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How much do you see of your significant other?

(11 Posts)
ColumboJumbo Thu 24-Jul-08 10:58:03

I have worked out that a recent dip in my mood and self esteem, ability to cope etc is linked to DH's working hours.

He works 4 mins from our house, we moved here so that the old hour or so commute could be spent as family time - but guess what - the office has eaten it up.

He will get in any time from 7.30 to 8.30, help me bath and bed DS, we will eat something, then he starts work again, either in his study or often he will go back to the office and not come back until 2am. We never see him in the mornings as he jumps out of bed, showers and dresses and leaves immediately.

Saturday is usually family time - Sundays it is back to the office.

So I reckon I see him for about an hour and a half a day tops and most of that is putting DS to bed.

When I make enough noise about DS needing a bit more daddy time he will promise to get home by 6.30, it lasts for a day or two, then we get a couple of 9pms in a row.

I am now feeling sad and lonely as I spend most evenings alone.

I think I need to do something about it but I am just not sure what - I guess the movement has to be on my part as it is clear that DH won't change his behaviour.

The weird thing is, I now find Saturday hard to deal with - I find DH irritating and my self in a bad mood. Almost as if he is disrupting things or something. I get really annoyed when he asks what the plan for the day is, it makes me feel really stressed, almost like he wants to regiment the day because he could be putting the time to better use.

Then finally DS has taken to mournfully wailing "Da da!" when things aren't going well during the day, or hopefully saying "Da da?" when the phone rings or the doorbell rings. As if to say, if you will only produce daddy then I'd cheer up.

OK. Enough from me. Any thoughts or suggestions?

littlewoman Thu 24-Jul-08 11:24:25

Nothing helpful to suggest, except I know how lonely and unfair this feels. You might as well be a single parent, eh? Except you are not a single parent, and the resentment of being treated like one is enough to make you very cross, upset, bitter, angry (anything negative, basically).

Have you ever tried sitting down and discussing this with your dh? (Sorry, maybe a stupid question, but he can't know how you feel unless you tell him. Don't say it's about the children either, don't make it a guilt trip. If you miss him, tell him it's because you miss him ). ((()))

maidamess Thu 24-Jul-08 11:29:20

I can sympathise with you feeling irritated with your dh when he is at home. I think its a very common feeling.

Does your dh know how sad you are? Does he know how no one ever said on their death bed 'I wish I had spent more time at the office?'

I think you have to start communicating to him what your and your childs needs are.

Sometimes our partners need things spelling out to them for them to see what the situation has become, as they are so immersed in it they cannot see.

littlewoman Thu 24-Jul-08 12:31:35

Good point, maidamess. Nobody ever said "I wish I'd spent more time at the office".

And nobody ever wrote on anyone's grave stone "her house was always immaculate".

Because these things don't matter half so much as your family.
They might matter to some people, but if they do, to the exclusion of all other things, they've got their life/work balance wrong.

Seriously, have you seen the film 'Click'? With Adam Sandler? It reminds me of that. He fast forwards through his whole life so he can get to work, be a big success, make money for his family, only to find at the end that his wife has left him, and his children call someone else dad.

It's horribly sad, and unnecessary.

Lemontart Thu 24-Jul-08 12:36:52

Talk to him. Tell him how you feel. He might have his own worries and feelings - perhaps with the credit crunch etc etc he is concerned about the safety of his job and feels he needs to put in a lot of hours? Talk about ways around it - both to utilise the time you do have together in a way that you can all enjoy and about possible solutions to the evening work. For example, could he come home for 2 or 3 hours - say 4-7 and then go back to the office for a couple of hours if really stressed for work time? Or perhaps agree that every THurs and Fri are early home nights with possible later ones the rest of the week. Just need to think creatively about trying to simplify and organise the time I guess. Not easy and I am sympathetic. The only way through it will be by talking to each other about this, working out what is realistic expectations and supporting each other through it.
Meal, DS in bed, Bottle of wine, telly off and good chat tonight is my prescription

Lemontart Thu 24-Jul-08 12:38:46

Another thought is his lunch hour. Everyone gets a lunchbreak!
If he is only 4 mins away, could you all meet up in a nearby park say every Monday for a picnic lunch together? even for 20 mins, just gives him a mental break and you and your son valuable time with him as a family.

littlewoman Thu 24-Jul-08 12:50:51

Some good ideas there LT.

ColumboJumbo Thu 24-Jul-08 13:19:19

Yes - all good ideas. Thanks.

Tonight he has a work dinner so we won't see him, so maybe tomorrow for your prescription LT.

Problem is also that we have had the discussion many times and always end up in the same place.

In some respects we are fortunate - his job is secure and <touches wood supersticiously> recession proof. But the cost of that is the long hours and the overseas travel. He runs a few projects and I know it is true that no one else could step in and take over, and sometimes there are deadlines that just have to be met.

I guess the thing that I find hard is that it is a bit like that Adam Sandler film, this is all being done on the basis that it is just for 5 years or so, but meanwhile I see less and less of him and find myself feeling thinking that over time stuff like is why people split up, and wondering if it would ever come to that.

When I have told him how I feel - and not just in a guilt trip way about DS - his suggestions are that we get a cleaner (so I am freed up from chores that he used to do but now has no time for) and that we put DS in nursery 1 or 2 afternoons a week so that I have some free time and don't get so stressed. Which to me, without wishing to quibble, is missing the point and throwing money at the problem.

littlewoman Thu 24-Jul-08 13:30:04

Yes, this is probably true from your point of view, CJ. But have you tried these ideas, yet? They might help you a little bit.

I know it's not what you want, in the long run. But if you aren't so stressed, you may feel less resentful that he can't be there to help more often? You might look forward to him coming home, because you've had a nice day and want to tell him about it, rather than wanting him to come home so you can offload on him.

I'm not trying to say you are being ungrateful, because I have been where you are, but in your position I would take the cleaner, etc.

At the moment, he can't help putting in all these hours (although some minor adjustments might be possible as Lemontart suggested). What if he knows he is putting too much on you at home, but he can't help the hours he has to work? Then he dreads coming home because you are going to be tired and stressed, and he feels guilty, but also overworked himself? If all he can suggest to help you at the moment is the cleaner, playschool, do at least try it, so it looks like you are trying to meet him halfway (hope this doesn't sound bossy. It's not meant to. Just would be nice if you could lighten your load somehow )

ColumboJumbo Thu 24-Jul-08 13:47:54

LW - not bossy at all. Of course I should take the cleaner and be glad of it! Also the playschool suggestion is worth considering.

You're right, maybe I would see things differently if not so stressed.

littlewoman Thu 24-Jul-08 13:53:08

Yes, then you have time to plan lovely things to do together when he is home. If you really make the most of your time together, it will further encourage him to come home more often .

Oh, we're not stupid, us girls, you know wink.

Good luck, CJ ((()))

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