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Husband's job could be causing our marriage problems

(12 Posts)
Lonerer Tue 30-Jun-20 19:31:54

Prior to lockdown, our marriage was failing and we were on the road to separation. We have 2 toddlers.

DH was constantly stressed and snappy and I felt taken for granted and so I retaliated with anger and resentment.

During lockdown, DH became calmer and more engaged and slowly, we began spending more time together.

2 weeks ago, DH returned to work as a senior member of staff in a school. Since then, he's been working until 1am most days, organising timetables for September, transitioning new students, holding meetings, all whilst going in to teach key worker children FT.

I am working PT from home.

Up until today, I've supported him since returning to work. Taken care of the DCs at weekends so he can work, being understanding about not spending time together again.

Then today, I've had an awful day with one DC who is teething. He has had several tantrums throughout the day and I've cried a lot. DH got home and immediately wanted to let off steam about his day, following me around the kitchen as DC screamed for a snack whilst I was trying to prepare it.

I snapped and said about DCs tantrums and how him following me around was ridiculous when there wa so much going on at home. DH proceeded to tell me I needed to see the funny side of DCs tantrums.

I then said that I've been dealing with these tantrums now for 5 days. He threw his arms to his sides and said.
"Oh well."

I'm absolutely furious and I'm reminded that this is the sort of apathy I was dealing with DH prior to lockdown. Throughout lockdown, he's been much more caring. It has dawned on me that DHs workload or perhaps lack of time management on his part is the problem?

I'm not sure how we would solve this is it were the case.

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AnneLovesGilbert Tue 30-Jun-20 19:36:31

I don’t blame you for being angry and resentful. Can you have a calm discussion about your feelings about his behaviour once the DC are in bed and let him know how serious this is for you?

LemonTT Tue 30-Jun-20 19:37:40

I don’t see what your DH did wrong today. He came home from work and was telling you about his day. From the account you have given you were the one who was stressed and who snapped. Why is his job to blame for the day you had.

Lonerer Tue 30-Jun-20 19:59:28

@lemonTT it may be acceptable for you, but not for me. The throwing his hands in the air to say "oh well" really clinched how invalidated he makes me feel when I'm finding the DCs hard work.

I don't mean to sound disrespectful, but I'm not really asking if I was unreasonable, but whether, if DHs job is causing us our marriage problems, what can be done about it. I've long realised that unless you're in it at the time, it's difficult to say what is unreasonable and what isn't. This has been a long hard road of problems over the last 2 years and lots of incidents of apathy and resentment.

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ThePathToHealing Tue 30-Jun-20 20:12:28

It does sound incredibly invalidating, especially when you are supposed to be a team.

It also sounds like a communication problem too. Life is all about stress, some years more stressful than others. It's how you relate to each other to deal with stress without pulling away from each other that matters. Its not easy and no-one is perfect at it.

Would he be responsive to "I'd really like to hear about your day but I need to see to X y or z?". It might be that if you shut him down (out of exasperation) he did the same back. Neither of you feels listened to and you move further apart. Is there a time of day that you have together without the immediate pressure of work or parenthood?

LemonTT Tue 30-Jun-20 20:36:27

Why is his job the problem and not him? You can take the man out of the job but you can’t take the vocation out of the man.

Your problem is that he is not being present when he gets home. His brain is stuck in work mode. In an ideal world we would leave work at work. But most people can’t or won’t. A good compromise is to agree that he commits to you for the first hour or so after walking through the door. That’s phone off, head wobble and clear focus on children and wife. Even if he has to sit in his car for 10 minutes listening to mediation music to clear his head being crossing the threshold.

But having spent a long time with someone who has a vocation and not a job, I can only advise that you may find that he is always going to be immersed in it. Relationships with people like this only work if you are very self reliant and resilient. It’s part of them to work this hard with complete dedication.

Lonerer Tue 30-Jun-20 20:45:15

I think you're right in that he will never not be so immersed in his job @lemonTT. I'd sort of got used to it and become qyite aelf efficient, but having enjoyed a much mor3 engagee DH during lockdown, I perhaps got might hopes up a little too much!

The following me around thing, I juwt can't deal with, he even followed me into the little downstairs loo at one point. I feel like I have 3 children squabbling for my attention and get frustrated at the need for another adult to help me take control.

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Sugartitss Tue 30-Jun-20 21:59:54

I can’t see he did anything wrong to be honest. The oh well thing, I might have said the same myself!

Have you told him what you need from, have you told him how much you enjoyed lockdown together?

Voice0fReason Tue 30-Jun-20 22:56:18

It's not his job that's the problem.
Both of you have little empathy for each other and your communication is poor.
You ignored what he needed, he ignored what you needed.
Unless you can both learn to be nicer to each other and communicate effectively then I can't see how a job change would make any difference.

superram Tue 30-Jun-20 22:58:10

I knew he was a teacher before reading the thread. He has to say no and start leaving work at school.

MaybeDoctor Wed 01-Jul-20 11:30:45

I suspect it probably is the job that is part of the problem, although you are in very stressful child-rearing years too. Teaching has a very tangible 'emotional exhaustion' factor. Unless you can compartmentalise very well and not be a perfectionist, it can consume you.

I am an ex-teacher and found that it did have an impact on my marriage - I left when I became a parent.

Does he plan to teach for the foreseeable future?

Lonerer Wed 01-Jul-20 15:19:06

Yes he plans to continue teaching but doesn't like it. He's worked his way so far up now that he sees no way out without taking a huge drop in pay. I have suggested that we share part-time working and I'll increase my hours but I think he feels the need to provide.

I'm also an ex-teacher.

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