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Bloody husband and bloody mother in law.

(21 Posts)
fedupandisolated Fri 12-Sep-08 19:03:22

Just over a year ago I discovered that my DH had a long standing addiction to telephone chat lines. Although it was a shock I knew something was up as the phone bills were nearly £80 a month (they should have been £20) and the bills were going missing. I now know that he was hiding them from me.

This all came at a completely crap time, the house we were renting was falling apart - the landlord (a nice bloke as it happens) was not repairing anything and then when it was freezing bloody cold outside the central heating packed up and it was 6 weeks before it was sorted.

DH and I limped on but the phone chat line addiction continued and the bills remained high - the only time they went down was when he went away to work for three weeks.

In January I went back to work after the Christmas break (had booked two weeks off) to discover that one of the Mums on my caseload had collapsed and died three weeks after having her third baby - it was totally unexpected. This Mum and I had always got on well and she was also one of the nursery nurses who had cared for DS at nursery. I think this was the breaking point for me and I had a nervous breakdown. That is honestly the only way I can describe what happened to me. I fell apart and couldn't cope at home/work/anywhere. I drove up to Essex to be with my Mum (who was and remains a fantastic support). Initially this was just for weekends and then in March after yet another high bill I walked out and moved up to Essex permanently.

This was one of the hardest decision I have ever made as it meant moving my DS from his lovely reception class in a small country school to a much bigger school in a big town - something I still feel very guilty about.

Since that time DH has made no real decisions to support himself. He needed to apply for housing benefit and said
he had done so - only to confess at the end of July that he had not actually done the form at all and was in rent arrears. TBH it shows that he cannot take responsibility for himself never mind anyone else. Nor has he made any effort towards showing that he is sorry for the problems he caused. He has SAID sorry but that is all - no letters, no cards, no flowers and seemingly no effort at anything. He is very attached to his parents who live a short distance away from here but is unaware they know the reason I left. (MIL phoned here to have a go at me once for "leaving poor M on his own in Somerset" - she got my Dad who - let's just say - left her in no doubt about why I had left).

DH hates discussing or facing up to anything so we still have not really talked about his problems. I have written a massive letter telling him how I feel but it seems he read it and then forgot it - back to "head in the sand" and thinks that's it and everything is okay now.

For some reason (which escapes me)I have agreed to give things another try but now he is saying he won't live in Basildon (I am a Basildon girl) because he says it's scummy and has his sights set on paying £800 a month in rent for a private rental place in the more desirable towns and villages around Basildon.
Personally - having done our budget I think this is out of our reach and am I planning on going to the council on Monday to declare myself homeless. I've had a housing application in since April but the housing department are taking a year to process the forms here. In the meantime DS and I are in bunk beds and in the 8 by 6 spare room.

Tonight DH phoned to say that his Mum had "spent all day looking for private rental places for us". Naturally these are NOT in Basildon as they obviously look down their nose at the town. They are also in the £800 a month mark. I have said to DH that I think we need to be realistic in out budget and can't do such a high level of rent.

BUT - my in-laws have just sold their house (well they may have - nothing in stone until contracts exchanged etc). She is now saying she will give us a lump sum to pay a year's rent in advance. She says that this was we will have cash to save towards the next year's rent etc.

Although this seems very generous I cannot get over the fact that she is interfering to make sure her darling son doesn't have to slum it in Basildon. What will her reaction be, I wonder , if the council offer me a house in Basildon. Make no mistake there are some crappy areas in Basildon - I grew up on one the the more notorious estates there and could well end up back there. However, I never had any problems growing up and my opinion is that people come in all shapes, sizes and personalities. Just because there are some not so nice people on the estate does not mean they are all like that.

Would I be mad to refuse her offer of a years rent in advance which would enable us to live in a "nice" area?

She says "just trying to help" but to be honest if DH (her darling son) was taken out of the equation I think DS and I could go hang (although she might put a lump sum by for DS).

The more and more I think of DH - the more I think "do I really want to be with him"? I think the answer is actually "No" but he has given notice on the rental place now and is coming up.

My only hope is that the council offer me a house in a truly dreadful area - in which case I guess I will see just how committed he is by whether or not he moves in!

What on earth do I do?

LoveMyGirls Fri 12-Sep-08 19:11:31

It seems plain to me, you do what is best for you and your ds which is somewhere stable to live provided by the council (hopefully) it's a generous offer from mil but tbh if she is anythign like her son i wouldnt rely on her.

Sorry you are going through this crap.

Even if he does move in with you, who will be paying the £80 a mth phone bills?

Do you trust him? Can you live with him phoning this chat lines? Doesn't seem like he is willing to give them up so I wouldn't get back with him tbh.

Freckle Fri 12-Sep-08 19:17:39

Let MIL give him a lump sum to pay the rent on a private place, whilst you live in a council house. Give him 6 months to a year to show that he is now responsible enough to be trusted. If he cannot look after himself and his finances with his rent having been paid by his mum, then I think you have your answer. If he shows that he has grown up and is prepared to take responsibility for his family, you can give it another go.

anyfucker Fri 12-Sep-08 19:23:43

I'm sorry to say this and I am probably wayyy off to call your DH this cos I don't know him but he sounds like a deadbeat mummys boy.

Reread your post.

I don't have to add anything more. You seem completely aware of his inadequacies but you are giving him another chance anyway. If this is what you want, then fine but I don't know what you want people to say to you.

You seem passive, as if these things are just happening to you and willing the council to give you a crap house so then you don't have to make a decision.

Make a decision based on the reality you see before you and make sure you are happy with it.

anyfucker Fri 12-Sep-08 19:25:31

Oops, sounds harsh blush

MrsCurly Fri 12-Sep-08 19:29:21

I'm really sorry things are so tough for you. I think you know the answer. See what the council offer and take something which is affordable. What's the point taking something which is subsidised for a year? What will happen the following year? You don't want to uproot your son more than you have to.

You have made sound decisions so far, while going through some very hard times. Have faith in yourself. Good luck.

fedupandisolated Fri 12-Sep-08 19:40:27

Not to worry anyfucker - just sayin g back to me the things I am thinking myself.

The council will house me but am not sure where or what I'll get.

I don't earn enough to manage private rent, council tax etc without it being uncomfortably tight. On the other hand I earn just that little bit too much to be entitled to any help. It's crap really. Likewise I have been turned down for a shared ownership mortgage on affordibility.

The more DH is talking about when we are all together again the more I am thinkign "actually I don't want this". I do want him up here though for DS's sake.

Like Freckle's idea of getting DH to live alone in a place while I take the council one and then seeing how we go.

Am also considering asking to see the phone bills he's had since March!

fedupandisolated Sat 13-Sep-08 10:02:40

Am going to see MIL today and am going to try and gently ask her to butt out. It's my decision about where I live with DS and if that turns out to be Basildon and she and her DS don't like it then tough.

It just makes me so cross that she's aware of what he's done and yet buries her head in the sand and says "well it's important you are together for .....(DS)".

Last week she actually said "if you ever decide to move away from Essex which I think would be better for ..... (DS) then we'll help you get a mortgage"!!!

WTF is she on about? I was tempted to ask how far away she would consider is appropriate before giving that help.

Personally I don't need her or her money. I am not materialistic and a council flat with a secure tenancy will do me nicely - even if it is in..... shock, horror..... Basildon.

TotalChaos Sat 13-Sep-08 10:06:41

agree with the others. you sound completely unenthused about being back with DH, and as if nothing has changed as to why you were fed up with him in the first place.

hecate Sat 13-Sep-08 10:36:20

Can I be cheeky and ask you to answer a few questions?

Why do you want him back?
What makes you love him?
What do you enjoy about being with him?
How does he make you laugh?
What does he do to make you feel loved?
What is truly great about him?
On a scale of 1-10 (1 being miserable and 10 being ecstatic) how thrilled are you to be getting back together with him?
Who's going to pay for everything?
Who's going to be responsible for everything?
How is it going to be different from being a single parent and is this going to be better?

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 13-Sep-08 11:35:30

It sounds like your MIL wants to continue enabling her son further (perhaps like she has always done).

Your H is an idiot when he says that Basildon is scummy (speaking as someone who happens to live in as he puts in "one of the more desireable towns and villages around Basildon"). Its not that awful by any means besides which the people get their refuse collected weekly (which is more than I can say for some towns).

If you accept any moneies from MIL she will behold you to that till the end of time. Be independent of them both; think you'll be happier overall without the pair of them.

fedupandisolated Sat 13-Sep-08 11:37:29

Hi hecate

Good questions and helpful to focus upon so thank you.

1.Why do I want him back?
A. Am not sure i do want him back to be honest - am just thinking of how I can tell him this.

2. What makes me love him?
A. Think any love for him has gone

3.What do I enjoy about being with him?
A. We get on well and are good friends - I still love an evening out with him and we have a good laugh then. This is the one thing which muddies the waters for me - we get on extremely well.

4.What does he do to show me he loves me?
A. Am not sure he does anything much. He tells me every day that he loves me but that's different from showing it.

5. What is truly great about him?
A. Hmm! Not sure. He's the father of my gorgeous son. He's good at playing with DS and DS loves his Dad.

6. On a scale of 1-10 how thrilled am I to be getting back with him?
A. 3-4 - not good really.

7. Who's going to pay for everything?
A. Not me anymore that's for certain. Although it would appear that MIL will pay a huge amount of money to prevent her DS living in Basildon.

8. Who's going to be responsible for everything?
A. I suspect me as always.

9.How is it going to be different from being a single parent?

A. To be honest I have felt like a single parent for a long time. I suspect the only difference is another adult (and I use that term in the loosest possible sense) in the house.

This relationship is going nowhere. I feel so much better since moving up to Essex and ... he hasn't been here . I've got better all on my own - and believe me he was NOT supportive during my breakdown - overwhelmed maybe and not sure how to cope with me but NOT supportive. All I heard was "I don't want to move back to Essex".

I have just re-read my original post - it's shocking. Sadly I could show it to DH but I suspect he'd read it - apologise - and forget it.

hecate Sat 13-Sep-08 18:37:09

Well, my final questions then.

WHY are you getting back together with him and are you planning to spend the rest of your life with him? If not, what's the point? and how will you go about getting out of the relationship again, won't that just be a lot of hassle? Or are you just planning on settling for a life with someone you don't love but get on ok with?

fedupandisolated Sat 13-Sep-08 18:52:43

You are so right hecate - have you considered working with Relate - or do you already? smile

Thing is I have been so involved with it all that I couldn't see the wood for the trees so to speak.

The addiction thing came as a massive shock to me - I'd always thought DH and I would be together forever and I loved him so much before this.

Trouble is that I have a past history of sexual abuse as a child and the chatline addiction just seems sordid and sick to me. DH was a man I thought I could trust but this just showed me I could not. To be honest I cannot believe how quickly all my feelings of love for him died in the few months after my discovery.

Now I don't think I could ever have sex with him again. This is something I haven't felt brave enough to say but it is becoming increasingly apparent that these feelings are not going to go away and I am going to have to say them.

Might go to Relate though as I feel the need to say some things in the presence of someone completely outside of the relationship who can be an independent observer and who could support us both.

I am not sure I can just settle for a half relationship. Quite honestly just want to live alone with DS for a while.

WigWamBam Sat 13-Sep-08 19:07:58

I think you need to be honest with him now, before he gets any further with finding you all a home.

You don't love him. You don't want to be with him. The relationship is going nowhere. You don't want sex with him. You are happier on your own with your son than you would be with your dh in tow. He has had his head in the sand about the problems in the relationship, and won't have changed at all.

Terrible basis for a marriage, imo - even if you want to hold it together for your son - who wouldn't be better off being with both of you if it doesn't make both of you happy.

You have to tell him NOW that you don't want to give it another go - because it really sounds as if you don't, and getting back together is just something you've just been swept along with.

fedupandisolated Sat 13-Sep-08 19:51:26

Thank you WWB. I am grateful for the support and useful suggestions here.

I know what I have to do.

hecate Sat 13-Sep-08 20:57:44

grin actually I used to be a student counseller, did volunteer briefly at relate but in the office!! grin and then supported young women with behavioural problems before setting up my own business providing support staff to adults with learning difficulties.

Doesn't mean I know anything about anything, but I do know how to ask nosy questions! grin

LOVEMYMUM Sat 13-Sep-08 21:10:41

DH isn't taking responsiblity for anything.
Walk away.

Elasticwoman Sat 13-Sep-08 21:16:40

You say you feel guilty,OP, but when you married him did you

know he had a chatline addiction?
know he was inclined to live above his means?

It would be hard enough to live with these things if it were just you and him, but to expose a child to them is something else.

Seems to me HE moved the goalposts. You now have your ds's best interests to consider as well as your own.

reindeermum Sat 13-Sep-08 21:19:35

Hecate's questions are great ones, and your answers couldn't be clearer.

So why are you still even considering living with this man again when you clearly know you don't want to?

It does take courage to walk away, but you need to be true to yourself.

Be strong - and look to a positive new future, not a step back to a past life where you were truly miserable.

Good luck. smile

fedupandisolated Sun 14-Sep-08 15:34:01

Thank you all so much. I tried to post thanks earlier but internet went down so second time lucky.

I am going to suggest - no - tell DH that we will live separately and go for counselling. If nothing else I have to tell him I can't cope with the idea of having sex with him and he needs to find someone else.

His mother spent all yesterday afternoon talking about the Will she and FIL have made and that DS will get £50k when he is 21. As this is in 16 years time and she is only 73 and her Dad lived to 98 am not sure she will be dead when DS is 21. Think it was all said for my benefit.

Told her I am going homeless tomorrow.

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