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Deciding to go(102 Posts)
Hi, I'm trying to decide whether to leave my husband. I feel like this is such an old story on relationships but I really want to talk about it so here goes...
I'm 42, we've been married for 12 years. We have 2 DCs age 3 and 7. DS2 starts school in September which is a worry as he is being assessed for possible ASD and I think that his start at school will be quite rocky.
We have had sex once since DS2 was born. I occasionally try to initiate it but DH is always too tired.
DH is not terrible in lots of ways. He does wash up, empty and load the dishwasher, looks after most of the bills and sometimes vaccums and changes the sheets on our bed without being asked (thinking about those "mental load" cartoons). He is also supporting us financially at the moment. So he isn't a complete waste and sometimes I think that I just have unrealistic expectations.
We both worked in similar jobs- we are both NHS hospital consultants and before children we both worked in acute areas. He hasn't been willing to change his working pattern at all and also will not accept us having a nanny so I do all the school dropoffs and pickups. He also refuses to look after the DCs (particularly DS2) at weekends so I've had to stop doing on call. He did used to look after DS1 but would make a point of how awful it was for him and I would often be setting off for work having just been told things like "I'm in a situation that I can't stand, this is intolerable".
This has had a massive impact on my career- I was clinical lead for my department and training lead for our region in my specialty when I got pregnant. I gave these up when I went on mat leave and have gradually taken less and less prestigious roles to try to get a job that allows me to work while also dropping off at 8 and picking up at 5.30.
I find it really humiliating at work when there is an evening meeting or something in the morning before 9 and I can't get to it because I have no childcare. DH refuses to talk about other childcare options and says that it is impossible for him to have a day when he does drop-off or pick up because it would be "unprofessional".
DH has only taken 2 weeks of annual leave in the school holidays this year. He wouldn't talk to me about this, or even tell me what leave he'd taken for weeks and I ended up emailing his secretary to get a copy of his rota so I could find out when he would be about.
We have a holiday booked in a month's time and he will not talk about it at all- he says that he is in denial about it which I find really hurtful (he finds the idea of spending time with us so awful that he can't think about it).
He has also been agreeing to do things and then backing out- we were going to go skiing with his parents and after we'd talked to them, agreed a week and I'd spent ages looking at the best options he said that he wouldn't be able to stand it so I had to ring them and say that we had decided against it. The same thing happened last summer with him agreeing to us getting guinea pigs and a trampoline- he agreed to it and then after I'd told the DCs and we'd measured up and looked at the best guinea pig houses he decided that the garden had "too much crap" in it already and that we couldn't do it.
I am sure that people will be reading this and thinking that I'm being really wet- just buy the damn trampoline FFS but he gets so withdrawn that it just isn't worth the effort.
I am kind of a SAHM at the moment. My dad had a very serious accident about 2 years ago and spent 18 months in hospital. I couldn't manage doing all the school runs and seeing my dad (DH never once looked after the DCs so I could visit) and work, so I am on unpaid carer's leave and I'm due to go back to work in September. I feel like this has made the power imbalance between us much worse.
DH will not socialise with my family and tries not to see his parents (I've been to visit them with the boys but he doesn't come). I regularly take the boys away for the weekend. When he comes we often have what I think is a really good time, but he has told me that he's faking it and he hates it.
He also says that I'm very controlling but I feel like he is. He told me recently that I get everything that I want and I just didn't know what to say.
I feel like all he ever wants me to do is to take the children out do that he can have the house to himself. He says that he feels like a spare part when they are here and that he feels driven out of the house and that he can't concentrate on anything.
The thing is, he is supporting us. He will read to the DC and I'm hoping that as DS2 gets older he will be more confident with him.
I hope that I can get back to work and he will respect me a bit more and be nicer to me, but I also feel like it's very hard for me to work properly when I have to arrive late and leave early and can't do on call.
At the top of my long post I said that he would change the sheets without being asked. Just typing that made me feel a bit nervous at the idea of asking him- he'd do it himself but would hate me asking him.
He tells me that I'm controlling and that he tries not to give an opinion in case it's wrong but then sulks and mutters to himself so I spend all my time trying to guess what he wants. If I challenge him on it he stands with his hands behind his back and says that he's trying not to provoke me, but he refuses to talk to me.
I don't want a divorce, I want to have a husband who wants to spend time with us and who I can talk to without walking on eggshells trying not to say the wrong thing.
I just don't know what to do.
He sounds absolutely unbearable.
You don't want a divorce but God OP....you can't live like this! He sounds deeply unpleasant. For me the "won't get a nanny" thing was the first thing that made me think "LEAVE" but the nail in the coffin was him acting as though spending time with his own children was unbearable.
You would be FAR happier and more stable without him. You can get a Nanny...work again...he can take his turn with the children so you will have some time off.
If you keep on like this, you're going to get weaker and weaker and in ten years when you're in your 50s it won't be so easy to leave or sort things financially for yourself.
What an absolute bastard. Divorce him and get a nanny or an au pair and go back to doing your work.
Leave and dont look bad
Reread your post about your husband and see what youare saying
He sounds absolutely awful. There is no point living like this.
You only get one life, see a solicitor and start planning to actually LIVE your life
Wow. It's funny (not haha) to see this as other people do.
I find it really embarrassing when I see family and friends and everyone else has their DP with them and I'll be saying that DP is at work but he isn't he just didn't want to come. And this happens so often that the DCs are surprised if we're getting in the car and Daddy is coming too.
Foggyday I think almost certainly yes he is depressed. But he isn't interested in seeing anyone about it, or in counselling for us both. So I don't really know what I can do about it.
He sounds really awful. Leave him - get a nanny - get a life back for yourself.
I don't want a divorce, I want to have a husband who wants to spend time with us and who I can talk to without walking on eggshells trying not to say the wrong thing
Well then... you DO want a divorce.
Because you will not ever get the other part of that sentence if you remain with this prick!
He's sound horrendous.
Honestly - where is your backbone?
He doesn't agree to a nanny or childcare - tough - you get it anyway.
You've been enabling this awful behaviour for far too long.
Why did you have to phone HIS parents when he didn't want to go skiing?
Has the cat got his tongue.
Trampoline - just get it and put it up.
You can't even go out because he won't look after one of HIS OWN children. Tough again - just walk out the door and leave him to it.
You are a well education woman.
How have you ended up putting up with this vile human being who doesn't even want to spend quality time with his kids?
Get out. He's of absolutely no use to you anyway.
It sounds sad and depressing for you . I have a similar marriage in terms of sexual intimacy but have a fantastic relationship in every other way and so that one (albeit big) compromise is worth it. DH v supportive , wants to be with me and we have great fun together and loads of mutual respect. That is the big difference and what is missing for you. Where's his respect for you as a wife and mother and as a highly qualified and skilled professional? I feel angry on your behalf! My dd has just qualified as a dr and I know how bloody hard she has worked to achieve this - the thought of her career being parked as you describe is crazy
I'd leave or at the least give an ultimatum ( and stick with it) of proper meaningful contribution to family life plus a nanny so you can resume your career else it's over . Good luck.
Sooo. I rang his parents because he wasn't going to ring them and they're nice people, I didn't want to mess them about without saying sorry.
I didn't fight on the trampoline because at the time my dad had just broken his hip and had another brain bleed and DS2 was having long periods of being awake in the night and I just didn't have the energy.
I didn't force it on the nanny because they're expensive and maybe if I just try harder...
And I never really thought anyone would want to marry me, so I had low self esteem at the start of the relationship and I guess that it just creeps up on you. On me
Is he autistic?
Maybe that's why he hates sociliasinf and can't see your point of view
Also who did the child inherit autism from.
Sorry "I didn't force it on the nanny" is a terrible turn of phrase.
I didn't force the issue.
I am actually going to have another go at the nanny conversation.
HE sounds intolerable! This is not a partnership in anyway shape or form. HE is controlling.
Staceysmith I think that he probably does have something along those lines. Without putting our full names and GMC numbers on the thread we both work in fields where intense attention to detail is needed and lots of our colleagues have some autistic traits.
He actually does think that he has Asperger's traits, but says that for diagnosis it would have to have significant impact on his life and it doesn't so he doesn't have it
Why are you asking about the nanny? Just organise it and get your career back on track, put yourself in a position where you can easily decide to leave or not.
Starryunicorn I do think that if I'm arranging to have a stranger in our house looking after our children that he has an equal right to be involved. It's tricky because I think that it would be unreasonable of me to insist on getting a nanny but I also think that it's unreasonable of him to insist on not having one.
I can hear him saying now "oh so I'm allowed to have an opinion as long as I agree with you".
I think though that it would be so horrible to live with him if I did such a big thing without talking about it then that would be the same as the divorce.
Unless he was in agreement the steps would be- ask him to move out, arrange nanny, he moves out, nanny starts.
I also think that it would be horrible for the nanny if he behaved to them as he does to his parents when they visit- he would have to agree for it to be workable.
How do you think he'd react if you told him you wanted a divorce?
He sounds like a total bully, but in a sneaky, insidious way.
You are tiptoeing around him all the time, letting your own needs take a backseat, wasting your skills and talents.
What a shame..
I agree with the ASD suggestion. Was he different before you had children? I have a friend with a husband who is similar and he is definitely ASD and so is at least one of her children.
On another note, I am also a doctor and have massively lost out career-wise in order to look after my three DCs. I'm a specialty doctor now, I work 0.6 and I don't do on calls. Actually I don't regret this at all - I can't imagine balancing their needs with being a consultant, but then I never was one, I had my first daughter after SHO training. The problem I have is other people telling me what I should want to do with my career and not accepting that I could be perfectly happy doing my clinical work and then going home to my kids on time!
He accuses you of being controlling - that's a classic. He sounds like a covert narcissist to me. Why not seek therapy for yourself to first of all stop enabling this bully and then to start to think about you and your needs and what you want.
He sounds awful. He doesn’t have an equal right to you to determine whether you are a person worth respecting and that’s what this boils down to. His starting point is not that you matter, it’s that he is the only thing that matters. And that’s not s relationship to be in. Add in that you are basically hoping that one day he will like your younger child... rescue your children and you from this awful environment!
@kbPOW - i thought he sounds like a narcissist also,
@TotheLaunchBay - by calling you controlling he is projecting onto you, my ex used to do this to me all the time, i didnt realise what was happening until i had counselling myself, and it was my Councillor that pointed it out to me.
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