11-Dec-16 18:27:17

I would use the money he's saving to rent a house for you and the dc. Tell him you'll be back when it's finished!

RitchyBestingFace Sun 11-Dec-16 18:28:46

I would take the money that you can afford to spend on builders and move into another place until he's finished.

I'd then seriously think about staying married to a man who doesn't listen, doesn't care about his family's quality of life and is thrall to his father.

Cricrichan Sun 11-Dec-16 18:39:04

If it's a pride thing, tell him your friends think he's being a fool by wasting his precious time on something he can afford to get done professionally.

expatinscotland Sun 11-Dec-16 18:54:33

Id rent a place for you and DCs and leave him to it. Yes, I really would.

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