Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Is it possible to make him change?(17 Posts)
I think I already know the answer to this, but I'm sick to the back teeth of it and wanted some outside opinions. Sorry, it's a long one.
Dh and I have been together for 17 years, married for 7. He had never had a relationship before me, none at all.
If history is important, his parents are still together, considerate to each other and work well together. They share responsibility for jobs around the house and money.
Mine are each many times divorced, I have a very unsettled background.
So basically the problem is, he's a lazy sod. He's very much the husband from 'my wife divorced me for leaving a cup by the sink'
I tried to get him to read it but he couldn't be bothered and wasn't interested.
I do 99% share of the housework, cooking, shopping etc. I stay at home in the week and work some evenings and some weekends, while he works weekdays.
I cook in the week after he has been at work, I also end up cooking on the weekends also when I've been at work. He will literally do the minimum he can get away with in the home.
I have approached this several times in as many ways as I can think of, he ignored a rota I drew up, and found my idea of a points system insulting.
I managed to get him to switch on the dishwasher the other day and had to talk him through how - we've lived here for 3 years!!
Anyway he has now started to get impatient with my comments bashing Trump, trying to discuss feminist issues that I read about and see on here. He dismisses and minimises any actual effect on the real world, as well as ridiculing me for being interested in it.
He spends all of his time reading on his phone about computers and gaming, or on his computer playing games.
We have 2 dds, the oldest one (5) is starting to notice that he doesn't really pay much attention to her and when he does it's to tell her off for something in a long tirade of 'I don't want to tell you off but what do you think you're doing, blah blah blah' for 5+ minutes.
He also controls the money (I know this is a mn bugbear) but we don't share finances and a get a minimal amount to pay my bills and get food etc. I have a small amount left over, but I'm expected to be able to buy stuff for us from that. He will happily spend around £500 on computer stuff without discussing it, while I'm bouncing along my overdraft limit.
All in all it fucks me right off.
When he is actually emotional and mentally present, he is a nice person to spend time with, and can be very funny etc. But he's noticed that I'm not really there anymore because I've had enough.
Is there a way to sort him out? None of it is very dramatic in itself, but it adds up.
How does he react when you talk to him about this stuff?
What would happen if you just stopped doing anything for him? Stop making him food, or doing his laundry etc?
He sounds like a fucking waste of space. I had one a bit like this (although he did do a bit more around the house sometimes).
Many many MANY conversations, and if he did change it would only be for a short period of time, and then he'd revert back to the computer-game playing manchild that he was.
Can't believe I missed the bit about the money! What a bastard!
I don't think there's much you can do tbh, I'm sorry. He's the only one that can change, and he doesn't seem very willing, does he? He sees all the money as his money, rather than family money. He belittles you and your opinions, he sees himself as being above doing household jobs. He thinks you're his bloody skivvy, really.
That's exactly what happens, he'll argue his case a bit about how he can't do it as well or he's so tired, or whatever, but he'll try... then h doesn't. He's stopped even pretending he'll try anymore. He just tries to pretend it's not a problem.
If I stop doing it all, it simply won't get done. I've taken it to the extreme limit in the past and he just won't.
I get the feeling that it just doesn't actually occur to him that what he's doing isn't ok. It doesn't register at all, it's not even on his radar to consider me a skivvy, barely even notices anything has been done!
In my experience, no, you can't make people change.
People do change over the years of course, but if DH hasn't realised that he should be doing a little more around the house after 17 years, then things don't look too promising do they?
With regards to DH controlling the money - why? Do you not have a joint account for household bills & expenses and then - if there's anything left after that each month - you should each get similar amounts to spend or save as you wish.
No one person should be spending £500 on gaming stuff whilst the other is extending their overdraft to buy essentials for the children.
No we don't have a shared account. It's just not something we have felt the need for. Most of the bills come out of his anyway, I only have my credit card and groceries come out of mine. Partly so he can't go through my spending tbh.
Can I just tell you how much nicer life is, now I'm on my own. My ex was selfish with money, belittled me and my opinions, especially about politics and feminism).
For a long time I had to beg him for enough money to be able to afford basic things (he earns 10x my salary). Every time i bought anything he would quiz me on whether it was essential, why was I buying it etc. I ended up ebaying a lot of old things so that I could afford new ones. One year I had to ebay so much stuff so that I could afford to pay for Christmas presents.
He used to lock himself away and either work or play computer games, and towards the end he barely interacted with us at all. Wouldn't eat meals with me and the kids, and would only do stuff with them one afternoon at the weekend. He thought there was nothing wrong with it because he worked so hard, he thought kid/house stuff was my job.
Admittedly, he did do a bit more around the house, but it was always on his terms, never actually responded to stuff that actually needed doing.
It's 100x better now that he's gone. I'm even better off financially!
That's just what he does Sheraaagh he sits at his computer fucking about with it while oldest dd is getting ready for bed and I'm sorting out the littlest did, except he's also barking orders at her from another room. 😕
I am quite gobsmacked at the number of blokes who seem to just want their mother but with sex on tap. Everyone needs to unwind but the number who go off for hours playing computer games whilst they have relatively young children that need attention is quite alarming. I have to some extent the same issue with house stuff but without kids at home and I control the money to some extent, although he gets loads for himself and pays out for nothing home related apart from odd bits of shopping.
What do you get out of this relationship, what needs of your own are being met here still? What keeps you with this individual at all?.
Would you want your DDs to date someone like this?. No, well do not continue to show them that currently at least, this from him is acceptable to you.
No you cannot make another person change, you can only change how you react to him.
Your eldest child is already noticing how rubbish things are at home; do not continue to make this the main feature of her childhood. You want to teach her that a loveless marriage to all intents and purposes is her norm too?.
I would seek legal advice with a view to separating completely from him.
It does seem that way, user, I do get conversation from time to time, but if it's not something he's interested in, he's not bothered.
I don't get why he doesn't want to have actual quality time with the kids, he's got all evening to unwind from work.
Thing is I would rather fix it than leave it. It's not like there isn't any love, just too much thoughtlessness. My mum got divorced 3 times and it was such a huge upheaval for our family. That was because of dv rather than my sort of situation. It feels like apathy more than anything
If you've told him many times and he hasn't changed then no, he's not going to miraculously one day do a 360. Besides, if he is this selfish then I guess you have an inherent personality mismatch which there is bugger all you can do to change. Don't waste any more of your life OP. There are plenty of really lovely men out there.
One problem with this is that the other person may not want fixing and may not even see a need to be fixed. The other problem is that any relationship based on one person trying to fix the other is doomed to failure. Do not be that person.
It is the wish to fix others that represents what is referred to as codependence. At one time, the use of this word was limited to those who were in relationships with substance abusers. Now, it has a wider use in which the codependent sacrifices their own needs while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others. Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships. Codependency may also be characterized by denial of what is really happening, low self-esteem, and excessive compliance to abusers. People who are codependent often take on the role as a martyr. By constantly putting the needs of others before their own needs they get a sense that they are “needed.” Self sacrifice to the needs of others is never a good thing.
I very much don't try to be a martyr, my mum and gran were both like this and it annoyed us all no end. If anything, on the very rare occasion he'll cook (a bolognase that takes 1.5 hours ffs) it'll be 'I spent ages cooking this' trying to guilt my dd into not messing about!
Join the discussion
Please login first.