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Is this the '7 year itch'?

(8 Posts)
melancholymum Thu 09-Oct-08 09:30:10

Not sure where to start really. DH and I have been together 7 years and have a 2 year old son.

We, like others, have been struggling on the cashflo front for most of our time together but particularly over the past year. We are in debt up to our eyeballs (which is slowly getting sorted with a debt management company), I work part time as a childminder, part time as a cleaner and full time as a mum, dh unfortunatly works for one of the main companies which is currently being taking over atm so his job is on the line sad That's kind of a small insight into our background life this past year.

Now, I haven't always been the most forthcoming when it comes to sex and have a very low libido (which is quite the opposite to my DH) but when we did have sex the other night his touch made my skin crawl sad I cried and cried afterwards as was actually quite shocked at how it made me feel. DH also admitted a couple of nights later that he went downstairs and cried and cried because he felt my hostility sad

I know we are extremely stressed, we do take a lot of things out on each other - I have a habit of blaming him for our finances as he is the one who controls them (he doesn't like me getting involved), we have had a few holidays and be out on more than a few nights out that clearly we couldn't afford to do but I thought we must be able to if dh says the finances allowed it whereas it wasn't our wage that allowed it it was the credit cards. I also get resentful that I am juggling jobs and granted I am home more than him but that doesn't mean I have more time than him to do housework of which I don't just do the lion's share I pretty much do it all unless I nag enough for him to put the bins out or make the bed.

Basically, I feel like a bomb about to go off, I am screaming inside and can't seem to talk to him about it because I am not sure how I feel about him anymore. He has tried to speak to me and tells me he loves me and that we need to stop blaming each other for the position we are in but I am struggling to accept our situation.

Take last night for example, dh came home with a chinese, a take away. I asked him for some money today to get some food shopping and he said no, there wasn't enough money for shopping and I'd have to wait til next week (I raided mums cupboards this week as had no shopping) I can't understand why he'd spend £10 on a chinese then tell me we can't afford shopping angry I am just so so fed up sad

Kally Thu 09-Oct-08 09:45:47

You sound like you have a lovely man there... foolish a bit probably, and doesn't know what to do to make you happy, (gesture with Chinese nosh)...

My question is...(just comparing to my own lifestyle when I was married (26 years then divorce) how come he brings home a CHinese without asking perhaps you'd cooked something? I know this seems trivial, but its a little pick at what the sore is with you guys... poor communication, spending money independantly on things you don't agree to... it leads to resentment and miscontrued impressions about the weakness in the relationship... all that affects bonding behaviour.

Surely there is more than your side to this, have you weighed thingsd fairly?

Perhaps you don't bother to 'care' for him in basic ways (not getting him something to eat so he knows he's hungry after a days work therefore wastes money on takeaway)? Not saying that this is the reason, but I would definately 'cop' if I'd prepared food for family sit down at the end of the day and in waltzes partner with a Chinese nosh-up...

Have a think about the balance of the problems, try and see from his point of view, honestly, he seems lost too, you know.

melancholymum Thu 09-Oct-08 10:09:51

I know you are so right Kally. I think that's why I feel particularly sad about things. He is a good man, and a very good father. I know he is hurting too, I know he is stressed.

I am just frustrated that he actually controls money as a job but has no idea when it comes to controlling our own, he wants to keep up with the Jones too much. We are the only couple out of our large circle of friends who has children and I think it has hit him hard and sometimes he forgets we can't do the things they can.

He has his tea on the table for him every night, I had no food to cook yesterday so I suggested he picked something up from the supermarket on the way home. I had 3 under fives until 6pm last night aswell, the last thing I want to do is cook or clean, I am tired too - yet I do, because otherwise it wouldn't get done. Maybe that's why he brought home chinese, to save me having to cook anything when he got in, or perhaps because he knew we would both be hungry by then but it just makes no financial sense.

Clearly money problems are causing this distance between us I just don't know how to make it better. He assured me 3 mths ago this debt management programme would enable us to cope from month to month without borrowing yet we are still calling on family to get by. I know it must bother him too I'm just bored of false promises.

I don't want to feel this way, I need to be supportive, i know that. I know I am bitter that I have worked from the age of 16, had my own house from 19 and never been in debt until I met dh (for whom I gave £20k out of an inheritence I had to pay off the debt he had racked up from university and travelling)

Just left this for a few moments and come back and re read it, having to stop myself write anymore because I sound like a bitter selfish cow. I married this man, that was my choice, for better for worse, for richer for poorer. I need to get rid of this attitude. I need to get through the next few months. If dh is made redundant I need to be strong enough for the whole family to deal with that. I know what I need to do, I just don't know if I have it left in me sad

Notquitegrownup Thu 09-Oct-08 10:25:03

I don't think that you sound like a bitter, selfish cow MM. You sound exhausted! You have a 2 year old - (IME that means that you have just been through the 2 most exhausting years of your life so far) - you are juggling more than two jobs, and struggling with financial problems and potential unemployment too. That is enough to make anyone feel stressed out and to make sex a very low priority indeed.

Your dh does sound lovely . . . and so do you! But you may need some outside help to get those stresses of everyday life under control so that you can relax a little and have the a little more energy left for yourself and for your relationship. Would he consider going to relate? It may well be that you could sit down and look at ways of reducing stress - the problems aren't going to go away, but you might find different ways of dealing with them. Then you might have enough energy to make sure that you both feel loved and valued and the sex can then be an expression of those feelings, rather than something that you have to timetable in, inbetween all of the other things you have to do. (Been there, done that, know that feeling soo well!)

TimeForMe Thu 09-Oct-08 10:33:29

I agree with NQGU. I also wonder if you were more involved with the finances, could work together with DH to create a working budget, you might feel better about everything and more in control of your whole situation.

rachelp73 Thu 09-Oct-08 10:55:41

I totally agree with TimeForMe. I would HATE to have no idea what state our finances are in. It sounds quite old-fashioned the way you and your DH work it. We have a joint account which all bills come out of, savings account, credit card account and we both get involved with online banking and both know at any one time exactly what is going on with all the accounts. As we both know exactly what the situation is, we can discuss any spending with each other, and also discuss whether we can afford a night out/new clothes for ourselves etc. It really really helps our relationship to be so open with each other about our financial situation.

What is the reason he gives for not wanting you involved in it all? Is he trying to protect you from seeing how bad it is? Or is he spending more than he should on himself and doesn't want you finding out about it? Or is he just oldfashioned and controlling and thinks it's just "the man's job" to do all that kind of thing?

I think you need to make him see that it's making you anxious feeling so out of control about that side of things. Sounds like you both also need YOU to be the sensible voice when he says "Let's go out at the weekend" - if YOU know it would only be possible on the credit card, then you can remind him that you just can't afford it, and make an effort to have a nice night in instead. Meal at the table, candles, bottle of wine, cuddle on the sofa etc.....

Sounds like you have a lot of stress in your life (hence the loss of libido - totally understand that, been there, done that!). If you are able to feel that you are able to do SOMETHING to relieve those stresses in any way you can eg. joint financial control, him helping out more at home, then maybe your libido might come back a bit, and hence your DH won't feel as rejected mabye?

You need to sit down with him when the kids aren't around and tell him all this. Have it all out in the open about how much stress you feel under, and ways that might help you, and if he DOESN'T want to compromise over the things you are unhappy with and find a solution with you, then he has a major problem. Sounds like he wants to make you happy and feel close to you again though, so there is something positive to start with.

melancholymum Thu 09-Oct-08 11:31:44

Thanks for your replies. I think his reasoning for not having me involved with finances is that firstly he doesn't want me seeing how bad they are, secondly he is an accountant by profession (part-qualified) so thinks he should be able to do it on his own, thirdly he thinks I will 'interfere too much' and fourthly I think he is embarrassed about the situation we are in.

I need to sit down with him and we have to come to some compromise with our life and work. I actually think that if he lets go of some of the financial burden then he might be happier too, not going it alone and having me bug him for money that isn't there so it were. I also need help with the house which he promised he would give once I started childminding which just isn't there at the moment.

It's just hard, we start to talk things through then just end up arguing. I don't know how we ended up here, I really don't sad

Notquitegrownup Thu 09-Oct-08 16:46:25

Aw bless you! You sound really calm and clear about a way forward. I do hope that you can find a place and a way to talk without arguing. That's where Relate might help. Having a sympathetic, impartial third person in the room might help you both to stay calm, and to keep talking. Or s/he might help you to find out why you argue, rather than talk about these things together. It's hard, I know. Any change is threatening, particularly if someone else is suggesting it, but if you point out to your husband that you have both been upset recently, and that some small changes might help to take the strain off, he might be able to hear what you are saying.

Best of luck.

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