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Having a big wobble

(19 Posts)
clemette Sat 01-Aug-09 19:21:06

Apologies in advance for typos, am writing on my phone.
DH and I have been together for 12 years and have 2 children. Pre children we were a bit fiery (I have a temper, he is classic passive-aggressive) and since children we really struggle to communicate(I shout, he walks off).
He is a kind man and a good fatherbut frankly, he irritates the hell out of me. He will do anything I ask domestically etc but I have to ask and give detailed instructions and I feel like I have 3 children to look after. We are no longer intimate and I don't think I am in love with him anymore. I just seem to have lost all respect for him because he needs so much looking after. We bicker a lot because he is often grumpy and I am often cross.
Anyway, typing it I know it sounds petty, but I really don't want to be in a loveless marriage. Looking after him as well as the children makes me feel drained and we are definitely no longer equal partners.
So, what to do? Has anyone felt like this and then had things improve? Should I just accept that this is marriage or should I cut my losses and give both of us a chance of finding happiness elsewhere (or alone- solitude seems very attractive to ne at the moment).
Brutal honesty appreciated as I have lost perspective.
Thank you

CarGirl Sat 01-Aug-09 19:27:53

I would go to relate to teach you how to communicate with each other!

ABetaDad Sat 01-Aug-09 20:05:55

clemette - you shout at him, he walks away to avoid an arguement. He is a kind man and a good father that does anything you ask but you treat him like a child giving him detailed instructions.

You have no respect for him. Well I can see that from the way you treat him. No wonder he is grumpy. Good place to start might be to stop shouting at him, stop treating him like a chld but as an equal and give him a cuddle.

Well you did ask for brutal honesty.

HeliumBee Sat 01-Aug-09 20:07:07

This sounds like my parents 20 years ago - and its not pretty now - in fact I am sat here waiting for a call from my Mum as my Dad returns from --seeing his fancy woman-- - sorry holiday on his own in about half an hour. Anyway - I digress sorry.
My advice would be to try avenues such as relate, guidance etc.
It doesnt sound petty and let me tell you it is a nightmare to grow up in that atmosphere (we were oblivious until about 7 or 8 yrs old - was HELL as a teenager).

skidoodle Sat 01-Aug-09 20:15:52

Nice answer ABetaDad.

I would be driven demented by someone who walked away from disagreements, though so I understand your frustation op.

clemette's suggestion of relate probably the way to go - you need to stop shouting and he needs to engage with you when you aren't happy. Avoiding rows is not a good thing if it stores up resentment.

skidoodle Sat 01-Aug-09 20:17:03

Doh I mean cargirl - sorry op, got confused

clemette Sat 01-Aug-09 20:21:50

Are Relate effective if you have pretty much given up? (I have to admit to being quite cynical about Relate as my five-times married Dad is a trained Relate counsellour).

ABetaDad I appreciate the honesty. Parts of your answer helps - I do need to treat him more like an equal if I want the marriage to survive. I am just not sure I do. For example, if I don't give him detailed instructions (I had to write a shopping list for him today and talk him through putting the washing on the line) he doesn't believe he can do it.

It becomes a self-perpetuating issue - my bossiness infantilises him to the point where he refuses to do anything off his own back, and then I become even more frustrated with him.

I don't want my children to grow up in this environment. I don't think staying together for children does anyone any favours, but once it gets to this point (lack of respect and affection on both sides) is it game over?

charitygirl Sat 01-Aug-09 20:30:51

LOL re: your dad.

If you go to Relate with an attitude that there is no point, then I think it will probably be a self-fulfilling prohecy.

But are you curioous to find out what your relationship could be like if he could stop walking away/opting out, and you could stop scoring points/shouting? If you are interested in seeing whether you can end the destructive behaviours you both engage in, and seeing what's undersneath, then there could be a point.

For your kids, it might be worth a try?

faithb Sat 01-Aug-09 21:06:27

1. Are you hormonal? You sound like me when I have PMT. I can hate my husband and convince myself we need to be apart. The other 3 weeks of each month I love him with a passion.

2. What happens if you don't give the detailed instructions? Does he not do anything, or does he do it not to your satisfaction?

3. Are you happier when he is not around, or sad but not directing it at him?

4. Are you angry with him, if so what about? And what do you like about him?

5. If you fought to make the marriage work, is this because you remember why you loved him enough to marry and have children? Or is it just because you are determined to not have a 'failed' marriage?

clemette Sat 01-Aug-09 21:10:23

1. Possibly. Having some issues with the implant - but honestly I have always been a nag.

2. He doesn't do it.

3. Much happier when he is not around. I feel freer and less anxious.

4. I am angry that he is so childlike. I like that he loves me but it is like a child's love for a parent - dependent iyswim.

5. Neither. I would do it so the children could see us both every day.

ABetaDad Sat 01-Aug-09 21:12:02

clemette - well this rings bells.

"I had to write a shopping list for him today and talk him through putting the washing on the line."

My own DW can be exactly like that and she has a firey temper too. When she is stressed or worried she is much more like that BUT we have a great relationship. I feel that I should be speaking to your DH partly.

Truth is you need to agree a list of tasks that need doing and who is going to do them and then let go and let DH do his tasks his way. If he asks for instructions - tell him to do it himself. Maybe he knows you are going to stand over him, shOut at him if he does it wrong and dive in anyway so he just waits for instructions.

As you say he is infantilised. What he needs to do is stand up to you when you start bossing him around and micromanaging hiM. not by shoutng back but calmly telling you that he feels pushed around. You need to encourage him to tell you that when you are doing it and you must stop when he tells you.

Also you need to tell him what kind of man you would like him to be. The kind of man you can look up to and rely on in a crisis perhaps?

Build him up a bit not push him down. Say thank you to him when he does things for you (even if a bit wrong). Most of all you need a very long talk.

faithb Sat 01-Aug-09 21:17:12

"for the children" is not a great reason. If you are modelling a poor relationship it's not good for them in the long term. Seeing both parents less frequently when they are both happy with their lives is much more healthy than seeing both parents daily trapped in a loveless marriage.

I agree with all the advice ABetaDad gives. All that stuff works very well when my much-nagged husband is failing to be exactly as I want him to be.

MovingOutOfBlighty Sat 01-Aug-09 21:18:04

OK Clemette, need a bit more info.

You think you might be better off without him. Need background.
Are you a SAHM? What proportion of jobs are done by each of you etc? When did you start to go off him? Have you ever spoken to him about this without shouting/him walking off?

clemette Sat 01-Aug-09 21:23:40

Thank you *ABD and faith. You speak great sense.

Movingout I have just finished full-time work to start full-time study (medicine). I do all of the jobs apart from loading/unloading dishwasher. he would do them if I asked but it just never occurs to him.

Our relationship has deteriorated since we had the children.

We have talked many times. We make lots of calm plans and then never see them through. This is what makes me want to give up.

But I will give the advice another go. If he relates to me as an adult (including challenging my behaviour) rather than acting like a child (sulking/door slamming etc) maybe the respect will come back...

faithb Sat 01-Aug-09 21:33:52

The new direction from work to study will be a stressful change.

Because of his infantilised role in your relationship, I suspect perhaps it always was like that (so you loved it about him once, presumably), and that it's only become irritating to you realising that it's more appropriate for your parent-child relationships, but not for your husband-wife relationship.

One way to get things back in balance would be to work on the sex life smile

MovingOutOfBlighty Sat 01-Aug-09 21:34:21

I don't know what I would do with a dh who expected me to do most stuff as well as work full time (even if it is accidental on their part).

The only thing I can say is I hope you find some way of getting through this. Medicine is not easy (well done!), having had a dh go through all this without dcs it was hard enough. You will need full support and not another big kid to deal with.
My friend had this. Both worked full time but she did 90% of the house stuff and spent most of the time with the dcs. They decided to split up in an amicable way. She now finds it easier as at least she only has herself and ds to look after, and she has every other weekend 'off' as well as some days during the week to recharge. The DH prefers it too as at least when he is looking after the dcs he doesn't have her second guessing everything!!

Hope you find a way that is not as radical as that though.

faithb Sat 01-Aug-09 21:40:40

Also some couples continue a loving relationship while living apart. That may be an option for you.

clemette Sat 01-Aug-09 21:47:32

Thank you. This has been really helpful.

MrsIdiot Sat 01-Aug-09 22:08:14

name change again, to protect the guilty..

clemette I could have written your op...in fact I drafted a pretty identical one in my head this morning but bottled when it came down to it.

My position is very similar to yours- without the full time study (only pt).I am torn between thinking in turn "I deserve better than this, I'm wasting my life" and then I switch to thinking, well, he doesn't have affairs, or beat me, or drink heavily, so leaving is a pretty selfish and childish thing to consider, the kids would be devastated and so I should just bite my tongue and get on with it.

I do have to say that I once heard an expression "the tyranny of the weak" which is just about spot on. Sometimes in a crisis situation (esp in family life) one party fails to take responsibility, you step in to fill the vaccuum and then BOOM! you are now the "bossy, controlling" one. It's a pretty good scam. Wish I'd thought of it 6 years ago wink

I really wish you the best luck.If you manage to find the solution, please let us know!!

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