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What makes a good husband?

(40 Posts)
TherealMrsBloom Mon 23-Oct-17 17:55:23

What makes someone a good husband? I've been thinking about this a lot recently. It's just DH is so demanding of me yet I feel I get so little in return. I never used to think of a relationship in such calculating terms, but I know he does- see below. I've spent 6 years being a SAHM to let him concentrate on his career. I do all the cooking, most of the housework (we have a cleaner and he'll occasionally load or unload the dishwasher), all the washing, all the admin, pay all the bills (with his money). He'll do shopping if I give him short lists. He'll take the kids to do activities at the weekends and occasionally will help with school lifts. But whenever he does anything he makes a big deal of it, like I owe him one. Most weekends, once he has transported the kids to to their activity and back and walked the dog (if he feels like it), he'll sit around watching sport and taking naps. I get some time to myself too, but I still have to do all the cooking, washing, gardening etc. and put up with his "well, how shall I spend my brownie points then?", by which he means he wants sex. And frankly, sex is not at all good for me and after 14 years together I have given up hope it ever will be. If I'm honest to myself, I don't think he cares how good it is for me, so long as he gets it. He is not good with people - often rude and abrupt - sits in a different room watching TV when we visit my parents; he doesn't really have any friends but can charm people if he likes them and finds them interesting. I can't entertain because he offers so little help (and with 3DC, job and stuff around the house, I don't often have the energy) and we are rarely invited anywhere. He lies to me about little things eg. how much he spent on his car, what the kids have eaten, how much he has had to drink.

The upside of this marriage, I hear you ask? He earns very well as he has a very successful career, lets me decide (on the main) how we spend the money and I have full access to his account; he is occasionally nice to the kids, he makes me laugh sometimes, can be charming when he wants to be, is loyal (I think) and wouldn't cheat. He provides me with companionship when I've finished all the chores. But actually, I think even given these points, I feel he takes more from the marriage than he gives. I don't feel valued or cared for. I am increasingly resentful and I don't want to continue having unsatisfying sex. He responds by becoming cold, helping even less, trying to bargain with chores. I went to a counsellor who told me to go back to work. I'm now working full time (on a third of the salary I had pre-children), but nothing has changed: the last 2 weekends I've put up a list of 3 chores for him to do on a Sunday: each weekend he has done only 1 of the 3 - basically the underlying message is I like it or lump it.

What do I do? This is the tip of the iceberg - there are other things, like his inability to deal well with stress, drinking too much several nights of the week (he's not a nasty drunk though), shouting and swearing at the kids if they don't do as they're told first time. I asked him to see a counsellor - he's been 2 or 3 times but says he doesn't have time and there's nothing wrong with him. If I insist, he gets angry and tells me to stop nagging and says he's stressed enough without something extra to do. Am I being unreasonable to think he is not a good husband? I can't spend another 15 years like this! What do people think? Thanks for reading!

jeaux90 Mon 23-Oct-17 18:06:10

What did you do before you had kids? Is it time to get your career back? Do you want to? Sounds like he has no respect for you.

crunchtime Mon 23-Oct-17 18:09:47

doesn't sound like a good marriage to me.

Jessie1980 Mon 23-Oct-17 18:11:43

Sounds very like my Dh that you are describing! But without the being charming...

I'm currently planning to ltb op, we have been together 8 years, married for 6. We have little to say to each other once the kids are in bed, he never makes me laugh and sex is mundane, same routine and he's a selfish lover, all about him. Can't see me doing this for the rest of my days...

IvorHughJars Mon 23-Oct-17 18:13:52

He provides me with companionship when I've finished all the chores.

Before you were married, if someone had given you sight of what you've just written, would you have floated down the aisle looking forward to the future? Because when this ^ makes it into the 'upside' of a relationship then really the only positives that you're finding are those that you've scrabbled for amidst all the little sadnesses. He doesn't sound like a good husband, no. He doesn't even sound like a particularly nice person. Why are you with him?

I have to add that his expectation that you'll endure boring or unpleasant sex to 'reward' him for doing a tiny portion of joint household tasks made my stomach churn.

P.S. When I saw the title of your post my immediate answer was 'one who does not want a wife'. Check out the book WifeWork, you may find it illuminating. For me it was like reading a postmortem of my marriage. From what you've said about the division, or not, of household labour, you may find the same true for you.

ravenmum Mon 23-Oct-17 18:19:58

Apar from the money it sounds like he could be replaced by a Labrador, and you'd come out better off.

expatinscotland Mon 23-Oct-17 18:29:01

At least a Lab wouldn't pester you for sex.

chestylarue52 Mon 23-Oct-17 18:40:22

"How am I going to spend my brownie points?"

I had a physical reaction to that it made me nauseous.

Timmytoo Mon 23-Oct-17 18:45:09

Mines about as useless as a chocolate teapot. He can’t cope with pressure at all, can’t drive and can’t work full time.

But he’s an amazing cook (chef). He works for me doing catering for my courses and earns really well but only works once a month.

He makes dinner, massages my back, feet and head every night for about two hours without complaining, he cleans our room and I work from home so he literally loves to wait on me hand and foot by making me tea, lunch, coming with me when I do errands and massages my shoulders. He doesn’t pressure for sex. Doesn’t judge anybody whatsoever, he doesn’t drink at all and loves going to the gym.

He drives me nuts most of the time as I’m very short tempered and highly impatient and he is quite needy but now that I read what I’ve written he’s not so bad and actually makes a very good extremely loyal partner.

He also rocks my cat too sleep 😻

We don’t plan to have kids at all and I earn enough for both of us plus both of us have a large inheritance coming so we are pretty sorted financially. I just get irritated that he doesn’t have the same work pressure as I do.

ASAS Mon 23-Oct-17 19:12:36

he is occasionally nice to the kids
blush

mansviewpoint Mon 23-Oct-17 20:13:37

Not being married myself, so can't comment on husband. However to me, it's using both of your abilities to make the best of everything, to be partners, to respect each other and being good friends first and formost.
When In a relationship I do tidy, because I respect that they shouldn't put up with my crap, and also because I want them to respect me. I do have a well paying job, I do have a stressy job, I do get called at all hours, day and night, and if I'm tired I try to carry on, If I see my other half is tired then I try to do more to help them. (usually!)
I'm not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but knowing that means I try to improve myself.
We do all get in bad moods, but what's the benefit in lying to your partner when you claim to respect them. Personally I always want my partner to call me on my shit. To tell me that I'm not helping, as that way I can improve.
If you OH want you to be a stepford wife, then he hasn't got his head in reality. You are a person, a human and you are worth more. He might not realise it.
I wonder if you were to say to him, that you need to employee a cleaning lady for 2 hours twice a week to help you out, what would he say back? Would he just say, "Why? Are you that busy? I didn't realise", or "But it's your job to clean..."

My mum was stay at home, here job was to look after the house, that meant things like paying the bills, like making sure there was food etc.. it just meant that she was primarily responsible for that. Not that she personally had to do everything herself. If she wanted an electrician in, she'd book him and organise him, if she wanted a cleaner in to help out because it was getting a bit too much, she'd book it. After dinner it was dad's (then mine and dad's once I was old enough) responsibiltiy to wash and wipe the dishes.
Too many "men" had a mum who did everything for them, and the cycle then repeats in that "man's" relationship.

Oh and I've never understood the satisfying myself in bed without having a satisfied partner. Nothing is more of a turn on that knowing I've helped achieve my partner's bliss.

mansviewpoint Mon 23-Oct-17 20:15:28

He also rocks my cat too sleep 😻

-- Is that a euphamism?

Offred Mon 23-Oct-17 20:19:56

The opposite of your husband TBH.

AnneLovesGilbert Mon 23-Oct-17 20:29:09

To address some of your points. DH is honest, kind, thoughtful, works hard at work and at home. Appreciates me, listens to me, wants me to be happy, he's an amazing dad, patient, funny, nothing is too much effort with the DC, puts us first. He's incredible in bed, generous, considerate, never pushy, wants us both to to enjoy every minute.

He's a good friend and cares about all the people in his life.

You deserve so so so much better. Your life could be happy and fulfilling again.

Ruddygreattiger2016 Mon 23-Oct-17 20:29:50

God it is so depressing what utter crap women will endure for fuck all return. Do yourself a favour and just leave him op, being single is a million times better than what you have with this tosspotflowers

NotTheFordType Mon 23-Oct-17 20:45:27

well, how shall I spend my brownie points then

Let me give you another viewpoint OP.

My son, who's in his early 20s, lives with me. He does all my cleaning, tidying, he takes care of all of the animals. He answers my phone and passes requests on to me. He does not contribute financially and yet his energy input to the household is far greater than mine (away for work 3 weeks out of 4.) He loves my pets and takes the same care of them as I would myself [neurotic owner].

Can you say the same of your DH?

jeaux90 Mon 23-Oct-17 21:00:13

I'm a single mum and believe me it's way better than being in a shitty relationship

Annoyed5678 Mon 23-Oct-17 21:07:00

The question here is how do you spend your brownie points? I'll tell you, get your ducks in a row boot him out start a divorce and live happy without him

Xoticdreamz Mon 23-Oct-17 21:12:33

I think the bit that you mentioned not feeling valued and cared for sums it up. My OH can be a right grumpy git and like everyone he has his positives and negatives but I do feel loved and I do feel valued for the most part for my role in our life . Without that all the annoying little or big things build up to a massive amount of resentment I think .
I'm honestly not sure how you can make it change apart from being very honest with him about how you are feeling.

Timmytoo Mon 23-Oct-17 21:12:49

No Mans it’s not. He literally does. He cradles my cat and rocks with him on his lap. My cats mean everything to me so I love that he loves them.

Greedynan Mon 23-Oct-17 21:16:29

I'm gonna play devil's advocate here. The situ sounds tough, there's no denying (the pestering for sex - ugh). However, I think you have a lot to fight for - 3DC and 14 years of marriage. That is something to be proud of. I get a strong sense that you feel unappreciated. Somebody suggested you returning to work... something that takes you out of the mother/wife role and gives you a sense of identity. Also I think that you and DH need some alone time. Some nights out, maybe even a weekend away if that's possible....

TammyswansonTwo Mon 23-Oct-17 21:18:44

Ugh I've known men like this. I'm going to go out on a limb, I'm guessing that the sex you have is not always consensual either.

Please get away from this guy and let him figure out how to be a grown up without you doing everything for him

Theducksarenotmyfriends Mon 23-Oct-17 21:31:53

The fact he shouts and swears at the kids would be enough for me to ltb, never mind everything else. He sounds vile. You said it yourself, do you really want to spend years of your life putting up with this shit? Sounds like you've got yourself together with work, what's stopping you from moving on?

Fwiw my dp's not perfect but I know wholeheartedly that he loves me and treats me with respect like, you know, I'm an equal human being and all that. We share our lives and all the mundane shit equally, as well as the fun stuff (and sex is good!!).

TitaniasCloset Tue 24-Oct-17 01:10:56

I'm broke and a single mum. I'm sitting here trying to work out if I could put up with a crap relationship and crap sex for the sake of the money, so long as it wasn't abusive. I'm not sure. Probably to be honest. That doesn't help you at all and it says a lot about me. But I just don't think I will ever get the relationship I want at this stage in life and have been through some real crap before and have come to the conclusion that most men are useless really. Don't listen to me though, my standards are clearly quite low.

TherealMrsBloom Tue 24-Oct-17 17:36:13

Thank you everyone for your comments and advice - they are much appreciated. I’m sitting in the car about to go home so can’t deal with individual posts but I am thinking about them. I am working full time but flexible hours (the only position I could get) but he is making it difficult for me so no chance of doing anything pressured/long hours as I used to. We agreed he would work at home 2 days this week to take our children to a course (and I would cover the remaining 3 days). He ‘phoned me at work after he’d dropped them saying I’d utterly fucked him, he was under so much stress and was under suicidal levels of pressure because, he said, he couldn’t work from home due to WiFi problems. All my fault. Later in the day he called me and shouted down the phone telling me I treat him like shit, like I am repulsed by him and I only see things from my own side, that I don’t support him, that I clearly don’t like him and so I shouldn’t expect him to be nice to me. I pointed out that I had taken a career break of 6 years and did his washing and cooking still and wasn’t that support? but apparently that isn’t for him and I’d have to do it anyway for the children. shock. The “back story” to this was I was crying in bed last night, worrying about our marriage and what would happen to the children. He asked me why I was crying, gave me a hug and then started groping me. I asked him 3 times to stop and when he finally did he retreated to the other side of the bed without a further word. He hardly spoke a word to me this morning and left with the children without saying goodbye. He is punishing me for withdrawing from him and when I tell him I don’t feel loved or valued he simply turns it around and says he feels the same. In the past, I have tried to keep the peace but I’m sick of pretending everything is fine when it’s just not. I have spent the day feeling anxious and tearful at work and now I have to go home to face the cold shoulder or worse. Thanks for reading my rant!

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