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Husband is so distant these days(34 Posts)
I'm writing this hoping for advice on how to move forward with my husband. He's just so emotionally distant, his personality is just non existent these days too. I'm really struggling with him; constantly worrying about whether he's in a good mood. When we are out at a wedding for example, he's the life and soul. It's like he's a totally different person. He's smiling, fun, cracking jokes. I just don't ever see that side of him at home :-(.
His idea of affection too is just to be sexual. I never just get a cuddle, it's always got to have a sexual motive. A grope or an innuendo. I really find myself jealous of couples who can just cuddle and be gentle without it turning into sex or me just saying I don't fancy it right now 100 times.
Most of the time if I speak he will either not respond, or just answer "don't know" or don't mind". It's wearing me down. I'm constantly the one making conversation, sometimes I will deliberately not and we will sit in silence for ages. I can't be bothered anymore. He is just so lifeless. No hobbies, passions, opinions, nothing! I don't think I'm more interesting, funny etc than him it's just I want someone who I can bounce off.
Bit of background, both early thirties and been together since secondary school. Two DC - 3 & 7. Married two years. We are comfortable financially, nice house etc.
Today it all came to a head. I had planned a family day out to a big event happening in London. Arranged months ago, it's a big passion of mine and it involved a lot for the kids too so I thought it would be a winner. But it was a huge flop; 3yo moaned the whole time, 7yo was only interested for about ten minutes then the inevitable "when are we going home" started. Husband just looked like he didn't want to be there. I had a bit of a strop and decided we should just leave after an hour and a half. After months of looking forward to this event, it was just pointless being there. No one was enjoying themselves. DH just wandered around with a face like a slapped arse.
I was upset and silent the whole way home. He didn't ask if I was ok, knowing full well I was tearful. Probably sounds a bit dramatic but it was something I really wanted to do for a change. When we got home, I was still upset, still nothing. He just sits there watching tv with the kids. So I just grab my bag and walk to the local lake and sit and watch. I see all the dads with their kids, making conversation and laughing with their wives/girlfriends. Playing with their kids. I just don't get that? No texts to ask where I am or am I ok. He knew I'd left.
We spoke about it when I got back. he admitted to me that he feels distant from the children because they are hard work. He said he prefers being at work most of the time. He wants to enjoy their company but finds it hard. I'm heartbroken. He said it's nothing to do with our relationship it's just hard at home and everything feels like a chore. I honestly think our children are just normal kids, no behavioural issues apart from the occasional attitude and odd tantrum. To me that's just normal life? Don't get me wrong I love the odd child free evening out etc but I just don't relate to this. He said he feels half the person he used to be.
I don't know what to think. I feel like I'm always his pick me up, desperately trying to create "fun" things to do so he'll bloody cheer up and it's exhausting. He's another person when he's with other people, I've noticed that a long time ago but now he's kind of admitted that he prefers to be away from us I'm just so upset and upset for the children too. He used to be so attached to them.
Just wondering if he sounds depressed, I appreciate his honesty with his feelings it mustn't have been easy to admit them but I don't know how to work through this and what, if anything I can do to make him enjoy his life as a family.
Thanks for reading
Do you think he might be having an affair? Lots of men check out when their thoughts are somewhere else.
I really doubt it, but there's always the possibility I guess. I don't have any reason to suspect (we're open with each other's phones etc)
I take it he was fully on board with having your children?
I'm sorry but women don't get the opportunity to moon about moping, as they opt out of family life completely or as much as they can get away with
Time to put your foot down. I take it you both have some leisure time and time to be alone without kids? Discuss that first
And then I'd be putting a rocket up his arse. Maybe he needs you to tell him you're considering your relationship and where it's going ..
In that case, I think you should demand that you both attend counseling. Your relationship can't survive this type of emotional wasteland.
We both get a good amount of child free time. Both kids were planned so he knew what he was getting himself into.
I suggested counselling but he has refused point blank.
I felt like shoving a HUGE rocket up his arse today. I just want to scream in frustration.
It feels so good to write it down. I don't really have anyone I can admit this all to, it's a bit embarrassing.
Its not you, its him. Can you imagine another 5, 10 even 20 months let alone years of all this from him?
Do not feel embarrassed or ashamed; he should be feeling that but he is simply unfeeling and uncaring of your distress here. Its all about him and what he wants you see, he does not care for others except his own self.
I would actually consider leaving him over this because he will simply continue to make your own life and that of your children a complete misery. What do you want them to remember about their childhoods; you as their mum who tried to be happy and chivvy things along whilst their selfish dad showed no real interest in them and had a face like a slapped arse?. Some legacy that is to be leaving them and they will pick up on that if they haven't started to do so already. Is that what you want to be teaching them about relationships? Do not put this man before or above them.
Street angel house devil is a good description for this man. That is also how abusive people behave; his actions are based on power and control. They are often quite plausible to those in the outside world but its an act and when not in company or behind closed doors the mask slips. The fact too that he is not open to counselling suggests to me that he knows that what he is doing is wrong but does not care at all.
I was going to ask how much of this is due to him actually being an arse?. Its no justification for him to act like this towards you and he is doing this too because he can.
What do you get out of this relationship now, what needs of yours is he meeting still here?
I feel like I could have wrote this. This time last year my husband was put on anti depressants due to these types of feelings. He eventually came off them and decided to leave me/the kids. It's been really really rough, I still have incredibly bad days, but the weight of not having him around was immense, I hadn't realised I essentially had been living with an extra child for near on 4 years. I just assumed it was my wifely duty to deal with his rubbish.
There are men who would kill to take his place, I'm currently spending time with a man who is loving every second with us all, and it feel so alien to me, it's not hard work at all, it's just life and it's how it should have been.
I don't know if that helps, but you shouldn't be embarrassed I think it's becoming very common. Especially with men who settle down before they are 30.
I think he is having an affair and has checked out
You don't have to put up with this! It sounds really awful. It's awful th fact that he's not communicating or respecting you. Time to tell him as it is and I would make an ultimatum, you need some huge improvements and respect. It sounds really draining all round and so upsetting for you. What on earth is he doing? Would he prefer not to have a family, is he depressed?
and the most upsetting part is that he is happy and engaged in other social situations, and it is not with you! That must tell you something about how little effort or respect he has for you. I am sorry it's like this, sounds like really hard work emotionally for you and that you don't know where you stand.
I would look to see if he could be having an affair. or if you dont feel you need to know, just ask him to leave anyway. it might bring.him to his senses after a while. the no to counselling is revealing. he has checked out right now.
What was your husband like before all this started to happen?
Just playing devils advocate, could he just find family life tougher than he expected? I am in a thread about the relentlessness of parenting atm. Many people would identify with his feelings of being half a person and finding it hard to enjoy the kids. Of course at a child free event he is relaxed. So am I.
I'm not saying for a second that he shouldn't step up and he should be taking the counselling. Just trying to give another perspective. Awaiting my flaming now...
He changed when we had our second. My gut feeling is that he finds parenting really difficult. I don't think he's having an affair.
But we all find parenting hard don't we? Like a pp said I feel like I have 3 children most days. I'm constantly monitoring three people's moods. I want to spend my time with someone who has life in them.
He's told me he's going to get himself together. I don't know though, we'll see.
Do you know what frustrates me men who opt out of family life! Not all men obviously. But parenting is hard. There's some shit bits and life is more complicated as you have more people to think of.
Have you told him how you feel?
I gave it to him straight tonight. He seemed pretty ashamed. He promises he's going to "sort it out". I don't hold much hope if I'm honest. Can you imagine the impact on our children if I held the same feelings as him? I feel like I'm barely keeping this boat afloat here.
Mine changed when we had our second too. Having two is a game changer because the sibling rivalry comes into the mix.
Also children do suck the life force from you. Perhaps you don't find that but plenty do. It sounds as if you find parenting easier than him even though of course there are always hard bits. Can you help him to find it easier?
Just wondering if he sounds depressed
It sounds a bit like that, yes. Some of what you are saying sounds like how I behaved when I was in the depths of depression - sort of 'there but not there'. That was following my dad's death, birth of DC2 and work troubles all on top of one another.
Regarding the socialising, I could just about hold it together long enough to be at a social event and laugh, etc., but was very distant from DW and work colleagues, and snappy/short tempered with DCs. Just generally an unpleasant person to be close to.
I can't say it's definitely that, though. It rung a bell or two with me, but 'diagnosis by internet forum' usually doesn't work too well.
Also there are loads of children who probably have no idea that both their parents find parenting hard and don't enjoy it. Plenty of families where both parents have those same feeling and the impact on the children is probably not catastrophic. Of course if parents totally detach then yes that is awful. If they just don't find it a bed of roses I don't think that makes them terrible.
It is his behaviour that will have the impact on them, not just his feelings. Maybe he just wants someone to acknowledge that it is shit sometimes rather than always having to pretend it is great?
The awful thing about his behaviour, of course, is that it puts an extra burden on you. Not only do you have to deal with the stresses of being a parent - as we all do - you also have to try to carry his dead weight on your shoulders.
I feel for you.
You don't have to help him find parenting easier, that's his responsibility as a parent and an adult. Of course parents need to support each other but it sounds like you've been doing everything - trying to keep everything buoyant and ok while he wears you down and contributes fuck all.
He better mean what he says or he's going to lose his family. Lazy self-absorbed fucker. Yes parenting is hard - very hard sometimes. But his attitude stinks.
You can't also be responsible for how he feels. I think a lot of men walk into parenthood and then realise they may have to compromise on some things and they don't want to.
I don't mean that you are responsible - of course you're not. I just wonder whether the two of you have actually talked about how shit it can be rather than trying to 'pull him up' all the time.
Of course you shouldn't have to help him find it easier. But if you do then as a partnership why not share that with him? I think for those who find it difficult, being told they should just enjoy it is not always helpful. There's something to be said for a therapeutic moan. You said you appreciate his honesty but is that really the case? I'm just not sure why he should be pretending to enjoy it all of the time. When the children are awake, yes, he should step up of course. But you are expending lots of energy trying to find things he enjoys. What would happen if you stopped?
Again though, no excuse for avoiding the counselling.
Not really a comment about your husband BUT it sounds like you had far too high expectations of your day out. A three year old will struggle with a long day and 90 minutes seems like a long time to them. Stop trying so hard to be the upbeat fun one. I dont know what the event was but could you have gone on your own? Could he take one of the children out on his own if he feels that one is easier?
I must admit that if my OH was sulking away in a takeaway I would leave them to it.
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