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unhappy marriage and pregnant with second child...(30 Posts)
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Am regular(ish) but have namechanged for this...I could really do with some advice and help. I'm 5 months pregnant with my second child, and feeling increasingly unhappy with my marriage. Part of me knows that marriage takes work, has its ups and downs (particularly when coupled with the exhaustion of small children - we have a wonderful DD who is two, who unfortunately has always been a pretty terrible sleeper!) - but part of me has big alarm bells ringing for the future...I would love to hear people's thoughts on my position. Sorry this is so long...
Bit of background - been with DH 12 years. In so many ways we have a very blessed life - good friends, a beautiful house in a lovely area: I inherited quite a lot of money a few years back which enabled us to buy the house without a mortgage. I do not AT ALL mean to sound smug or boastful, just to point out that I think we are very lucky and do not have some of the stresses and strains that many others do that impact on relationships.
DH is, in lots of ways, a good man. He is a wonderful and doting father - extremely hands on. When we are getting on we have quite a lot in common. It's just I am feeling more and more that he is losing respect for me, doesn't appreciate me, and has little time for my feelings. He can be very cold and dismissive, and I feel like this is becoming worse as time goes on.
A few examples over the past month - my mother died when I was a teenager and my elderly father is suffering from dementia. I'm an only child. (The whole process has been very stressful in itself, and he is now in sheltered accommodation where he can get the care he needs). We went to see him a few weeks back (only the second time we've been to his new housing) and I remarked in the car on the way home that I found it upsetting seeing him. I said this calmly - I wasn't screaming or crying or anything, and DH says 'I knew you'd say that', in a 'how boring' tone. Obviously, that wasn't very supportive so when I tell him so he does his usual 'I'm not having a fight with you - YOU are picking a fight' stonewalling trick, which he always does in arguments - and doesn't usually apologize unless I bring it up or attempt to talk about it again (which he hates).
Another episode which happened lately was we visited his parents who live on the other side of the country. OK, it was a long drive, he was tired, but we arrive, and he starts talking to me - in front of the in-laws - like I am a piece of shit. Biting my head off, disagreeing with everything I say, while of course being sweetness and light to his parents. My MIL even commented on it, which was really embarrassing...he DID apologize for this later in the evening, but with another favoured technique of saying 'sorry to be 'silly' - let's not argue...'
Last night felt like the final straw, which is why I'm posting here. I've had a nasty cold and been feeling pretty unwell - not great at the best of times, let alone when you're pregnant. DH goes on a stag do and returns an hour late (no big deal tbh, but still...), reeking of booze (ok - it was a stag do, but he promised he wouldn't get wasted because he knew he'd have to look after DD today as I'm unwell). He gets into bed and we're having a perfectly nice chat about the evening etc - I then start to ask him a perfectly innocent question about taking DD swimming today - he misunderstand me and apparently thought I was 'slighting' his parenting skills (maybe I can be a little overanxious with the whole PFB thing - but I really don't think I'm nuerotic- and I'm always telling him what a great dad he is. Anyway, he flies TOTALLY off the handle, storms off upstairs to the spare room etc etc...when he comes down I am crying, and he says 'just stop crying' in a 'my god, you are irritating..' way.
I tried to talk to him this morning - I tried to be open, and say 'look, why are you behaving like this - is it anything I've done etc etc?' and again, he blanks me: 'don't start this, don't pick a fight etc etc'. It feels like he doesn't care about my feelings at all sometimes. I have to say, he's not like this all the time - he can be really affectionate, and is always talking about how excited he is about the new baby etc etc, and how lucky we are to have our little family etc etc. It's just that more and more frequently, I feel like he's no emotional support to me, and I am worried for the future.
My instinct tells me to have our next child, and see where we are in a year, say. I know we're both exhausted and it's only going to get worse when we have a newborn - and that's no time for big life decisions. But I would love to get people's thoughts and views. (before anyone suggests trying counselling, whenever I have brought this up in the past, DH has 100% dismissed it and said he would 'never' do it - don't know if this would change if things got really drastic). I would love to hear your thoughts - anyone been through/going through a similar shakey time? xxx
err, sorry I am struggling to see anything wrong with his behaviour in any of the examples you have given, other than the petty niggles of family life (and a tad dismissiveness, that you should pull him up on)
I do however wonder if your standards/expectations of him, yourself and your life together are unrealistically high ?
an hour "late" from a stag do ? Feck, shoot him
a bit pissed after a stag do ? Hang him
Tells you that you are irritating ? Divorce the bastard!
You do sound irritating, tbh
I am sure there will be others along to "support" you in your "dis-satisfaction" soon, but I really think you should be counting your blessings
Um, well - I know family life ain't a bed of roses. BUT I don't think it's unrealistically high to expect him to be supportive when I am dealing with my very ill father. Nor to speak to me respectfully, attempt to be communicative, and to keep his temper under control...I think most people would have these 'expectations' of their partners?
There is definitely something wrong in talking to you like a piece of shit. And you are right to be worried about the future because the more he treats you like this in between the good times the more those bad episodes will start to eat away at you and erode not only your self esteem but your love for him. You may end up not even liking him very much. Even if you don't have high expectations of your life together they should at least be mutually agreed expectations.
He really needs to understand how you are feeling and saying a categoric 'no' to counselling is not very respectful of you. Is it because he doesnt' want to open up? or is the cost of it?
You are right the pressures of the new baby will amplify any existing issues so best to try and tackle it.
I would pick a day when you sit him down (tell him you are going to do this don't ask to do it) and say that this is serious for you and lay it out and what the implications of your feelings are. Tell him if he chooses to dismiss them that is an active choice he is making to dismiss you and you will take it that way. Have it out but do it when you are calm and collected. Don't cry.
Do it now while its bothering you. Don't let it fester. I did and my marriage didn't make it.
Jesus, what's the matter with you, AnyFucker? As I explained being drunk and late after a stag do really wasn't that a big a deal...it was putting it in context of a wider situation.
I DO count my blessings, as it happens. As you see in my post, I said that I think we're very blessed in many ways, but there are things in our relationship that aren't so great, and I came here to talk to others for support...I thought that was what mumsnet was for?!!
And he is being incredibly insensitive about your father. It must be one of the worst things to watch a parent lose their mind.
Thank you for the advice Citronella.
It's not the cost of counselling, more that he really doesn't like the idea of talking to a 'stranger'....but I think we could really use some.
There is usually quite a long waiting list for Relate but it is worth it because having a mediator ensures each one is properly listened to without interruptions. Have you been able to talk to anyone in RL about how you feel?
Why do you think he treats you that way? Does he resent you in some way? If he is out at work all week and if it's a pressurised job he is bound to get irritated at being reminded of his home duties. Does he have pressures at work and feel that the impending arrival of the new baby just adds to the pressures of his responsibility? Does he in some way resent the fact that he has not provided the roof over your head?
I think there is a degree of resentment Citronella...or perhaps not resentment so much as a degree of frustration. About a year ago he left his full-time job as he was unhappy and decided to go freelance - this hasn't worked out as well as he'd hoped. We have some savings so are financially ok for the moment - but won't be forever, so he'll be looking for more permanent work in the new year after the baby is born. Not having much work - combined with me personally having inherited this money (which I'm always telling him, is for all of us as a family, and if it were the other way round (ie if it came from his side), I wouldn't feel bad!) - HAS left him feeling rather frustrated.
It's funny, I've talked to RL friends a bit about the ups and downs, but can't seem to reveal to them just how unhappy I'm feeling right now. Not sure why that is - I'm normally really open with my friends and not at all 'proud' - but perhaps it just makes it more real talking about it? thanks again for your kind words...x
he's clearly not giving you support, or love for that matter. a little tlc wouldn't hurt.
have you tried writing him a letter explaining that you need support?
i don't think a partner should act like this. i think he needs a bit of a wake-up call.
what is the rest of your life like? do you get out with friends, do hobbies that get you out in the evening? do you spend time together as a couple?
Im sorry but Im inclined to agree with anyfucker. The examples youve given are not terrible, no ideal, but then noones life is.
Sometimes dh talks to me like shit, but on the other hand sometimes I talk to him like shit, thats life.
At the end of the day my dh works hard, doesnt beat me, doesnt fuck other women, doesnt drink excessively and if hes not totally respectful to me all day every day then I can live with that, maybe you should try not to strive for this perfect relationship that no one has.
Whether the slights are big or little is almost irrelevant. The fact is that you are in a very unhappy place because of them.
You really do need a proper talk with him.
thanks warthog. we do both get out with friends, which is great. i also work part-time which i enjoy. me and DH have some cosy nights in together (nice suppers/dvds etc) but getting out together is a hard task, especially since being pregnant I always feel so knackered by the evening. I definitely want to organize some proper babysitting help once the second one is over 6 months or so...we do need time connecting as a couple out of the house, and not just as parents.
Citronella, thanks again for your wise words.
It sounds like you had experience of similiar issues in your own marriage - what made you to decide in the end that it wasn't working?
There is a lot of interpeting from your side in your post.
...in a 'how boring tone'.
...in a 'my God, you are irritating' way.
He didn't actually said 'how boring' or 'you are irritating' did he? You can only accuse someone based on what he actually said or did. Body language sometimes can be misleading.
So maybe yes he meant it in the way you feel that he did, in which case you have my sympathy. Or maybe he didn't, in which case you need to look into why you interprete it in a negative way.
I don't think we can comment on the 'he talked to me like shit' unless you want to give more information, because 'like shit' means different things to different people.
Well for me the tipping point was an incidence of dv. It wasn't the first nor was it the worst but I decided it would be the last. To be honest it took years to get to that 'enough is enough' point. It wasn't even just about the dv. Lots of things put together. But this isn't my thread.
I think that if an issue is big enough to spend the time posting it on here then it is not trivial to you even if it might appear to be to other people. I'm genuinely surprised by some of the responses you have received.
I'm with citronella on this one - his behaviour smacks to me of resentment. If he was being straight with you, you would be able to have the conversation you need to have and wouldn't feel stonewalled or told you're picking a fight. If you tell someone calmly how you feel and they will not or refuse to listen, it is very undermining.
With my DH, two things have helped. Phrasing everything from my perspective i.e. 'When you said X, I felt Y'. If I am aware of what I have reacted to, as above, I might say 'When you said 'I thought you'd say that' I felt that you were bored by me and I reacted to that, I felt angry, sorry if I overreacted, I'm just worried about my dad.' I might even add that I'd like some reassurance that he didn't feel bored, again without blame attached.
The second, is sticking to the point and not letting my DH go off at a tangent. If he feels at all criticised he will try to upset me. I will say something along the lines of 'Okay, but I want to talk about X' or I want to know that you understand how I feel about X'.
I've found staying very calm helps enormously. Regardless of his behaviour, I don't get into a row. Also, I can stand back and look at the different techniques he uses to avoid situations which make him feel uncomfortable.
I could've written that myself and I know how hard it feels. There are always loads of incidents (and digs) but I can never recall them - I'm just left with the unhappy, unappreciated, misunderstood feeling. Is that the same for you?
Connie you say that that DH has dismissed counselling in the past. Have there been other issues in the past which would be helpful context to the recent examples you have given? Congratulations on your pregnancy btw.
Im in a very similar situation, also 5 months pregnant with second child, first child nearly 2 years old. Hubby stayed out all night twice recently & thinks im being unreasonable for thinking I atleast deserved a phonecall to let me know that he was still alive! He is also acting resentful towards me for reasons that are out of my control & not of my doing.
I dont think that we are being unreasonable women to expect better from our partners. To expect better for the sake of our children so that they can be brought up in a happy environment rather than there being constant tension between mummy & daddy.
This morning I have finally made the decision that enough is enough. We have tried on numerous occassions to make it work & get back on track but just keep going full circle & it isnt doing either of us any good.
If a resolution to a bad situation cant be found & you just keep getting back to arguing, you need to realise that there are 3 (soon to be 4) of you in the situation & you need to make a decision for the greater good.
Presently, my husbands belongings are tied up in carrier bags on the front lawn waiting for him to come & collect them!
Maybe if your DH realised that if he isnt willing to try something like councilling (which isnt that drastic & isnt going to killhim for christs sake!) - then you might never find a resolve & he will come home to a very similiar situation to that of my husband. Sometimes they need to realise just how serious things are & the prospect of loosing you might shake him up a bit.
On that note, I'd like to make it very clear that I'm not playing mind games with my husband, he is out for good & it's his own silly bloody fault! Im better off without him, its just a shame that it's taken me so long to realise it!
If anybody wants some nice size 10 mens shoes & medium clothes - swing by my front lawn! lol!
Totally agree with Secrets -- wait until he's calm and say something like, 'when you said x, it was the tone that upset me, and feels as if you don't respect me...'
Sounds as if he's lashing at you which is really unacceptable. He needs to learn to talk about problems/issues like a grown up without sarcasm, or putting you down. Almost as if he needs to know that he can't push you around and needs reminding of the 'ground rules...'
Thanks so much for all your responses and advice, its been really helpful to hear from you and also to know Im not the only one in this kind of situation.
Apologies for the delay in reply, was out all day yesterday and also apologies that this response will need to be rather short, as Im sneaking in some mumsnet time at work!
Well, after yet another episode of DH flying off the handle at me yesterday morning, we had a big chat about it yesterday evening and he himself suggested trying counselling! I think the turnaround came when I calmly explained (as per secrets and citronellas advice) that I wasnt willing to bring up two children around an excessively grumpy/intolerant person, and that I was becoming increasingly unhappy. So THANK YOU for encouraging this conversation. Louby and sweetness: I hope very much that your situations improve soon. Contrary to some of the opinion on this thread, I do believe that we deserve to be treated with kindness, respect and tolerance by our partners. Obviously episodes of domestic violence or infidelity are absolutely unacceptable (and in another league to what Ive been articulating here) - but just because these issues are absent from a relationship, it doesnt mean we should automatically be grateful and put up and shut up with treatment that makes us unhappy .
Thanks again all xxx
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