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A thread for WOHMs seething with resentment (unless its just me...)

(100 Posts)
hiveofactivity Tue 11-Apr-17 13:50:28

Even though we bring in a similar income.
Even though he was the one who wanted a child while I was ambivalent.
Even though we had always shared the housework equally BEFORE.
Even though he had always talked the talk of a 'feminist' man BEFORE.
Even though he had talked about how he could work 4 days a week/from home/flexibly BEFORE.

How is it that I'm the one constantly juggling work with making sure dd has clean clothes for school and healthy food in the fridge (and doctors appts and school demands and sorting childcare and the rest)?

How is it I'm the one who has accepted career limitations to maximise time with dd whilst he goes for the 'interesting' job rather than the one with the shorter commute or flexible hours?

He deigns to do a couple of school drop offs a week and acts like he's Dad of the Year. And I accept it as talking ends in arguing and competitive 'my job is more important' drivel. The last discussion ended with him hoping I would be made redundant as that would 'solve everything'.

I feel like a walking cliche of the having it all = doing it all WOHM. And I loathe myself for it even more than I resent him.

RebornSlippy Tue 11-Apr-17 14:00:24

Yeah, sympathies. Your husband has reverted to type of misogynistic knob, sorry. He's not the first.

One of the best things to come with my split from my ex was the loss of expectation. Loss of expectation that he'd do anything. Now I'm happy to paddle my own canoe and have no expectations from anyone but myself. No expections = no disappointment. Life is smooth and organised and without a lorra, lorra bitterness and resentment.

So, erm, LTB? Dunno. You need to decide on that one.

Guitargirl Tue 11-Apr-17 14:05:36

Am not surprised you're feeling resentful. It's one thing to have a relationship with a total prick and then knowingly choose to have children with him. But quite another to be in a relationship with a seemingly decent man who then turns into a prick post DCs. It's like being sold a dud and then only finding out when it's past the warranty. What do you want to do OP?

CthulhuFhtagn Tue 11-Apr-17 14:27:18

See, I feel like I can't complain. He works a difficult, demanding job. Mine's kinda crappy and basic. It makes sense I do more. I'm home at 5.10, he doesn't even start his hour+ commute till 6.30. Of course I'm going to do dinner, sort laundry, etc. But...I just wish he'd take some responsibility for our lives. Not walk past overflowing bins, not put every sodding thing down where he happens to be standing instead of putting it away, put fucking dishes in the sink instead of the dishwasher, ask me if I've fed the pets instead of just fucking feeding them. Just some initiative. Any. So it didn't feel like it's my job to stage manage. I just want him to expend some mental energy on staying on top of things. Not leave it to me to remember everything and then "help" only when I ask. I shouldn't have to fucking ask!

Adora10 Tue 11-Apr-17 14:31:31

No you shouldn't have to ask; that's bloody awful; he's basically treating you like a house slave and skivvy; he's no more important than you, in fact you were the ones who brought the babies into this world; he should be bending over backwards to help you, it's nothing to do with his job; he's choosing not to get involved in family life; for me the resentment would get to a point where I'd probably be packing his bags.

You don't have to tolerate this OP.

hiveofactivity Tue 11-Apr-17 14:51:35

"It's like being sold a dud and then only finding out when it's past the warranty."
I've never been attracted to men who don't pull their weight or who have outdated views of women. Neither was I desperately looking to get married or have kids. I'd known 'him' over ten years, living together for most of that time, before we decided to have a child.

As risk-mitigation prep goes, I couldn't have done much more.

I can't bear putting dd through breaking up the family home. He's a good dad...when he has time to focus on dd, which is mainly weekends and holidays (like many parents). Though his work does seem to be seeping into those too.

Splitting up would free me from resentment but I'd worry about the impact on dd of trotting between two homes. I also think she'd end up confused with conflicting parenting styles at different homes.

So I soldier on. Expect I'm not alone in that.

jeaux90 Tue 11-Apr-17 14:54:44

Honestly having a career and being a single parent is way easier. I just couldn't cope with what you and others are OP, the resentment would be too much. What the actual fuck goes through these guys brains?? confused

NearlyFree17 Tue 11-Apr-17 15:12:51

I hear you, OP.

I dumped mine and he has already found himself another mug
girlfriend. She's getting the nice version of him that I had before we had responsibilities. Probably wondering why his old bag of a wife kicked him to the kerb.

Braveanddifferent Tue 11-Apr-17 17:09:46

No, it's not just you, and like you I didn't sign up for this. I don't have an answer either, it's awful but sometimes I fantasize about him having an affair and leaving.

Efferlunt Tue 11-Apr-17 17:16:09

My career is over and I will never get it back on track. It's not as well paid as his of course but he can't do his part time, and I have to take the hit, fitting in work around kids when I can.

I never wanted to be a sahm but it might be better than being stressed out by trying to do two things badly in my own.

TheFifthKey Tue 11-Apr-17 17:19:23

I'd rather be a lone parent with a job (which I am) than a SAHM feeling resentful all the time (which was starting to seem like the way things would go when I was married). It kills a marriage.

hiveofactivity Tue 11-Apr-17 18:07:58

TheFifthKey - The thing is I do have a (equally well paid) job and I'm not a SAHM.... But I'm still resentful. 🙁

He needs to step up and be an equal parent. And I shouldnt have to cajole him into it.

disappearingfish Tue 11-Apr-17 18:23:02

Would counselling help?

In the meantime make sure you aren't doing any wife work for him.

SaltySeaDog72 Tue 11-Apr-17 19:36:38

Hive I was you and let it go in for way too long.

I LTB and never looked back.

In your shoes I would quit the Wifework. Stop washing his pants and cooking his food and picking up his shit. Just refuse, refuse, refuse to do a moment's more of it. Stop being that person. If he can walk past an empty bin you can walk past a hungry husband.

hiveofactivity Tue 11-Apr-17 21:13:46

I don't do his laundry and only cook if I'm cooking for dd. But I'm doing everything for dd as well as working in a demanding job and it's taking its toll.

It feels less stressful when he's out to be honest. I went for a run tonight and left him to do dds bedtime. If I'm there I end up doing it all while he's on his work phone half paying attention to dd. But if I go out he will give her all his attention.

Tomorrow it will be just dd and I. I can let her stay up later than normal without him trying to get her into bed quickly so he can get back to working. Am looking forward to chats and cuddles with dd without the tension.
He isn't a monster and can be a loving, caring dad but since he started his current job he's got worse.

FlyAwayPeter Wed 12-Apr-17 15:21:08

hive your posts have stayed with me overnight, and make me feel a kind of panic. I realise that the fear of ending up like you is why I'm single & childless. It really is a panicky, stressed feeling when I read your posts (sorry, it's my stuff not yours!) My life circumstances were painful through my mid-30s and 40s, as there was someone I really wanted to marry, but he in the end didn't love me enough, but now, post-menopause & late 50s, I'm very content.

Because of my age (I'm probably at least 20 years older than you) I saw a lot of the kind of life/relationship that you describe as yours. I saw women around me ground down by "wifework" - so perhaps unconsciously, I always chose boyfriends who were not husband material. Thus my situation now - and for all its pain, I've found peace in being how I am.

But I've seen too many of my female friends, my sisters & my mother suffer in just the way you are suffering. I grew up in a family where my father did nothing around the house, and increasingly became separated from the emotional & activity life of his family. My parents divorced when I was in my 30s.

And more recently, the sort of selfishness of your DH and the imbalance in family work which you describe was in part the cause of my sister's divorce. She got sick of her DH's increasingly selfish pursuit of his interests & career, without a thought for the ways in which she facilitated his high earning. She works in a highly skilled profession as well.

My suggestion to her was always to just go on strike, but her response was that that would only punish her children. But it's worth a thought - any request etc from your children, pass on to their father: "Ask your father." etc etc But it takes a reserve of emotional energy which you probably haven't got.

Or perhaps more seriously, he needs to realise what he is risking at the moment. You would be entirely justified to be very angry with him - I imagine you probably are, although women are generally socialised not to show our anger, and particularly, not to be angry with the men in our domestic lives.

If you told him that he is heading for divorce - or at least separation - and the loss of his family if he doesn't start to take responsibility for the equal running of the family you both made? Could you go away for a couple of weeks, to let him see what you take on every day?

He needs to be shocked from his self-centred blinkered view. I wish you luck, enormous luck & strength & fortitude. My heart sinks for you, I'm afraid. I hope you find a way through.

hiveofactivity Wed 12-Apr-17 16:11:56

FlyAway - in my darkest moments I fantasise about how my life would have turned out if I'd declined to have a child, broken off the engagement and split up with him, 7 years ago. I expect I would be childless, quite possibly single (or intermittently so). I don't think I'd be any more unhappy than I am now.

I'm surrounded by women who have sacrificed so much while their partners dip in and out of parenthood. Not all are like that by any means, but the majority.

It feels like anything that would help me, would damage dd - separation, going on strike, going away, arguments, tension.
I want dd to have a better childhood than mine with more supportive parents. I just didn't expect it to feel 80/20 rather than 50/50.

I'm chipping away at it though, dd's swimming lessons this weekend? He can take dd. The school inset day next week? He can take a day off work (I covered the last two). Small steps make big strides eventually.

FlyAwayPeter Wed 12-Apr-17 16:43:19

Would a brokered or mediated discussion - with a counsellor, perhaps - make him realise how seriously you are under pressure? And what his thoughtlessness and self-centredness could lead to?

I wish there were a magic wand to wave - there's something about what you say that is punching me in the stomach - I think because I see it around me, & I grew up with stressed, martyred women, and apparently uncaring selfish men.

I thought those days were past. I hope you find a way to help him realise what's at stake (more wifework grin sorry)

FlyAwayPeter Wed 12-Apr-17 16:47:27

Oh, and - I'm just one random on the internet, but you say it feels like anything that would help me, would damage dd - well, I'm probably projecting, but I guess that's what my mother thought. I suspect the reason I'm having such a strong personal reaction to your distress is because I absorbed it almost literally with my mother's milk (gah that sounds a bit OTT) - so you just don't know what would damage your DD: putting up with her father's lack of family involvement & seeing you stressed; or seeing you more relaxed, but separated, albeit with different stresses.

I'm sorry - I worry that anything I write will not help, but make it more stressful for you - I'm projecting wildly, I know. But I doubt you're alone - this forum would suggest that it's a reasonably common issue in marriages.

hiveofactivity Fri 14-Apr-17 14:56:41

Aargh I just felt like a 1950s PA trying to plead with her boss to give her attention - trying to organise childcare and annual leave for the summer school holidays and am getting no where.

Will end up just sorting it out myself...which is exactly what he wants. But it's for dd not him and that's what I need to remind myself.

Have had to endure him raving about a colleague who Is moving back to his picturesque home town for a better quality of life. I asked what his colleagues wife will do (as there are few jobs and little industry there) - she's pregnant for the second time and will probably work in her husbands business or something (whilst looking after two under three).

Nothing wrong with that but it was such a dismissive second thought like 'who cares about her abandoning her career and having no income of her own'.

I know that's what he would really like to do and what I would never do. It's making me realise we're not compatible anymore. We were so close, best friends as well as partners - I don't know how it came to this. I don't think he's any happier than I am.

Have filled the Easter weekend with trips out for dd to take the attention off each other. Am planning early nights or to go out after dd is in bed. I can't bear making conversation any more,

Pauletyea Fri 14-Apr-17 19:00:11

OP you sound very together and thoughtful, and I'm sorry you're hurting. I'm a similar age to you and am mindful that the battles we fight in our personal lives are often part of a shared emotional landscape for women.

I think you know deep down what path you need to go down. You are a good person and a dedicated mother and have nothing to feel guilty about.

Don't be a martyr and spend any more time getting resentful - solve the problem, don't overthink or justify yourself, just focus on the practicalities and I think you'll be very surprised how wonderful life can be on the other side.

Oh, and it's probably the last thing on your mind but years after getting rid of the Nice Successful Guy On Paper but Passive Aggressive And Controlling Behind Closed Doors husband (much to the chagrin of everyone around me, with a chorus of unsupportive abusive family and toxic friends telling me what a silly girl I was not to see myself as breeding stock/support staff) I had a whale of a time dating, and ended up with a DP who encouraged me back into further study, and will be happy to move for my career ( whilst pulling his weight financially and advising me not to take "drudge jobs" just for the cash) I'm in the library now learning a programming language whilst he is cooking dinner ( and he's a tall fit handsome type too!)

If we broke up I'd meet a similar type.

The sexists like to promote the view that women are "lucky" to have them because they don't beat their wives and "let them" do things (as long as they don't interfere every th their own plans)

but they're not the majority

X x

Lucy7400 Fri 14-Apr-17 20:03:21

I feel your pain. I got so sick to death of covering all the sick days for 2 dcs, ensuring the school forms, requests for money were fulfilled , organising childcare, washing the clothes, making sure food was in the house etc that I gave up work. hmm At the time it was a blessed relief and has made life easier. But I am bored and feel my life is wasting away. I cant fathom how I would have a 'career' rather than a 'job' and do everything else. I would love to think it would be different but I really don't think it would be. So, whilst I can't offer useful advice, I can empathise. flowers

wizzywig Fri 14-Apr-17 20:05:11

What is a wohm?

wizzywig Fri 14-Apr-17 20:10:35

Actually it doesnt matter. Looks like im a wohm. Fricking miserable isnt it? Hate the weekends, it just emphasises how little he does

Lucy7400 Fri 14-Apr-17 20:44:59

Wohm = work out of home mum ( I think)

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