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Differences with DH widening

(57 Posts)
Disillusionedsusan Sat 24-Oct-20 09:46:21

Just pondering today how the differences between us, which were once just a shy/outgoing thing, have absolutely widened to a big gaping chasm since DC and with the passing of time.. I love discussing things, trying to better myself, health, exercise etc but he doesn't have any interest and when he has a problem, say sleeplessness, he is completely down in the dumps but will do nothing to help himself. I suffered this for years myself but turned it around but he just nods and says yes I probably should do something.

With the dc he is just quite generally joyless. When he came into the playroom this morning, having had a lie in, he saw the youngest dc's colours on the floor where he'd been designing a shoe box and he kind of tapped his foot and sighed.. He'd tidied the room yesterday. When the other dc was complaining about a sort of welt on his wrist from his fitbit, he said 'What's wrong with you?' so impatiently. This is not who I am, how did this happen? When we were pre dc he was kind and content.. It's as if the very normal things that happen with dc are completely irritating to him. I'm sad, I'm disillusioned, this is going on years, I've spoken to him about mood and how he reacts so impatiently and crossly so quickly but I can't change him.. Turns out his own df was similar, sweetness and light now at 70 odd but living a carefree life without annoying dc might do that.. Just wanted to let it out and see if anyone felt similar..

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Disillusionedsusan Sat 24-Oct-20 10:18:58

I've also noticed so many things that annoy me, sounds silly probably, but not recycling his rubbish, leaving the tap running in the bathroom and a new weird one, flushing the toilets around the house randomly ie not having used them. He is extremely tidy, to an extreme imo and though I do all the usual also, emptying and refilling the dw, putting on, hanging up and putting away washes, brushing the floor etc he will do a big blitz but in a bad mood throughout. Annoys the hell out of me. Our home is clean and tidy and I help keeping it like this but it is never seen and he does it all apparently.

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Ohalrightthen Sat 24-Oct-20 10:23:50

You can't change him and he doesn't sound like he's interested in changing himself, so you need to work out if this is something you can live with without resentment, or if it's worth cutting your losses and leaving before you hate him and your children pick up on it.

Disillusionedsusan Sat 24-Oct-20 10:27:59

And then despite all the fastidiousness, he doesn't do things like ensure dc brush teeth and wash faces before school/bed, thinks I'm ridiculous to get frustrated about it when I always have to check.

Is it enough to end a marriage and cause so much pain for the dc? sad I'm pretty sure he's not happy himself, he certainly is never smiling or joking bar the occasional time with dc. The thought of it all makes me slip into autopilot mode..

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sasparilla1 Sat 24-Oct-20 10:33:04

OP I completely understand how you feel. Dh and I are very different, I've always known this, but it seems to have become very noticeable recently. He sometimes seems joyless, and I can't remember the last time I full on laughed with him. He's also abrupt and grumpy with the kids. I do love him, but find myself wondering if this is it and is it enough...

So, I have no solutions or help, just masses of sympathy!!

Jennygentle Sat 24-Oct-20 10:35:53

Totally understand, OP.
DH and I are discussing separation because we’ve become such different people. We just seem to irritate each other. It’s hard.

Disillusionedsusan Sat 24-Oct-20 10:37:25

Thanks sasparilla, I don't think I can say I love him with such certainty, unfortunately the things are so off putting and unattractive. I didn't fall for a grumpy man with a cross face. And I am usually a cheerful type but find myself talking into a vacuum and wonder why I bother.

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thingsarelookingup Sat 24-Oct-20 10:38:06

I have the same but I don't think my life would be better if we separated so things just plod on. I used to deal with it by being out with the kids as much as possible but covid has got in the way of that.

Chamomileteaplease Sat 24-Oct-20 10:38:17

So do you think he finds it very difficult living with small children or is it more than that?

Would you consider counselling to see if discussing these issues would push him to buck his ideas up?

He needs to know that things are so bad that he either has to confront these issues or you will leave.

Disillusionedsusan Sat 24-Oct-20 10:39:36

Sorry to hear that jenny... Even the fact you're discussing it sounds constructive in ways.. I was considering counselling a year ago but what stopped me, I don't know.. I should probably follow that up. Can't go on like that. A friend's friend died aged 41 yesterday and it really got me thinking how short life is. And I'm not living it the way I once did, enjoying it etc. (I know no one is at the moment!!)

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billy1966 Sat 24-Oct-20 10:42:06

Joyless is the word.

As this is years of the same it sounds as if you have some choices to make.

Stay with this joy sucker or make a life for yourself.

Perhaps he will be a better father if ye were separated.

Your life matters.

I think you would be better off separated than living a life with such a kill joy.

Make a plan, see what your options are.

Present him with a fait accompli...he's clearly deeply unhappy and miserable, has made you feel the same, you'd rather live without him in your daily life, showering his misery everywhere.

A friend of mine did similar 10 years ago...he was stunned, he moved out as he didn't want the house put up for sale as she was was the wake up call he needed and they got back together.

However, it was made very clear to him that she was prepared to divorce.

He seems a happy man for it, but that is only one outcome.

Don't allow your life be subsumed by his misery.

Disillusionedsusan Sat 24-Oct-20 10:46:03

Wow Billy that's quite the outcome.. I don't know if this can be saved.

Thingsarelookingup, yes I'm the one to take the dc out alright, but I'm fed up of always being the one to suggest it/do it.

Chamomiletea yes I need to say that this evening. He has plenty of discontent but won't want to leave I'd say. He doesn't have a huge amount of life outside the family sad We moved a few years ago so he's removed from the little he did have..

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Disillusionedsusan Sat 24-Oct-20 11:01:15

I have been sleeping in spare room as his sleep was so disturbed it was disturbing me. And he has started putting my laundry on the spare room bed even tho there is nowhere in that room to store or hang clothes, which I think is just mean.

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Hesfamousforit Sat 24-Oct-20 11:08:27

It sounds to me like he would benefit from anti depressants. Sounds like a bit of ocd with the cleaning.

Disillusionedsusan Sat 24-Oct-20 11:10:32

He has been on ADs but I personally feel the GP gave him the script very quickly or without actually discussing the issues and maybe actually dealing with them.. He was also given short term sleeping tablets, they didn't help.

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category12 Sat 24-Oct-20 11:13:04

Well really, is being treated like a nuisance and annoyance good for children?

You say it'll cause them pain if you split up. Kids are pretty much wired to love their parents, but it doesn't mean that living with their angry, impatient, intolerant father is necessarily the best option for them. It's not great for their self-esteem or emotional wellbeing to be exposed to all this negativity and what model of an adult relationship is it that you're giving them? Would you want them to have a similar marriage themselves in future?.

It might be that if you split up and he lived apart from them part of the time, he'd be better equipped and motivated to parent them.

Disillusionedsusan Sat 24-Oct-20 11:16:05

Yes and that is true.. I feel for him despite it all as I feel I'd cope OK but it would be much harder for him.. I'm here now tidying up piles of clothes thrown on spare room bed, which I'll admit has become my little sanctuary. As a couple we are good at the organising of life but there's no fun.

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billy1966 Sat 24-Oct-20 11:25:15


Your job is not to worry about him, its to prioritise your children.

You have moved into the spare room and happy to be there.

Just because it suits him to stay together, does not mean you have to.

You need to be strong and make plans.

What he wants doesn't matter.

Put yourself and your children first.

They shouldn't be raised to feel like an annoyance.


BeautyGoesToBenidorm Sat 24-Oct-20 11:31:03

This sounds very much like me and my H. I'm leaving after Christmas.

Over the 8 years we've been together, he's proven himself untrustworthy, unmotivated, self-centred and peevish. At 44, he's already a grumpy old man.

I stuck around due to previous relationships being highly abusive, and he took my then toddler DC on as his own - I honestly thought this was the best I could ask for.

We have very little in common. I can't remember the last time he made me laugh. Lockdown has obviously exacerbated it, but my resentment towards him started long before then.

We have 2 DC, and I don't want them to pick up on this any more than they already have. They're still young, so it's best I leave soon.

I really feel for you, OP.

LindaEllen Sat 24-Oct-20 11:37:57

Hey smile. Sorry you're having a tough time. I know you've already got plenty of replies, but I just thought I'd drop in and mention your son's fitbit causing a reaction (which I know really wasn't the point of the thread haha). Mine does too, and I googled it and it's quite common as it turns out.

You can buy cloth bands on eBay and Amazon if it's the band he's reacting to. If it's the fitbit itself, like it is for me, I cover the back of it with a small sticky label and just remove it for charging, and it stops the reaction, as it seems to be the metal I react to.

Hope this helps, and hope everything else gets better too x

EvenMoreFuriousVexation Sat 24-Oct-20 11:49:38

It sounds like he just doesn't enjoy parenting and family life. Lots of people are like this, but our society has a presumption that everyone will be a lovely parent and that anyone who's honest enough with themselves to say "I don't think parenthood is for me" is somehow weird and unnatural.

Living with a permanently disengaged, grumpy, disapproving father is going to be much harder on your DC than splitting up, and you're giving him the Chance to be a part time but much happier an more engaged dad.

Yeah it's shit that you'll have to pick up the vast majority of the parenting single handed - but it sounds like you're doing that anyway?

dreamingbohemian Sat 24-Oct-20 11:52:16

If he was happy pre DC and miserable now then it's quite simple really, he is not happy with life with small children. Unlikely to change from the sound of it so you need to decide if you can stay.

I think it's very damaging for children to grow up feeling like a nuisance.

Disillusionedsusan Sat 24-Oct-20 11:55:24

He was dying to become a dad, more so than I was a mum I'd say, but it's as if he expects no personalities, defiance, mess etc when that is not real life. Its like a reflection of how he wants the house!! I'm trying to think of the practicalities of it now.. A local couple have split and are simply moving in and out of the house, dc stay put..

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Sundance2741 Sat 24-Oct-20 12:01:39

Haven't read all replies but, stress? Depression? I think it's probably normal to get irritated by a partner's flaws as the years go by and sometimes smallish things can assume massive significance when other aspects of the relationship aren't going well. Children put a strain on a relationship. It can turn you into a parenting team (rather like doing a job share) rather than a couple. Lockdown doesn't help either as you are probably more thrown together as a family (I am grateful mine are now mid to late teens and far more independent.)

There could be solutions here. It depends on how much you both want it to work.

billy1966 Sat 24-Oct-20 12:06:05

Don't share the house OP,
You will end up doing everything.

Make a plan for you and your children, he will have to do the same.

Protect yourself.

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