Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Furlough /covid frustrations(17 Posts)
Been with dp for 2 years. We normally do loads together, good social life, both work hard but socialise too.
He was furloughed 3 weeks ago and took it a bit personally, like he wasn’t essential to his work. I told him it was a business decision and not to worry but it took him a while to get his head around it. I’m also on furlough but earning a lot less. On top of this I’m doing an MA which is a challenge in itself in lockdown!
We bought a flat a few months ago and are doing it up - it’s totally unliveable, no kitchen or shower, at the moment. We are doing as much as we can ourselves but I’m pretty useless at this stage (I’m good with cleaning, decorating, gardening but actual DIY and heavy lifting I’m a bit rubbish). So I tried to dress up being off as a good thing !
So living arrangements - We are living in his house, around 13 miles from where my family live- where his mum also lives, but in a sort of annex/granny flat. His mum is on her own so he does a lot for her and whilst she has her own facilities she will often be in the ‘other’ part of the house, using kitchen equipment etc. We are trying to social distance but she wants us to share meals, eat with her etc. DP isn’t very good at saying no I think he feels a bit bad for her? We do try and only do it once in a while though . We will get takeaway and eat it with her. She has been doing our washing etc because it gives her something to do, but I’m not keen on it - for covid reasons and privacy reasons.
We have also been doing all her shopping, errands etc. Including going out for random extras she wants, anything she requests really. At first I just saw it as something to do but now it’s starting to get a bit old. She is wanting to bake or cook for us constantly and we have to politely decline a lot.
In normal times I would stay at my family home one or two nights a week, as I work close to it and sometimes do late shifts, also there’s not a lot of room at DP’s so I don’t actually have a lot of my own stuff there - just a couple of weeks worth of clothes really, makeup, some beauty stuff, hair stuff, computer, some books. The majority of my belongings are at my family home because of storage really. Waiting for our flat to be liveable and everything will be moved in ! DP will join me every other week maybe to stay at my family’s house but - and I’ve never actually asked him this but I suspect - he likes to have all his own belongings and bits and bobs around, he has quite a lot of ‘stuff’, and likes to be able to lounge on the sofa in his pants - I feel like he feels he can’t fully relax there and he will often comment he sleeps badly there. It’s not really been an issue though. The arrangement has worked really well up to now.
Obviously I have been at his permanently since Coronavirus lockdown and have only popped home to do a driveway grab of some clothes and sandals and underwear. It’s been hard as I’m close to my family and one of my parents has a few health issues so I’d like to be more helpful but I know it’s not possible. They have each other as well, and DP’s mum is on her own. So I’ve felt I should put our relationship first and I feel I have, and took his mum into consideration massively as well.
DP hasn’t actually acknowledged that I’m making any sort of ‘sacrifice’ with this arrangement, but he did say he is glad I’m with him as he’d hate to be on his own.
Ok so the actual issue is, DP was annoyed about being furloughed and even though I said we could use the time productively etc I could tell he isn’t enjoying it. He doesn’t want to have a drink with me in the evenings, and he falls asleep on the sofa most evenings when we watch a film, whereas I enjoy nice wine, not to excess maybe one or two glasses in the evening, and could stay up later. He drinks a few beers when he does zoom chats with his friends, but I sit in the other room when these happen as do the friends’ partners. Sometimes I’ll FaceTime my own friends etc. he says the lack of alcohol is so he doesn’t put weight on as the gym is shut. I can hardly complain but seeing my friends doing a Friday night ‘cocktail hour’ with their partners or even just a bit of fun tipsy ‘grownup time’ would be nice. Not lights off, film on, him sprawled across me asleep.
I bought a speaker with lights and thought we could listen to music and have a drink and he said it was rubbish.
Anyway, I’ve been offered to go back to work on the 8th May- just 15 hours a week, instead of furlough. He isn’t happy because at the start of furlough apparently I told him his idea of getting a fruit picking job 25 miles away was daft because he would be leaving me with his mum all day and it wasn’t fair. I DID say this - but If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. He still gets furlough pay, he wanted to do fruit picking for extra money. I said that was weeks ago, and things have changed and will have changed even more when I go back to work. He might even go back to work at some point in May. He said it’s not likely. I feel like he’s annoyed because I may bring Coronavirus back to his mum. We don’t actually need to have contact with her though ? He’s also annoyed because I won’t be there 24/7 but it’s not like we do anything - last night I put music on and brought him a beer and he sat at his computer and worked on some freelance stuff he’s been asked to do. (Only a few hours worth of work). I thought we could mess about for a bit, it was only 9.30pm. But he said to turn the stupid light speaker off. He’s saying I don’t need money and my job isn’t essential so I’m essentially choosing to work and put people at risk. For money though! I need money I’m in my overdraft ! One minute he is saying we have no money to put a new kitchen in the flat and the next I should quit my job because it’s too dangerous and I don’t actually need any money coming in because we are in lockdown and can’t spend money anyway ??
I love him to bits but I’m being torn apart by guilt here. I think part of it is because I said I’d stay at my family home in the garage (it’s sort of a gym/playroom) overnight one night a week so I don’t have to come straight home from work to him/his mum. I thought that was a good option - no contact with anyone, shower and wash hair and not driving about late at night on the motorway. But I think he feels like that’s me saying I’m not enjoying living with him? I feel like I can’t win!! I just wish we had our own place. That was our home and I could just come home to it and we wouldn’t have these issues!
I’m sorry this was so long. I wanted to be thorough ...
I think you're being a bit odd - basically you are in one household with his mum, like it or not, because you're only social-distancing some of the time. So you might as well just accept that.
If you want to go and stay with your mum because you're finding it difficult, that's undertsandable, but you shouldn't go between households really, so probably need to pick a place and stay there.
Obviously you need to go back to work for the money and he's being odd about that.
I totally get that @category12 - thanks for replying by the way. And for the last 5 weeks I’ve just been at his. I just thought that not coming straight home would reduce the risk of bringing corona in on my clothes etc, as he mum keeps coming and getting our washing and it could be on my work clothes ? He keeps saying to his mum we are supposed to be staying separate, but then he’s like ‘mums in our kitchen she’s done us sandwiches’ and we have to sit together.
Not to mention his sister coming for socially distanced chats in the garden with his mum. I know The risk is minimal but it’s like I’m being so paranoid, not even going in the kitchen to make a coffee if his mum is pottering, and no one else cares, but if I go back to work, I’m putting his mum at risk ?
She could leave your washing the hell alone if you go back to work instead, which I think you'd prefer .
God yes of course I would. Not sure how I would actually go about making that happen. Probably hiding it.
Being really honest it sounds like you’re quite incompatible and the relationship has run it’s course. The way you are both finding it hard to relax around each other in the evenings and want to do different things (him finding your speaker thing silly / wanting to sleep / etc etc) are massive red flags to me. Even without lockdown in the picture I think long term these things will be an issue.
Personally I think you would be best off going back to your parents.
And it’s absolutely pointless socially distancing from his Mum - you’re one household and might as well mix.
Well, you ought to be able to say without drama "please don't do my/our washing - it's very kind of you and I appreciate the thoughtfulness, but it's not necessary and I'd prefer to do my own". And she should listen. And your boyfriend should back you up.
If you can't say anything like that without all out war or there being some issue about it, then you really have problems. And not just with living with his mum.
@bagelsandbrie do you think? I thought maybe he is falling asleep because he is bored in lockdown and a bit down with being off work etc. he is not normally like that.
And point taken about the mum thing. The whole point of her living in an annex was so he could be there when she needed him but live separate lives but I don’t think it’s really practical.
@category12 he does listen and it would never cause an argument, he just says ‘it gives her something to do’ and can’t see why it’s a problem. I suppose I feel a bit silly getting upset and telling how much I don’t like it because it seems like such a minor thing in the grand scheme
Throwing it out here... do you think he really has any intention of moving into the new flat? Or is it all a bit of a dream? For him to live in an annex with his mum shows he’s very close to his mum, especially reading between the lines he seems to feel bad she’s on her own etc. I wonder if the falling asleep thing is actually part of him realising maybe the flat isn’t what he really wants and he’s feeling a bit stressed about it all - lots of men tend to sleep when they don’t want to actually talk about things! (My ex used to do that a lot).
Well if you've been self isolating with his mum (kind of) for 5 weeks then it's not a problem that she spends time with you, is it? However, if you go back to work you shouldn't go back and live with him, if he and his mum are still going to contact each other. And depending on your own family, them too. But this situation is evolving rapidly so who knows what will happen in 2 weeks and what rules will have come into place?
I also don't understand why he's happy to drink with his mates and not do anything fun with you. That's not on. And he can easily workout from home - lots of online workouts, many bodyweight only hiit type ones.
@bagelsandbrie yes to be honest I have thought that. Although we have been at the flat today and he was talking about all the stuff we have to do and what we could do in different rooms etc. I do think he has it easy where he is despite everything he does for his mum.
@musti I’ve actually developed a bit of a paranoia that I’m really annoying when I’ve had a drink. But surely him getting drunk Too would lessen the impact 😂
How old are you both and how long have you been together?
I’m in my mid twenties he is five years older. Together two years
But it's not silly. And it was her I was expecting to listen to you as much as him.
You're not comfortable and that's ok, you're allowed to have boundaries. You're an adult, you can do your own washing, you want to do your own washing. I don't believe that his mum is enjoying doing the extra laundry, surely if she wanted "something to do" she could do her own housework or do something nice for herself instead of running around after her son.
What's he like when you are living together? Do you do all the housework and laundry?
Please login first.