Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

It's not what it says on the tin...

(16 Posts)
BirdFromDaNorf Wed 02-Sep-09 22:01:46

Marriage is not what is says on the tin, is it? It's hard work, and I believe in it.

But I am in that relationship with Mother/Child thing going on that I read of in other places and I don't know how to get out of it.

I want to shout and scream at my husband when he does things wrong, that annoy me - and that's every day. As an example, tonight he has broken the printer, which I use for my business, gone out to his job - an extra bit on the side for holiday spending for us, which is great, but didn't leave me a note to say printer jammed, so I put more paper in it and it's truly banjaxed now. Why no note? Why couldn't he think and see the problem looming - because he knows I will fix it for him.

What do people do when things are just constantly crap, to get their marriages back on track? I love him, I fancy him, he just really really irriates me at the moment, with his lack of ability to sort himself out - we have a 2.5 yr old and 13 mnonth old, I'm busy enough without wiping his bum for him too.

Practical stuff would be good please.
Thank you.

warthog Wed 02-Sep-09 22:08:34

lower your standards. or be prepared to train him.

BirdFromDaNorf Wed 02-Sep-09 22:10:54

Warthog - how do you go about training? With rewards? With holding sex etc? Seriously, how do I do that? I'm interested to hear your thoughts on doing this... Ranting and raving does nothing, it's all water off a ducks back. As that's what his mother does. Instruct me grin

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 03-Sep-09 02:09:36

You need to point out clearly, in words of no more than two three syllabyles, exactly what he did wrong, and explain to him why it was wrong. Do not yell, scream or accuse; this will be genuinely new material to him. Approach the issue in a calm manner. Do not send texts/emails saying, "We need to talk" in advance; this will freak him out totally.

Look, you have a 2.5 year old, just treat them the same when it comes to communication... grin

(Incidentally, I say this as a wife of 25 years, mother of two adult sons, and, um, landlady to another young male. I have tried the "they'll notice it eventually" route, it really doesn't work. Asking for help (do try not to let him see you grit your teeth) in specific terms, works.)

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 03-Sep-09 02:11:08

As a matter of interest, did your DH have any reason to think you'd need the printer tonight?

HappyWoman Thu 03-Sep-09 07:00:41

I agree you do need to tell him what you need. That is not treating him like a child though. Tell him you need him to leave a note and tell you when he has possibly broken something.

As for the printer - why not get one just for you if it is that important to you. I eventually got myself a laptop as i used to get so stressed everytime i wanted to do something on the family computer and it had been 'tweaked' in some way so that i couldnt use it the way i wanted. There is a ban on anyone else using it.

However it is hard to not get into the mother/child marriage and can be damaging.

Make him take some responsibilty for some things and then stand back and dont interfere.

I used to make my h appointments (he has to have regular blood tests) and used to get upset when he whinged he couldnt make it so now he makes his own and has to deal with it all himself.

I do still feel bad but actually he can see that it wasnt my job to do all the running around for him.

If he knows you will always sort these things out he will not change.

But good luck anyway.

seeker Thu 03-Sep-09 07:21:56

Did he know he'd jammed the printer? Genuine question - could he have just set it to print and gone out?

warthog Thu 03-Sep-09 07:44:06

clear, simple instructions. when done wrong, calmly explain why. ad nauseum.

do not under any circumstances give up and do it yourself. he will not learn that way. do not lose your temper.

seeker Thu 03-Sep-09 07:50:54

"clear, simple instructions. when done wrong, calmly explain why. ad nauseum."

But be absolutely sure before you do this that it is actually wrong, not just different. And that, even if it IS wrong, that it actually matters.

People sharing a house together are allowed to have different ways of doing things. Just because one person's way irritates the hell out of the other doesn't necessarily mean that they have to change their ways!

retiredlady Thu 03-Sep-09 10:53:16

It upsets me when X happens works better than it upsets me when you do X.

Isn't it annoying when the printer gets jammed can you help me sort it out might be a good opening gambit wink

BirdFromDaNorf Thu 03-Sep-09 13:26:31

I worked till 2.30am this morning so didn't have chance to come back here. All interesting stuff. Thank you.

Old Lady - thank you for replying - I work every evening as soon as the children are in bed. He did know I would need it and "just didn't think to leave you a message, I'm sorry, I just didn't think"...

"I didn't think about it" is his usual refrain in these scenarios.

Happy Woman - interesting that you wrote about the printer. I said just that, that we would need to get him his own one as this is my printer for my work. He says this is over the top and a waste.

Old Lady - another interesting point, that he doesn't think it was a bad thing to leave it like that, because he was in a rush - so I think retired lady was good to suggest - it upsets me when you leave things broken for me to fix without telling me that you've broken it. I like that.

No doubt will have opportunity to put some of this into practise today grin Thank you for taking time to reply, I'm conscious it is small fry to some of the other stuff around on this board, but I really want to intervene, whilst I still have faith that I can make a change for all our benefits.

Thank you x

HappyWoman Thu 03-Sep-09 13:34:12

good luck

But why does he think it is a waste?? Dont let him be the one to always dictate what happens - does he mean a waste of money or just a waste to have 2 printers? 2 printers may be a waste if they are both working - but not if one is prone to being left 'broken'.
If it is for your work then it is essential, sure to always have one working. And they are not that expensive at the moment anyway, and certainly a lot cheaper than a broken marriagewink. Maybe he doesnt understand just how important this is for you.

I have a friend who has 2 washing machines - she has a large family and it would be a disaster if she did not have one at all. There are still times when she is down to one anywaygrin.

I hope you do manage to sort things out as resentment is difficult to deal with once it has set in.

GrendelsMum Thu 03-Sep-09 17:03:36

Um - I wonder whether there might be faults and misunderstandings on both sides, here?

You sound as though at the moment you're feeling very angry and dismissive towards your husband. You say that you want to scream and shout at him every day, and that you feel you've got to wipe his bum for him. That sounds like things are really quite unpleasant in your life at the moment. You don't say whether he wants to scream and shout too - is he feeling equally unhappy about you when things don't go as he expects them?
I wonder whether you're actually making the problem worse by saying you're in a mother-child relationship, as that's quite an unpleasant way to look at him and you, and it sets your feelings in a negative filter.

It sounds as though at the bottom of it you feel that he doesn't love and respect you, or he would take more trouble to make life easier for you. Something along the lines of "he didn't care that he made my life difficult by breaking the printer when it's already so tough working and looking after the kids, so he can't really value me".

Well, my DH tells me he often feels like that about me. He says the thought process goes as follows: "GrendelsMum broke the patio table = she must have been careless with it = she doesn't look after things propertly = she doesn't value our things = she doesn't value the long hours I spend working to earn money to buy these things = she doesn't love me." And then of course he gets upset. Whereas I think "I was in a rush to do things for the family, because I have to do more things because DH works such long hours, and because I was rushing I broke something, but DH doesn't see that I do so much for the family, because he's constnatly working to buy these stupid unnecessary patio tables when if he really loved us he would be at home with us = DH doesn't love me". And then I get upset.

Perhaps you could talk to your DH about what you both feel about taking responsibility and what happens when items get broken?

You say your DH does a lot of things "wrong" - does he really do them wrong, or differently? Is there a reason that he prefers to do them his way, even though it's not the way you'd do it?

flyingmum Thu 03-Sep-09 17:31:04

Praise them. In teacher training we are told that boys need THREE times more praise than girls. and boys are only small men. I know how you feel. Mine has a habit of being IN THE WAY whenever I want to go somewher ein the kitchen. We sort of make a joke out of it but there are certain days when the little things drive me potty. I do think it is exacerbated by having two little ones as well because you have untold drudgery with them and have to think of everything and then to have to do it for an adult is too much.

I do think it is very easy for chaps to get into the 'looked after' and women to start treating them as if they were one of the kids and needing to be told what to do all the time. I know this happens to me. I think giving them ways to show how good they are at something - something you can admire and think 'thank goodness they were here' really helps.

seeker Thu 03-Sep-09 18:12:18

Men will only do this if women let them. Don't lecture them, don't rescue them, don't smile indulgently and take over when the "little man" makes a pathetic attempt at some basic life skill. Just expect any adult human being to behave like a bloody adult.

But don't then tell them off or re-do whatever it is if they haven't done it exactly as you would. Different isn't necessarily wrong.

Flower3545 Thu 03-Sep-09 18:29:28

When Dh and I married he couldn't boil an egg, literally hadn't the foggiest idea. He is an only child and his parents had done everything for him. He was 26 when we married!

As we both worked full time we tried sharing chores, eg I would cook he would clean up afterwards.

For months I would wait until he had gone to work then run around washing up everything all over again because he was crap at it.

During an argument he mentioned that he did his share of work around the house and I pointed out what I'd been doing for months, he replied "more fool you, would it not have been better to tell me where I was going wrong"

It was an eye opening moment for me, treat him like an adult cos he is onesmile

He is now fully capable of washing up, cleaning, and he makes a mean Sunday roast unaided.

It does take time though, we've been married almost 35 years nowwink

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: