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Unhappy. Dyspraxic partner.(23 Posts)
I'm desperately unhappy and would appreciate some other perspectives.
It's difficult to know where to start as I'm not really sure where our issues begin and end...
Me and DP have been together for nearly 10 years, engaged for 5 and we have two beautiful children aged 3 and 9 months.
I have two separate issues I think.. One is that I feel at the the bottom of his list of priorities at the moment and taken for granted. This has led to me feeling unloved and resentful. The other is that he has trouble organising himself and his thoughts due to dyspraxia. This may sound minor but since the birth of our second child, he seems to have been in what looks like a constant state of confusion and distraction. This has left me responsible for absolutely everything and with no support or help. I have not had a meal cooked for me or anything. Instead of our increased responsibilities being shared, it feels like they've been dumped on me and I've been abandoned. He makes promises (marriage/financial security/holiday plans/promising to cook etc etc) and they are never kept.
I'm terrified of being a single parent but I am starting to think it will be easier than trying to form a team with someone who acts alone. His mind is in chaos and my stress makes it worse. I'm aware of and have been sympathetic to, the struggles he faces with organising very basic day-to-day tasks, so much so that I've stopped asking him to do them, as it's much easier for me to. However, this, plus him being unable to ever put my needs first is now making me miserable.
Does anyone have any practical advice? I'm desperate to try and keep my family together but not at the expense of mine and ultimately my children's happiness? Their father is a kind and gentle man. We've been having couples therapy and it is extremely difficult. I guess it would help to hear about how others tackle dyspraxia/ADHD in adults or if there is any way to calm the chaos in his mind.
Does he work and make good money? Wondering could he pay for more help in the house to lessen your stress.
Is there one or two things he is good at? Could these become his sole priority.
My dh was very scattered and forgetful. I found lists really helped. Might make you feel you are babying him but he may need a list to sequence a job. So eg instead of clean bathroom write on exact steps. Maybe keep those on the bakck of a cupboard.
Its not easy.
Yes, I've suggested 'outsourcing' jobs a bit more as I think he could afford it. The problem here is that's just another thing on the list for him to worry about and not get done. You're right about writing down clear instructions (I've got an app for this, that we share). These, too, get ignored at the moment.
Are you sure it's Dyspraxia? My eldest is severely Dyspraxia and manages to work in a busy critical care unit as a doctor. Might he just be plain old fashioned lazy?
Yes I am sure but sometimes I think he is stubborn and selfish too.. I believe it presents very differently in different people. He is also extremely successful in his career- it is almost the only part of his life he is confident with and in control of.
No I wasn't clear. I'm sure he has Dyspraxia but is this really the reason he can't help out more at home? Odd he can function at work but not at home.
What professional help is he getting to manage the effects of his dyspraxia? I guess he must be worried sick about how to manage it given the effects on you. What help has he looked up for himself? I guess he must have asked the couple's counsellor for a referral, did he/she suggest anything useful?
Are you sure it isn't more like strategic incompetence?
I'm dyspraxic, can manage at work and absolutely cannot manage at home.
It's a very very common pattern for dyspraxic adults, and no reason to be sceptical about the problem.
OP - you need to have a calm clear conversation with him. The dyspraxia is affecting your life as well as his. You're trying to be supportive, but this is getting very difficult to cope with. So he needs to look at what resources/help/advice he can access so you can work together to make life more manageable.
There are various books and Facebook groups I've found helpful for strategies for dealing with Dyspraxia, he just needs to get online and start searching.
I'm dyspraxic and a SAHM. I cook most nights and have worked out a routine using alarms on my phone and days of the week to do certain tasks. I also use lists a lot.
It is hard though. Things slip from your hands and break and then you have another mess to clean. And sometimes you avoid doing things because you think, 'If I do this, I'll fuck it up and that would make things worse for the other person'.
Our house needs a lot of DIY but my dyspraxia means I can't do it (there isn't time to learn plastering or pointing). This leaves poor DH. And I've started to think of myself as defective because of it.
I don't mean to be me, me, me but could your DH be feeling like this?
My husband has dyspraxia (i think). He has always been very forgetful & disorganised & (we thought) dyslexic, but it is only since we think our dd is dyspraxic that things clicked. Dh is quite good at putting strategies in place for stuff he has to do, but things like losing keys, remembering to book holiday at work, bank stuff, school stuff that is out of the ordinary is a real struggle. Things were very hard when our 2 youngest were babies/toddlers, but now they are older things are easier for me. My dh is lovely; he works very hard & loves us all very much. Despite the disorganisation, he is a brilliant husband & father.
Is your dh putting the effort in, op? The issues may be nothing to do with dyspraxia.
Thank you for your replies, I'll reply properly later. It's helpful to hear things from the dyspraxic perspective, particularly. Would you mind being more specific about strategies and resources so I can point him in the right direction?
To be honest, I think there are other issues at play too, I'm just trying to figure this all out. He's a complicated person.
Dh's strategies mainly consist of lots of reminders on his phone. :-)
Does he not want to point himself at strategies?
What has he said he is unhappy about and wants to change? Is it only you who is unhappy and wants him to change?
There are lots of therapists who specialise in dyspraxia. He could find one in a heartbeat. A quick google will direct him to the appropriate sites.
My mate who realised she might be dyspraxic in adulthood, after hearing about a child's diagnosis, found herself a local expert, booked in for an assessment and had the assessment done within a month. Is there any reason your DH hasn't done that?
Lists, lists and more lists. Could you get a white board somewhere obvious with things that have to be done every day and tick them off when they are done? Things like load dishwasher, put washing on, put washing away, get clothes out for morning, etc etc. Then maybe another whiteboard m with things like 'swimming money due on 4th august'. My DH would never do any of these things unless I told him. It drives me insane but I know he doesn't do it on purpose. He forgets loads of stuff at work too and gets upset about it.
I write lists, I set phone reminders, I do the bulk of the chores. I've asked him to get in touch with dyspraxia foundation to advise him on strategies but at the end of the day, I don't think he wants to.... part of me thinks that he's too proud/insecure but right now, part of me thinks he's also passive aggressive and getting his way. I think it's time to start looking for independence..
If there is more upside than downside to the status quo then he isn't likely to want to change, is he?
What are the pros and cons of the current situation for him? What would get better or worse for him if he had better dyspraxia management strategies?
Good point runrabbit. I was hoping that wanting me to be happy and less stressed and keeping our family together would be a good enough incentive to begin finding ways forward. As it stands he can stay in his comfort zone whilst everything around him runs like clockwork.
That's selfishness not dyspraxia.
My DH is dyslexic. It is a problem for him. He goes out of his way to do what he can to ensure it doesn't cause us stress or unhappiness. When I do things like all form-filling required for the whole household, which he finds incredibly difficult, he always finds a way to do something in return for me to keep the balance. I've never had to ask him to do that. He's not selfish.
Op have you pointed out that if you separate he will have to all of his own household stuff, do his job and have the dc over for part of the week?
That thought may give the kick up the backside he needs to find some help for himself and for you.
I notice that you said about outsourcing help, "The problem here is that's just another thing on the list for him to worry about and not get done". Which makes me wonder why, if he agrees to it, that you can't get the cleaner? Why he adds it to his list? It just made me wonder whether he uses this tactic to stop you from getting the help you need. Maybe you could just sort out a cleaner and say "We agreed a cleaner would help with some of the practical issues we're having, so Julie's coming on Tuesdays for 2 hours and it will cost £20 a week. She'll do hoovering and dusting, clean bathroom and toilet, and mop kitchen floor. That means we'll be able to relax a bit and enjoy our family instead of worrying about chores."
cat I have AS and my son is dyspraxic. It does not make for a smooth running household.
We manage by creating lists of things to do and setting alarms on our phones. They must be simple, one step lists in chronological order.
So shower and get dressed have to be two seperate items on the list.
There is a large element of training and self discipline involved though. The paediatrician told my son (diagnosed at 12) that his diagnosis explained his difficulties, but it didn't excuse them and that he would just have to work harder than other people and develop other strategies to overcome them. But that it was never to be an excuse.
And it hasn't been.
But when it's unmanaged, it's a nightmare.
Your husband must take some responsibility for this himself.
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