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DH makes little effort and I feel defeated

(15 Posts)
RapunzelsRealMom Thu 09-Nov-17 16:47:35

Been married 18 years, been together 30, met very young.

In general, our marriage has been good - great at times with the occasional rough patch. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that’s it’s really only ‘good’ or ‘great’ due to the amount of effort I make and work I put in.

What I mean is:
⁃I share my news and thoughts and feelings, he doesn’t,
⁃I suggest and arrange any date nights,
⁃I send little texts throughout the day ( pics of kids, loving messages, sexy messages, etc), he barely replies,
⁃I initiate most (not all) cuddles
⁃I initiate ALL kisses that are not in bed, pre-sex,
⁃I say I love you first, almost always,
⁃I ‘big him up’ to the kids - say how smart, clever, handsome daddy is, he doesn’t reciprocate.

In terms of everyday life, he tidies the kitchen, sorts bills, car things and cuts grass. I don’t mean to be dismissive of that, but THAT’S IT!

I manage the kids appointments, homework, clubs, etc. If I don’t do it or take them, it doesn’t happen. I clean floors, hoover, do bathrooms, iron, tidy, dust, cook, plan meals, shop

To be fair, he’ll happily go to the shops if I write him a list. He’ll put on a load of laundry if he needs it for work - he wouldn’t dream of doing any other laundry or ironing his own clothes.

He works FT and I work PT so I am happy that I do more than him at home but surely not as much as this!

Plus, the fact that he does nothing to nurture the emotional side of our life is draining me.

It’s got to the stage where I’ve kind of given up. This week I stopped texting him through the day, I don’t make an effort to sit and chat in the evenings, I haven’t said I love you, etc. The sad thing is, I don’t think he’s noticed.

Obviously I still do all the practical stuff I always do around the house - he’d notice if that stopped.

I just feel defeated. To outsiders, our marriage is great. I love him and don’t want to LTB but we’ve talked about these things over the years and he always promises he’ll change but, ultimately, never does.

What am I going to do?

StormTreader Thu 09-Nov-17 16:50:01

What does he do to show you he cares? If he isnt a huggy chatty person, are there other ways he shows you or does he just basically live his own life in your house?

RapunzelsRealMom Thu 09-Nov-17 17:07:21

He brings me a coffee in bed in the mornings, which I really appreciate.
He makes me laugh (or used to - I don’t much feel like laughing with him right now).

I had a long period of ill health and he looked after me really well - I’m wondering if he feels he has ‘done his bit’.

He’s quite moody and seems to go into a bad mood for little reason. He dislikes his job so Sundays are always miserable and tense around him. He can’t ever be wrong and makes a huge row if I pull him up for something he’s done - I try not to do that any more.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not EA or anything. It’s just eating away at me little by little.

Rollforneed Thu 09-Nov-17 17:14:44

Dare I be the one to ask have you actually discussed this with him?

saltandvinegarcrisps1 Thu 09-Nov-17 17:22:35

I'm feeling like this too. In my case, DO is part time and me full time and he does 90% of all housey stuff but didn't do any of the kids school / club stuff. DC have part time jobs and it was just expected I'd do all the taking and picking up. I feel resentful because I feel I'm not special to him in similar ways you describe. It's a lonely feeling. Have discussed many times but nothing changes. Not sure of the solution as I don't feel it's worth splitting over but I do feel myself pulling back.

RapunzelsRealMom Thu 09-Nov-17 18:30:53

Roll I haven’t spoken to him on this occasion, but yes we’ve spoken about it many times

RapunzelsRealMom Thu 09-Nov-17 18:32:52

You’re right Salt. It is lonely

Rollforneed Thu 09-Nov-17 19:42:05

Oh, so if you're talking about it I guess you've already done the 'should we try therapy or counselling' ?

Maybe your H has low testosterone or depression, but it's pretty hard going if only one person buys in to fixing things.

But it is awful to be lonely and married. I hope you have better success soon.

User452734838 Thu 09-Nov-17 19:50:23

I think after 30 years he isn't going to change so you either accept it and find ways to make your life more fulfilling without relying on him or you take steps to end things with all the risks that entails. They key to housework for me is not how much someone does but how much free time each person gets.

saltandvinegarcrisps1 Thu 09-Nov-17 20:31:55

User- that's kind of the thinking I am coming round to. He never wants to go to the cinema so I am going myself after work tomorrow and also treat myself to a nice dinner before it! He looked quite shocked when I told him.

Pinkpillows Thu 09-Nov-17 20:46:14

I think he's settled into the marriage and he doesn't realise how he's making you feel. You need to try and bring the spark back into it forget texts and so on, have a date night talk excite each other again

SandyY2K Thu 09-Nov-17 20:57:34

I suggest you invest time in yourself ....focus on you.... get out with friends....go away on your own for a spa weekend or something.

I don't think you'll be able to change him unless he realises hire much it affects you.

Would you be able to write him a letter expressing how you feel? Try not to place blame in it ... and say you want this for a better marriage.

Another suggestion is for you both to read the '5 love languages'. He's not showing love the way you want and maybe you aren't showing it the way he wants.

If he doesnt reply to your sexy texts... then maybe it doesn't do it for him. I know my DH loves that kind of thing.

It's understanding each other's needs.

I see you as in need of attention and being shown emotion... easy to fall into an affair if ypu get lavished with attention from another man. We all want to be desired.... that's human nature.

Josuk Thu 09-Nov-17 21:47:19

OP - like the others said - people are very different in the way they express and want to feel love.
And we tend to express it in the way we want it to come back - so I see how for you these messages and verbalisation and romantic gestures are meaningful. And you do them and want them directed at you.

He is clearly not like you on that. And after 30 years together - he won’t change.
Yes - as you said - he probably didn’t notice the lack of messages (I presume with Xxxxx in the end).
He may have even felt relieve.

And - contrary to what you might think - it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. Just means that sort of expression isn’t natural to him.
(I’d feel claustrophobic and under pressure if this level of emotional communication decended onto me daily / and if I were expected to reciprocate. And I am female)

So on that point - he is not likely to shift. But the other points you make - about more practical stuff - and distribution of tasks - there is no reason why that can’t be raised and re-distributed.
On the things you’d want to pass to him - you’ll need to let him take control and do them HIS way. Which might be different from YOUR way. That is, often, hard for women - and they try to ‘manage’ the the men, and that leads to men giving up eventually.

You sound down, in general. With a long marriage, and kids, and daily grind - it happens to all of us.
As someone said earlier - do find something that makes you happy. And go and go it on your own!
Don’t wait for him to get up and make the happen.

RapunzelsRealMom Fri 10-Nov-17 16:17:49

Thank you all for your input. I'm considering everything that has been said.

I need to do something. I'm just not sure what yet

WhatALoadOfOldBollocks Fri 10-Nov-17 19:00:41

It's already been mentioned but I was wondering about the love languages too. The fact he looked after you really well when you had a long period of ill health suggests that he does really care about you, but maybe shows it in different ways to you. That's not to say you should stay in a relationship that doesn't work for you.

The other issue is the sharing of chores. Does he think he does enough because he works FT and you work PT?

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