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DH just not interested in being a family

(80 Posts)
turtle23 Sun 14-Jun-09 06:57:00

I am very sad. DH and I tried for ages to have DS (now 14 months) and DH was very keen on becoming a parent. He would go on and on about how he came from a big family and children were so important...blahblahblah. He has shown so little interest in DS it is sad.
We have just been on our first holiday as a family and he spent the entire week shouting that he wasn't getting enough sleep, that it was boring playing with DS, what was he meant to do all day as there was just lovely beach and pool etc and not much else. He refused to help when DS was tiny and I was on the verge of PND from lack of sleep. He will not feed him. He will not change him. He goes out alll the time to AVOID playing families. I feel as though I am living with all the shitty bits of single parenting and the shitty bits of marriage and none of the benefits. Like an idiot, I am now 17 weeks pregnant with number two and it has got me thinking whether my kids and I would be better off without him. Sadly, my major concern would be that he would farm the kids out if faced with weekend visits. Anybody feel like chewing this over with me?

skidoodle Sun 14-Jun-09 07:09:50

Hey turtle,

Sorry to hear this is still going on

Happy to be a sounding board.

What are you thinking of doing about this?

P sounds so delightful. It's really sad his Dad finds him boring.

I have no idea where you go with this other than counselling. Would he go?

turtle23 Sun 14-Jun-09 07:14:27

I have suggested counselling about every two months for the last year. He thinks it is a waste of money. hmm
I know that a lot of dads find it difficult to connect with their kids at first, but for him to say to me (especially in current hormonal state) that he hates spending time with DS as it's just too dull for words hurts.
I do not want to be on my own and pregnant with a toddler. On the other hand, I kind of already am. I am very scared that things are just going to get worse when number two comes and that if I ebd up with depression there will be nobody to look after the DCs properly.

Haribosmummy Sun 14-Jun-09 07:25:17

HI Turtle,

My Dh can be a bit like this and I (like you) am a bit hormonal grin - I am 32 weeks PG. Do you ask your DH to help out without getting emotional / upset? I know that I find it difficult to ask for help, so DH often doesn't know I feel I need help (I hope that makes sense!)

I am also scared about how I will cope with two!!!! I think that's pretty natural. Can you look at any options that will help? Cleaners / childcare?

Got to run right now - DS is hungry grin and needs changing - but happy to chat.

I'm a SAHM and my DH works very hard, so our roles are bound to be very different - Until very recently, DH was away LOTS and I actually found that easier to deal (from a child care POV) with than him being at home but I prefer having at home for me...

I hope that makes SOME sense!!!!

Will be back later and will hopefully make more sense then!!
HM xx

skidoodle Sun 14-Jun-09 07:29:29

My dad is quite open about how boring he found us as babies, but he thought we were ace as teenagers when my mum thought we were horrendous.

Still, P is not a baby now is he? He's walking and starting to talk, so you'd have thought interest levels might have improved.

Would you go to relationship counselling on your own? (would he be able to stop you financially?) Maybe it would help to get a professional perspective to help you weigh your options.

You sound like you feel trapped, and I appreciate that your options are limited, but you're a very resourceful woman and from where I'm sitting nothing is beyond you if you can figure out your way through this.

ClaudiaSchiffer Sun 14-Jun-09 07:43:51

To offer a bit of reassurance, my dh was utterly useless when our dd1 was small. He has gradually got better, was in fact mildly better when dd2 came along. During this time I felt like a single parent, got very resentful of dh blah blah blah. But can now say that dd1 is now 4, dd2 coming up for 2 and DH is great. He basically didn't really like the baby stage, which I don't think is unusual in men.

Anyway, I don't think your situation is that unusual. I would suggest ride it through, don't expect too much from your dh. I know it's shit and not what you want it to be. And for him to be horrid about your ds is very sad. But I would expect it to get better in a few years if you can hang in there that long.

Perhaps if you can anticipate that he will be useless with dc2 you can ensure you have help when the baby comes - are your family near? Friends who can help? Set up some childcare for ds???

I know this is far from ideal but perhaps you can set up some practical ways of making your life easier that exclude dh for a while.

sad for you though.

turtle23 Sun 14-Jun-09 07:44:36

Haribo- Yes, I ask him nicely. I ask him at all different times and in many different ways. I have tried pretty much everything. He is fully aware of my situation and that I need some help. His response is that I should be able to cope as I was a nanny for 18 years and "housework isn't exactly difficult."
On holiday we actually started discussing the practicalities of what would happen if we were to seperate.
He does occasionally promise to help. This is the worst because I believe him. He promises me a lie-in and then when Saturday night comes he says he wont be able to do the morning as he is too tired.
DH does NOT work hard. He is a lazy man. He has his own company but it really runs itself. He works about 20 hours a week from home.
Skidoodle- This is exactly my concern. P was walking at 9 months and says quite a few words. He loves dancing (DH's passion in life) and is ridiculously cute. If the interest levels are the same now it may be years before it could ever improve.

turtle23 Sun 14-Jun-09 07:46:17

Thanks, CS. I need to believe that things could improve. I DO KNOW that men are just a bit shit in general with babies...just is soooo frustrating.

walkinthewoods Sun 14-Jun-09 07:48:15

Couple of things spring to mind... is your dh depressed? How is he with you? Is he working? WHat kind of hours does he do? You say he actively avoids ds..does he have any kind of interaction with him at all? You know there is a kind of parrallel (sp) with PND that men suffer from. Did you have a difficult birth? Does he see ds as taking you and leaving nothing for him?

Have you actally talked to him about this, or is it a difficult subject? Being pg is not the best time for seeing things clearly tbh and its really scary thinking how you'll cope with (but you will)

Haribo we were much in the same boat with dp working long hours. I have always done the bulk of the childcare and it is easier if dp is not there as I dont have any 'expectations' DP is out of work now, so things are changing.

My dp has had a less than ideal relationship with the dc's especially ds. He has always readily admitted that he doesn't like babies and kids only become interesting around 7. He will avoid doind family stuff and he finds it stressful sometimes especially because ds is a high energy dc. Dp has an chronic mental health condition so I have to be careful with him and his stress levels.

Sometimes I look at doting dads playing with their dc's and get a bit sad envy but I know that beneath all that he loves us all and I can't have everything perfect.

walkinthewoods Sun 14-Jun-09 07:53:09

x post turtle. mmm 'housework isn't difficult' well then he won't have any problem with it then will he. Sounds as if he is a bit selfish and lazy tbh! Has he always been like this?

GypsyMoth Sun 14-Jun-09 08:08:30

It's not his lack of involvement that sounds so worrying, it's more his attitude!!! How dare he!

poshsinglemum Sun 14-Jun-09 08:11:29

Sounds like being a dad was more of a shock than he realised it would be. Also sounds like he may be depressed- the male version of pnd might indeed exist. He is coming across as a selfish arse though. So what if you were a nanny?- he can still pull his wieght.

merryberry Sun 14-Jun-09 08:15:39

hi again love! how was he when you talked about seperation?

duchesse Sun 14-Jun-09 08:37:08

Tell him that if he's not going to help with the children, he must up his hours and earnings so that you can afford extra help. I think he's being a twat personally. He helped make the babies, and now is refusing to take responsibility for them, which is unacceptable in this day and age. His ranting about being tired is either very lazy or symptomatic of a failure to get beyond age 12 emotionally. He needs counselling at the very least (I'd be more tempted by the short sharp shock method...). Good luck.

turtle23 Sun 14-Jun-09 09:55:37

Thank you all. Am just going to have to scrap every ounce of expectation and soldier on, I guess. He obviously thought that having kids was going to be a walk in the park...though where he got that idea from I don't know. I think if I wait for him to grow up and accept responsibility I may be in for a long one.

ClaudiaSchiffer Sun 14-Jun-09 10:42:17

His behaviour is out of order, no doubt. I would suggest the following . . .

1. Sit down over a meal/drink and calmly discus the situation. Tell him how you feel, how you would like things to be different.

2. Ask how he feels about family life - does it match up to his expectations? If not why not? Can he picture things getting better when ds is older?

3. As he is at home and not working huge hours make sure he has one morning a week, for example, with ds. Ignore his whingeing about it. Insist. You then need to go out. Go for a coffee, shop, hairdressers etc anything but GO OUT!

4. Arrange childcare for ds at least 1 day a week, it will give you a break (you will need it as the pregnancy progresses), and it will be useful when dc2 comes along.

5. Hope that as the years pass he will come good.

Do you love him? Remember that early days with young children can be very hard on relationships, we see our dhs in a very different light - as they see us, but it doesn't last forever. If you love each other (and that can be hard to remember when you are knackered and dh is being useless) then if you can put some strategies in place to get through the next couple of years then he could come good.

Does that sound too 'Surrendered Wife' shite?

He should be far more supportive, it is sad that he isn't in love with his son, but that may come.

Failing all the above, a good kick in the bollocks might be the answer grin

turtle23 Sun 14-Jun-09 10:49:26

CS- well...
1. I have done this sooo many times now.

2. He says that life with kids is a living nightmare. He doesn't believe that everyone finds it tough at times, despite talking to his friends who have kids. He says he THINKS he may connect more as DS gets older. Says he regrets us getting pg again as he thinks I (not we...I)will not be able to cope as I am finding it "so tough with just one."

3. I do try be fair he has taken DS to playgroup three times. Unfortunately it was only when my morning sickness was at its worst and all I could do was vom. Must try harder.

4. Easier said than done. Every childminder within a few miles has a waiting list and the local nursery is ferociously expensive.

5. It's all I can do!!

ClaudiaSchiffer Sun 14-Jun-09 10:56:37

Blimey, he does sound a lot like my dh - apart from the lazy bit; my dh spent the first year of dd1's life at the office.

Poor you, I am sympathetic. It is very hard, and very disappointing when they are so shit. I remember many times in those very early years when I wanted to walk out.

I really would try to get him to have a regular morning with ds. It's something I didn't really force and I regret it.

Do you have any family near who can help? Would a stern talking to from a friend of his do any good do you think? What about his parents can you get them on side? Or would it make it worse?

Duchesse has a good suggestion - that if he isn't prepared to help at home then he should up the work rate so you can afford to pay for help.

turtle23 Sun 14-Jun-09 10:58:29

My family live in the states and his parents(though very sweet) are 80 and not capable.
Will try and suggest that perhaps playgroup might be nice again...

Haribosmummy Sun 14-Jun-09 11:09:02

Hi turtle!

I have to admit, I can't imagine my DH ever taking DS to a playgroup or similar. It's just not going to happen and I think I'd drive myself (and him, and possibly DS!) demented trying to force it.

Even this morning, I took DS to the swings and to feed the ducks. I wouldn't naturally expect DH to come with us. I suppose because DH was working away so much, I've learned to do things on my own so it bothers me less now he IS at home, IYSWIM.

I'm certainly not going to call your DH a t**t or anything similar, but I do agree that if he doesn't want to help out with the housework, then he should be paying for help for you. I haven't needed help with DS, but do intend to get a PT nanny or housekeeper once I have two DC.

I've only skimmed the replies, but from what you've said, it does seem that you two have talked about the issue, so perhaps it would be worth taking a bit of time out / think outside the box. One thing I refuse to do is not do the things I want to with DS - so we do go to the swings etc., even if it's just the two of us. It's still good fun and we're happier coming home and DH is happier because he's had an hour off... Not sure if that's something to consider (For me, DH is great at sorting the house etc., so when we do go out, we are certain to come home to a hoovered / tidied house). Are there any jobs your DH DOES like doing?

One thing I can say, is it is almost certainly likely to get easier. My DSDs are 11 and 14 now and DH is BRILLIANT with them. even though DS is only 12 months old, they def. do interact more now than they did when he was first born, so I do believe that will continue as DS gets older.

I'm also lucky that DH takes his responsibilities seriously (provides well for us etc) and it's always positive to look at the good things, isn't it? Can you make a list of all the things you like about your DH / all of the good things he does?

Not sure if any of that is any help.


Devendra Sun 14-Jun-09 11:42:57

He sounds like a selfish wanker! Leave him because life will be so much easier.

sunfleurs Sun 14-Jun-09 11:43:07

Hi, my exh was EXACTLY like this. He didn't ever say dc were boring but just moaned on about what "hard work" they were. Such hard work in fact that he managed not to be around for the majority of their babyhoods. He never once got up with them during the night and probably changed about 20 nappies altogether for both while they were babies and toddlers.

He would spend an hour or so with us as a family, you could literally see him counting off the seconds and then go off out with his mates having given us some "family time". Sometimes he would be gone for days at a time.

"I feel as though I am living with all the shitty bits of single parenting and the shitty bits of marriage and none of the benefits." That is exactly how I felt. He did get better, he is great with ds (6) now and regularly has both kids on his own but tbh the resentment for how he abandoned me with them as babies never really went away and we aren't together anymore. I too had the concerns of his farming them out to his Mum or family members on weekend visits but he didn't actually do that, though I think he would have done if they were still babies when we split.

I used to feel broken hearted at how he didn't seem to want to be a family with us, so I know how you are feeling, I really do. There are many posters on here who say "well MAKE him" or "disappear for a couple of days so he sees what it is like", but I know that with some men that just will not work, my ex was one of them. I don't really have any advice for you, nothing worked with my ex so we split, not that I am in anyway telling you to do that. How is the relationship otherwise? How do you interact with each other etc? I just got to the point where I was getting NOTHING out of being with him except for pain and heartache so I told him to go. If you still have a laugh together and still love him then it is something to work with but if he won't pull his finger out I guarantee that is going to disappear pretty quick.

raggedtrouseredphilanthropist Sun 14-Jun-09 11:57:29

kind of giving a different perspectie to the rest of the replies on this thread with my post.
This is how my ex was. very keen to have kids, but when push came to shove he wanted his single life, not family life. we used to do family days out, during which he would disappear on his own taking photos, or the day would be somewhere HE was interested in with nothing for me to do with ds.

now we are separated, ds gets so much better quality time with eh. my life is easier as I am not fighting someone who cant be arsed with being a family, and I also get a break when ds goes to visit him.

so, while it was never what I wanted (though also loads of other issues to do with us separating, not just this, and I am not suggesting this is what you do, just offering a different perspective), my life is so much happier now - no resentment with total freedom to be a fmily just me and ds. and ds gets that time with his dad he never got before...

OmicronPersei8 Sun 14-Jun-09 12:12:59

Hi Turtle, I just wanted to add my experience which is that once dc2 came along, DH was forced to spend more time with DC1. In a way it worked well because I was all focused on the baby but second time round did not resent DH not doing anything to help as instead he had to be with DC1.

He seemed somehow less weighed down by being a dad. That said he's never been too stand-offish and is pretty good really, but he does find lots of it boring (which really annoys me as it always makes me feel like my day-to-day SAHM life is beneath him). So you never know, even though it's hard work when the second comes it may actually make things easier in the long run. Sorry if this is just trite advice though - it sounds like you're having a horrible time.

turtle23 Sun 14-Jun-09 12:47:01

Just to do I feel about him? It's so hard to tell at the moment. In my eyes, if you love someone and see them struggling or unhappy or unwell you do what you can to fix it. When I have had a very bad night [for example]with DS(he's a rotten teether) and then get up and vomit from morning sickness I think DH should at least ask if I'm ok. He just asks me to shut DS up as he's trying to get some sleep. I know that I need to change my expectations, but ffs...
Having said that, I must still care or it wouldn't be making me so sad.

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