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constantly rowing about me being tired, no time for myself

(7 Posts)
newbrooms Mon 11-Aug-08 18:43:15

how do you get to the root of a problem that just doesn't seem to go away... me and DH have argued about our respective levels of "down-time" since DS1 was born 4 years ago. since DS2 was born 18 months ago, even worse.

DH seems to read, have more outings with friends etc. seems to have energy in the evening for reading and other creative projects where as I am often so knackered I just crash out at 9pm. I don't resent that - or at least I wouldn't - if he made some time for me to have a bit of time to myself when I could enjoy it, rather than just use it to catch up on sleep.

If I ask for some time, he says I have had x,y,z opportunities, but these are often times when I've been researching outings for the family, holidays, keeping social life in contact - ie things that need doing for life to be good, rather than resting/relaxing time. He doesn't do much of this - mostly it is me who gets on with organizing holidays etc otherwise it wouldn't happen. So I say this. then he gets defensive, rows about this get very nasty and I'm worried about it. I do find myself having less affection & respect for him, as i would for any man who let his wife get this run down and knackered, (is he profoundly selfish, or just completely lacking in any awareness? and make her the bad girl for complaining?) or is this kind of thing normal?

At one stage he said he thought we should get counselling about this and I said "fine" but then he said nothing else about it.

any tips to resolve this constructively? I want to preserve my relationship, but need to get more rest/relaxation in order to keep in decent health, so don't want to be a doormat over this.

change of nickname as DH knows my usual moniker

Tortington Mon 11-Aug-08 18:56:49

rubs thumb and forfinger together<------see that its a tiny violin ....playing a sad sad song just for you grin

where does martyrdom get you - nowhere - where does oneupmanship martyre dom get you

i work harder than you do you know what i had to do today?
no i work harder than you do you know what ds did today?

you both work hard - the problem is communication

you really need a sit down talk - recognise that you both have the need for this recognition of your hard work and instead of moaning about what a hard day you have had - ask each other about their day - and offer sympathy and most important praise etc

it sounds obvious but until you recognise that you aren't doing it - its really not

its hard to get out of the 'i'm badly done to' mode of thinking.

its so much nicer when somone validates your thinking, feeling, and experiences of that particular day.

dh and i talk immediatley we come home from work - his work stuff bored me shitless but i nod and make active communication noises - becuase he must feel the same - what do you have to talk about ? dropping the pasta or pissy pants might be the lowlights of your day - but how interesting is it?

however if you recognise that the other needs to hear and validate the experiences of their day - then you each know how to react.

its just nicer someone saying " aww babe - he never did piss his kecks in tesco...omg" rather than him saying " you think thats bad, i unloaded a wagon today and there was a quarter of a million pouns worth of stuff left at the depot - goeff - the wanker got the order wrong, well it was all my fucking dault fro then on in, i had to rive an exra 99 miles and that means the fuel timesheet is all to shit, then i got a puncture"

" but everyone was looking at me in tesco i was so embarrassed then i slipped in it and all my shopping went everywhere "

no one is listening to the other.

a conversation
a rcognition that this is the bette way to communicate

Dropdeadfred Mon 11-Aug-08 19:04:21

stop organising anything alone...next time you both want a holiday either let him book it or sit down together at the pc and do it.
And talk....and more importnatly listen to each other as Custardo said.

newbrooms Mon 11-Aug-08 19:26:44

glad there was a grin with the violin quip!

I didn't want to go on in the OP, but we've been trying hard for a long time on this - read Baby-Proof-your-marriage, realised there was a lot of score-keeping and have been doing out best. so we know about talking, and about listening, and we do pretty well on the whole.

I think maybe we just fell off the wagon last night (hence slightly ranting OP) I'd taken the kids off for a weekend with my mum, purposefully to give him some time to himself, with that offer, then when I say, I'd like an afternoon to myself then big bang. then the old rant comes out.

I suppose I just want to know how hard it is to keep talking. do we just keep failing like this?

Tortington Mon 11-Aug-08 19:41:34

think its helpful to look outside the marriage at things that interest you rather than depending on your relationship to be interesting if that akes any sense

you need to make a certain day to do something for you leave him with the kids.

college, friends walking, gym, hairdresser, shopping - you choise but say - wednesday evening is mine - plan around it

babycat Tue 19-Aug-08 12:42:19

Thanks for this newbrooms if you're still tracking this thread. I've been feeling the same recently. I work 2 split nights a week and then look after dd in the day, so miss 2 nights sleep every week. 'd'h doesn't seem to get how exhausted this makes me. He offers to look after dd so I can go to the gym when he gets home from work but I am just too knackered by then!

Is the baby-proof your marriage book worth a read? I had thought about getting it as I've been feeling really resentful recently to the point where I have thought about leaving. He is a good father to dd though, and does try to help out around the house, although he then guilt-trips me as he seems to think I don't do enough housework and spend too much time on here!

I also feel that I have to organise all our holidays or days out as otherwise we would never do anything.

Sorry for the hijack, just needed to rant myself, hope you understand grin

MrsMattie Tue 19-Aug-08 12:48:54

'Competitive tiredness' is part of most couples lives to some extent once they become parents, I think. I do sympathise!

Could you sit down together and work out what free time you actually both have and agree in advance how you will spend it? Not very spontaneous, but often family life isn't - try it for a month or so and see if it improves things?

The other thing I will say is that you can't have it all when you have young children. Having a busy social life, enough rest, enough exercise, holidays, time to read, time to spend together as a family, time to spend together as a couple....it ain't gonna happen. Something has got to give in the real world, and you as a couple need to sit down together and work out what that something is.

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