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Unrealistic expectations of 10 year relationship?

(186 Posts)
Penguin82 Tue 10-Jan-17 22:59:22

Considering ending my 10 year relationship but feeling a bit like I don't have the right to as he isn't abusive, or like I could be over reacting? My parents had an unhappy marriage so not sure that I always know what's normal..
Dp does have lots of good points:
* made sacrifices and moved country to be with me when we met.
* lovely with dd (4) and when he's home he does everything with her. Leaves the hard stuff to me if he can but if I'm not there he does it all.
* happy for me to pursue my own interests. Took care of dd for 2 weeks when I went away a couple years ago
* doesn't cheat, drink heavily, gamble etc

But.... We've (not just me, I know he has too, but maybe mostly me) been unhappy for monthe, perhaps more. This is why I think it is:
*I had a full time but easy job for a couple years so managed to do all cooking cleaning etc easily. Changed jobs 9 months ago to one with more money but more responsibility and so expect him to chip in more. We have a weekly cleaner but I also expect him to do his share of tidying, cooking (it's him that wants the big meals every night), laundry etc. He does pull his weight mostly when he's here but he isn't here much.
* dp has several very time consuming hobbies. 2 team sports and 1 moto sport. Moto sport officially takes 1 day a onto but there is lots of time and money spent on 'tinkering'. Other sports take 3 evenings a week, 1 morning and 1 afternoon eachieve weekend. He also has 2 worm at least 1 evening a week

I feel that the time and money spent on his hobbies means that we have no family life. It's not too bad in the winter but every summer Im home alone most nights, and often my own interests (and even my paid job at times) are expected to come 2nd to his hobbies. We never haduch in common on paper, but always had fun together. The last year or so it's felt like I'm just a housekeeper most of the time and that he only spends time with me and dd when it fits round his hobbies.
I've told him how unhappy I am before, eve wrote him a letter once, and things improve a little but I think it just comes down to the fact that he doesn't want to prioritise time with me over anything g else.

Penguin82 Tue 10-Jan-17 23:01:17

Sorry for epic post and typos! Moto sport takes 1 day per month lol!

Foureyesarebetterthantwo Tue 10-Jan-17 23:03:49

You are not unrealistic to want to spend time with your husband and as a family.

What would he say if he knew his hobbies might be pushing you towards splitting up?

I would have a deadly serious, once every few years chat in which I spelt out the bottom line- indeed, I've done it with my husband on pretty much the same issue, being abandoned at home while he was a workaholic. We agreed an amount of evenings to spend together, what time he'd be home and what weekends would look like (so two evenings a week together, one whole day on weekend with no work, other day some work). It sounds really formal, but I don't think he realised how much time he spent on work and it sounds like your husband is the same with hobbies.

If he knows the relationship is on the rocks and you feel like a housekeeper, his reaction to that will tell you whether you can move forward with this, I hope so it sounds fixable but he would have to recognize there's a problem.

Foureyesarebetterthantwo Tue 10-Jan-17 23:05:30

It's also worth saying that over time we ended up spending much more time together, that was just a minimum I felt was acceptable before we really didn't see each other. It's not the quantity anyway, it's what you agree is ok, I had a busy career so was happy for him to be pretty busy too.

Cricrichan Tue 10-Jan-17 23:07:14

Agree with pp. Sit down and talk to him and make sure he realises the effect it's having on you and the threat to your relationship.

SadTrombone Tue 10-Jan-17 23:09:11

This thread may be of interest OP
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/2667694-Thread-for-those-who-have-left-marriages-that-werent-AWFUL-just-unsatisfying-pt-II

HeddaGarbled Tue 10-Jan-17 23:10:38

No, your expectations are not unrealistic. He is being very selfish and prioritising his hobbies over the needs of his partner and child to an extremely excessive degree.

QuiltedAloeVera Tue 10-Jan-17 23:16:40

On the face of it, it seems a bit odd to break up with someone because you wish you saw them more...

It sounds like he has a lot of good points and that you are happy when you get to spend time with him. It sounds like you don't like it when he isn't there, so breaking up with him would be a crazy thing to do.

And yet... Broken promises to change his ways are hurtful and frustrating. Is it a communication problem or an attitude problem? Does he really truly understand the impact his behaviour is having, and still not care?
For a man who it sounds like you still love, who has a lot of good points and is your dd's father, I'd keep trying for now. Keep communicating.

It's when you don't want them to come home that you know you've got problems.

KarmaNoMore Tue 10-Jan-17 23:17:38

I was thinking that perhaps things were not that bad until you mentioned the two time consuming hobbies. He continues to leave as a single man while you keep the front at home. Many women will tell you that is ok and that it is his right to have interests, but when you have been handed the lion's share of the responsibility so he can continue to have his fun, it is no wonder that your feelings toward him are getting cold.

At the end of the day, You don't need to wait until you resent him so much that you couldn't bear his presence (that's when the nasty stuff starts), but before you call it a day it would be fair to give him a chance to put his priories in order, if he doesn't want to or you are too tired to wait, it is ok to say good bye.

Penguin82 Tue 10-Jan-17 23:18:02

Thank you so much for the response! We have had serious chats. A couple years ago I said I didn't feel like we were a team, we had even more limited time and finances then, which were all going on his stuff. My trip away with a friend while he cared for dd helped, but since I got my new job I've really noticed how little he gas slipped into doing. He has hobbies on Tuesday nights, (paid work) weds night, hobby Thurs night, Fri night (which was my gym night until a while ago), sometime Saturdays, Sunday mornings and increasingly Sunday afternoons now footie season is ramping up (summer here, not in uk).
I do believe in people pursuing their own interests but it's just getting out of hand. He spends a fortune on football, hockey and motorbike stuff with no discussion which also pisses me off.
One major issue we've had is that there are some occasions when I need to work evenings or weekends (not often, but I have a pretty new career and am the boss so when I'm needed Im really needed). When my work clashes with his on call job I arrange childcare, but he has been expecting me to do the same when my work clashes wiyh one of his hobbies, ad if they are more important. This is rather ridiculous to me, particularly as I am the primary earner and we do need my job!
We had a big falling out on boxing day and he offered to move out in ny, but as we had family visiting we agreed to give things a try and actally had a good Xmas. But if course we ate back to the usual routine again now...

QuiltedAloeVera Tue 10-Jan-17 23:22:58

Wrong forum but - YANBU.

KarmaNoMore Tue 10-Jan-17 23:24:16

OP, what do you want to do? Do you want to sort it? Do you want him to change? Do you really want to leave?

Any answer is fine, but you need to get clear about where this is going before you take any action. There is no point in trying to fix a relationship you no longer want or leave a man you still love.

Cricrichan Tue 10-Jan-17 23:30:03

Woah. Now you've described it, that man needs to make some choices. Family time, chores and your job come way above his hobbies. You can't carry on accepting this op. He's got to make major changes.

Penguin82 Tue 10-Jan-17 23:30:04

Karma, thank you. You are right I need to get to the point. To be honest, I think that we've grown apart too much and that for me to be happy he would have to massively change, which would make him unhappy.
When we've argued in the past he's told me that lots of guys live in the pub etc etc and at least he's not doing that. He's certainly a lot better with dd and round the house than my dad (terrible sexist) was. So I wonder if I am expecting too much?

Penguin82 Tue 10-Jan-17 23:32:45

Crichin I think I would be happier single. Unfortunately it'd be a few months of messy breaking up/selling the house/buying new houses crap to go through first. I also had a good few really happy years with the guy and do still love him. Shit this is hard.

Foureyesarebetterthantwo Tue 10-Jan-17 23:33:38

Sorry, but one evening a week with you and your child simply isn't being in a family or living like one. Presumably he's too busy to cook and clean and do bedtime as well. No wonder you feel like a housekeeper.

It doesn't matter whether your expectations are unrealistic (they aren't by my standards or anyone I know) it matters if you can live like this.

The awful thing is that from a day to day perspective, there wouldn't be a huge difference for you in terms of practicalities if he left. Emotionally, it's incredibly frustrating to want that closeness but just not be able to get it.

He's not there, that's the bottom line and it really is his problem to sort.]

If he'd rather please his mates (I'm sure the hobby obsession is as much about 'not letting them down') than have a happy wife or a child who sees their dad much, then what can you do?

Penguin82 Tue 10-Jan-17 23:47:56

To be fair to him. He's probably here for 2-3 bedtimes per week, and when not doing hs work/hobbies, is happy to spend lots of time with dd. But yes, it's not enough time and it's the fact that we have to fit in round his schedule that upsets me. He has 3 pretty big hobbies, and his mates wives ate happy with them doing their hobbies -but, they all have the 1 hobby each not the 3 my dp had. So it's a different ball game in my opinion.
We've just had a great Xmas. His family were visiting us and we had so many meals together and trips out, it's reminded me what we are usually lacking.
Usually I ride the summers out and each winter (remember opposite seasons to you where I am) this get better. Don't t know if I want to do that this year

Christmasmice Wed 11-Jan-17 01:18:29

I had a partner whose hobby took him away pretty much 6 nights a week some weeks. 2-3 others. It did contribute to is breaking up because I got lonely and effectively he was living as a single man who came home to a warm bed when he wanted to. He had lots of good points but ultimately I wanted to be with someone who made time for me.

I don't regret it. Plenty of other men out there and for now i'm happily single anyway and pursuing my hobbies.

Penguin82 Wed 11-Jan-17 01:21:31

Thanks Christmasmice can I ask? How was it when you left him? Did he appreciate why? Did he reconsider his choices or just wave you off and cracking on with the hobbie

xingbake Wed 11-Jan-17 01:32:16

Look at this statement:

lovely with dd (4) and when he's home he does everything with her. Leaves the hard stuff to me if he can but if I'm not there he does it all.

So - looks after your daughter except the hard stuff when he's there, which he hardly ever is.

This man is barely part of your family.

How much of your family's disposable income is going on his hobbies? I can't believe he expects you to arrange childcare if your paid work clashes with his hobbies.

xingbake Wed 11-Jan-17 01:34:05

I think I would be happier single

Says it all really. The alternative to the short term pain of a messy break-up is living the rest of your life like this. He is not going to change - you've already given him the chance to do so.

Penguin82 Wed 11-Jan-17 01:38:20

Xing I do see what you mean. I'm re checking my posts to make sure I've been fair to him and I think I have
.. the truth is that he can and does do it all, from laundry to bathing dd etc but when his hobbies take priority he just isn't home to do anything.
The work versus hobbies thing is the deal breaker I think. I have a fab new job and it's not that hard on the family - I get to work from home a lot which is handy when dd poorly etc. But also need to deal with phone calls and emails from home a few times a week which i don't mind bit dp does

xingbake Wed 11-Jan-17 01:49:53

But also need to deal with phone calls and emails from home a few times a week which i don't mind bit dp does

What does that mean? He doesn't like you having to do some work from home during the occasional evening he is not out doing his hobbies?

Penguin82 Wed 11-Jan-17 01:55:26

Yes xing he can get a bit huffy about it. Which is strange as he's fine with the money i earn!

xingbake Wed 11-Jan-17 02:08:49

So he basically expects to be able to fuck off out of family life as much as he likes, but expects you to be available whenever he deigns to spend time with you? What if you wanted to do a hobby? Given he gets huffy about time you spend on paid work, I can imagine that the idea of you taking time away from the family for your own leisure is unthinkable!

He is an arse, and it really doesn't sound like he adds anything to your life.

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