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what would you do, need your input please...

(17 Posts)
Donbean Tue 22-Feb-05 09:05:06

Dh is a lecturer but was a mechanic by trade. He always services and fixes family cars and until we had DS it was an irritation to him but not a problem.9fixing cars not DS!)
The problem is that he doesnt like to say no to any one and never has done.
He does the work on these cars on his mums drive, in the freezing cold, pissing rain, gets wet, freezing and can take all day if its a big job. For this he says to them all "just give me 10,20 or 30 quid". He knows that money is short for alot of them.
He has to do them on his days off, usually weekend and now i work every weekend.
So 1) He doesnt spend any time with DS because he has to hand him over to his mum while he works on these cars,
2) I dont get to see him because invariably these people all need their cars tomorow so he will do them when im at home.
This has really pissed me off this time because my mum rang saying that her car wont start and she has got someone to look at it (because DH couldnt get to it till weekend) and this person has told her that it will cost £150 labour before parts are even bought. She wont pay this.
I have tried to explain to people over and over about our circumstances but they dont listen and dont take it into consideration at all.
To top off my mother commented "well if you cant ask family, who can you ask?" so now i feel like a complete bitch for getting fed up with it all.
He is going on Saturday, our only day off together this week to look at it.
My question is, how can we tactfully start to stop this carry on?
Dh is very fed up with it too, and feels taken for granted.
Not usually a stress head, i am very stressed by it all and its getting me down, what would you do?

tortoiseshell Tue 22-Feb-05 09:07:39

I know how this feels - dh is the same - he is always out fixing things for other people, when our own house is falling down. I'm afraid I haven't found a solution, and just try and feel proud that he is so useful. he also pays for things for other people which annoys me, but he likes to be useful!

Sorry not to have any advice, just sympathy!

Donbean Tue 22-Feb-05 09:18:05

Thanks, i am very proud of him. He never complains and like yourself, he ends up doing all sorts for the family without a word.

irishbird Tue 22-Feb-05 09:21:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Flossam Tue 22-Feb-05 09:22:41

is your mum married? How many days does she get to spend with her other half? I bet it's more than one. Can you try pointing it out like that to her? You could also bring in the fact that this amount of time is just for the two of them. Your DH has only this time to spend with you and your DS. I know how you feel. I hope this makes sense. I think people just end up so caught up in their own lives they forget how it is for other people.

Miaou Tue 22-Feb-05 09:24:52

Donbean, what an awkward position to be in - you have my sympathies. Why not arrange a "pseudo" day out for you, dh and ds (ie, not necessarily go somewhere but tell everyone you are going out for the day), so that if they ring up and ask, you can say "sorry, we have got plans for this Saturday". Then take the phone off the hook and spend the day together!

Being slightly more serious, it sounds like your dh finds it hard to say no when people ask him for help - he needs to practice saying no, and have an excuse ready for such a circumstance, say it firmly, and don't apologise profusely about it. It's hard but I think it's the only way.

Donbean Tue 22-Feb-05 09:30:41

My mother is divorced from my dad and has always relied on him to do her car. She is a very dificult woman and i have to be very careful with how i handle her. She thinks that the sun shines out of dh's behind though.
I think that the having excuses ready idea is a good one. Trouble is she is like a dog with a bone and just tells me that she is having to walk to work or get my sister up to take her to work. Guilt,guilt,guilt.
Things were so much easier when we didnt speak for 5 years!!!!!

Donbean Tue 22-Feb-05 09:31:45

To boot, im a terrible liar and i think she would suss me out very easily!

irishbird Tue 22-Feb-05 09:35:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Donbean Tue 22-Feb-05 09:37:02

Ok, feeling brave, going to text her. I can text lies, she will never know...will she??!!

Freckle Tue 22-Feb-05 09:38:00

Could you not just say that dh has committed himself to sorting a friend's car on that day. Offer another day, but quite a way away, saying that that's the only free day he has.

Tbh, if your mum thinks the sun shines from the proverbial wrt your dh, then perhaps it would be better coming from him. She's much less likely to lay a guilt trip on him.

jangly Tue 22-Feb-05 09:41:55

Trouble is, as he has been doing cars for other family members, your Mum might feel put out if he refuses to do her's. Could he perhaps do this one and then start refusing with lesser members of the family On the other hand she might well be very understanding. Good luck!

Donbean Tue 22-Feb-05 09:44:52

Its like they just dont hear you when you explain to them.
I decided to not get involved when my sister was ringing for her car. I thought to myself that i was getting so anxious and mad about the whole thing that i would let DH deal with it. Then they want to come on the phone a tell me the whole sorry tale again.
Cant win.
Any way,sod the guilt, he can sort it and tell them im in the shower or something.
We shall formulate a cunning plan tonight and he can speak to them and put them off. Thanks every one, its great advice and good to just off load to sympathetic ears.

triceratops Tue 22-Feb-05 09:46:52

We get this too. My dh works 12 hrs a day 6 days a week and then people ask him to change their brake disks for them on his day off.

It is hard to say no but you can make it as inconvenient as humanly possible. Make them go to the shop and buy the parts (give them a list). Make them bring the car to you at your convenience. Make them help by passing the tools and generally being a dogsbody. Drink all the beer in their house (in my dh case). And then make sure that they know they are going to have to contribute twice the number of hours in babysitting duty. Fair is fair.

Donbean Tue 22-Feb-05 09:55:54

Like it, like it!
yes, this has crossed my mind, get them to get the parts themselves, yes. What a fab suggestion, im going to tell him that one tonight. Got any more, (am listing these: shopping list, passing stuff, drink beer....) keep them coming

Stilltrue Tue 22-Feb-05 10:12:19

1. "I've got a dodgy ligament in my shoulder;I can't really get underneath the car/look right under the bonnet without straining it..sorry. It needs 6-8 weeks rest from strain."

2. Not an instant solution, but what about slowly becoming less available, and a bit less amenable (your dh is too nice) thus retaining the illusion of being willing to help, eg. Start now by saying things like "Can't make it this weekend but how about next Thursday week. Oh and could you bring the car here/arrange to tow it here, because I'm a bit pushed for time/need to (insert appropriate excuse).

I don't blame either of you for being fed up. It's a bit like doctore or lawyers being buttonholed and asked for a quick "opinion", only more time consuming!

adamkylesmum Thu 24-Feb-05 12:13:17

i am in a silmilar situation, my hubby is a panel beater & enjoys modifying cars. he spends all his time in the garage but the difference he is doing up his own show car to be the loudest in Europe (can't see the point myself). aswell as having no time for me & 2.7yr old son this also costs a fortune. he just says it is his hobby. we have the same argument every 6 months or so & agree to have family time on sunday afternoons, then it gradually fades out. i have found that most people are sympathetic & have stopped asking him to work on their cars when i said son was missing dad. unfortunately it didn't work for us as he just spends the time on his own car instead but you may be surprised how understanding people can be if they think your child is upset.

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