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Feel like DH only happy when not with me

(21 Posts)
SoleroX Thu 19-Oct-17 21:18:09

We have 2 DCs, one of which is just a few months old. Which may be part of the reason I feel this way. Obviously life with a toddler and a baby is full on. DH comes home from his physical job and just seems tense and stressed all evening. He huffs under his breath but says he's fine. I appreciate it's the witching hour and not much fun but equally I've been home with them all day (DH leaves at 6.15am) so a couple of hours with them before bed doesn't feel like it should be a problem. I feel like he just wants to get the evening done.

I'm breastfeeding so baby is in with me and toddler has started sleeping with me too so it's literally 24/7 by their side. I find it hard but also recognise it's short term so it's manageable most of the time.

DH is a musician and he wants the evening out of the way so he can get on with writing and recording. The dream is for this to be a more regular income one day rather than sporadic and he certainly has the ability. But it's an all consuming passion for him. He helps with bed but from 7.30pm or so I'm in with them settling them and that's it, his evening is his own for his music. Then two or three nights a week he has people over who he collaborates with so I'm even more doing stuff alone, if one DC won't settle that's tough for me. Two of the three people he works with (and the most regular visitors, at least once a week each) are young female singers. Once upon a time (years ago, pre DC) this made me jealous but now what bothers me is the sense that time with me and DCs is time to be got through. This feels even worse when he then basically spends several hours with other women, at his happiest doing what he loves. I can hear he laughs a lot and is relaxed and happy. While I sit alone on bloody MN. (This is also why toddler ended up with me because in the newborn days I found it hard to cluster feed and get toddler to bed when DH was busy so ended up in bed with both of them).

I feel like these women get to enjoy the best of him and just feel really sad that all our time together feels slightly overshadowed by his need/want to get to his studio space (in our home) and work some more. Literally any opportunity at the weekends etc he'll grab, even just an hour when they nap, and when I suggest days out doing stuff there is a slight but tangible hesitation and once he agrees I get a sense of resignation from him that there won't be a chance that day. He usually has someone round during one weekend day for 4 or 5 hours as well.

We've spoken about it a lot and I don't have the energy now to bring it up again. I've no reason to worry about him cheating or anything and he isn't otherwise selfish. But I find myself doing all I can to try and force help him to be happier in the evenings, often making sure it's tidy and dinner is prepped etc and I feel a bit pathetic. I realise I spend a fair bit of time considering what might be nice for him.

Not sure why I'm posting really other than hearing him laughing with a singer tonight has left me feeling a bit flat.

FritzDonovan Thu 19-Oct-17 21:26:01

No words of wisdom I'm afraid, but I can sympathise. My dh spends lots of time socialising while working away, posts all the events on fb, yet is poor at keeping in touch with us and v v rarely suggests any social activity either as a family or a couple. It also leaves me feeling rather flat.
Maybe stop making it so easy for him to do what he likes and demand more of his time with you and kids, doing interesting things?

HipsterAssassin Thu 19-Oct-17 21:50:04

Poor you OP. Does he spend any quality time with the dc?

When do you get to indulge an interest?

Where is your relationship in all this? Because from the way you post about him it sounds like there is nothing he does in this setup that couldn't be contracted out by a childminder, and you sound more like a domestic appliance/landlady. This is not a marriage.

Are you on mat leave or are you a SAHP?

What's the set up do you own the house?

I would be tempted to wean the youngest onto a bottle and leave them with for the weekend to go and pursue an 'interest of your own' because this can't go on, surely?

Do you sleep together, chat at bed time? Is there any intimacy? Do you think it's save-able?

Most of all do you have support from your own family/mum because it certainly sounds like your h doesn't give you any.

SandyY2K Thu 19-Oct-17 22:23:00

Do you ever get a break from the children? Time to yourself?

Try and get a couple of hours alone ... even if it's just walking around the shops or grabbing a coffee and reading a magazine.

The situation now is going to make you resentful for a very long time to come.

You need to be your own person (not mum and wife) for an hour here. and there.

exhaustedmumof4 Thu 19-Oct-17 22:53:45

Telling a Breastfeeding mother to wean onto a bottle is terrible advice. You need support from your partner! Tell him how you feel! What you need from him. If he won’t do it then you have a big problem.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 20-Oct-17 07:31:55

What do you get out of this relationship now?. What needs of yours are being met here?.

He sounds selfish beyond compare actually whilst you knock yourself out running around after him. What do you think your children are and will go onto learn about relationships here from the two of you?.

Re your comment:-

"DH is a musician and he wants the evening out of the way so he can get on with writing and recording. The dream is for this to be a more regular income one day rather than sporadic and he certainly has the ability"

Ability though does not bring regular paying work and he is not going to be in the top 100. It is more likely than not that he will never make a regular income from this at all. And where do you fit into this marriage exactly, you do sound like the landlady and domestic servant to his musical whims.

Increasinglymiddleaged Fri 20-Oct-17 07:55:29

Telling a Breastfeeding mother to wean onto a bottle is terrible advice.

But that's what the poster would do. Clearly if you prioritise breastfeeding then it's a bad idea but I'm sure the op has the intelligence to work that out for herself.

OP it sounds awful to me. Just wondering if you have tried relationship counselling to see if there is any possibility for change? Basically he is a man with a family but is behaving like a single person.

Tallia Fri 20-Oct-17 10:25:15

A young baby and a toddler is hard work, you sound like you're really overworked, lonely and unhappy and my heart goes out to you.

But, it's not clear to me if your DH is at fault here. It sounds like you're quite insecure (at the moment anyway) and resent him being happy, whilst that may be understandable given the circumstances, it's not necessarily reasonable.

It's got to be hard hearing him laughing and seeming to enjoy himself, when you're sitting in another room, but you DO describe what he's doing as working - and even if it's not currently making money it does seem to be part of a long term plan to make it into a career so it should be considered work - and not socialising.

What was the plan pre-children for the roles and responsibilities re. looking after children? Did you discuss it? This focus on trying to create a music career obviously isn't new if it caused you to be jealous before DC, so was this always the plan? That your DH would be full time working and continue trying to build a music career in the evenings whilst you were the full time carer for your DC? If he's reneged on an agreement to share childcare responsibilities then you are right to be annoyed, if however this was always the plan then it's not fair to be annoyed at him working in the evenings - and you shouldn't resent him being happy doing so. You can open the discussion again - say you need him to take on a bit more of the childcare [I'd echo the poster who suggested you get the baby onto a bottle - express some milk and let your DH take a feed or two - it'll give you a bit of time to yourself and might also be good for bonding between baby and Dad] so you can get a little bit of time to yourself, but you still shouldn't resent him enjoying the time he does spend on his music.

I'd suggest you focus less on whether or not he's happy and more on what you can do to make yourself happier. You say you're at home all day with the children, can you get out a bit more during the day? Do you know other SAHM's in the area? Or do you have family you can spend time with, or who could look after the children whilst you go out? What about in the evenings? Do you have any friends around you can invite round for a chat or to watch a film, or can you ring friends and have a chat? Do you have any hobbies you can do? Or could you even get involved in what he's doing in the evenings? I don't know if you're also musical at all, but if you could even hang out and listen to the musician's practicing or something so you aren't sitting in the other room feeling left out?

Finally I also think you need to try and get some time just you and DH - you talk about him spending time with you AND DC's but not time just with you - do you spend any time together just as a couple? Even just one evening on the sofa after the kids are in bed? You sound like you're spending all your time giving your attention to others - your DCs and your DH and you're forgetting that you also need some attention - from both yourself and from your DH. Can you swap some time that DH spends with the DCs and you, for some time that DH spends just with you? (e.g. you do the bedtime routine alone, while he starts his music earlier, then he stops earlier and spends time with you? or you take the children out at the weekend during the day, so he can work and the evening you have a nice evening you and DH?)

TammySwansonTwo Fri 20-Oct-17 10:36:26

Resent him being happy? He's exploiting his wife so that he can do whatever the hell he wants to do. It wouldn't fly in my house, he chose to have children too I assume? Making it all your responsibility so he can enjoy his hobby in peace is bloody disgraceful. Sounds like there's no reason he couldn't cut back or cut it out for a few months at least during the toughest period of handling a small baby and a toddler. He's treating you and the kids like a chore he has to get through so he can do what actually makes him happy. I would be livid.

Increasinglymiddleaged Fri 20-Oct-17 11:32:25

It's got to be hard hearing him laughing and seeming to enjoy himself, when you're sitting in another room, but you DO describe what he's doing as working - and even if it's not currently making money it does seem to be part of a long term plan to make it into a career so it should be considered work - and not socialising.

Men are not more important than women. It seems fairly unlikely to me that he is going to be the next Justin Bieber and the reality is that money made in a band will be in the evenings/ weekends which massively interferes with family life. It isn't as simple as 'all work is OK' these are joint decisions about how to live.

Of course yes, he can do what he likes but the OP can also decide whether she is willing to put up with it.

OohMavis Fri 20-Oct-17 11:40:36

So hang on, what's his job? You say he's out of the house from 6.15 in the morning, doing what?

And then he comes home, huffs under his breath until the kids are in bed and goes to some secluded part of the house with his friends and laughs the night away, leaving you alone in bed with a phone for company.

He sounds like a nasty arsehole, tbh. You speak about bringing it up as if it gets you nowhere and grinds you down - there's your answer. He doesn't give a shit.

Neverknowing Fri 20-Oct-17 11:47:56

I would be leaving him and I dont say that a lot on mumsnet. He’s having his cake and eating it. He has a family but acts like a single man.
It doesn’t sound like you get anything out of this relationship. He doesn’t help with his kids or even support you emotionally? Find someone who will. It’s sad he won’t even let you tell him how you feel without shooting you down? Everything is about him. Switch the roles would he let you act like this or is it just because you’re a woman?

SoleroX Fri 20-Oct-17 12:01:41

He does help, he's great with them - it's just a subtle feeling I get that he'd like to be elsewhere.

Anyway after posting last night I thought it was ridiculous to post on here and not actually just speak to him like an adult, so once the singer left I raised it again.

It was a good conversation, he recognised and apologised for being distracted and said music on his mind a lot and he can see why I felt the way I did. He said he will make sure he is present when he is with us, and that it's not so much that he wants to be elsewhere, rather that he's thinking about what his plans are. He truly seemed to see how this would come across to me though and felt bad. He hates the thought of me running round to sort the house etc before he gets home and that he doesn't expect/want me to do that. He said he truly values time with me and with the kids but that he sees it's on him to show me that.

He's not in a band, there are ways to make a living doing what he does without having to hit the big time. He does get some income from what he currently does though the collaborations not so much yet. He currently works in construction.

Everyone is right we need some time just us. Baby won't take a bottle but I have a fair bit of frozen milk so will keep trying. I also need my own stuff absolutely, I'm sure part of it is jealousy that he does and I don't as a pp said - that's only something I can rectify though.

I appreciate the replies - made me feel sure it was a bit shit and not just me.

Tallia Fri 20-Oct-17 12:34:45

Really pleased that you had a good conversation and it sounds like you're feeling a lot more positive about things. Hope you both manage to work things out and find a bit more time for the two of you.

Desmondo2016 Fri 20-Oct-17 13:05:54

It really doesnt sound like you're a million miles away from getting it right. You can obviously work as a team and you can clearly communicate and listen with each other. Some fine tweaks and providing he keeps his side of the bargain I reckon you'll be fine. Have my first KTB (keep!!smile)

splendidisolation Fri 20-Oct-17 13:13:33

So he's a man who should have had the balls to just follow his passion and live a creative life trying to make it as a musician, which can involve sacrificing other aspects of life.

Instead, he's trying to hold onto his old lifestyle whilst also being like "oh yeah I'm a family man" - at your expense.

Just thought I'd give you an outside view of him: he sounds like a coward.

SoleroX Fri 20-Oct-17 13:28:15

Splendid what you've said is interesting because it's kind of what he said about himself. That he's trying to work out the balance between still pursuing his passion and making sure he doesn't fuck up the life we have. That he wants what we have but sometimes finds it hard because it means he can't quite do things the way he wants anymore.

We've been together since teenagers, I've always known how driven he is. I don't think he's a coward, though I think you're right he probably would have been better off on focusing on his aspirations rather than having a family - it was me who pushed for a baby in the first place. Which muddles the whole thing more because I feel responsible for the dynamic now. However he insists he doesn't regret how we have done things, that he wanted/wants a family too - and that he just has to adjust the way he thinks about things a little.

He has sacrificed a lot for it really. He just doesn't want to sacrifice us. Which is guess is the crux of what I fear really.

I can actually see where you are coming from but I think it takes more balls to admit you need to change, the way he has.

Increasinglymiddleaged Fri 20-Oct-17 13:29:31

Is one option him working one day a week less and doing the music stuff then?

Neverknowing Fri 20-Oct-17 13:35:35

Perfect op! Sorry if I was harsh earlier it’s just so frustrating when some women think men being twats and not helping with the kids is normal. Clearly you’re not that couple though!
Hopefully it’ll all be better soon smile having a young baby and toddler is hard.

SoleroX Fri 20-Oct-17 14:51:25

It's ok Never you weren't. I think there is a general sense that it's normal which I find makes it harder sometimes for me to think, "hold on, fuck this - you need to do more" grin good to have an MN sounding board

SoleroX Fri 20-Oct-17 14:52:27

Increasingly this is something I've thought about, but won't be able to consider until I'm back at work unfortunately. I do think that could be the way forward though.

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