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Should I apologise to DP following an argument?(57 Posts)
He got quite upset and went to bed early, so now I feel guilty.
I'm currently on mat leave and we have a 4 month old DD. Since starting mat leave I've noticed how little time we actually spend together and it's starting to annoy me.
He does work incredibly hard - long hours in a stressful job. It sometimes involves working away. His position is salaried and he is expected to log on at home after work and respond to emails/complete reports etc. When at home he is usually glued to his works tablet, but does play with DD for 5 minutes here and there. He also often does paid overtime including Saturday mornings - we don't exactly need the extra money but he is often pressured into doing it by his boss. I would say he works 60 hours plus a week.
In comparison my job is relatively easy - 9 to 5 in an office with a 40 minute commute each way. As such I do all cooking, cleaning and laundry which I am happy to do.
Prior to pregnancy we spent every Saturday together watching our local football team, both home and away games. On Sundays DP participates in a hobby that takes him out of the house from 8:30 until 4:30, and I spent that time visiting friends and family. He also does hobbies on Wednesday and Thursday evenings for at least 2 hours each day, and goes to the pub for an hour or two every Friday evening after work.
When I was pregnant, we agreed that when our DD arrived DP would continue to watch home games but would no longer attend away games to ensure that we had 2 days each month to spend as a family.
However, he still goes to quite a few away games (2 of the last 3) and today bought tickets for next weeks away game. I got annoyed, and told him that I felt he spent next to no quality time with me and our DD as it was and couldn't understand why he would rather spend time doing his hobbies than with us.
He feels that he spends plenty of quality time with us in the evenings. I said that with the amount of help I get from him with DD I might aswell be a single parent . He said that I should enjoy being a mum and spending time with our DD, not view it as a job and that if I'm not coping he will pay for childcare to give me a break. He said the single parent comment really hurt him and then stormed off to bed.
Now I'm feeling guilty and am wondering if I'm being unreasonable. Should I apologise?
I don't think you need to apologise as such, but you need to sit down and discuss how you both divide your time. Having a child and being on mat leave can be wonderful and special but in my experience it's no picnic! I wonder if your DH would feel the same if it were him doing all childcare and housework?
It does sound as though he works too long hours but also seems to get a lot of 'me' time and I'm not hearing that from you. Communication is king! Don't let resentment build and talk it through. Good luck
No you are not being unreasonable and no you shouldn't apologise. You were expressing how you feel, which is valid and reasonable. He threw a strop and stormed off to bed. He needs to apologise to you.
You have nothing to apologize about. He broke an agreement and is not only unapologetic about it, but is playing down the impact of his actions and making out that you're the one in the wrong.
No I don't think you need to apologise at all. He isn't spending any time with you at all.
Of course you should enjoy being a mum, but part of being able to do that is having support from your partner with childcare and with the family home. And also having time together.
I think he needs a reality check to be honest and I think writing it down in the way you have in your op and showing it to him would be helpful so that he can see how much time he is not available to be a part of your family.
So he's out every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evening? Unless he spends most/all of the other four evenings focusing on your DD, I wouldn't say he spends 'quality time' with her in the evenings, no. I think here 'quality time' is a euphemism for 'no more than 15 minutes.
Does he do bathtime, story, bedtime? How often if so? They shouldn't be all your job 7 days a week. My DH was working in a stressful long hours job at that stage, and if would race home to be able to do bedtime every night he could.
Also, you say you both went to all the football home games before having a baby. Why is only he getting to go now, when you're also clearly a fan? He could alternate with you every other week and spend quality time with his DD then.
I would tell him that while you didn't intend to upset him, the two of you need to have a talk about things and he should take your concerns seriously and not strop off.
Could you find a babysitter and go to the occasional match with him?
Thanks for all your replies. To answer a few questions, our DD doesn't really have a bed time routine as of yet. As she is still sleeping in my room (DP has been sleeping in the spare room since she was born) I just take her to bed with me when I go. She is a really good sleeper and I intend to introduce an earlier bedtime and a bedtime routine when she goes into her own room at 6 months. At the moment any time he does spend with her is late in the evening, after 8pm, so things will only get worse imo with the introduction of an early bedtime. I doubt he will get home in time to do bedtime.
He is around sometimes on the other four evenings but doesn't really do anything with her Iyswim. He mostly spends his time replying to work emails in-between going on whatsapp and twitter. This week for example - Monday evening he played with her for around an hour. Tuesday he worked away. Wednesday he spent half an hour with her in between work and his hobby. Thursday we didn't see him at all, and then yesterday he played with her for around 30 minutes, if that. Today he is working in the morning and then going to a home game this afternoon. He usually goes to the pub after the game and gets in around 7pm and spends the rest of evening with us. On Sunday he does the hobby all day and then gets his work things out when he gets home.
Next week he has booked leave for Friday and told me yesterday that he and his friends are going to a nearby city for 2 days. This isn't the first time he's gone away with friends - he went on a 3 night stag do to Germany when our DD was 3 weeks old.
As he works with harmful substances he can't pick our DD up until he has showered and changed. He usually gives DD one bottle a week - on Saturday evenings. I would say that it is only on Saturday evenings that we spend a good chunk of time together without him looking at his work things (although last Saturday he went to an away game and only got in after 9pm). He thinks because we are all in the same room together when he is working this counts as spending time together - even though when I try to make conversation i mostly get "one minute, just let me finish this" in reply.
I think I'm feeling a little resentful towards him that his life hasn't changed at all since the birth of our DD whereas mine obviously has. I asked him during the argument to give me an example of how his life had changed - the best he could come up with is that when he goes on nights out he doesn't get so drunk to the point that he has to spend the entire of the next day in bed with a hangover .
I agree that communication is key - I lost it a bit yesterday as when he came back from the pub he didn't acknowledge us. I just can't imagine being out all day and not wanting to at least say hello to our DD as soon as I got in. He immediately got his works things out instead.
I suppose the big difference between us is that things that used to be really important to me prior to having DD just aren't anymore. All my priorities have changed- going to football just isn't as important to me anymore. I think it may be a good idea to arrange an occasional babysitter so we can go to a match together and have some 'us' time so thank you for that.
I've not become a complete recluse - I've gone out around once a month with friends and either DP, his DM or my DM has looked after DD. When I go back to work I don't want to be doing hobbies all weekend as that will be the only time I see DD.
Wow, so he's out Wednesday, Thursday, Friday evenings, most of Sunday, and a fair few Saturdays with both overtime and football, including games he said he wouldn't go to. When he is in, he's still focussed on work. I'm not surprised you feel like a single parent. I'd be furious. You've also gone from working fulltime to being alone at home with a baby fulltime. That's a massive adjustment and can feel very isolating and for him to say you should enjoy it and not view it as a job suggests he has no idea how difficult it can be. Does he often play down what you're doing at home while he's working?
I work from home and tbh, I feel pretty unhappy if my partner works even an hour late because by half 5, I'm craving some company.
I don't think you should be apologising at all. I think he should be realising that just because he works long hrs, it doesn't entitle him to do whatever he wants in his free time. He's got a partner and a daughter and he should want to spend time with you. I think you sound like you've been massively accommodating and don't think you're being unfair to be upset at how much time he spends out of the house and not with you and your baby. I honestly feel upset for you, OP, and angry at him. In addition to cutting out some of his bloody hobbies to be a parent, perhaps he also needs to point out to his boss that with a new baby in the house, he won't be doing overtime for quite a while.
Point out that it is not only you who should enjoy being with your child, he should as well. He spends very little time with her, and even that is reduced further by virtue of the fact that he is still concentrating on work more than he does on her.
I'm gobsmacked at the tiny amount of time he spends with her and that you are feeling bad after that conversation.
Did he want a baby, OP? Cos it sure as shit sounds like he's not interested in the one he's got.
I think he needs to have a word with his boss and say he won't be doing as much overtime now that he has a child.
I also think he is being unreasonable expecting you to enjoy doing everything for your dd.
Can I ask why you sleep separately?
To me that is not a sign of a close living relationship.
I recognise a lot of what you have written as life with my ex h was like this.
Unless you spell out clearly what you want it is t going to happen.
Don't apologise, he isn't spending quality time with either you or his child.
I wouldn't be apologising to him. He should be apologising to you. He's a shit dad and husband right now. Didn't even day hello to you?! Wtf?! Booking weekends away without so much as asking if you're ok with that? One bottle a week!? He's pissed off because he's uncomfortable with you raising the issue and upsetting the cushy little deal he's got going on where he does exactly what he wants when he wants and you do all the grunt work and raise your child single handedly. He should want to spend time with his child and partner.
do not tolerate this! When you have children you are supposed to scale back on your hobbies at least for the first few months!
He has literally left you holding that baby!
I would make it your business from here on in to be giving him more responsibility of your dd. Even if you are just popping to the supermarket.
This will encourage them to bond as at the minute he is getting no time with her at all!
I'm going to offer a balanced view here.
I know someone who said the same comment to her husband and he responded with asking how many single mums she knew had the mortgage paid, all bills taken care of, get taken on holidays, repairs around the house etc
So you can how a husband would perceive that comment.
As a mum, I understand your point 100%. I specifically get the part about his life not changing since DD arrived. That brings a lot of resentment and is one of the reasons wives/women have cited as leading them to have an affair.
I think you should speak to him and clarify what you meant by the single mum comment. Stating you know how hard he works and you appreciate that, but you don't feel he's spending quality time with you and DD and that's the area you feel like a single mum.
I'd also take him up on the point of getting paid help. ..Maybe one day a week, allowing you to do your own thing. You do need time to yourself too.
Having said that, I've a feeling the comment about paid help was said in not the nicest of tones. Almost like. .if you can't manage I'll pay for help. If I'm wrong, I apologise for assuming.
But I had words with my own brother when he said something like that to my SIL.. "if you can't cope, get a nanny".Totally out of order.
Onto his job
I don't know if your DH has opted out of the working time regulations. Employess who work over 48 hours a week are required to do so.
They are also breaching their duty of care towards your DH. Long working hours over a period of time canbe a health risk to him and it's clearly impacting on his work life balance affecting personal relationships.
Some employers think they can get away with it, because the additional hours are done from home. When in fact they are just masking the truth.
I understand that one sometimes has to come home and complete a piece of work or deal with an urgent matter, but it shouldn't be an expectation or requirement everyday or even most days.
I say the above as a HR Professional and I know companies have been taken to tribunal over the stress caused as a result of working excess hours and the tribunal upheld the claim.
For the sake of your family, even oif he has to check a few emails on return, he needs to be strict on the time and return to spend time with you and DD.
if not his employers are in breach and they are
My DH was a bit like this when our dd was born. He was dead against her going to nursery though so I told him that I would be booking her in if he didn't start stepping up. It wasn't an empty threat either, I had reached the end of my tether.
I find that men are quite often a bit useless when babies are small and they seem to change once they can start giving something back so to speak. Now dd is a toddler my DH loves spending time with her because it's more of a 2 way communication and love.
People behaving badly who know they are behaving badly often quickly get angry when challenged hence his ott reaction.
Ask him to tell you what parenting he has done this week and whether he believes you have equal time to pursue your own interests or could imagine you keeping the working and social hours he does. Could he ever see you suddenly announcing you are going away for example.
He needs to see the disparity between you both for himself.
Definitely confront him with his broken promises.
And tell him that he should enjoy being a dad too.
Feeling offended is just a way of avoiding discussing the issue. If that's how he's going to behave, then in all honesty you might as well become a single parent.
He said that I should enjoy being a mum and spending time with our DD, not view it as a job and that if I'm not coping he will pay for childcare to give me a break. He said the single parent comment really hurt him and then stormed off to bed.
Of course he stormed off to bed, that move was to make you feel guilty about asking him to be a parent and it worked.
I think another discussion today about how you feel let down that he doesn't feel the same about being a parent to his child.
You are for intent a single parent except with an extra
manchild adult making more for you to do. I expect you do all the cooking and cleaning as well as being a mum.
The comment about being a single parent hurt him because he realises it's true.
Don't apologise. But tell him that he's not pulling his weight.
And he's not really working in the evening, is he, if he's using WhatsApp and Twitter!
If I were you, and if you can time it right, I'd wait until he's home and showered, then hand him the baby and a bottle and say you have to go for a shower/to the gym/out for a run/shopping - whatever, and just leave him to it.
He is being incredibly selfish and a pretty shit partner and father.
You shouldn't apologise. He sounds like he's not interested in fatherhood.
I'd ask him to choose either football or the hobby so you get a day together at the weekend.
I had a very similar convo with DH when DD2 was about 6 months. He was doing an MBA, had a season ticket and had a hobby which took him out a couple of evenings a week. Then he just wanted to chill Sunday.
Anyway, he gave up the season ticket, has been put in charge of the DC's clubs on a Saturday instead and now seems to realise how bloody hard it is...
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