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Am I being a bit silly?(42 Posts)
This is my first post. I found this site a while ago and so admire all the help you give each other! I wonder if you can give me some advice on my, admittedly small, but annoying issue I have with my DP.
Background... we have been together 3 and a half years and live together with a mortgage. Great relationship and generally very happy.
My gripe is that DP is so forgetful of things and just really takes very little responsibility for anything (such as organisation, bills, decision making etc). I find forever being the organiser, the mum almost! He can sometimes be the same when it comes to us doing things together too. I really don't think he means it, he's just grown up with a mum who treated him like a prince therefore can be a bit selfish unless someone points it out.
We are a relatively young couple so I guess I'm wondering... were any of your DP/DH like this in the early days? Can you "train" them to become more engaged in the boring stuff?
I think that's a common problem, I think a lot of the time is women are the ones left to deal with the important stuff. My DP is the same and nothing ever gets done otherwise unless I do it
My ex was exactly like this. Losing his keys, wallet, forgetting appointments, etc. I felt like his secretary AND his Mum. I got so frustrated I wanted to choke him. Then I realized that I was enabling him by always fixing his fuck ups. What I did was to tell him the days of me managing his responsibilities was OVER and he would have to face the consequences for his lack of being organized. I stayed true my word and it worked. He learned to deal with his own responsibilities and act like a man, not a child. You need to nip this in the bud now or it will only get worse.
Have a read of this thread and the accompanying link.
Aquamarine I can totally relate to the keys/wallet/phone thing. That's a daily occurrence!
An example would be this weekend we have long standing plans with friends which were mentioned as recently as Monday. He called me yesterday at work to say he had booked a round of golf on Saturday morning but had remembered about our plans. So he would just cancel the golf "if the plans were still going ahead". I reacted pretty badly because well... of course they are going ahead, you know they are! why are you even booking that!
Then today I asked him to send me my train connection time as i had poor signal. I told him the earliest I'd be at the station to depart and named the 2 quickest stations near our home. 15 mins later recieved a screenshot of the train times half an hour before I could get there and onward to a completely different station I would never use. I honestly despair. I wonder though, is it because the station he sent is quicker for him to get to to pick me up (even though he knows the journey would take me 3 times as long)
I really take your advice about nipping this in the bud early though, as much as I do quite like being Ms Organised (it's in my nature) I really want to feel like he cares and he's part of the team!
If you take control of YOU by changing how you cater to him, I really believe you will see changes. As I said to my ex, his refusal (and that's what it is) to handle his own responsibilities is so disrespectful and made me feel totally devalued, aside from being his "minder" that is. Ask him how he would feel if you brought dinner home, but didn't get any for him because you weren't reminded to. If course you wouldn't! It's a silly example but it follows the same principle. He's being very self-absorbed.
Let him fail. Let events fail.
So long as you rescue him and rescue "life" then he has no incentive to change.
Adulting is boring as fuck. I hate it. Don't you? I'd love someone else to take responsibility for paying the bills, finding my keys. Wifework. Ugh. Dull.
You missed a trick on the golf. Your response should have been "I'm not sure if it is still on, you'd better find out and let me know."
And stop helping him find things. Just don't. Don't suggest places to look either. Unless you think he is monumentally stupid.
If you carry on with this rescuing behaviour then before you know it you will be reminding him when it is his mum's birthday (and even buying a card for him to write for her).
You are so right, being an adult isn't fun but it's a matter of fact! He is so used to his mum just catering to his every need and I worry that I'm assuming that role.
Run rabbit love ur suggestion on the golf, looks like I really need to turn this on it's side! Thank you all so much
Just stop catering to him like everyone else said and he'll either learn to stand on his feet or crumble like we all as adults have had to
Don't make a big song and dance about leaving him to it either. Just look at him like he's a lunatic if he expects you do stuff for him or wonders why stuff didn't happen magically like it always does.
I find that the expressions "that's a shame" "oh dear, what are you going to do?" "I don't know," and "oh god, how embarrassing, oh well you'll sort it out!" can cover most scenarios.
Believe me, if you continue to enable this now, it will be the reason for your divorce in x years time.
It starts out being nice, feeling good that you're doing something nice, being needed. A few years down the line you see in for laziness and disrespect - expecting you to just pick up the shit.
Stop enabling it, then reassess how you feel.
Make sure you allow for growing pains. He 's going to find the transition to being an autonomous adult hard. All that grown up stuff is dull and he will resist the change. You are going to have to be hard as nails for a few months until he has adapted to the new reality. There is a good chance he will try emotional manipulation, not because he's abusive but because that probably worked on his mum and it is just what he expects to do: sad face, huff whatever. If you just ignore it and deep down he's a good sort then he will catch himself in and start being a normal adult when there is no alternative.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it. I guess there is a fine line between him needing to step up as an adult and be in charge of his own responsibilities compared to him just generally being a selfish person and not really caring about me as much as I do him.
Case in point.. after the train episode I have arrived home tonight (he picked me up) after being away all week for to him to be on his Xbox (I know, I know) within fifteen mins of us getting in (he's still on it). The (now out of date) milk and bread is still there from when I left on Monday. Surely he would want to spend the night with me after my being away? I think things really do need to change massively. You are right in saying im probably a huge part of the problem for letting him treat me like this.
Oh dear me. Well, if he's not that into you and just wants a mother then you'd better start getting your ducks in a row for moving on.
Do not touch that milk and bread! I forbid you to clear it out! Maybe you should go out tomorrow night with some mates.
I am very sad that you're feeling so poorly, but I think it's a huge positive that you are seeing the problems and wanting to address them. Dynamics like this can carry on for years until one of the partners realizes how miserable and resentful they are. Hopefully, you can talk this out with him and see positive change. If not, I think you'll make the right decision and leave him. If he isn't very concerned how his behaviour is affecting you, that will be a massive wake up call that he has no intentions to act like a grown man should.
Runrabbit I binned it as soon as I got it then went to the supermarket for some basic supplies and tomorrow's dinner. You are totally making me see how ridiculous that is though and I'm sitting here only realising it now. I'm still doing it. I feel like such an idiot because I am so fiercely independent and typing this out to you makes me realise how completely stupid I am being!
As of tomorrow I am going to really force myself to watch my every move and reaction. Would you advise I sit him down or just change my own behaviour and let him work it out for himself?
Do not sit him down.
Modify your own behaviour only.
See what happens.
Please stop focusing on his behaviour, how you get him to change, wondering whether he will notice, whether you should sit him down.
You yourself are doing mad stuff! Focus only on yourself for your own self respect and sanity. He may change, he may not. That's not actually your main problem right now.
So, you have been away all week, you took a longer train home, he picked you up, is back on his x-box within 15 minutes of you being home; you then go out and do the shopping because there is nothing in. Did he stay home on his x-box or come with you? I guess you went yourself. Did you just buy food for yourself? I guess you bought it for both of you and he was happy to eat it. Did he say thank you?
I would tell him that is not on, really, I would be curious why he thinks that is okay.
Cocoa pretty much everything you said yes.
If I told you the reason I have been away all week you would thing he was even more useless and awful than you already do.
It's totally not okay and I know that writing it out on here. I guess I soldier away most of the time not really realising the reality of it. I have to say he does go through stages of being brilliant and lovely. But I wonder if that's maybe due me losing it a bit and having a go at him! So he's got it in him, he's probably just got it too easy to feel the need to try.
Other posters who say to only worry about your own behaviour are absolutely right. If you're like I am and I see something that needs doing, I'll just mindlessly take care of it, as I did for a time with my ex. Talk about sabotaging myself! I had to be very careful to not do something for my ex that he should be doing, but with practice it becomes easy. A relationship must be about true partnership and each party needs to contribute and be able to take care of themselves. Imagine if you had a child and him to run after! It would be like having two kids. He can't be allowed to get away with being a lazy shit.
Be careful that he isn't mistaking love for "being taken care of".
Are you loved by him because you take care of him? That's a dynamic that only lasts a few years as you will be resentful.It gets worse if you have children and are unable to take care of his needs, he then feel resentful and downward spiral..happens so often.
He was very selfish and inconsiderate.Don't believe you can train him, never works (unless you are his mum and he's a teen)
How old are you both?
From an immediately practical point of view, share your calendars. Put everything on there for both of you individually (well you just do your bit, he does his.) We have a synchronised/shared calendar on our phones. It's changed our lives! If it's in the diary, it's happening. DH consults it regularly and makes his own plans then adds it in, as do and and we get notifications when things are coming up or changed. Everyone's happy.
You definitely need to channel your inner rabbit! She kindly posted on a thread of mine in a similar vein and much of what she says is good sense, I think. it's good that you are recognising the patterns early on in your relationship when there's still time to change. I left it too late and it's one of the reasons we are now splitting up.
Hermonie you make a good point. That's exactly what I worry about! I'm a bit of a busy body so probably don't do myself any favours but sometimes he just takes it too far, like this week, when things had been so great for a while. I struggle to tell whether it's a process of him becoming more mature and taking on these responsibilities we now have... or if it's a cycle of him only bucking up ideas when I have a go.
We are almost mid 20s but we have had really different life experiences. I left home at 17 for uni very far away from my home city. He came straight from his parents to our house with very little experience of the big bad world. However, whilst that excuses his lack of knowledge about the practical stuff, it doesn't excuse how selfish he can be!
Indie that's a great tip thank you! I will do that.
Giraffey her advice has been fab, I'm really taking it on board and getting this out is really making me realise how much of a mug I'm being.
After him sitting on that stupid game all night I went through to our bedroom (where he had it plugged in) and told him to go to another room as I was going to bed. He knew I was rather unhappy so he did come of then proceded to try to cuddle in! Eh no! I've just ignored him saying sorry. He's also asked about doing something together tomorrow and I've said I've made plans with a friend. Which I did tonight. Bugger him! Hope that was the right thing to do I don't really like playing games.
I'm going to be all over this though. Thank you all again!
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