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Is this DH's problem or a marriage problem? Sorry long post

(21 Posts)
kitty1 Sat 05-Feb-05 22:14:34

I am regular poster, have changed my name for this one.
Dh and I having problems. I feel we cant start to address then one day we wont have a marriage any more.
I don’t really know where to start. I think we had quite a happy relationship before DS was born, and most people said we had a good marriage. We had been married for 5 years before we decided to have DS. ( now is 3)
We had quite a lot of stress during my pregnancy, Dh father died , (we spent 2 months apart whilst he went to care for him abroad) Dh was also made redundant from his job and we moved to the suburbs. Where we didn’t know anybody
Basically before DS , Dh had a lot of outside interest, a particular interest in spirituality and alternative therapies. He had a path and passion , one of the things that attracted me to him in the first place. After DS he became focused on us and I have to say to some extent emotionally dependent. To the extent he has few outside interests and all he does is go to work and come home.
I feel we are growing apart as I still have outside pursuits (study) and go out friends ( sometimes. This makes me feel guilty.

I also feel quite angry that I am responsible for making all the descions in our life, from where we live, where go on holiday, what we do on the weekend , looking for schools for DS etc. I ask his opinion but he basically goes with the flow and leaves it up to me. I also get annoyed that nothing gets done around the house unless I get on his back. ( at the moment there is a stairgate that has been in our bedroom waiting to go into the loft for the past three months.

I think he may be having a midlife crisis. He has lost himself. I have suggested to him that this might be a problem, he didn’t disagree.
He has recently turned 40 , and this has lead to another problem area. About 6 months before his birthday, I asked him what he wanted to do for his Birthday, not having a lot of friends a party wasn’t really an option. I suggested that we could either go to New York for the weekend ( we have never been) or he could go to India by himself ( had never been , but had always been one of his dreams) He decided he wanted to go to India. He wanted to visit Ashrams and spiritual sites, so he had to plan it and make all the bookings himself. When it came down to it he wouldn’t get off his backside and make the arrangements ( money is not the issue). So his birthday came and went ( we did have nice weekend in London though) I am, was so angry about this it was dream and it was like he wanted me to do it all for him.

I am also in the early stages of pregnancy, and I feel if we don’t start to address these problems they are just going to get worse and worse. Whenever I bring up my concerns I am hitting my head against a brick wall, nothing ever changes.

What can I do.? Any advice and suggestions?

Dior Sat 05-Feb-05 22:22:47

Message withdrawn

biglips Sat 05-Feb-05 22:40:58

kitty - it sounds like it all started from your pregnancy (no blame to you of course) and then it was one thing after the other.... its poss that he got depression as maybe feeling he gone into a spiral situation. had he been depress before?

ionesmum Sat 05-Feb-05 22:43:23

I might be wrong, but could your dh be frightened? What I mean is, could he be worried about being away from you, making wrong decisions etc. Perhaps he finds the responsibility overwhelming, which is why he delegates so much to you. It sounds to me like he is having a crisis of confidence. Maybe becoming a dad has made him doubt himself, perhaps thinking he's not strong or something???

kitty1 Sat 05-Feb-05 22:57:52

I have never known him to be depressed before. DS was born 4 months after his dad died. He was overjoyed with DS ( and still is, he is an attentive dad) but I suppose these happy emtotions dont sit well with grief.
What do I do?
I suggested recently that maybe he needs some kind of therapy. He agreed. I dont want to have to be the one to go out and find it for him. He has to help himself. Yes?

kitty1 Sat 05-Feb-05 23:00:14

ionesmum, you suggestions sounds right. What do I do about it?

biglips Sat 05-Feb-05 23:01:15

mmmm - he may never get round to it. the best thing for you to do is book it for him, ask him if he wants you to go with him with a bit of support and then its up to him to go to the next appointment.

ChicPea Sat 05-Feb-05 23:26:08

I have to say that some marriages work quite well where the wife is making all the decisions. At least you are in control of what is happening as opposed to just shuffling along with what a domineering husband wants you to do. And yes it's very boring when there is a job to do that only the husband can/should do and it never seems to get done. Don't you think that happens with most marriages? Can you deal with it humouring him? When I ask DH to do something around the house that he would rather not do I maek the whole thing sound as exciting as possible and offer to sit with him while he does it. It works.
Turning 40 is poignant. When I was 29, 30, 33, 37, I could still relate to 27 year olds. Now I have turned 40 (four month ago) I feel there is no escaping my age now and the fact that I am middle aged. Not that it is a problem as I have everything I could possibly want and more but it is quite a shock to admit/accept that I am classed as old and time passes all the more quickly. You say that nothing changes, well, that applies to most marriages. Maybe you feel he is a sayer and not a do-er and that irritates you as you are in the early stages of preganancy and you are hormonal and concerned and want your DH to be strong to take care of you all and make all the decisions. Even if he is not the strong person you want him to be, it doesn't mean to say that he is not a good DH, good father and that you don't have a good marriage. It is a shame that you were happy for your DH to go to India but he didn't. Maybe he didn't want to go on his own and wanted to go with you but as you are pregnant that wasn't an option and he doesn't want to make a big deal of it?
Sorry if I have spoken out of line but how many of your friend have the perfect husband?

Caligula Sat 05-Feb-05 23:46:07

Sounds like you don't want to make all the decisions though Kitty1.

Is there anything you could do which you both enjoy which you can pursue together? That way he's not isolated and so emotionally dependent on you, but you're doing something you both enjoy as a couple?

kitty1 Sun 06-Feb-05 19:05:07

Chicpea , you havent spoke out of line. I asked for opinions, thanks. I agree nobody has the perfect husband or relationship, but I cant spend the rest of my life making all the important decisons in our life on my own, with little support. It is too much pressure, I dont want to be his 'mother', this is an issue that will wittle away out our marriage until one day we don't have a 'relatiionship' any more. I cant just let this go and ignore what bothers me, we will be having another baby and our relationship will detrioate further if we dont confront our problems.
Caligula, it woudl be a good idea to have more interests that we pursue as a couple, that will help us both to meet new people. I set up a couple of things that might help.
My original questions was , 'is this a marriage problem or DH problem?' Do you think I should try and get some counselling through somewhere like relate or should I try and encourage him to find some individual form of therapy to help him deal with his own issues?

Caligula Sun 06-Feb-05 19:33:43

Possibly both. What does he actually say about it? Does he perceive it as a problem? If he does, then I'd say he probably needs individual therapy to work out why he's so reliant on you, but if he doesn't think it's a problem and you do, you need to do couples counselling so that he understands why it's a problem.

Relate is always a good starting point, it will become clear to them after only a couple of sessions if the real need is for him to have individual counselling.

Frizbe Sun 06-Feb-05 19:54:34

I think everyone here has very sound advice which I'd follow, it sounds like the Death of his Father, followed by the birth of your son, has hit him with realities about his own life and mortality, which sometimes we don't stop to considner until it happens to us...I certainly know I feel safe and do some of the silliest things, with both of my parents alive, where as my dh who has lost his parents, is a lot more structured and considered in his approach to life these days (also 40 BTW!) so when I get one of those moments, when I want to shake him and say 'live a little' I check myself, as he is still coming to terms with his loss and his new place as next in line, IYSWIM?

ionesmum Sun 06-Feb-05 22:01:19

Hi, Kitty. This will probably sound really wet, but I think you have to try bolstering your dh's confidence. What does he do well? Try to let him know you appreciate him, for being a good dad for example (you must be sincere or he will soon smell a rat!) and take it from there. I expect it may take time and perhaps counselling will help, but if you can try to feel more positive about your dh it may help you not to feel so frustrated, as well as giving him a bit of a boost. It's hard when you are in need of a bit of tlc yourself, I know (well, I needed tlc when p/g!) but if it can help to bring you together it's worth a try. Your dh must have really been knocked for six with all that happened in such a short space of time. HTH and lots of luck.

tallulah Mon 07-Feb-05 10:54:51

Kitty, it sounds like we are married to the same man! I have to make all the decisions, deal with the money, bills, school & stuff. Sometimes I just want to scream with the burden of it all. Mine has always been the same & will never change. I either have to put up with it or get out. So far I've put up with it. You may have the same choice.

kitty1 Mon 07-Feb-05 11:22:02

I think it has been an ongoing issue for years, even before DS. I think it has got worse though. He has lost a lot of confidence, and that started around the time his father died. Previous to this he at least gave the impression of being a confident person, I always thought he had a lot more than me.
I think the things he does well, work etc he is aware of and has confidence because he has done them for so long. Its trying new things that are the problem, taking risks and the possibility of making a wrong decision that he has a problem with.
He is aware that he has this problem. We have talked about him having some form of counselling.
I think if he has done something about it by the end of the month I will have to push him again.
Talluah, how long have you been married?

tallulah Mon 07-Feb-05 11:56:58

21 and a half years

Lonelymum Mon 07-Feb-05 12:14:34

If you think it started after his father died, might it not be linked to that? It is hard to adjust to not having parents around anymore (is his mother still alive?) It is the ultimate growing up moment, isn't it, when your parents are no longer there, even if they weren't particularly making decisions for you when they were alive. You say you have to make all the decisions now. It sounds like in some ways you are the surrogate parent for him. Does this ring true, do you think? Maybe there is some counselling he can have for this.

californiagirl Mon 07-Feb-05 20:09:31

Message withdrawn

SofiaAmes Mon 07-Feb-05 22:16:44

I think that it is both a dh problem and a marriage problem...I don't think that the two can be separate. I would highly recommend going to relate and seeing a counsellor together. Your dh may want to continue on his own, but it will do you a world of good to work out these small issue together to begin with. And good for you for recognizing small problems before they become big problems and the marriage becomes unfixable.

My dh and I went to see a Relate counsellor to work out a few small issues before they became big issues and it really really helped. Dh continued to see her on his own to work out a few bits and pieces. At least now when we argue over something we have a framework for reaching a resolution and things progress instead of going in circles.

good luck

Pagan Tue 08-Feb-05 13:46:13

Curious to know if he depended on his Dad a lot and if he looked to him for advice?? It may be that if so, then he has always been like this but since the death of his father it is now you who is the decision maker and sounding board.

I write as the wife of someone who has a controlling and domineerinf father and it is a constant struggle for me to encourage DH to make his own way in life and not be swayed by his father's opinion.

Pagan Tue 08-Feb-05 13:46:14

Curious to know if he depended on his Dad a lot and if he looked to him for advice?? It may be that if so, then he has always been like this but since the death of his father it is now you who is the decision maker and sounding board.

I write as the wife of someone who has a controlling and domineerinf father and it is a constant struggle for me to encourage DH to make his own way in life and not be swayed by his father's opinion.

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