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Have I married a corpse? (long whinge about my DH's lack of interest in...well anything actually)

(34 Posts)
tinkerbellhadpiles Sat 24-Feb-07 20:51:50

I'm exasperated. I just got my daughter down after looking after her all day so DH could 'work' in his hobby studio (which to be fair brings in a little bit of money but isn't our main means of support). He's come in, sat down on the sofa and is reading the paper (and has been for the past TWO HOURS).
I suggested I get a parrot so at least I had someone to talk to and he just smiled and went back to reading the paper.
He says he is 'working really hard' in the studio and so can't help me with our daughter - as he has done for the past ooh about FOUR MONTHS, he's changed eleven fecking nappies since she was born 19 weeks ago, has NEVER put her to bed, says 'she doesn't want me, she wants you' at every opportunity and frankly I'm pig sick of it.
I've explained this to him rationally MANY MANY times, I've yelled at him, asked him how he is going to feel when his daughter turns round in a few years and asks why her daddy doesn't want to spend any time with her and he just says I'm being silly and that he DOES help. Yeah for about five minutes a day when HE wants to feed her.
If she craps herself he pretends not to notice the smell and then when she starts crying he hands her over so I can deal with it. I feel like flinging the nappy at him.
His father was pretty distant and I've discussed it with him and he admits that this is probably why he is distant (ha! he did admit it) but he isn't doing anything about it.
It's driving a major wedge between us because I feel so cheated. He said when I was pregnant that he'd help. But he seems to think that whatever he is doing (including spending up to 20 hours a week online chatting to his mates) is 'work' and what I do, well apparently that's what I'm meant to do.
I wanted to have another child, and I said to him 'how do you think I'm going to cope with two?' and he replied 'well other women do'. The whole bloody reason we both work part time from home is that we are supposed to share the load, or at least that's what I signed up for. Having said it's up to me to initiate sex round here so we've had it once since I had her so it's fairly unlikely to be an issue.
Oh and his invited his hoity toity neat freak friends round to stay tomorrow so they can get drunk with him while I put the baby to bed.
I feel like I'm married to a corpse such as the level of communication round here.

crispyduck Sat 24-Feb-07 20:56:07

Deligate some of that work load to him.....thats what I do with dh now...I told him that if he didnt pull his weight I would leave him

beansprout Sat 24-Feb-07 20:59:30

I felt overwhelmed by how much I had to do and to be fair, my dh was of the helpful variety. The first few months are like a car crash and it's really hard. It puts a strain on the most caring and sharing of couples.
Can you have a talk about what you both are doing? A proper talk, not just requests or comments when you are already resenting something he isn't doing. Would he respond if you said, "I really need your help"? Weird as it is, some people just don't notice when others are struggling, even when it's bleedin' obvious.

SenoraPostrophe Sat 24-Feb-07 21:01:11

tomorrow, give her to him and go out. That's what I'd do.

Bu7t even if you don't do that it will probably get better. Lots of men have difficulty relating to babies until they start doing more stuff. when you say you've discussed it, have you tried to come up with a fair distribution of childcare or have you just listed the problems?

tinkerbellhadpiles Sat 24-Feb-07 21:04:14

Hi Beansprout, tried that. He just thinks that means 'what do you want me to do in the next five minutes' then goes back to what he was doing.

Also Senoapostrophe (great name btw) I'm breastfeeding so I can't really leave her with him. The longest we've been apart was 50 minutes when I was rehospitalised with a post partum infection and needed surgery and even then the nurses helped him because he said he wouldn't know what to do if she screamed.

stitch Sat 24-Feb-07 21:07:07

this is probly going to be spectacularly unhelpful
men , usually, are not particularly interested in babies when they are very little. not until they start interacting with them..
taking care of a baby is one persons job. usually the mother, though sometimes other people take over the job of principaal carer. so instead of hanging round waiting for him to chnge the babies nappy, do it yourself.
he's probly sick of your attitude as well. he's probly thngking where has my wife gone, and who is this womn in her place.

is he providing for you? paying the bills etc? if so, then stop moaning at him so much, and he is more likely to act like the person you chose to have a bby with in the first place.

or he could just be a complete and utter arse*e whom you need to boot out.

SenoraPostrophe Sat 24-Feb-07 21:10:16

doesn't she go longer than that between feeds? if not you must be exhausted - that's probably clouding your view of him if you see what I mean.

when dd was 16 weeks I went out, leaving dh with half a bottle of expressed milk (I had just fed her). she drank it and then screamed for about 10 minutes then slept through for the first time. not suggesting you do that, but it's not always as bad as you think.

SenoraPostrophe Sat 24-Feb-07 21:12:03

stich - wtf?

one person's job? I don't believe you just posted that.

bergerac Sat 24-Feb-07 21:12:05

What a nightmare for you! It sounds like he's not really listening to what you're saying or if he is he's choosing not to change his behaviour. Have you been in a position before when you've felt he wasn't listening or is this a side you haven't seen before? Just trying to work out whether this is out of character or not? Sounds like it's worth exploring his relationship with his father, maybe through counselling if he's up for it. Also do you have any mutual friends with children where the workload is shared? Are there family members whose help you could enlist?

fishie Sat 24-Feb-07 21:12:52

give him a specific job. doesn't really matter whta, but make him contribute towards the new unit of three.

BandofMothers Sat 24-Feb-07 21:13:18

If he makes you do all the work with the baby then designate other non-baby things for him to do.
Esp things you can't do while bfing. A lovely little excuse for a sit down, for ex, cooking, washing up. Doing the supermarket shop, which is much easier without newborn in tow.
Laundry and all those other things you don't really get time for with a tiny wee one.
If he says "I work all day"
Say so do I, and all night too sometimes, what's your point???????

AngharadGoldenhand Sat 24-Feb-07 21:13:42

stitch -

Aloveheart Sat 24-Feb-07 21:15:46

my ex husband said when i was pregnant with my first child. that he would help and i couldn't do it all as he wanted to. He never changed a nappy, never bathed his kids in 8 years. Don't be a doormat like i was. Tell him tell him tell him. i know how frustrating it must be. He's being really unreasionable. He needs a kick up the bum, in my eyes.

stitch Sat 24-Feb-07 21:16:37

sp, one person's job, as in one person holding the main responsibilty. delegating when necessary, but still holding the main responsibilty.. or is the baby supposed to sit in a dirty nappy till either parnet decides to get up and clean it??
i agree with the idea that tinkerbell needs some time out, but she needs it in a responsible, organised way. just dumping the baby with an obviously unhelpful h is likely to just cuse her more aggro in the longrun.
lots of luck tinker

TeetheCeeofDavedom Sat 24-Feb-07 21:17:28

Go out for the day and leave him with his DD for the whole day. Chuck him in at the deep end and take soem time for yourself. Tell him you'll keep doing it till he comes to life and has some small input in your lives.

Tell him that if you left and he opnly got to see his dd every other weekend his life would be crap and a lot harder work then piutting in just a small amount of effort.

foxybrown Sat 24-Feb-07 21:18:32

Have you tried expressing yet? Perhaps you need a breather. I reckon men can be a bit scared of little, fragile babies - and feel a bit useless as we supposedly have all the maternal stuff going on so we automatically know what we are doing
Take an hour. Get a paper, have a coffee, leave him in charge with a bottle of your finest. He'll cope.
But I admit, I sometimes need to have a full on tantrum my 2 year old would be proud of to get DH's attention. Then he takes over with the kids and does a good job. Extreme measures!

SenoraPostrophe Sat 24-Feb-07 21:20:10

well, yes, the baby does sit in a dirty nappy until someone decides to change him/her. That happens whether or not the father helps out surely?

a baby is the responsibility of at least two people. Usually one person does do more of the caring than the other(s), but that doesn't mean they have to do everything. and anyway "one person's job" doesn't usually mean "the main responsibility of one person"

stitch Sat 24-Feb-07 21:20:38

sorry tc, but i totally disagree with your advice.
leaving a bresstfed baby alone liek this is traumatic for both the baby and themom. the bloke is likely to go to his or her mom and give the babies mom a bad mother label to live down..its unlikely to help anyone.

if you are brestfeeding, then sit and enjoy the feeding. watch telly. whatever. just sit there. let him organise the house, the meals, the bills evreythinge lse. and just take care of the baby..enjoy that

fizzbuzz Sat 24-Feb-07 21:21:38

Can't you just hand her back when he passes her to you with a dirty nappy? (not that you can pass the poor thing around like a parcel!)

I think you need to be more obvious. When he is next doing his hobby, march in with dd, hand her over and say I'm going out, and will be back in xxxxtime, when she needs feeding again.

stitch Sat 24-Feb-07 21:23:54

i think we are all giving advice from our own life experiences. decide on whats best for you tinker. but feel free to come and have a moan on mn. after all thts what its there for.
lots of luck

BandofMothers Sat 24-Feb-07 21:24:02

My dh didn't bath our dd1 until she was 2.8 yrs, when I was in hosp having dd2. Now he baths her all the time.
They can find lo's intimidating, but once they try things and it's not so hard they get the hang of it. (hopefully)

foxybrown Sat 24-Feb-07 21:28:13

Its hard to make that initial step away, but it is only a step and he needs to learn. Do you feel ok about leaving her with him for a short time?
If he wants to spend all day in his studio, tell him to spend a bit longer in there and pay for a cleaner! Then you can enjoy your baby, not worry about the housework building up, and he won't be there to wind you up!! Failing that, chuck the nappy at his head. Just make sure its a good one!!!

BandofMothers Sat 24-Feb-07 21:29:18

Yes, def a pooey nappy to the head will get his attention

wartywarthog Sat 24-Feb-07 21:40:54

you can go out the second you've finished feeding her and be back in time for the next feed. that should give him at least 2 hours to spend with her. i think the more he's around her, the more he'll want to do.

TeetheCeeofDavedom Sat 24-Feb-07 21:41:01

Oh sorry, I had completley missed you were brestfeeding, sorry, the red mist that descended over me clouded my vision. Sorry.

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