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Need some relationship advice(22 Posts)
I’m struggling with my relationship with DP and don’t know what to do to change things and move forward.
My feelings are he’s selfish, lazy, unappreciative of everything I do, I don’t feel loved, I feel lonely in our relationship and whenever I ask for help I am ignored. When I’ve tried to talk about it he says he’s trying really hard to improve our relationship and I’m not. We do very little as a family.
We have an 18 month old DD I was a SAHM whilst doing my master’s degree and went back to work 3 months ago. I only work 2 days a week, we rely on both our mums for childcare but I took on more hours this week and it was too much for them doing that much childcare. Looking at nurseries is hard because I’m on a zero hour contract so I don’t have set days or guaranteed hours. I earn about £500 per month, he earns £28k p.a. but I pay half towards household expenses and I have nothing left, in contrast he was out for meals/drinks 4 nights in the past week yet tells me we’re skint.
I’m responsible for everything related to our daughter, he will take her out/play with her for a few hours but the majority of housework, all sorting childcare/drop offs/making food/lunches/laundry etc is my responsibility. Which I never used to mind but I worked 5 days this week and nothing was different- on Thursday it was his responsibility to pick DD up from my mum because I would be home later but I ended up having to do it (which wasn’t fair on my mum as a time was agreed) and I asked him to drop her off at his mums on Friday as he was working from home, he said yes but just left at his normal time and went to his dads to wfh.
I’m so frustrated. In response to our mums saying they couldn’t look after DD that much he said I’d just have to work less, which again I wouldn’t mind except that it’s only me who loses out financially. We did discuss finances/work etc before DD was born and were in agreement but I don’t know what has changed. He puts a lot each month into investments/savings, he owns the house we live in & I drive his car.
I have an interview for another job (I love my job but I need more stability) which if I get it could improve things and I have an appointment to start counselling next week.
I just feel like I’m in such a mess, I’m so angry all the time. I need to address the money situation but I don’t know how to talk about it- whenever I try talking about things we don’t seem to manage to actually sort things out. Does anyone have any advice?
Why on earth are you paying 50% when you're earning significantly less due to looking after the baby? You're sacrificing your career and earning potential to enable him to earn and work without paying for full time childcare, so he should be using that money that you enable him to earn to pay for all the family's needs. All the earnings should be family money and what's left you can then share or decide how to use together. Him pissing half his earnings away down the pub while you scrimp and look after the baby, I'm fucking livid for you! Just leave the selfish bastard, he's awful. You are completely facilitating his life in every possible way, and in return he is shafting you at every opportunity.
He's manipulative and controlling, i.e. abusive.
You can't change him or fix it because this is how he wants his life to be.
OP, you know the answer.
Get support from family and friends.
Tell them exactly what is going on.
Make a plan.
Were things always this uneven financially, or have your reduced hours brought this issue to the surface? It doesn’t seem that he’s accepting parenthood or parental responsibility. Was he committed to the idea of a family? It can be useful to look at what patterns you both grew up with as we sometimes unconsciously repeat learned ones. Your DH maybe saw his dad’s contribution as being the main wage earner and that being the extent of his responsibility. At any rate, it’s not working, nor is it fair. Your contribution is equal to his though unpaid. If the issue of money has rumbled for years and only really become prominent since the baby, it may be you have to insist on how having a baby changes things. You might cost what your contributions are worth financially so that he sees it in terms of ‘earning power’?
Were things always this uneven financially, or have your reduced hours brought this issue to the surface?
It was more even before baby & me doing my masters degree, but that should increase my earning potential long term. When I wasn’t working he covered all bills except for my food & I paid for most baby stuff.
I feel like he doesn’t see looking after DD as a contribution- more than he’s enabling me to sit at home relaxing all day. Not happy with his attitude towards our mums providing free childcare either tbh as I think we should be paying them but I just don’t have the resources to do it. I feel like he’s profiting off all three of us and all of us are skint whilst he’s happily hoarding the money he saves on childcare.
I think I know deep down what I need to so but it makes me so sad, we used to be so great together
Thank you for everyone’s replies, it’s helping me to see everything more clearly and realising I can’t change him so now just thinking about how I can change my situation. I’ve been toying with the idea of leaving for a few months on and off.
I have spoken in the past to his mum who said it’s how his dad treated her when her kids were young. She and dp’s step-dad have suggested we have counselling as a couple.
My parents are fucking furious and think I should just leave.
It just feels so overwhelming. I do have some savings left over from when I worked full time so I could get us set up somewhere, I’d love to move back with my parents but they don’t really have the room for both me and DD (though they’re happy to have us). Christ I feel like such a fucking fool, so powerless and I’m so worried about how much harder things will be if I leave.
My parents are fucking furious and think I should just leave
Please listen to your parents.
Your 'D'P is taking the piss and is basically, financially abusing you.
Move out and move in with your parents for a while.
Get some love and support around you.
Then start looking at places for yourself and your DD.
Your 'D'P will need to financially support his DD so look into that.
Find out what you are entitled to in the way of benefits and housing and maintenance.
I think you'll find you will be much better off financially and emotionally when you get away from him.
So sorry you are dealing with this strain! Good for you for studying and progressing!
To put it into context, my husband stays at home with our daughter and I earn the money. Everything we have is shared equally as I know I couldn’t earn this money without him doing the childcare. Housework is shared pretty equally too.
I’m livid for you with how unfair you are being treated, it will be hard at first but think how happy you will be in a years time rather than feeling stuck where you are now!
You deserve better, if he really won’t change then you know what you need to do. You need to be a team, seems like he hasn’t realised that!
Your P is being financiall abusive. You'll be so much better off (emotionally, physically and financially!) if you split.
I'd move into your parents for a while, even if you and DD have to share a room. I did this when I split with ExH when DS was around 1 and it was so nice to just be with people who loved and supported me - it made the world of difference, just turned my life around and gave me some headspace. It meant I could start feeling hopeful about the future again. It was also helpful financially to get set up. I moved out after a few months as that was when I could get a place but would have been ready sooner.
Honestly, things will be easier when you aren't carrying a dead weight of a partner - less washing, more money, less tidying, less resentment, you can eat/cook what you want etc etc.
You're not a fool. And there is hope for you to get your power back. Please don't be so hard on yourself.
Joint counselling is never advised where there is this kind of behaviour in a relationship. It's not safe or ethical. (And don't forget 1. This dynamic exists in the relationship of the people pushing you to stay so that's not a great endorsement of their advice, and 2. They have a vested interest in their son not your best interests)
Leaving will feel hard and you will have a temporary adjustment period to go through, but it will lead to life getting better and easier. In the long run staying will be far harder.
Would moving in with your parents as a stepping stone make it easier or harder for you to manage the transition do you think? Could it give you a bit of a softer landing? Time and breathing space to find a permanent home with support from them as you come to terms with things and make plans? Or would you find it more stressful?
Either way, it's great you've got their support. Don't be embarrassed to ask for their help or to let them help if you need/want it.
He is taking the piss.
Make a plan to leave and either give him an ultimatum, including whatever is necessary to save the relationship: chores rota/time together as a couple/different financial arrangements/etc. (if you do want to stay) or follow through with the plan and leave.
We had a very similar situation and I gave my dh such an ultimatum before Christmas, he was appalled that I had a plan for the future that didn't involve him and it seems to be the kick up the arse he needed. We share chores and childcare and have tv/phone free evenings to communicate with each other. He's started contributing more financially too.
This is so sad to read.
I also dont think there is any point in counselling. I think it can work if people are fundamentally decent and willing to listen to someone elses point of view but they are having trouble communicating as a couple etc.
I dont think a fundamentally decent person would see caring for their own child as fully the other person's responsibility and effectively make them pay for it. A decent person doesnt think 'family' means 'spend all my money on myself while the rest of the family fend for themselves' and doesnt treat themselves while thr other person is skint.
Thank you so much for all these replies, they’re helping me to put into words everything I’ve been feeling for so long but couldn’t express coherently.
I’m writing a list of the key points and I’m going to attempt to talk to him again tonight when DD is in bed.
It all seems so precarious... you’re not married, he owns the house , he has the steady job, he has the money, he makes you pay half the bills ( he’s a major CF for that fact alone) and he does nothing to care for his child or around HIS house. He’s a user - he uses you, he uses your mum and he uses HIS mum... this is essentially his character. Can you live with that?
So we sat down and looked at a spreadsheet he made of our outgoings, telling me I don’t pay half, look how much he has to pay, everything he has done for me etc.
He didn’t put incomings on, so I asked him to and worked out the figures I’m actually interested in - he has over £400 more spare money each month than me, not including the roughly £500 he puts into investments for ‘our’ future (he wasn’t very forthcoming with that figure) but basically he has £900 a month more a month left after paying for all outgoings than I do. I asked if he thought it’s fair and he said yes
So then he told me I need to go back to work full time and we put in the figures for that including full time childcare at the local rates for nurseries/childminders. He said it wouldn’t be that amount because of our mums, so I insisted we would be paying our mums fairly if they did still want to do some childcare and the figures showed we’d be worse off or very marginally better off depending on my salary
and how much of it I shaved off for my own savings so they wouldn’t count as household income
Now I’m downstairs having a quiet brew, interested where we will go from here.
I asked if he thought it’s fair and he said yes
Revealing. Did he say how he expected childcare costs would be split?
Take your time to let it all percolate. If this thread has helped you start to make some sense of things that's great.
So who is paying the childcare costs in his fantasy world. I’m gobsmacked. He’s taking the utter piss. Good on you for not standing for it any longer.
All earnings should be put into a big pot. Then household expenses come out and childcare costs. Then what’s left gets split 50/50 BEFORE he starts squirrelling away his investments.
OP, well done.
It has been spelt out.
Whatever happens, thank goodness you have supportive parents.
I can imagine how appalled they are, to see you treated this way.
You have the possibility of a great future. Don't let this financially abusive, mean twat get in your way.
So who is paying the childcare costs in his fantasy world.
Well me, my mum and his mum I imagine
Just fwiw me working part time was completely agreed between us due to childcare costs and us both feeling that it was best for our family, yet he’s made me feel like I’m taking advantage and trying to take his money. Ffs. I actively HAVEN’T applied for full time jobs for those reasons. He’s sulking now and I feel really angry.
I am letting it all sink in.
I’m never going to see anything close to 50-50 of what’s left, that’s very clear even though he won’t say it.
I’m mentally preparing to leave, going to try and make some initial steps forward tomorrow.
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