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How did I let it get to this?(23 Posts)
I am so angry at myself and my husband for what our relationship is like. Married 20+ years with two teenage DC. I am always the "nice smiley" person which has lead to me being a doormat. There is no other word for it. Husband hasn't worked for 8 years. In theory when he lost a job it was so i could focus on my career. In reality I still done most of the stuff at home including childcare - he only stepped in when I physically wasn't there and it couldn't be avoided. He takes no responsibility - all bills etc come out my account (always have even when I was on mat leave I would have to ask him for money when mine ran out for bills) as I am "just so much better at that stuff". I have trod on egg shells around his moods because of severe depression over the years. He is much better "in himself" over the last 6 - 9 months, and has promised to get a job....but there has always been an excuse of things like "there's no point until after our holiday etc". He has applied for 1 job in the last few months and then done nothing as he magically expects to get this one and is still waiting to hear. He has been more proactive recently - decorating and cooking lots - which in some ways is great but this then becomes an excuse and I am not allowed to question anything else as he is working so hard at home.......(in his opinion). Even talking about jobs he says he will get one 1 or 2 days a week and doesn't want to work full time. He thinks because we are lucky enough to have some savings he that is okay and that I am obsessed with money (we have no pensions - I just want to be secure and have a few luxuries like holidays, I really am very low maintenance with clothes, going out, having new stuff etc)- I feel like he expects me to work for the next 20 years to support him. He is suffocating, telling me how beautiful I am, how he adores me, how I am the highlight of his life. He makes me feel petty that I want him to work to the point I am so pathetic I can't even express how strongly I feel about it (hence rant here) but this inner turmoil is eating me up. I want to give him an ultimatum but I am terrible at conflict even though this is destroying me. Worst thing is I know I have allowed this situation to happen and still I am too weak to do anything. Why can't I just say what I feel?
Give him a deadline to get any job. Has he got a pension? If he doesn’t start getting his arse in gear, divorce.
Why can't I just say what I feel?
Because you're scared that he'll be annoyed and leave you?
I thought this would be a covid reason. But not working for 8 years. That's ages, what's his reason, isn't he ashamed of not contributing.
That’s quite a shocking situation. The reason he is suffocating you with comments about how wonderful you are is that he knows that you are making his life easier and he can carry on as he is. He knows he’d be up shit creek if you left.
I do understand. They don’t change btw, even if you gave him an ultimatum. I had a exh who didn’t like working either and he is still not working to this day, eight years after we divorced.
I would have no respect for him at this point. Marriage has to be beneficial for both parties. I was a doormat who didn't like conflict either and my ex husband thoroughly enjoyed that in the 10 years we were together. He was a shit in many other ways and I left him.
Just to add, it wasn't easy. It took me a good 5/6 years before I actually left him.
This sounds horrendous OP. In honesty I'd be looking to divorce him at this stage, but it sounds like he'd guilt/manipulate you out of that as he's wholly dependent on you
I'd use those savings to pay for a lawyer.
Saying nice things is a way to manipulate you into carrying on doing everything.
Are you thinking you might throw him out? The former you are, the more likely he is to have to find somewhere else to....claim benefits and have a house provided for him.
The fact that he's decorating and cooking suggests to me that he's happy to just be a house husband and you do everything else...
Where would teenage D.C. choose to go if you split? Is he present for them? Or are you doing all the doctors, school, friendship related admin?
Your teenagers aren't going to learn a good work ethic from him, are they? Perhaps you could approach it from that angle.
@something2say - when I say recently, I mean the last month or so with the cooking and decorating. I don't underestimate the work of any househusband/wife if they take it on fully - but he has never done this. We did have a discussion awhile back so I could generously say this is him pulling is weight a bit more but the work thing is not happening so cynically I feel this is avoidance.
@picklemewalnuts - DC have ups and downs with him, they don't respect he doesn't work and like us all have been at the receiving end of his moods over the years but they do love him and he makes them laugh. They would 100% stay with me. I do all the stuff like dr 's appointments, organising days out, birthdays/Christmas, holidays, days out, school forms, homework checking etc
What would be the point of the ultimatum? Is it to give yourself permission to divorce him afterwards? Screw that. He is moody, selfish and lazy. He has been for decades. You can't bear ut any longer. That is good enough reason to divorce him. The job is a red herring. A symptom of his dickwaddery not the root cause. Just accept it and get on with the divorce. At this point your next steps are to talk to a solicitor about divorce rather than to talk to DH about it.
Imagine he did change personality. Wouldn't you be more angry that he put you through 20years of anguish when he was fully capable of being normal instead? I wouldn't be able to look at him.
You can leave him OP. Live your life without him dragging you down. You hold all the cards, not him.
Shocked to read he'll look for a job after the holiday, he,s letting you pay for everything and holidays while you go low maintenance and do everything around the house. It's up to you now to not organise any more extravagant holidays etc until he's earnt it, he's not your child don't treat him as one.
You don’t love him anymore, do you? That’s the truth. What keeping you there? You’re getting nothing out of this relationship. You could have a much happier life without this dead weight pulling you down
He has no call on your resources then. No right to maintenance, no right to the house with your D.C.
What I'm not fully clear on is what YOU want at the big picture level - definitely clear you do want things to stay the same way but are you at a point of wanting to leave? Would it be tolerable if he did take on more house responsibilities but still didn't work? I think you need to have that answer set in your own mind. What is the bare minimum you need to happen and then what's the absolute best case scenario?
I will say this - people like your DH are just children in a grown-up body. They haven't developed the resilience to deal with the ups and downs of life and they haven't reached a point of accepting that being an adult is hard sometimes but as an adult you have to get on with it. People like this seek out people like you to make them feel safe and to take that burden for them. The smothering compliments are like verbal tips - designed to flatter you into keeping up the excellent service but without any real value to you.
Take a look at your self esteem and what got you to this situation. Talking therapy might help. Many women find themselves (I include myself here) in this position because they attach a huge amount of self worth to caring for others, fixing, keeping going. But over time it grates more and more and the core part of your being gets loudly more insistent that this isn't right and you shouldn't put up with it. Listen to that voice - the reason it won't go quiet for long is because it knows the truth and it can't allow you to pretend otherwise.
It'll be easy to ignore this bit but try to remind yourself regularly that you're worth more than this. That its not petty to want a pension, financial security, holidays, to share the load. These are all really reasonable things to want. He's making you doubt yourself because he doesn't want the inevitable consequences of you being right - to have to step up and contribute.
@Madamswearsalot yes I am at the point of wanting to leave him. Him doing more around the house is not enough, I want an equal partner. I am looking the next stage of life and cannot see anyway I can live with him post children unless things change massively. I have the kernel of hope because there is still some love there on my side but it feels ever dimming. The whole coronavirus/working from home thing hasn't helped and I guess I am giving it a little more time to see if it will improve because I don't feel that now in the middle of a pandemic is a good time to make big decisions and I wouldn't do anything either before my eldest takes their A levels in the summer.
You would be doing the right thing to separate from him when you feel the time is right.
He's a dick.
"I guess I am giving it a little more time to see if it will improve because I don't feel that now in the middle of a pandemic is a good time to make big decisions and I wouldn't do anything either before my eldest takes their A levels in the summer".
He has had more than enough time and years to improve and he has not. How much more time do you need?. Its an excuse on your part really not to act decisively because you are perhaps afraid of being on your own and or single.
What do you want to teach your children about relationships and what are they learning here?. And what happens post A levels; its just another delaying tactic this time using your eldest as a reason to put off divorce. Staying because of the kids is no reason at all to stay in what is really a marriage that should have been over years ago. Your nice smiley persona (perhaps you are a people pleaser too?) is one that has ultimately done you no favours at all; it certainly allowed your H to treat you like a doormat.
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